Glass rests at Hotel Metropole – Paris in Hanoi

WITH BAMBOO Airways now connecting Vietnam through direct international and internal flights, including London to Hanoi, Hotel Metropole beckons more brightly than ever as a choice destination. It perfectly matches the criteria behind Sofitel’s select Legend group of hotels – heritage, architecture, luxury and location – being opened by the colonial French in 1901 as a grand edifice of the belle époque and retaining its prestigious reputation ever since.

Open throughout the Vietnam War and digging its own basement bunker, the hotel has tours of the underground shelter where Jane Fonda and Joan Baez found refuge during bombing raids are a daily event for hotel guests.

GM_52 Paris in Hanoi 1Hotel Metropole

A more recent visitor to the Metropole, Angelina Jolie, has given her name to the hotel’s glamorous split-level bar and restaurant while, vying with Angelina for culinary attention, French-accented Le Beauliou’s tempts gourmets with chef-tasting (4 course) and epicurean (6 course) menus for dinner and à la carte throughout the day.

Back to famous guests, experiencing the Charlie Chaplin cocktail at the Bamboo Bar involves dunking a sorbet into your glass; for live jazz, Le Club Bar is spirited at night and during the day its courtyard garden setting is an elegant spot for lunch or afternoon tea.

GM_52 Paris in Hanoi 2Angelina’s bar complete with bartender’s ladder

Parisian resonances of the most classic kind are best experienced at La Terrasse, on the tree-lined pavement outside the hotel: a delicate white tea (Bach Tra Suoi Giang), made only from centuries-old tea trees found at high altitudes in northern Vietnam, provides a restorative way to start the morning; sipping the fragrant tea as calm commuters glide serenely past on mopeds and bicycles, occasionally but ever so politely honking at other traffic.

by Sean Sheehan

For direct flights from London to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City on a wide-body Dreamliner, see; for bookings and further information on Hotel Metropole, see sofitel-legend-

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Glass Online food writer

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