HANOI, Vietnam — After more than a century of refining tastes in the Vietnamese capital, the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi is unveiling a new cultural itinerary for discerning holidaymakers in 2013.
Designed to steer visitors through the best of charmingly chaotic Hanoi via a series of personalized tours, culinary adventures and historical connections, the Metropole debuted its two-night ‘So Cultural’ package last week, entitled ‘In the Footsteps of Joan Baez.’
The 112-year-old hotel, which has hosted the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Graham Greene, took the route legendary folk singer Joan Baez favored on her March 2013 return to Hanoi as inspiration for its most artistically inclined offering to date.
Guests will be given the keys to the 70-square-metre Somerset Maugham Suite, where Baez stayed and painted her ‘Unnamed’ portrait of a Vietnamese child. The suite’s spacious living room and bedroom retain their classical French architecture and original honey-oak floorboards from 1901.
Outside in the 1,000-year-old city, the ups, downs, influences and intricacies of Vietnam’s fledgling art scene will be explored in a half-day tour led by a local art dealer. Hanoi’s hidden ateliers, prosperous galleries and contemporary exhibits will be revealed alongside its traditional craft mediums of lacquer, silk and clay.
A guided walk through the 36 streets and guilds of Hanoi’s bustling Old Quarter will lead guests to places of personal interest — whether the silk and linen embroidery of Hang Gai, the bamboo instruments and furniture of Hang Hom, or the sidewalk theatre played out in the cafes and tea shops surrounding Hoan Kiem Lake.
The full spectrum of Vietnam’s culinary delights, the finest specialties from North and South, as well as the hotel’s famous ‘pho’ noodle soup will be presented to guests in a spectacular lunch buffet at Spices Garden.
The Metropole’s luxury fleet of BMW 7 Series vehicles will transport guests in style to and from Noi Bai Airport. Club Metropole benefits — including round-the-clock butler service, express check-in and check-out, complimentary afternoon tea, and breakfast in bed – supplement the on-site experience.
‘In the Footsteps of Joan Baez’ is priced at USD 2,000 per night, based on two-night stays. Additional nights will be charged at USD 1,900++.