HANOI — It’s been twenty-five years since the hotel emerged from the doldrums of post-war privation; twenty years since the Opera Wing opened; and just seven years since Sofitel branded its Hanoi luxury property as its first Legend hotel. But there seems to be no end to the renewed enthusiasm for Vietnam’s Grand Dame.
In January, Condé Nast Traveler hailed the hotel as one of just two properties in Vietnam on its coveted Gold List, and readers of Destinasian unequivocally celebrated the property as the finest hotel in Hanoi, a position it’s held annually now since 2008.
Lauded for “colonial elegance [that] richly blends French and Vietnamese style,” (Destinasian) and for its “spacious and richly appointed” rooms and suites (Condé Nast Traveler), the hotel has embarked on its 115th anniversary with no small measure of irony filling its sheets.
“You can’t get around the fact that the hotel’s old world appeal is a major part of the attraction,” said Franck Lafourcade, the hotel’s general manager. “But when guests ask me to talk about the heydey of this hotel, I’m not talking about the 1920s when Somerset Maugham was a guest, or the 1930s when Charlie Chaplin honeymooned here with Paulette Goddard, or the 1950s when Graham Greene was here working on The Quiet American, I’m talking about today.”
When guests look back on the golden era of the Hotel Metropole Hanoi, said Lafourcade, he believes they’ll be talking about the second decade of the 21st Century.
Since the decade began, between two- and three-dozen major awards have been conferred upon the hotel annually. CNN called Le Spa one of the most relaxing spas in Asia (2010). Travel + Leisure identified the hotel as one of the the top three city hotels in Asia (2011). And The Daily Meal said that Le Beaulieu was one of the top 101 hotel restaurants in the world (2012).
In 2013, Robb Report called the hotel one of the of top 100 hotels in the world. Fodor’s said the same thing the following year. And last year, Business Traveller Asia-Pacific ranked the hotel No. 1 in Hanoi for its readers.
The list goes on.