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Our Luxurious Stay at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi

See what’s it’s like to experience five-star luxury at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, the grandest hotel in Vietnam’s capital city.

Metropole Lobby at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi

Many visitors only see one side of Hanoi – the vibrant metropolis where motorbikes buzz at all hours of the day and people eat street food while sitting in little plastic chairs. There’s nothing wrong with this side of Hanoi, but it’s only half of the city’s story.

For our third visit to Hanoi in three years, we wanted to slow our pace in a refined, elegant environment that honors the city’s storied past while embracing its modern present. We also wanted to stay in a central location near the best transportation, attractions and restaurants.

With these goals in mind, we only had one choice as to where to stay in Hanoi.

Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi Hotel Review

Opera Lobby at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
Staff members warmly greet visitors to the Opera wing of the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel.

The Sofitel Legend Metropole is a calm oasis smack-dab in the center of hectic Hanoi just East of Hoan Kiem Lake. Though there are many features to attract visitors including elegant decor and top-line amenities (think heated pool and fresh flowers), this colonial-style hotel offers so much more to visitors who travel from all over the world to stay at this Hanoi landmark.

Garden at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
Serene and green, a garden now separates the hotel’s two wings.

The original Sofitel Hanoi hotel, located in what was originally Vietnam’s Little Paris, opened as a single building in 1901. The original structure, now called the Metropole wing, oozes with history. Rooms in this building are tastefully decorated with French-Colonial furniture and design elements. Foreigners often request to stay in this wing to experience opulent, pre-war Vietnam.

Open since the 1990’s, the newer Opera wing is equally grand, with historically respectful Neo-Colonialist architecture. Many Asian guests prefer this wing for its bigger rooms and sense of modernity. Regardless of the selected wing, all guests receive the same excellent level of service during their stays.


Vietnamese Coffee at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
This staff member served us Vietnamese coffee during our stay at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi.

With its Legend hotel status, it should be no surprise to frequent travelers that service is a top priority at this Sofitel hotel. Starting with welcome drinks and ending with congenial farewells, all staff members provided the highest level of service during our stay at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi.

Excellent service is fitting in a legendary hotel of this caliber with its rich history and five-star pricing. Though we felt special during our stay, the staff provides the highest level of service to guests in all 364 rooms and suites.

Our Room

Pillow Menu at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
Don’t forget to place your pillow order when you stay at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi.

We stayed in a Grand Premium Room in the hotel’s Opera wing during our stay. Comfortable and well-appointed, the contemporary room included features that made our stay extra-special.

Since beds in Asia tend to be firm (i.e. hard as a rock), we especially enjoyed the plush king-sized bed that came with a menu with eight different pillows including a Skin of Green Bean pillow option. We also appreciated choice amenities including the rom’s big flatscreen television and espresso machine.

Tub at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
Have you ever seen a prettier bathtub?

The bathroom was decidedly chic with its French-style bathtub, separate shower and Hermes bath products. Similar to the bed, the tub came with a bath menu with two complementary experiences including a relaxing drawn bubble bath.

We loved lounging in the swanky room and indulging in nightly macarons (much better than standard chocolates!) before we drifted to sleep. But to us, the room’s best feature was access to the Club Lounge.

Club Lounge

Chocolate at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
The food in the Club Lounge never disappointed us. These chocolates were one of our favorite treats, though we were also enamored with the cured salmon served at breakfast and during the daily cocktail hour.

Located on the seventh floor of the Opera wing, just one floor above our room, the Club Lounge provides a welcome respite from Hanoi’s busy pace. Open on a 24/7 basis, the Club Lounge serves food, most notably a French breakfast buffet and late afternoon snacks.

This is where we escaped to relax with glasses of champagne, afternoon tea and cocktails depending on the time of day. We adored having access to the Club Lounge and highly recommend splurging on a premium room for this reason alone.

Path of History Tour

Chandelier at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
Inspired by Versailles, the chandelier in the Metropole wing is one of many interesting features inside the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi.

As the oldest continuously operating hotel in Vietnam, the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi has a storied past starting with its original French owners and continuing until present day. The hotel stayed open during decades of war and has housed a Who’s Who list of celebrities including Charlie Chaplin, Joan Baez, Jane Fonda, Bill Clinton, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

To educate guests about the Hanoi hotel’s fascinating past, the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi conducts twice daily Path of History tours on a complimentary basis (for guests only). This tour starts at the beginning when hotel rooms cost the equivalent of $7 US for a night and $135 for a month. Lasting an hour, the educational tour ends with refreshing drinks by the hotel’s heated pool.

Pool at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
Most hotel guests lounge by the luxurious heated pool without realizing its proximity to a wartime shelter.

Historians bring history to life with stories and photos. However, the tour also gives proper attention to the staff’s heroic operations during the war.

For most guests, including us, the highlight of the Path of History tour is a visit into the hotel’s underground shelter. This shelter was literally buried and allegedly forgotten until its discovery in 2011 during construction of the hotel’s Bamboo Bar.

Bomb Shelter at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
Taking the tour is the only way for guests to gain access to the hotels’s claustrophobic shelter

This visit provides a stark reminder of the past, highlighted by the playing of Baez’s Where Are You Now, My Son? inside the shelter. Baez was inspired to write the song based on her experience in Hanoi during the war. She also painted a portrait in tribute that currently hangs in the hotel’s lobby.

Dining Options

Spices Garden at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
The Spices Garden dining room artfully combines French elegance and Asian design.

Hungry guests don’t need to travel far for food. The Sofitel Legend Metropole hotel has no fewer than six on-site dining options ranging from casual French eateries to full-service restaurants.

Dining options include Angelina, Bamboo Bar, Le Beaulieu, Le Club, L’Epicerie du Metropole and Spices Garden. We enjoyed meals at the following two hotel restaurants during our stay:

Breakfast at Le Beaulieu

Breakfast at Le Beaulieu at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
Le Beaulieu serves a variety of Western and Asian dishes at its massive breakfast buffet. We enjoyed both during our meal.

Open for over a century, Le Beaulieu is a stylish French bistro that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner to hotel guests and locals on a daily basis. The massive space hosts a sprawling breakfast buffet every day, though the Sunday brunch buffet is particularly daunting.

Breakfast Buffet at Le Beaulieu at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
Breakfast is always an event at Le Beaulieu in the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi.

Despite its French name and design, breakfast at Le Beaulieu features a range of Asian dishes in addition to crepes and other French delicacies. It also includes a smoked salmon bar. We enjoyed both types of cuisine during our morning meal, eating more than enough to energize us until dinner.

Dinner at Angelina

Bar at Angelina at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
More than a restaurant, Angelina is also a popular cocktail bar.

Newly renovated and reopened with an updated menu, Angelina is an upscale restaurant that serves western food favorites that go beyond the typical French and Italian classics more easily found in Hanoi. Beyond its impressive food and wine menus, Angelina is also a popular cocktail bar that heats up at night.

Scallop at Angelina at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
We rarely see scallops on Vietnamese menus. Angelinas’s version with orzo, black truffle dressing and aged Parmesan cheese was an ideal start to our dinner.

We enjoyed a leisurely Sunday night meal at Angelina that started with a colorful Ceasar salad and a trio of roasted king scallops served with orzo, black truffle dressing and 30-month aged Parmesan cheese. Both dishes combined local and imported ingredients to create harmonious flavors that whet our appetites for the second course.

We paired the starters with a glass of German Reisling (Daryl) and a Flower Dill-Ema cocktail (Mindi).

Wagyu Fillet at Angelina at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
Imported from Australia, this Wagyu fillet practically melted in our mouths.

Angelina doesn’t mess around when it comes to protein, and we were happy to jump onto the meat wagon.

Daryl enjoyed Wagyu beef tenderloin imported from Australia and served with mashed potatoes, garden vegetables and red wine sauce. Mindi similarly enjoyed her lamb rack with green beans, cherry tomatoes, rosemary and garlic.

Glasses of French Côte de Rhone completed the middle course.

Dessert at Angelina at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
Daryl ordered the winning dessert with this artistically presented vanilla pannacotta with Japanese melon and crispy wafers.

Since we weren’t in a rush, we lingered over dessert with glasses of port. We were in no hurry to leave the restaurant for our late flight back to Da Nang. Like the rest of the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, Angelina was a delightful sanctuary that soothed our spirits and readied us to explore Vietnam yet again.

Nearby Attractions

West Lake Bridge in Hanoi
The West Lake is just one of the many Hanoi attractions near the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi.

With its central location, the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi is a short walk to many Vietnam attractions including the Opera House, West Lake and Old Quarter. More importantly, the hotel is within walking distance to some of our Hanoi food favorites including Maison Marou, Pizza 4P’s and Pasteur Street Brewing Company.

Pro Tip
Experience the city’s local vibe by following this guide with the best things to do in Hanoi. That’s what we’ll be doing the next time we visit Hanoi.


Service at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
It’s not too soon to start planning your trip to the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi.

We recommend the following ways to get to the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi hotel from the Hanoi Noi Bai International Airport:

  • The easiest option is to arrange a car through the hotel. The ride should take under an hour depending on traffic and will cost approximately $100 US.
  • The coolest option is to order a Grab car via the app on your smartphone. The ride should take under an hour depending on traffic and will cost approximately $12-15 USD. Though this pricing is similar to that of taxis, you don’t have to worry about haggling or potential miscommunication when you order a Grab car.
  • The cheapest option is to take a bus or shuttles from the airport.

Book a Room at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi

Hanoi Planning Checklist

Hungry for More in Hanoi?

Check our comprehensive Hanoi food guide.

About the Authors

About the Authors

Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.


Article Updates
We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.

We thank Accor Hotels for hosting us to facilitate this article.

Original Publication Date: September 30, 2018