We had booked the Sofitel Metropole to enjoy a last relaxed night and day in all luxury, after a busy and tiring three week trip through Cambodia and Vietnam. Prior to the Sofitel Metropole we had also stayed for two nights at the Hilton Opera Hotel, but that was not to be repeated.
Of course the welcome at Sofitel Metropole was great. Especially as we got an upgrade of our room to the (newer) Opera Wing. Originally we had booked a DeLuxe room for 3 persons, and I think we were upgraded to a Premium Room.
Especially impressive was the bathroom that was half open and did spread over the full length of the room. Very nice, and not seen before.
This for sure must be the best hotel in (busy) town Hanoi. Location is great, quite close to the old city center. And all the benefits of a 5 star + hotel. However; why were we not that impressed?
The hotel failed us in the following:
- very mixed service. Beyond excellent in the Vietnamese restaurant and below poor at the pool.
- the pool was way too small and you had to sort of fight for a chair.
- reception was not responsive. Had to cary own suitcases down after repeated requests.
- awkward lay out of the hotel. Actually it feels like two hotels: Historical wing & Opera wing
We enjoyed diner in the Vietnamese SPICES GARDEN RESTAURANT.
It was superb. As we did not appreciate the reserved table, immediately another table was offered and prepared. Service and advice was friendly and personal. Food was beyond belief; definitely the best as we experienced it during our 3 week trip. Taste and decoration was great. The only thing that I liked to have seen different was the price tag....but it was worth the money.
As good as our experience was at the restaurant, as poor was it at the pool.
As a start the pool is way too small. An average cruise ship has a bigger pool nowadays.
Second there are not sufficient pool chairs, or actually chairs in general. At our first visit it took us a while before we were able to sit down. There was also no support from the staff finding a spot for the three of us. Obviously they had given up a long time ago......
After some time we were lucky and got ourselves into 3 pool chairs. However when taking a swim, the staff removed our personal belongings and were about to give the chairs to other guests. If there would not have been any personal items at the chairs I could have understood the misunderstanding, as we might have left, but it is NOT done ever to remove personal items. We were able to 'capture' the chairs again, but not a nice experience. Not for us and not for the other quests who were also quite embarrassed.
This fight for chairs was ongoing for both days we stayed at the hotel. Not acceptable.
The hotel is sort of split in two.
The old part called the Historical wing and the new part the Opera wing.
Next time I do not think I accept an upgrade to the new wing and request a room in the old one, as the atmosphere in the Opera wing is more of a modern kind of hotel lacking the history. Actually looking back and taking another look at the hotel website, I wonder whether it was an upgrade or just a room switch presented and an upgrade.
The idea that you are in two hotels is emphasized by the fact that the Opera wing also has a separate entrance. Great to confuse your driver..... And getting from one entrance to the other, yourself or your driver, takes some time.
Breakfast was OK, but not great. Had expected it to be better and have had better breakfasts in Cambodia and Vietnam in cheaper hotels.
Departure was a challenge, not only because of the two entrances, but also because no porter showed up to collect the luggage. Finally we carried them down ourselves, where staff took over to bring them to 'the other' entrance.....
The Sofitel Metropole is a great hotel, and I would love to stay there again. But it has some issues that need attention.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Primary photo: La Terrase ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi Hotel Hanoi
- Accor Metropole Hanoi
- Sofitel Hanoi
- Sofitel Metropole Hanoi
- Hanoi Sofitel