Sofitel Metropole Hotel
Beware - Sofitel Predatory Practices
Last week I purchased three nights in one of the best rooms at the Sofitel Metropole Hanoi on Expedia. My visa from Vietnam did not arrive before my travel date. (Note: Vietnam is NOT a visa on arrival country for Americans. You must follow a complex and expensive application process first to receive an "approval letter.") I called the hotel and explained the situation.
The snooty day manager said " we cannot respond to you now. You will receive our letter." The upshot was that the hotel charged me $1,100 for a room I did not use with no offer to reschedule, refund, cancel or offer any accommodation whatsoever to me for this matter that was beyond my control. From the hotel's superior and condescending attitude, I could tell that even if my plane crashed and I did not show up due to being dead, the answer would be the same.
Some lessons learned:
1. Don't give any advance money to Sofitel for whatever reason. They will seize it if possible;
2. Don't count on a Vietnam visa.
I will avoid Sofitel in the future for business and pleasure and make it my company's policy as well. I will avoid Vietnam until Americans can receive visas on arrival.
Classical luxury hotel
Very charminng luxury hotel, with all the confort and modern amenities .
In a very good location a setep to the main attractions
Very good breakfast
The rooms in the front-ancient wing, are nice and silent
All the staff very kind
Grand old dame of Hanoi's hotels.
We did not stay here. We visited because it was famous and ended up having lunch here.
The Grand Hotel Metropole Hanoi first opened in August 1901. The hotel was a joint venture between French businessmen André Ducamp and Gustave-Émile Dumoutier. Ducamp became its first general manager. The hotel became increasingly popular during the rubber boom. The Metropole Hotel was the first place in Indo-China ever to show movies.
Famous people who have stayed at the Metroplole include actor Charlie Chaplin and his wife Paulette Goddard, plus authors Somerset Maugham and Graham Greene.
During the Vietnam war Jane Fonda spent several weeks at the hotel. She was seeking refuge from the bombing at the hotel's underground bunker. Joan Baez cheered the spirits of the American troops by singing in the hotel's bunker during US air raids. We did not see this bunker but apparently it has recently been restored and is now tourist attraction.
French colonial style hotel
We booked 2 rooms and all of us simply loved it. We are given complementary drinks at the restaurant or cafe. We loved the design whether its interior or exterior. Lotion, shampoo were of good quality. Even the service was so good except for the waitress in the international/Vietnam restaurant. Went there twice n it's proven.
Unique Quality: This hotel is slightly out of the old quarters. Out of the noisy irritating motorists horns.
The rooms are cleans, and its really a nice place.
The best luxury choice in town
There is nothing you can complain about the hotel. It was a perfect stay. restaurant and bar, pool , massage were all great. The place was a highlight and absolutely recommend to everyone.
Unique Quality: The most historical hotel in the city
French colonial touch
If you are on business travel, and your boss is kind with you (or he does not know about Hanoi), this is the hotel where to settle down for a week, enjoying luxury in the centre of the city, five minutes walk from the Hanoi old quarter, two minutes from the Hoan Kiem Lake; there is no more convenient place, close to many museums, shopping areas, restaurants, opera and other places to visit.
Hotel Metropole is an old French establishment (and still is run by French), with just what is needed as colonial charm, very nice rooms, (all usual luxury amenities, in an old fashion way), decorated with discerning taste, as are the nice halls and good cafes and restaurants; it fits exactly with what many hotels promise in their brochures (and are very far from holding), about comfort, exotism, cuisine, very good and helpful staff. . . In a few words: exotic old fashioned luxury. But this has a price, and better be sure your budget meets high standards or your boss will pay. . . . . . .200 U.S. per night which is expensive for Asian standards, but after all in Europe when you pay that price you have half the comfort and service. . . if not less.
Directions: 300 meters East of the southern end of Hoan Kiem Lake
The Quintessential Overcharge
This hotel is beautiful!! It is in the old town city center.
Everyone at the hotel, except the front desk staff, was marvelous. As I checked in I found my reservation had been "lost." They did agree to charge me $235++ instead of the slightly higher fee of $240++ they wanted to quote me. I continued without problem, but later found out that my credit card that guaranteed my reservation was still charged as if I had never showed up. After returning home I contacted the hotel multiple times, by e-mail and telephone to no avail. It took a harshly worded e-mail to the hotel manager to get some response. I was also charged a "joiner" fee for having a guest. Instead of insulting my guest, I signed an agreement to pay for an entire cost of one night at the same room rate($230++) At check out I complained to the manager and he agreed on charging me a lessor charge of $140++. For a hotel of this stature I would expect concise information regarding guests and of course that they handle reservations properly. I would recommend being very careful about reservations and I WILL NOT STAY THERE AGAIN! There are to many luxury type hotels in this wonderful city.
Best Place to Stay in Hanoi!
My wife and I stayed here Sept 28 to Oct 2, 2006. It was exquisite, private and just downright classy. Not hustling and bustling as some of the bigger hotels in Asia is. We stayed in the "old wing's" Classic Room...as you can see in pic, very high ceilings with a matching ceiling fan. 5 star facilities all around, if I were to nitpick maybe it's that I wish the bathroom had a separate shower stall and that we had a view, but that would be nitpicking.
Unique Quality: It's an old building built in 1901, well maintained and recently refurbised.
Directions: Near the Hoan Kiem Lake, right in the Hoan Kiem district, every cabbie should know. However be sure you mention "Metropole" as there is a separate Sofitel Plaza Hotel.
A Grand Old Hotel
This was my second time staying there, the last time it was years ago in 1998. Back then it was the only luxury hotel in Hanoi. There is competition now (2005), but not much has changed. Over-all, it is a very good hotel. The rooms in the Opera Wing were large, modern, and clean, but a bit dark. Service was not bad, but also not spectacular. The location is excellent, right downtown. I would stay there again.
I stayed here a third time in 2009. This time I was with my family and we went for the Historical Wing which, in my opinion, is much better. The rooms are brighter and you are closer to most of the hotel amenities, as well as the closer side to the centre of town. The rooms are large and spotless.
While it is still a top-notch hotel, we did have some problems this time around. The first was checking in. We had booked well in advance, specifically asking for two adjoining rooms, not on the ground floor. Check-in staff had us wait in the lounge while they "got things ready". What they were doing, and not communicating to us, was desparately trying to find us these adjoining rooms. Well, in the end, it took over an hour. They only communicated to us when I interrupted them and asked them what was going on. They told us all sorts of silly lies about the delay (there were no such rooms, period; there weren't any available, at any price range) and finally I started arguing with the manager, stating the obvious as how it was unacceptable that we were kept waiting like this. Finally he gave in, and magically two adjoining rooms became available, although one of them was a suite, which we got for the same price as a regular. While this was a nice "free" upgrade, I would rather have had regular rooms with no wait or aggravation.
The other problem was in the middle of the night. there was a knocking noise on the roof (we were on the top floor). The night staff were willing to come up and try what they could, but they didn't have keys to the access door to the roof, so there wasn't much they could do. Even the so-called night manager didn't have keys. So we had to fall asleep with the noise, not extremely loud, but irritating.
The pool was smaller than I had remembered, probably because this time I was with my family. It's a nice pool, but it was rather over-crowded. The Internet in the business centre was expensive, even by standards of a hotel of this quality, and it closed at 23:00.
I was disappointed with these incidents and the pool, but it is still probably the best hotel in Hanoi and I would return again if the budget was right and hope that these were one-off happenings.
Directions: Very close to the south-east corner of Hoan Kiem Lake.
Stay at the Metropole!!
I would recommend the Sofitel Metropole Hotel to anyone visiting Hanoi. You cannot beat the location for its proximity to the old town. The staff were extremely helpful - they help us to arrange cyclo drivers to give us a tour for the day (US$2 per hour per person). They have designated cyclos and the concierge does the negotiating for you to make for a hassle-free day.
Our package included the breakfast buffet which was more than worth it. There was a great variety of Western and Asian breakfast favorites and great fresh fruit. For the other meals of the day, the hotel has a good restaurant and cafe and there are many places to eat within walking distance.
You could definitely find cheaper accomodations in Hanoi, but there are few other places that you can stay in 5-star comfort at this price. We stayed in the old wing and the room was beautiful.
One of the world's best
The Metropole is truly one of "the Best 100 Hotels in the World.' Rooms are spacious and airy; the service is first-class. Le Beaulieu serves gourmet French cuisine with an outstanding (and expensive) weekend breakfast buffet. The cafe does a good job with both Vietnamese and international dishes.
The location is also prime -- a three minute walk from the beautiful Hoan Kiem Lake and close to many of the most interesting sights in Hanoi.
Directions: A two-block walk from Hoam Kien Lake, close to many up-scale art and other shops.
Best hotel I've ever stayed in
I stayed in the Metropole for 9 days in May 2005 for a conference, and it is the nicest place I've ever stayed in. Admittedly, I've not been in many 5 star places, but compared to, for example, the Melia, where the conference is, the Metropole is miles better. Decor classy, service impeccable (they bring you two papers a day and chocolates in the evening) and facilities marvellous. Staff really helpful, room luxurious, just loved it. Cost $113 dollars a night for a double room, which in England would get you a very nasty hotel.
Unique Quality: Pool nice, Le Beaulieu restaurant stunning, building very attractive, must be the best place in Hanoi. If you are going to splash out anywhere you will really get your money's worth here!
5 Star Hotel in Hanoi
I ran into a huge problem initially with the hotel. I had made arrangments for the hotel to send a car to the airport to pick me up. Upon clearing customs and collecting my baggage I approached the hotel staff at the airport. The hotel staff claimed that they had NO record of anyone requesting a car and furthermore they claimed that my reservation had been cancelled.
Upon arriving at the hotel check-in counter I was shown an email that cancelled my reservation. The email was not from me or my travel agent. I guess at this point the hotel felt bad becuase they automatically upgraded me to a suite.
The suite consisted of a separate living room and bedroom with a small room that had a mini kitchen in it.
pretty charming hotel
This hotel is part of the Legends of Indochine - which has several legendary hotels such as the Raffles Hotel in Singapore, Amanpuri in Phuket, Oriental Hotel in Bangkok.
The location is OK - it was convenient for us as it was closed to the Press Club where the Emeraude Cruise Office was - just a hop over!! It was closed enough for me to walk to the Opera House (which btw Hilton faces), it is also close to one end of the lake where you can go take a nice stroll.
Service I would say is excellent. The concierge staff is ultra nice. I spent some time chatting with them, asking all kinds of question, pertaining to opera tickets, water puppet tickets, taxi pricing, where to eat, whether is safe or not to walk in the dark etc...best bit is they were so upfront, frank and honest.
On one occassion I left my hat after checking out, and when I returned to the hotel days later, I asked them if they ever saw a hat which i had lost, I was so so grateful to have them back.
Unique Quality: The food at the hotel is quite sumptuos.
Breakast was great - although if you stayed there for more than a couple of days you freak out of the same fare = same spread. I enjoyed their simple pho - Vietnamese noodles, and also some thing which looked liked a bologna to me...and also noodle roll, and would you fancy creme caramel for breakfast!!!
We also managed to sample their famous Sunday brunch, which btw the restaurant is famous for its French fare, so I especially enjoyed the well cooked, and well timed main dishes such as duck stuffed with foie grass, salmon with sorrel sauce, veal with morrel sauce...and yum - squid ink risotto. What I can say is the chef has excellent skill in preparing sauces, and also he is also very very good in presenting French food left in buffet food warmers and still not over cooked.
Of course there was a huge array of international food to tempt others - i did not bother too much - stuff like sashimi, sushis, and also lots of cold seafood etc.
Rooms - the one horror i have in Hanoi is the lack of proper airconditioning. It was pretty stuff and irritating. The bed was tiny for twin room, and it moves on rollers I think!!! But I was too tired and had a deep slumber. All rooms faces into the pool. They have new wing and old wing - i think it was cooler at the old wing.
A wonderful experience
I have stayed in this hotel on two occasions and have no hesitation in recommending it.
Rooms are spacious, bright and well appointed with all the normal amenities.
The hotel has a french restaurant of great repute. Breakfast is served here and is a mind boggling array of items. There is also a small restaurant near to the bar serving lighter meals and the Met Bar which also does food.
The hotel has a small pool with some sun loungers available and an exquisite Vietnamese restaurant which also has music and dancers most evenings.
Unique Quality: In a good location, within walking distance of most of the old town and the lake.
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Sofitel Metropole Hotel
We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:
- Sofitel Metropole Hanoi
- Hanoi Sofitel
- Sofitel Hanoi
- Accor Metropole Hanoi
- Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi Hotel Hanoi
Address: 15 Ngo Quyen St, Hanoi, 10000, Vietnam
27 Photos of Sofitel Metropole HotelView Professional Photos
Amenities at Sofitel Metropole Hotel
- Swimming Pool
- Wheelchair Accessible
- Room Service
- Fitness Center
- Business Services
- Shuttle Service
- Bar / Lounge
- Free High Speed Internet
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