One of the old colonial hotels in South East Asia along the lines of the venerable Raffles Hotel in Singapore, the Metropole Hanoi is the grande dame of the city. This Hanoi luxury hotel though combines the best of French colonial architecture with contemporary Eastern elegance. The colonial look of the exterior architecture white stucco and green shutters is reflected through in the interior architecture. The hotel is all gleaming marble and hardwood. The look is softened with the use of silk to add a feeling of elegance and luxury. Furnishings are elegant and pared back. You really do get the feeling that French colonial glamour has gone modern at the Metropole Hanoi.
The First Hanoi Luxury Hotel
The Metropole was built in 1901 in a city that the French colonial regime felt was the Paris of the East. The hotel has had lots of notable guests through the years including Charlie Chaplin, assorted French Presidents and US Presidents Bush and Clinton. In fact, Charlie Chaplin honeymooned at the hotel with his American actress wife, Paulette Goddard. In terms of literary connections, the hotel has hosted two 20th century greats in British literature, Graham Greene, Somerset Vaughan and Noel Coward.
In 1965, the hotel had to build an air raid shelter to accommodate the times. Jane Fonda got to test out the air raid shelter in 1972 when she stayed for 2 weeks in protest of the Vietnam War. Joan Baez even gave a concert in the shelter. As a hotel guest you can check out the bunker as part of the Path of History tour which explains the hotel’s history.
Modern Colonial At Sofitel Metropol Hotel
The Metropole is part of the Sofitel Legends collection. As you would expect, the Metropole has a fantastic location in the old French Quarter. There are plenty of places to visit in Hanoi and this hotel would be a very handy base.
The Metropole hotel is actually a hotel in two parts. There is the more traditional older part and then a modern wing built in the 1990’s. Both parts of the hotel though are combined in a cohesive look – a restrained muted colour scheme pared with sumptuous silks and polished hardwoods.
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