HEALTHIER CHOICE ‘DE-LIGHT’ MENU CONCEPT ACROSS ASIA PACIFIC
Hanoi, April 14, 2013 – Sofitel Luxury Hotels announces the launch of its De-Light concept in Asia-Pacific offering guests a new menu of fresh and well-balanced food options.
Going beyond the creation of low-calorie dishes, De-Light is a wholesome, holistic approach to healthy eating for guests. Eliminating processed food, each carefully portioned dish is well-balanced with the right amount of fresh ingredients from the key food groups to promote a healthy lifestyle.
Developed by Thalassa Sea & Spa, recognized nutrition and wellness experts in France for over 40 years, De-Light offers a menu that combines the freshest ingredients with innovative cooking techniques and tempting flavours to help travellers meet their health goals in delicious style. The new menu of balanced low-calorie items is prepared à la minute (prepared to order) and will be introduced in restaurants, breakfast, banquet and event options, as well as room service menus at Sofitel properties across the region.
“Eating healthy is more than just counting calories. To have a truly healthy diet, all dishes must be freshly prepared and well-balanced with essential nutrients in the right proportions, this is exactly what the De-Light menu offers guests” said Fabrice Blondeau, Vice President Guest Experience & Operations Sofitel Asia Pacific “Choice is key for today's savvy and health-conscious travellers. Being on the road can be tough and our guests want to be given options to eat as they would at home. De-Light revolves around the simple yet sometimes neglected concept of providing convenient, well-balanced and low-calorie menu options without compromising on taste.”
The De-Light menu provides healthy, sumptuous dining experiences to liven the body and soul. A gastronomic adventure in healthy eating, De-Light reflects the unique skills of Sofitel’s chefs in creating an innovative array of well-balanced, low-calorie culinary delights to help guests meet their lifestyle goals. The De-Light menu offering Asian and Western cuisine places an emphasis on fresh, whole ingredients and highlight the relationship between food and culture.
Continually innovating to meet and exceed guest expectations through its three strategic brand pillars of culture, design and gastronomy, this new menu strengthens Sofitel’s culinary offerings and provides increased variety for guests. Sofitel De-Light dining will be rolled out at all hotels across Asia Pacific, including key cities such as Bangkok, Mumbai, Manila, Hanoi, Sydney, Auckland, Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong/Macau. For more information on this new programme, please visit www.sofitel.com.
METROPOLE 12TH ANNUAL LE GRAND CHEESE BUFFET
Hanoi (15 March 2013) - Since the dawn of time, cheese has been hailed for its versatility as a heavenly treat and an excellent source of energy. During Roman times, soldiers received cheese as part of their daily rations, while mariners always took cheese on long journeys to ensure a balanced diet.
Thereafter saw somewhat of a quiet period for the dairy delicacy, but it wasn’t too long before cheese regained its status as a food giant, thanks to its loving patrons in l’Hexagon. France became the world’s biggest cheese producer with an assortment of more than 400 types and a wealth of prestigious brands. Many French people are known to celebrate each and every day with a different type of cheese – flitting between soft, fresh, pressed, blue and many other varieties.
Throughout the year, there are cheeses to suit every season, but the spring months are known as the best time to indulge and this tradition is being brought to Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi for the 12th year in succession. Once again, The Metropole offers its legendary cheese buffet from April 1-10, embracing the epitome of French culinary excellence.
With the finest varieties of cheese from across the world plus an amazing dessert buffet, this is a wonderful way to sample the richness and sophistication of world-renowned delicacies such as Bleu d’Auvergne, Epoisse, Mont d’or, Raclette, Reblochon, La Sainte Maure de Touraine, Valençay, Appenzeller, Chimay, Gorgonzola, Gruyère and many others. And as an extra treat, guests can experience the surprising freshness of the biological cheese, made by Metropole chefs from Ba Vi mountain goat milk, guaranteed to charm with its unique taste and aroma.
Dinner buffet from April 1-10, 2013, Le Beaulieu brasserie, VND 1,250,000++ per person.
HANOI’S METROPOLE WELCOMES NEW EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT MANAGER
HANOI, Vietnam (Feb. 18, 2013) — The Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi appointed a new executive assistant manager this month, hiring Julie Marie-Anne Bruley to head up its rooms division.
Bruley’s post at the Metropole comes after a two year sabbatical during which she achieved her Executive MBA from the European School ESCP and complemented those studies with additional coursework at the University of Texas in Austin and Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Prior to these studies, she most recently worked from 2006 as director of operations at Hôtel Fouquet's Barrière, a 107-room hotel in Paris.
Prior to that appointment, Bruley spent several years in management at the Conrad Bangkok, a 392-room property in the Thai capital, and did a stint as well at the Sukhothai Bangkok hotel.
“We’re continuing to note higher and higher expectations for a stay at the Metropole. Which is a great thing,” said Kai Speth, the Metropole’s general manager. “For every new plateau we achieve, our guests have an eye on the next plateau. Julie, and her management of our rooms, will be part of our attempt to set new and higher benchmarks for the guest experience.”
A native of France, Bruley started her career in Paris in 1997 and moved on to London before her first trip to Asia. She speaks French, English, some Spanish and some Thai.
SOFITEL CELEBRATES INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY ACROSS THE REGION IN STYLE
Singapore, 28 January 2013 – A global celebration of respect, appreciation and love, International Women’s Day on March 8th was created to honour the achievements of women.
This year, Sofitel hotels around the region are inspiring women to take a break from their daily life and celebrate with an indulgent treat. In honour of this special day, Sofitel hotels have launched a ‘So Relaxing’ pampering package to commemorate the occasion.
“Women are constantly fulfilling endless responsibilities of being a mother, a daughter and a wife among many other roles. Celebrated for more than a century, International Women’s Day gives us a chance to reflect and show gratitude towards these inspirational women in our lives. At Sofitel, we aim to make all ladies feel extra special that week and came up with this pampering treat to encourage women to take a rejuvenating ‘me time’ break and treat themselves in style,” said Sirinate Meenakul, Director of Marketing Communication Sofitel South East Asia & India.
With the ‘So Relaxing’ package, guests will be able to enjoy a rejuvenating Sofitel stay enhanced with a daily luxury spa treatment for up to two guests for each day. Select from a tempting menu of one-hour massages, body scrubs and beauty treatments by expert Sofitel spa therapists. Ladies travelling on this package will also receive a special gift from Sofitel in celebration of International Women’s Day. Whether it’s to pamper that special lady or to unwind after a hectic workweek, Sofitel wants to help make the most of your vacation with the ‘So Relaxing’ package which will be available for booking across 13 beach and city destinations in Asia Pacific including Sofitel So Bangkok, Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit, Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra, Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra, Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, Sofitel Plaza Hanoi, Sofitel Saigon Plaza, Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila, Sofitel Mumbai BKC, Sofitel Sydney Wentworth, Sofitel Brisbane Hotel, Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa and Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa.
The ‘So Relaxing” package is available for booking from now and valid for stays till 31 March 2013.
HANOI’S METROPOLE WINS ACCOLADES FROM USA’S TOP TWO TRAVEL MAGAZINES
HANOI, Vietnam (Jan. 4, 2013) — The Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi found favor last month with the two most prestigious travel magazines in North America, winning spots on Travel + Leisure’s and Condé Nast Traveler’s top hotel awards list - the T+L 500 and the Gold List, respectively.
The awards capped a year of winning ways for the hotel, firming up the storied property’s standing as one of Asia’s premier hotels. In all, the Metropole garnered 21 awards in 2012, including:
• Best Hotel in Hanoi, Business Traveller Asia-Pacific
• Readers' Choice Awards, Condé Nast Traveler
• Top Ten City Hotels, Travel + Leisure
• 101 Best Hotel Restaurants Around the World (Le Beaulieu), The Daily Meal
“It used to be we were simply trying to satisfy our guests’ expectations,” said Kai Speth, the hotel’s general manager. “Now we’re trying to satisfy their dreams.”
In December, Condé Nast Traveler announced its 2013 Gold List. Only two hotels in Vietnam, the Metropole and the Park Hyatt, made the grade on that list.
The Gold List is similar to the magazine’s Reader’s Choice Awards, in which more than 47,000 readers rate favorite hotels across a number of metrics from the food and dining experience to location, design, rooms and service.
Also in December, Travel + Leisure elevated the Metropole onto the T+L 500 (there were 510 hotels on Condé Nast Traveler’s Gold List). Only three hotels from Vietnam earned spots on this list: the Metropole, The Nam Hai and the Park Hyatt.
A WARM WELCOME TO OUR NEW AMERICAN JAZZ DIVA - TABITHA KING
Le Club is the musical hub of the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, where jazz enthusiasts have been enjoying cocktails and live performances for decades. With its stylish French décor, Le Club is Hanoi’s classiest house of jazz and the perfect venue for music lovers who are living in or visiting Hanoi.
On 1st January, 2013, Le Club will take on a distinctly international style with the introduction of American Jazz Diva Tabitha King, a glamorous woman with a distinctive voice, perfect intonation, and ineffable swing.
Tabitha King is a native of Charlotte, North Carolina but now resides in the Atlanta area. Her soothing, sultry sound has mesmerised audiences around the world. Entertaining and performing has always been her passion as well as her desire. Tabitha naturally turned to singing at a very early age by joining a church choir, performing at weddings, and taking part in various talent showcases and competitions throughout the years. In 1994 Tabitha relocated to Atlanta to pursue her singing career. Upon the recommendation of friends, she sat in on an open mic performance with an accomplished trumpet player known as "Milkshake", and afterwards her vocal ability quickly became known throughout the Atlanta area both among music enthusiasts and established artists. Tabitha was a member of the "Milkshake Quintet” for more than five years before she joined the hottest show band in city, "Fahrenheit". The group consisted of four very talented lead vocalists but it quickly became apparent that Tabitha was the true showstopper and crowd-pleaser. From that time she began to be known to her admirers as "Lady T".
In 1996, Tabitha signed on with LaFace records, and performed as a background vocalist for artists such as Outcast, The Goodie Mob, and Society of Soul, which landed her a performance on Soul Train. In spring of 1997, she toured the Island of Mallorca, then Barcelona and Madrid while singing with the Fifth Dimensions review. Upon returning to the States, Tabitha received a call from none other than Keith Sweat asking her to assist him on stage at the Atlanta Civic Center to sing his smash hit duet entitled "Nobody". R&B recording star Ann Nesby of the Sounds of Blackness joined her on stage at the Club 20 Grand in College Park, Ga and Keith Washington requested her soothing vocals for "Candlelight and You " in the absence of Chante Moore. Ollie Woodson (Temptations), Pebo Bryson, and Usher are a few others that Tabitha has had the pleasure of singing with.
Tabitha King is an amazing, accomplished vocalist that has earned her right to stardom. Her ability to enrapture audiences, be it in the States or in Europe, shows that she has a very rare gift that only a few can claim. Tabitha has now become one of the most highly sought after female vocalists in Atlanta and is very quickly gaining herself a solid reputation throughout the US as well as internationally since the release of her album “Mind Games”.
From 1st January to 30th April 2013, Tabitha will be on stage from Tuesday to Sunday at Le Club at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi. Her performances start at 8:45 pm and finish late. Come and indulge yourself in sensual pleasures, fine drinks, food and music along with Tabitha and her soulful voice.
VIETNAM GAINS GROUND IN INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL AWARDS
Five Vietnamese hotels/resorts awarded, Hoi An ranked one of Asia’s best cities
NEW YORK (Oct. 2012) – Vietnam can now lay claim to one of the top-three hotels in Southeast Asia, two of Asia’s top 15 resorts and one of Asia's top 10 cities, according to the Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards 2012.
Announced in New York on Oct. 16, the results of Conde Nast Traveler’s 25th annual survey places five Vietnamese hotels and resorts on the prestigious travel magazine’s list of top hospitality properties.
The 111-year-old Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi ranked 3rd among the Top 20 Hotels in Southeast Asia. The Park Hyatt Saigon and the Sheraton Saigon also scored top-20 finishes on the same list.
Life Heritage Resort Hoi An and The Nam Hai were chosen by voters as two of the Top 15 Resorts in Asia, placing 9th and 14th on the list, respectively.
The Old Town of Hoi An made its first appearance as one of Asia’s Top 10 Cities, joining the ranks of destinations such as Bangkok, Hong Kong and Kyoto.
The Readers’ Choice Awards polled responses from 46,476 readers who rated resorts and hotels on a five-point scale across five categories via a secure website. Only the properties that garnered a minimum number of responses were eligible, with awards given for candidates with the highest rankings by voters.
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“Every year we look for ways to elevate the guest experience while respecting and highlighting the hotel’s history,” said Kai Speth, the general manager at the Metropole. “Knowing the level of competition out there, a third-place finish in Southeast Asia is a testament to the Metropole’s undying appeal with today’s travelers.”
YOUR LEGENDARY WEDDING CELEBRATION AT SOFITEL LEGEND METROPOLE HANOI
Let this be the beginning of a lifetime of trust
And of caring that’s just now begun…
Let today be a day that you’ll always remember
The day when your hearts are entwined as one
(Marriage Glow - Joanna Fuchs)
The wedding season has begun… Tis' the season to be married, Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi - the celebrated landmark in the city of Hanoi, the oldest continuously operating hotel in Vietnam, and one of favourite wedding photo spots in Hanoi, is offering the perfect venue for your wedding ceremony, reception or honeymoon. Your wedding will be remembered forever for the delightful ambiance and our unique bespoke touches. Organizing the biggest day of your life is no small matter. At the Metropole, we will help you make sure everything runs like clockwork. Our staffs are renowned for excellence and attention to detail, they will guide you seamlessly through all preparations. From flowers to finishing touches, canapés to Champagne, place cards to perfection, all will be in place. In addition, our famous classic Citroen or BMW 7 series car will be available to provide the bride and groom some personal time and to tour Hanoi for 2 hours on the day. Throughout the coordination and on the special day itself, you will be guided by your very own Legendary Wedding Planner!
You will be able to tailor a location serving suit your wishes, including the Metropole’s rooftop garden balcony, Le Balcon du Metropole as an oasis in the heart of the historic property. In step with the French colonial aesthetic of the Metropole, Le Balcon is positioned to be an ideal venue for your wedding. In addition to splendid architecture, luxurious furnishing with fine décor, the hotel is also famous for its sumptuous culinary style. Highly talented Vietnamese and European chefs will satisfy your guests with a menu offering originality and freshness to suit your wishes. Dishes are arranges aesthetically and with an eye for detail, arousing the curiosity of guests and will be a valuable contribution to the party and day celebration.
Moreover, enhance your wedding celebrations with Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi’s outside catering service, offering tailor-made themes, selection of gourmet delicacies and drinks prepared by hotel’s culinary team. Personalised international and Vietnamese menus are available and presented artistically to compliment your day.
Metropole’s wedding packages starts from VND1,200,000 net per person Please contact Ms. Thu, Legendary Wedding Planner at H1555-SM8@sofitel.com or (+84 4) 3826 6919 – extension 8515 to tailor your celebration and day to remember.
KATHRYN FARMER – NEW YORK JAZZ DIVA
Following the fantastic success of previous jazz performances and in response to jazz-lovers’ demands in the capital, the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi warmly welcomes back Kathryn Farmer to Le Club: a classy, romantic refuge, where smooth jazz constantly inspires and entertains our esteemed guests. Her sultry and mesmeric renditions of jazz favourites will echo throughout the lower halls of the Metropole, where guests can wine and dine over candlelight and listen to her lyrical tones.
With a lifetime of experience behind her, Kathryn Farmer is living proof that jazz takes dedication. Born in New York City, Kathryn is the daughter of a legendary jazz trumpeter. She did not have to find the jazz world—she was born right into it.
Kathryn graduated from the New England Conservatory, earning a BA in Music. “I was very lucky to be taught by Mary Lou Williams, one of the most important female Jazz pianists of the last century,” says Kathryn. “She took me under her wings and trained me passionately in the early days of my career.” After college, Kathryn was embraced by the early eighties jazz community in New York City.
As a pianist and organist, Kathryn’s talents are numerous, but she is revered most as a sultry vocalist. Her velvety voice has taken her on worldwide tours and to international jazz festivals throughout the United States, as well as France, Spain, German, England, Turkey, Holland, and Japan. In 2006, Kathryn was the featured vocalist at Villa La Pretra in Florence, Italy, in the “Gershwin & More” concert with pianist Isaac Ben Ayala. When she is not travelling the world, she has local gigs at prestigious New York City venues. In the jazz encyclopaedia, Kathryn is listed as “Madame Jazz” and “one of the great pianists, vocalists and organists in New York City today.”
From 31st August to 1st January 2013, experience Kathryn’s live jazz performance every night from Tuesday to Sunday, 8:45 pm onwards.
MID-AUTUMN FESTIVAL – Tết Trung Thu
The Mid-Autumn Festival (Tết Trung Thu) is a colorful time of year. The Mid-Autumn Festival or Tết Trung Thu is celebrated throughout the eighth lunar month, in particular on the day of the first full moon closest to the autumnal equinox, falling on September 30th, 2012.
There are various activities to celebrate. During the Mid-Autumn Festival, although the moon is then at its greatest distance from the earth, it appears larger than at any time of the year and takes on a reddish glow. In its partial phases, the moon represents the incompleteness of life and potential for completeness, fullness and prosperity. The Mid-Autumn celebration is then a celebration and a prayer for the fullness and completeness of life.
During the festival, Vietnamese parents have the custom of telling fairytales to children. One folkloric favorite is the story of the mythical cá hóa rồng, which is about a carp that wanted to become a dragon. The carp worked relentlessly at this dream and, with time, eventually achieved its aspiration. The lesson is one of diligence: parents use this story to explain that realizing goals requires hard work.
The dragon dance, an important aspect of the Mid-Autumn celebration, expresses dichotomies by reenacting the earth and sky, the yin and yang. The Earth God, Ông Địa, dances around the dragon, urging it to continue on. With his cheerful and moon-shaped face, Ông Địa represents wealth and the earth’s fullness.
At this time of year fruit is plentiful, especially watermelon and grapefruit. Grapefruit sections are cut into animal shapes, representing the fabled inhabitants of the moon: the three-legged toad, the moon maiden who stole an immortality elixir from her husband, and the old man who, as a punishment for displeasing a vengeful god, is perpetually forced to cut down cinnamon trees. During the festival several types of mooncakes called Bánh Trung Thu are sold. Some cakes are round and white; others are square and golden brown; others are formed in the shape of a carp, an animal that traditionally represents the soul of the moon. Mooncakes are unleavened and filled with lotus seeds, orange peel, ground beans, egg and flavorful pork fat.
While the customs and meanings of the Mid-Autumn Festival have transformed over time, this is always a special time to visit Vietnam for it is a season of mild fall weather, rich culture and legends.
In recent years, mooncake filling has veered from the traditional as truly exotic ingredients have been introduced. In addition to traditional varieties such as lotus seed paste, green bean paste, and salted egg yolk, new flavours such as green bean, apricot with salted egg; red bean, chest nut with salted egg; lotus coconut with salted egg and also berries, chocolate and praline have been created by Executive Sous Chef Nguyen Thanh Van and her team from authentic recipes and infused with the Metropole’s gourmet touch.
The legendary Metropole’s mooncakes are available for sale at L’Epicerie du Metropole from August 24 to September 30, during the hours of 7.30 am to 9.30 pm, daily.
July 10, 2012
FROM THE MALDIVES TO HANOI
Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi secures new Italian Chef for Angelina. An Italian chef who recently exhausted opportunities for exploration in the Maldives has relocated to Vietnam, and the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi’s kitchens as the new head chef at Angelina, the landmark hotel’s three-year-old Italian restaurant. Ivan Negro’s appointment as Angelina Chef is a next generation move by the hotel as it builds on Angelina’s reputation as the most chic Italian dining opportunity in the country.
Located on the ground floor of the historic hotel’s Opera Wing, the 120-seat restaurant opened in October 2008 as a venue for discreet liaison and high-brow association, cultivating a social and culinary scene in a destination where sophistication is developing as fast as a Polaroid. “Ivan’s mission is evolution, not revolution,” said Kai Speth, the hotel’s general manager. “He’s inheriting a menu that was established in 2009 but is about to acquire subtle shades of difference as Ivan brings his own creativity into our recipes for sauces, and as he re-imagines what we’re doing with everything from lobsters and prawns to dessert. A new chef is almost always an incredible new opportunity.” Prior to his move to Hanoi, Negro, 30, worked as a sous chef in the kitchens of two Four Seasons restaurants in the Maldives, where the restaurant business catered to waves of guests coming in seasonally from China, Russia, Arabia and other destinations. “We were constantly changing, preparing foods differently for each group,” said Negro. “I’m really looking forward to bearing down now on the priorities of Italian cuisine, as opposed to the tastes of revolving demographics!” His first foreign post was in London, where he worked for separate stints in the early and mid 2000s. A native of Aosta, Italy, he graduated from the Istituto Alberghiero Catering School in Châtillon at Aosta, Italy.
THE FIRST VIETNAMESE CANDIDATE TO JOIN "BOCUSE D'OR ASIA" IN SHANGHAI
In a press conference to be held on 5th June, 2012, Bocuse d'Or Vietnam will be announcing the first Vietnamese candidate to join Bocuse d'Or Asia, the world's most prestigious cooking competition in Shanghai.
In June 2011, Do Chi Cong, chef de partie at Sofitel Legend Metropole, beat 11 other competitors from elite restaurants,....
hotels and resorts nationwide (including Caravelle Ho Chi Minh City, Sofitel Saigon Plaza, and Ana Mandara Nha Trang), to go through to the semi-final of the first Bocuse d'Or Vietnam contest, which was held in Nha Trang. The jury, including international chefs and presided over by French master chef Marc Foucher, made evaluations based on taste, level of perfection in presentation, technical skill, cooking sophistication, creativity, and visual beauty. Cong's preeminent creations, which are rolled sturgeon fillets with shrimps in fragrant herbs, young rice crust and stuffed chicken with prawns, pumpkin, and light curry natural juice won the top prize.
ZOEY JONES AT « THE HOUSE OF JAZZ »
As part of our ongoing jazz series, this June, the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi warmly welcomes Zoey Jones to our Le Club: a classy, romantic refuge, where smooth jazz constantly inspires and entertains our esteemed guests.
Hailing from Lancaster, United Kingdom, Zoey is known for her glamour and diversity of talents in ballet, song and drama.
During her career, her hilarious perform participating in different events, fashion shows and internationals tours, alongside many great artists such as Elton John, Muse, Leona Lewis,… In 1999, she auditioned for, and won, a full scholarship to study ballet and all other aspects of dance, theatre and song at the famous Doreen Bird Performing Arts College in London. On graduating from college, she felt the need to discover further forms of performing arts other than theatrical work. She then joined a pop band called Near Say and toured the UK for 18 months playing at top venues such as London Astoria, including performing at summer festivals and University balls, supporting artists such as Blue, Sonique and Chezney Hawks. During that tour, Zoey (known as Callandria back then) took part in the first ever POP IDOL competition, with Pete Waterman and Simon Cowell. She was a finalist and appeared on many major UK TV channels and shows, including This morning, liquid News, watchdog and ITV 1 and 2. Resulting from this, Zoey was asked to do recording and session work for artists such as Victoria Beckham and Soul Shaker, and also toured the country on a Kiss FM tour.
METROPOLE OPENS WARTIME AIR RAID SHELTER AS MEMORIAL
HANOI (April 2012) — Forty years after the bombs stopped falling on Hanoi, and less than one year after a chance discovery of an air raid shelter in its back garden, the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi is cutting a red ribbon on the excavated bunker May 21 as the anchor attraction in a new Path of History tour. "Hotels are always opening new outlets," said Kai Speth, the hotel's general manager. "New restaurants, new bars, new spas. But it's not everyday that a hotel opens an old bomb shelter as a new memorial."
14 March 2012
METROPOLE'S SPETH TAKES OVER VIETNAM
Hotel GM embraces responsibilities for additional hotels in Hanoi and Saigon
HANOI (14 March 2012) — Sofitel has promoted the current general manager of the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, Kai Speth, to a new position as area general manager for Vietnam. Now, in addition to ongoing responsibilities at the landmark Hanoi property, Speth will have oversight responsibilities for Sofitel Plaza Hanoi and Sofitel Saigon Plaza.
General Manager at the Metropole since 2008, Speth has amplified that hotel's stature on the international stage in recent years. Mileposts of his tenure at the Metropole thus far include: • Renovation. With an investment of more than $30 million, Speth has managed the most thorough refitting of the hotel since its rebirth as a contemporary property in 1990.
Changes to the hotel include the launch of a new Italian restaurant, Angelina, a completely rebuilt Bamboo Bar, a new outdoor garden at Le Balcon, as well as technology and amenity refurbishments throughout.
• Legend. With the renovations complete, Sofitel relaunched the Metropole as the brand's first Legend hotel. • Spa. A major development during the recent renovation, Speth unveiled Le Spa du Metropole in 2010, the first spa in its then 109-year history. The hotel won immediate acclaim, including recognition on the Conde Nast Traveler Hot List for spas. • Awards. In addition to recognition for the spa, Conde Nast Traveler elevated the hotel to its Hot List after the renovation.
That recognition was a harbinger to a spate of subsequent awards, including accolades from Travel + Leisure, PATA, AsiaSpa, Cigar Aficionado and many others.
• Air Raid Shelter. After rediscovery of the hotel's wartime air raid shelter in the summer of 2011, the hotel has launched an excavation and restoration project for the shelter, exciting worldwide media attention in October 2011.
"The writer, Ernest Hemingway, once said that when he was writing really well, he was writing better than he could," said Speth. "With the Metropole, I've felt the same way: I've had the assistance of a muse all the way through these discoveries and developments." Prior to his work at the Metropole, Speth managed Hyatt properties in Korea, Los Angeles and Colorado. He worked for much of the 1990s in New York City after graduating from Heidelberg's Hotel Management School in his native Germany in 1989.
DIANE SERENADES LE CLUB
Jazz lovers in Hanoi flock to Le Club at the Metropole, a popular rendezvous that features jazz music in the elegant, lively ambience of 15 Ngo Quyen. Famous vocalists from around the world convene here, sharing their velvety riffs with jazz connoisseurs and enthusiasts. This February, talented singer, composer and producer Diane Witherspoon will grace Le Club with her new renditions of classic favorites.
A native of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Diane Witherspoon began singing as a child in a Baptist church choir.
Diane studied voice at Saint Olaf's College in Minnesota, and piano and fundamental music at Laney College in Oakland, California. Diane also directed the choir at Camp Cazedero, CA and taught music at Charnock Elementary School in Los Angeles, CA. Diane is a cousin to the late "Blues great" Jimmy Witherspoon and sister to Shirley Witherspoon, former Duke Ellington vocalist.
In addition to performing with her own jazz ensembles (from duos to quintets), Diane has performed with the Cedar Walton Trio; Calvin Keyes Band; John Handy Band; Teddy Edwards Quartet; Ghasem Batamuntu's "Nova Ghost Sect-Tet" with guest artists including: Steve Turre, Bobby Hutcherson, Julian Priester, Eddie Henderson, Johnny Coles & Julius Hemphill; and also Rasul Siddik & The NOW! Artet. She has also made special live or recording appearances with Bobby McFerrin, Cedar Walton, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, Odean Pope, Woody Shaw, Frank Morgan, Pharoah Sanders, Arsenio Hall, Red Holloway, John Clayton, Abe Most, Frankie Randell, Jeff Chambers, Roy McCurdy and many more world renowned artists.
Diane's smooth crooning has skyrocketed her career, bringing her to sing in many countries at famous luxury hotels and high-end bars such as New York Bar in Park Hyatt Tokyo, Bamboo Bar, The Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok, Emirates Towers Hotel in Dubai, Okura Hotel, Guam… Le Club welcomes Diane Witherspoon to our venue: a classy, romantic refuge, where jazz music is a constant source of inspiration and diversion for our esteemed guests. From 1st February 2012 to the end of May, enjoy Diane's fantastic vocals at Le Club every Tuesday to Sunday, from 8:45 pm onwards.
Business Community Picks Metropole GM for Top Recognition
HO CHI MINH CITY (Feb. 2012) – Vietnam's business community took a moment to applaud Metropole GM Kai Speth for his efforts to uphold the country's heritage during the Top 100 Business Style Awards 2011, held Jan. 9 in Ho Chi Minh City.
Speth was singled out by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry to receive the annual recognition for preservation of the Vietnam's culture, history and traditions -- one of the top ten awards of the night.
"Managing a historic and iconic hotel that has played an integral role in the history and local life of Hanoi for more than 110 years now, I very much appreciate what history and tradition mean and bring to my enterprise," Speth told the audience in his acceptance speech at White Palace. "I feel it is my responsibility to preserve what has made this country so great," he said.
The trophy was the second of the night for Speth, who also took home a Mark of Respect Award from Business Style Magazine as one of the Top 100 Businessmen in Vietnam. Created to honour Vietnamese and foreign entrepreneurs working and living in Vietnam, the recipients of the Mark of Respect Award are handpicked by a judging panel from among thousands of candidates nominated by associations and organizations worldwide.
LE SPA REVIVES FRENCH CONNECTIONS WITH NEW SPA MANAGER
Le Spa du Metropole is infusing its French touch with a fresh pair of hands in 2012
Spa culture in the Vietnamese capital took a step forward last week, as the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi named Paris native Aurore Brahami manager of its multi-awarded Le Spa facility.
A graduate of the Francoise Morice School of Aesthetics, Brahami spent seven years as a spa therapist in France and the United States before going on to lead spa operations at Bali's Nusa Dua Beach Hotel and Spa, and Le Meridien Barbaron in Seychelles.
Brahami will draw on 11 years of immersion in the international hotel and spa industry and her knowledge of advanced French cosmetology and therapeutic techniques to enhance the wellness experience for spa-goers at the Metropole.
"Brahami's background and approach to the spa are a natural fit with the hotel's heritage and our goal to cultivate a world-class spa sanctuary," said Kai Speth, general manager of the Metropole."Already it's impossible to confuse a treatment at Le Spa with a treatment anywhere else; but with Brahami's arrival we want to go a new level -- we want to redefine how the spa is appreciated in Hanoi," said Speth.
On top of her diploma in Aesthetic Cosmetology, Brahmani also carries a degree in Economics and Sociology from Gutenberg College. Since opening in 2009, Le Spa has garnered numerous top awards from industry experts and travel magazines worldwide. Its Indochine-era spaces and seven themed treatment rooms were named 'Asia's Best Urban Spa' by AsiaSpa Magazine in 2011.
13 December 2011
Metropole Lends Historic Charms to 2012 Nuptials
HANOI (xx Feb. 2012) -- You won't find Indochine-era romance more alive anywhere else.
The Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, one of Vietnam's most celebrated landmarks, is opening its doors to newlyweds from all over the globe with three new packages showcasing the 110-year-old hotel's distinctive blend of French savor faire and Vietnamese tradition.
Located in Hanoi's scenic French Quarter near Hoan Kiem Lake, the hotel where Charlie Chaplin spent his honeymoon has long been a prime venue for Hanoian nuptials and photo shoots.
Named "One of the World's 50 Most Romantic Hotels" by Travel + Leisure Magazine in 2011, this year the Metropole is hoping to entice couples and culture-lovers with a set of customizable wedding packages, an overnight photo package, and a honeymoon escape. The Metropole's 'Legendary Wedding Package' bundles a range of customizable packages and the services of a personal wedding planner.
Three venues within the hotel – La Veranda, Le Balcon and Thang Long Hall – can be tailored to the bride and groom's wishes, as can a French or Vietnamese menu for the dinner reception. The use of the hotel's classic Citroen, a jazz band, spa vouchers, bespoke gifts for guests and other options are incorporated into the various packages, including accommodation in the hotel's most luxurious quarters for the couple on their wedding night.
The 'Legendary Wedding Photo Package' features a night's stay in a Grand Premium Room, a three-course lunch with champagne at any of the hotel's French, Italian or Vietnamese restaurants, chocolates and the use of the hotel's colonial-style spaces and two vintage Citroen cars for professional picture taking.
Styled as a distinguished honeymoon escape, the Metropole's honeymoon package includes two nights' stay in either a Grand Premium Room or Legendary Suite with in-room breakfast, personal butler, champagne and chocolate gifts, personalized candlelit dinner, city tour in the hotel's Citroen, private spa suite and treatment, airport transfers by limousine, VIP access to the Club Lounge; and, should it be needed, a special rate for an extended stay.
13 December 2011
SOFITEL LEGEND METROPOLE HANOI AN EDDY OF CALM IN A DYNAMIC CAPITAL
Urban spa-goers enthralled by colonial charms of Metropole spa
HANOI (13 Dec. 2011) — There is something irresistible about the French colonial architecture,
the tropical light on the wood floors, and the utter luxury crafted into every corner of the Metropole
Hanoi, so much so that one questions how the hotel's sensory experience could possibly be
The answer came, of course, to the gradual awareness of Hanoi's residents and visitors following the debut of Le Spa du Metropole midway through 2009. Comprising three levels and 400 square metres of Indochine-era elegance, the spa enticed jetlagged tourists and well-heeled locals with the promise of a world-class wellness experience in an exceptional setting. With floors of dark hardwood, gilt-framed mirrors, paneled doors and double-slipper tubs, Le Spa is a vibrant echo of the hotel's well-established charm. Facilities include wet areas, a middle- eastern sauna or Hammam, relaxation lounges, a spacious foyer and an outdoor heated pool.
Nestled within seven private treatment rooms, including five distinctly themed suites, Le Spa's team performs signature body and beauty treatments using French skin-care product line Clarins, and Ytsara, a high-end spa product line from Thailand focused on body care treatments. A year after its soft opening, the spa in the 110-year-old Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi scooped up its first award – a spot on the 2010 Hot Spa list from prestigious Conde Nast Traveler magazine. "The spa feels like an elegant friend's residence, with grand staircases leading to candlelit havens for Eastern-themed massages and facials," wrote one of the editors at Conde Nast Traveler.
Le Spa's menu opens with a suite of wet bath treatments and segues to a la carte spa journeys. Several of the spa's treatments are singular to Hanoi's urban situation and its storied appeal as a shopping destination.
After walking the '36 Streets' of the city's Old Quarter, Le Spa lures the weary with an 'After Shopping Leg Reviver.' Its 'Jetlag Recovery Massage' employs a Kansu bowl to ease muscle tension, while 'aromantic' treatments for two are followed by luxurious baths, chocolates and dinner. Touted by guests as an "oasis of tranquility" in the heart of busy Hanoi, Le Spa du Metropole celebrated its second major recognition from industry experts last month, when it went home from the 2011 AsiaSpa Awards with the trophy for Best Urban Spa of the Year. The win underscored the spa's unique appeal among regional competitors.
"There are certain expectations and traditions that must be honored at the Metropole," said Kai Speth, the hotel's general manager. "Part of the allure to this spa is the allure of the hotel itself, and the delight that comes from being in that space, and having a treatment at the Hotel Metropole Hanoi."
01 December 2011
Oyster Bar @ Bamboo
The Sofitel Legend Metropole introduces for the Festive season and beyond the newest cuisine "must visit" in Hanoi - the Oyster Bar @ Bamboo.
Come savour the flavours of our imported Oysters and combine with a tailored Metropole Splash or a glass or two of bubbles.
Daily from 5pm to 9pm
Price: 65,000 VND per oyster or 700,000 VND per dozen
01 November 2011
Hanoi's Metropole hotel excavates wartime air aid shelter in garden
Yesterday a matter of hearsay, tomorrow a museum? a gallery? a memorial?
Construction workers laying the foundation of a new garden bar at the landmark Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi this summer struck the roof of a long-buried air raid shelter, initiating a fevered disinterment and rediscovery of an all but forgotten piece of the hotel's wartime history.
After excavating more than two metres of earth and reinforced concrete and then jack-hammering through a 278 -millimetre ceiling, the hotel opened the hatch on a warren of flooded corridors, chambers and stairways. In August, the hotel's general manager, Kai Speth, and his chief engineer dropped through a square metre-wide hole bored into the ceiling, illuminating a subterranean space of nearly 40 square metres.
They found an old wine bottle, a still-intact light bulb, air ducts, graffiti and eerie echoes of a war that ended almost four decades ago and that raged all about this shelter during the Christmas Bombings in 1972.
"In the hotel's history, we have a story of the American folk singer, Joan Baez, who sought shelter in this bunker during the Christmas Bombings, and who sang some songs beside a Vietnamese guitarist," said Speth. "We've always known a bunker was here, somewhere in the garden between the pool and the Club Bar, but looking for this wasn't even on our radar screen until my chief engineer tried to sink pilings for the new Bamboo Bar."
The hotel is still undecided about how best to utilise the underground space, but Speth is determined to make something of this novel asset, if only as a museum that shines a light on the ways and means of Vietnamese resistance during the war.
Today, in a traveler's destination that still reverberates with 'Good Morning, Vietnam,' some of the country's most compelling attractions involve underground exploration. In Cu Chi outside Ho Chi Minh City, tourists burrow through short passageways of an underground tunnel complex that sent tentacles through 200 kilometres of earth. Further north near the old Demilitarised Zone (DMZ), travellers explore the tunnels at Vinh Moc, where an entire village relocated as a hedge against American bombs.
The Metropole's shelter, though far less ambitious than either of those wartime developments, is nevertheless bound to stand among them as an emblem of Vietnam's travails. "We don't know of any other hotels, in Vietnam or anywhere else for that matter, that maintained shelters for guests and staff," said Speth.
The Metropole's standing as a hotel in a war zone garnered feature play on the cover of Life magazine, April 7, 1967. The magazine features a row of manholes, about 1.5 metres deep that line a sidewalk outside the hotel. Those manholes did not connect to the hotel's more spacious shelter but testify to life in a city under siege by American aircraft.
Otherwise, the hotel's connections to its most spartan chambers are thin. If there were records kept of the hotel's activities during the war, they're gone now. Speth recalls speaking once to a Canadian diplomat who told him he'd spent time in the shelter during the war.
Otherwise, references to the shelter have been shrouded by speculation. To wit, the hotel's somewhat foreshortened swimming pool has long been thought to be a consequence of an underground shelter.
The questions, now that that shelter has been opened, are only deepening. For example, who exactly was Bob Devereaux, who inscribed his name in cement on the wall of the shelter on Aug. 17, 1975? Is that when the shelter was sealed up?
Before that first trip underground, it took one full week of non-stop pumping before the water level could be brought down to 20 centimetres. Speth waded in then, wearing shorts, rubber boots and an old t-shirt, an outfit he's donned several times now as he's made additional excursions.
01 October 2011
Kate Bowen at Le Club
From 1st October 2011 to 29th February 2012, as part of our ongoing Jazz series, the Metropole Hanoi proudly present Jazz singer Kate Bowen – one of the most in demand vocalists in Toronto.
Sultry and alluring, Kate Bowen's voice never ceases to captivate her audience. Often called an old soul, the depth and fullness of her voice as well as her vocal maturity constantly surprise people, instantly making them new fans.
She flawlessly translates the passion of the song, taking the listener on an emotional journey. Her melodies are memorable, as is her stage presence and her ability to connect with her audience. A master of soul, R&B, funk, blues, folk and pop, Kate's voice is unbelievably adaptable to each genre, sometimes intimate and inviting, while other times, powerful and commanding.
Kate and her voice are a rare find. Kate's passion for music and singing was nurtured at a very young age. In her early 20's, she was signed to a record label in the United States, where she worked on her own album and wrote songs for other singers. During her time living in the US, she regularly worked for OmnyPro, and through them she performed at the famous Apache Club in Atlanta, Georgia & Sugar Bar in New York.
Back in Toronto, she was a regular act in several of the most popular live venues in the city, performing with her band in places such as, Joe Mamas, Revival Club, Supermarket, Lounge, Li'ly, Lava Lounge, Dazzling, N'Awlins.
With a maturity belying her youth, an outstanding charisma and poise on stage, Kate Bowen started to be a sought-after vocalist in her hometown of Canada, doing recording sessions with the best musicians and producers and receiving international work offers from the most prestigious brands.
In 2010, Miss Bowen was invited to perform for several months at the iconic luxury Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong.
Come to Le Club - "Hanoi's very own house of Jazz" and savour Kate's distinctive vocals every night from Tuesday to Sunday, 8.45 pm onwards.
26 September 2011
Metropole debuts Le Balcon and redesigned Bamboo Bar
In time for its 110th anniversary, the landmark Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi is on the verge of two significant debuts. The first is a complete reconstruction of the Bamboo Bar, and the other is a 300-square-metre rooftop garden, Le Balcon.
The Sept. 17 re-opening of the popular Bamboo Bar follows an extensive makeover to enhance the poolside watering hole. Patrons can now gather around a central island bar or pair up in cozy corners that have been recently revamped to accommodate 20 additional seats, bringing the bar's total seating capacity to 52.
A redesigned drink menu features a new ice tea and fruit juice mocktail selection, as well as the "Metropole Splash," a mix of fresh fruit, syrup, and soda water with a wine base. Bartenders will prepare beverages using state-of-the-art bar equipment from Gamko.
Aside from raising the ceiling to create a brighter, more expansive atmosphere, the Metropole has also created a new covered entrance leading to the bar, and installed a mist system for summer days, so patrons can enjoy their Graham Greene cocktails in any weather.
The Metropole spent more than three months on the makeover of the Bamboo Bar, working carefully to enhance the bar's facilities while retaining the original rustic, tropical design and ambience that has made it a favourite rendezvous in the city.
At the same time, the Metropole unveiled its brand-new rooftop garden lounge, Le Balcon that serves as a tropical oasis of calm in the heart of the historic property. In step with the French colonial aesthetic of the Metropole, Le Balcon is positioned to be an ideal venue for weddings, fashion shows, intimate dinners and private events.
The 300-square-metre open-air garden is furnished with classic park benches, inviting guests to relax with a novel or catch up with friends while enjoying sweeping views of the hotel's green inner courtyard. Le Balcon will also double as peaceful venue for the Metropole's morning Pilates and yoga classes.
01 September 2011
Voters Cite Metropole Hanoi and Nam Hai as #1 Hotel / Resort in Asia
Recent Smart Travel Asia poll elevates six Vietnam properties to annual list
The Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi and The Nam Hai in Hoi An share top billing as Asia's best leisure properties for 2011, according to an online poll by Smart Travel Asia, a leading authority on the regional travel industry.
Tying for first place in the Leisure Hotels and Resorts category, Vietnam's top contenders trumped upscale brands from more established destinations, such as the Peninsula in Hong Kong and Amanpuri in Phuket.
The results of the three-month Best in Travel Poll 2011 were culled from votes cast by the readers of SmartTravelAsia.com, a dedicated online travel magazine with more than a million readers worldwide. Based on actual experiences, word-of-mouth and exposure in the media, voters submit their own nominations from thousands of possible choices in Asia.
Following the Metropole and Nam Hai, the Peninsula in Hong Kong and the Amandari in Bali won 2nd and 3rd in the Top Leisure Hotels and Resorts category, respectively. The Caravelle Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City claimed 23rd on the list of top business hotels in Asia.
Aside from being named Asia's Top Leisure Hotel and Resort, voters also ranked the Metropole 18th on the list of Asia's Top 25 Business Hotels and 8th among Asia's Top 25 Conference Hotels. The Nam Hai collected an additional award as one of Asia's three Top Spa Hotels and Resorts.
Editor and director of Smart Travel Asia, Vijay Verghese noted that the placement of two Vietnam properties at the peak of the leisure list of 'aspirational brands' underscores the country's increasing appeal as a holiday destination.
"Vietnam has ranked equally with Hong Kong as the top destination on the Smart Travel Asia magazine site based on page visits over 2010 and 2011," said Verghese. "The country remains one of Asia's less trodden destinations and this is perhaps its greatest appeal. Vietnam presents visitors with a sense of history and romance, a largely unspoiled coastline, and great food. And then there are the people."
Verghese believes Vietnam's properties benefit from a 'feel-good' factor that is amplified by hotel staff. "There is a certain innocence about Vietnam that is hard to find elsewhere in Asia," he says, "this is what discerning travellers seek today."
A total of six Vietnam properties made the poll's lists, including the Park Hyatt Saigon, Furama Resort Danang and Princess d'Annam Resort and Spa.
According to the poll, voters deem Bali to be the number one holiday destination in Asia, followed by Phuket and Hong Kong.
14 Juli 2011
Academia Barilla hand-picks chef Egidio Latorraca for overseas recognition
Metropole Hanoi's chef earns outstanding achievement award from Italian culinary institution
After serving as intermediary between traditional Italian cuisine and Hanoi diners for almost two years, Academia Barilla awarded Angelina's Chef Egidio Latorraca a Certified Master Chef of Italian Cuisine (CMIC) last week.
The CMIC degree from the Academia Barilla in Parma, Italy is dedicated to chefs who have distinguished themselves over the years by preserving and developing authentic Italian cuisine and professionalism around the world.
Among the requirements for the honorary degree, candidates must demonstrate a proven commitment to Italian cooking and maintain constant connection with Italy while working outside the country for no less than five years.
Since October 2009, Chef Egidio has brought regional Italian cuisine and his personal creativity to the kitchen at Angelina, a chic restaurant and lounge at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi. In December 2010, HOTELS magazine hailed Angelina as one of its select 'Great Hotel Restaurants.'
14 Juli 2011
Metropole Hanoi cited as one of Asia's top 3 city hotels by Travel + Leisure
Hotel also ranks as one of the top 100 hotels in world; only entry from Vietnam
After a year of phenomenal accolades in 2010, the Sofitel Legend Metropole scored its most prestigious award yet, moving into the ranks of the world's most rarified hotels.
In its August issue, the world's highest circulating travel magazine, Travel + Leisure, called out the Metropole as one of the top three city hotels in Asia, bested only by the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok and the Ritz-Carlton in Beijing. Last year, the Metropole ranked #14 on the same list, determined by Travel + Leisure readers.
"Until recently, all of the acclaim went to the big hotels in Tokyo and Hong Kong, to the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok, the Peninsulas - but this seems to be changing," said Kai Speth, general manager of the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi. "Vietnam is at last a world-class player when it comes to hotels."
No other hotel from Vietnam made T+L's list of top 100 hotels in the world, officially known as the World's Best Awards 2011. The Park Hyatt in Saigon did make the magazine's list of Top 25 Hotels in Asia, coming in at #10.
06 Juli 2011
Fête de la Musique
Launched in 1982 by the French Ministry for culture, the Fête de la Musique is held in more than a hundred countries in Europe and over the world. It takes place every June 21st, the day of the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere.
Fête de la Musique is more than just a music festival, it is a celebration of all styles and a tribute to the custom of free French-style street fêtes. It encourages both amateur and
professional musicians to perform in public and on the street. This day of music allows the expression of all styles of music in a cheerful atmosphere. It will appeal to a large audience, and intends to inspire young and not so young people from all social backgrounds to perform music. It presents an opportunity to communicate and share through music at this very special time.
Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi has been a French monument in Hanoi since the turn of the last century, and is ready to play its part in this special musical event. Jazz Diva Charmagne Tripp will serenade Le Club with her fantastic vocals. Sit back, sip the best French cocktails in town and listen. At the French restaurant Le Beaulieu, guests can listen to French masterpieces performed by special guest violinist Nguyen Manh Hai. At the hotel's Vietnamese restaurant Spices Garden, you can enjoy a musical dinner in the presence of Phong Lan Band, comprised of four traditional Vietnamese musical instruments (monochord zither, long zither, bamboo xylophone, and bamboo flute). In addition, at Angelina, Italian restaurant & lounge, DJ Cache will play the most fashionable selection of music from all over the world. Come to enjoy yourself and share the music!
20 June 2011
Metropole lands antipodean Carl Sladen as new head of Sales & Marketing
On the heels of the recent state visit by the Australian Governor-General, another figure is journeying from 'down under' to the historic halls of the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi.
The newest face at one of the most established hospitality addresses in country, New Zealand native Carl Sladen started work as the hotel's new Director of Sales and Marketing last week. From sophisticated Sydney to the up-and-coming Vietnamese capital, Sladen brings more than a decade of sales experience with premier names in the industry, to the marketing and reservations team at the 110-year-old Metropole.
Sladen most recently served as director of sales for the acclaimed Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts' property in Sydney, the largest in the Four Seasons' portfolio. He had previously worked at Four Seasons' properties in Toyko and Bangkok.
Aside from Sydney, Tokyo and Bangkok, Sladen has international exposure with Four Seasons and Regent properties in Mexico and his hometown of Auckland. He has traveled and lectured widely in China.
Sladen said his time in Asia has given him a unique understanding of the region's energy and culture, which he is eager to expand during his time in Hanoi.
"Carl Sladen's long years of experience and his fantastic attitude will, without a doubt, be a strength to the Metropole's position locally and internationally," said Kai Speth, the general manager of the hotel. "The knowledge he's accumulated from working with names that are the epitome of luxury hospitality operations will be invaluable to the team at the Metropole."
Sladen takes over from the hotel's former director of sales and marketing, Andrew Hartley, under whom the Metropole has garnered numerous accolades, including 22 awards in the past year alone.
06 June 2011
Metropole remembers Australia
Australian Governor-general Presides over Plaque Ceremony in Hanoi
The tale of two countries officially began in a room famous for stories. Australia's Governor-General Quentin Bryce AC called on the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi in early May to unveil a commemorative plaque beside Room 228, the suite where Graham Greene resided and one of five rooms which housed the first Australian Embassy in Vietnam.
The event, attended by Ms. Quentin Bryce AC, her husband Mr. Michael Bryce AM AE, and the Australian Ambassador, Mr. Allaster Cox, marked the first state visit by an Australian Governor-General to Vietnam.
The Metropole designed the plaque to honor the work done on site by pioneering diplomats, and to celebrate the long relationship between Australia and Vietnam, said Kai Speth, the hotel's general manager.
"For three years, embassy officials fostered ties between the two nations, working out of rooms that we identify today as #225 to # 229," said Speth. "The plaque outside Room 228 is a link between countries, between friendships past and present, between the hotel and history."
While in Hanoi, the Australian Governor-General put up in Room 228, also known as the Graham Greene Suite, located on the second floor of the historic 110-year-old Metropole Wing.
The elegant 70 square meter suite is decorated in classical French style with Vietnamese touches, evocative of the Indochine era. Two balconies open onto scenic views of Paul Bert Park and the colonial-style Government Guesthouse.
After the unveiling ceremony, Ms. Quentin Bryce AC, who is said to be a fan of Graham Greene, enjoyed a reception at the Metropole with members of Hanoi's business community and Australian volunteers.
30 April 2011
Vietnam's capital cultivates its taste for the grape
Metropole hotel pioneers exclusive club for hanoi wine enthousiast
On an ordinary day, Hanoi's wine lovers can be found searching cellars, scrutinizing labels and sniffing corks across the capital. May 28th 2011 is not an ordinary day.
A handful of the city's most dedicated wine drinkers and the planet's most extraordinary wines will converge at one table in the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi for the launch of the hotel's Connoisseur Club on May 28th.
Angelina, the Metropole's trendy Italian restaurant and lounge is the stage for the first of the Connoisseur Club's signature events, designed to introduce Hanoi's wine enthusiasts to vintages rated 90 points and above by world-acclaimed wine writer and critic, Robert Parker.
Thibault Souchon, the hotel's director of food and beverage, says the club was created to recognize the Metropole's most loyal wine customers.
"We built the Connoisseur Club on the concepts of sharing and discovery," said Souchon. "Wine tastings are not new to Vietnam, but the Metropole always aims for a more selective and memorable experience. A Connoisseur Club event is a one-of-a-kind affair that gathers members for the best wine tasting in the country."
In collaboration with supporting wine suppliers, the Metropole plans to present a different rare wine every two months, complemented by tailored menus from visiting and resident star chefs.
Old world and new, on and off-site, the Metropole is switching things up to present a distinctive experience at each event. On May 28th, attendees at the club's opening event will savor vintages from a high-end Italian winery, Massolino. Dinner will be prepared by celebrated Michelin-star Chef Dell' Aquilla of the Hotel Altira in Macao. On a cool evening in October, club members will gather in the ancient Temple of Literature, one of Hanoi's most culturally-significant sites, for another premium wine and dinner pairing.
As a gesture of appreciation, there is no fee for joining the country's most elite wine club. Members are selected by the Metropole, and are given a 50 percent discount to be used at one event of their choice. Depending on the availability of wine, events may include 20 to 40 members.
"The Metropole will continue to host bi-monthly wine dinners open to hotel guests and residents," said Souchon. "But we feel it's our duty to introduce new opportunities for customers who we see are thirsty to learn more. The Connoisseur Club is about enjoying outstanding wines, expanding knowledge and developing a passion. We want them to come away feeling they have shared in something unforgettable."
01 July 2011
The Metropole - a century of traditions at your service!
This month our in-house chefs serve up an array of mouth-watering specials. At Le Beaulieu, Chef Denis Groison presents a delicious summer grill promotion; and at Angelina, Chef Egidio Latorraca delicately matches champagne and tartare.
Head to Spices Garden this month for an exquisite selection of Vietnamese flower dishes, a fragrant local delicacy. La Terrasse finds its sweet tooth with a delectable fruit carpaccio and sorbet special.
In addition to indulging in our tantalising culinary creations, guests are invited to spend their summer holidays in style with our exclusive wellness package.
Finally, at Le Spa du Metropole, guests can experience soothing sounds, rejuvenating aromas, and relaxing body therapy. This sanctuary is perfect for recharging the mind, body and soul, and escaping from the outside world.
16 Mar. 2011
Latest edition of Metropole sheds new light on life in old Hanoi
Every now and then, a hotel goes beyond making up rooms, and goes on to make history
HANOI (16 March 2011) — Newly-uncovered pieces of Vietnam's past have been stitched together and showcased for the first time in an updated edition of Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, published last month by the Most Famous Hotels of the World.
The book, which chronicles the Metropole's 110-year story, is brimming with compelling characters and stories set in one of Asia's most illustrious hotels. The 5th edition of Metropole Hanoi presents historically important anecdotes, excerpts and photographs freshly mined by author Andreas Augustin, who founded Most Famous Hotels. "With our findings we were able to establish a solid picture of this hotel, which was the center of social activity in Hanoi at a crucial time, from 1901 to the 1950s," said Augustin. Considered the most prestigious address in Northern Vietnam since its opening, the Metropole has seen the likes of Graham Greene, Somerset Maugham and Charlie Chaplin walk through its doors. The hotel also witnessed two wars, the first public film showing in the country, and some of Hanoi's most progressive and dramatic years. Midway through the century, the country entered a period of turmoil.
The hotel was turned over to the Vietnamese government and gradually fell into neglect. Then in 1987, negotiations were made to renovate the hotel, and after five years the Metropole reopened under new management. Today the Metropole has regained its reputation as the social hub of modern Hanoi. Augustin's book is the first to shed light on its exceptional history. With a lengthy VIP list and more than 300 striking photographs and illustrations, the book's 109 pages are a sensory feast. The cover features a retouched image of the hotel's distinctive French colonial façade, which was known to sweep away visitors with its grandeur.
Yet all Augustin had to go on when he began research for the book was a faded postcard. "There was no information, no archive," he said. "It seemed that nobody had ever written about the hotel." Researchers scrutinized forgotten photographs, advertisements and records scattered across the globe. Journals and biographies yielded detailed descriptions of life in Hanoi at the turn of the century. More than two years were needed to compile the first history. The result is a sharp, elegant portrait of one of Asia's most iconic hotels. In the past year alone, the Metropole has reaped more than 20 prestigious, international accolades, including the gold award in the Pacific-Asia Travel Association's Heritage category for preserving one of Asia's most treasured properties. Kai Speth, general manager of the Metropole, said keeping the hotel's ties to the past strong is not a burden, it's a responsibility.
"The Metropole is more than just a historical hotel -- it is an integral part of the city and a landmark where many historical events took place," he said. "Hopefully it will be here for future generations to enjoy, as well." A copy of the 5th edition of Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi is available at the hotel and for purchase online at famoushotels.org. An interview with Andreas Augustin, detailing the book's production may be found at themetropoleblog.com.
15 Mar. 2011
Travel + Leisure: Three of the world's 20 best hotel values call Vietnam home
NEW YORK (XX Mar. 2011) – Vietnam continues to accrue accolades for its hotels as Travel + Leisure named three to its list of 'World's Best Hotel Values' in the March 2011 issue.
The Caravelle Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi and the Hilton Hanoi Opera all won spots on the 'Top 20 Hotels for Value Overall' list in Travel + Leisure, itself one of North America's top two highest circulating travel magazines. Vietnam was second only to the United States in the number of hotels among the top 20. "Value is one of the hottest travel trends of 2011," said John Gardner, general manager of the Caravelle.
"Given the recent global slump, and uncertainty over the kind of rebound the economy has actually made, we expect this trend to continue through the year."
The winners, chosen by Travel + Leisure readers in the magazine's World's Best Awards Survey, each offer rooms for USD 300 a night or less. The Caravelle and the Metropole recently won placement on Travel + Leisure's list of the top 500 hotels in the world. The Metropole also won placement on the Conde Nast Traveler Gold List, as well as more than 20 other prestigious lists in 2010. In the same issue of Travel + Leisure, Sheraton Nha Trang was included in a lengthy feature on the 'Best Affordable Beach Resorts' in the world. The Sheraton was the only Vietnam resort in this list. The T+L honor comes on the heels of recognition of Nha Trang by Expedia.com.au, which called the city one of the 10 'Best Beach Destinations' internationally in a December press release.
3 Mar. 2011
BMW Euro Auto delivers 08 units of BMW 730LI to Sofitel Legend MEtropole Hanoi
(3 rd March 2011) – BMW Euro Auto, the official importer of BMW cars in Vietnam, officially handed over eight brand new units of BMW 7 Series Sedan 730Li to Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi on 3rd March, 2011.
This is the second time Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi Hotel has chosen BMWs for its premium limousine service. The hotel purchased eight BMW cars for the first time in 2007. The Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi is committed to matching premium customers with premium services, and for this reason has selected BMW as its premium limousine service. At the ceremony, Mr. Horst Herdtle, CEO of BMW Euro Auto, thanked the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi for choosing BMW as its premium limousine service. BMW hopes to be the preferred choice of the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi and other premium partners in the future.
"The services that we extend to our guests have to got to be commensurate with the integrity of our hotel," said Kai Speth, general manager of the Metropole. "The engineering in the BMW, its commitment to the smoothest possible ride and the finest possible driving experience, ensure seamless transfers from our finest rooms to their finest seats."
The fleet policy of BMW Euro Auto BMW 730Li is the newest member in BMW 7 Series family, a fifth generation in BMW's luxury segment where innovative technologies engender outstanding performance and sheer driving pleasure. BMW 7 Series is ideal car for both personal and premium limousine services which equipped with comfortable, safety and advanced features with an excellent price. No wonder when BMW 7 Series was chosen as the official vehicle for top leaders and esteemed events around the globe such as the APEC 2005 Summit, 2006 World Bank meetings and 13th ASEAN summit in 2007, among others. BMW Euro Auto focuses to serve the corporate partner, luxury hotels and resorts. According to this policy, fleet customers will be entitled to receive attractive preferential treatments such as brand promoting, after-sales customers service, training for drivers, free valet parking services at HCMC and Hanoi.
In 2010, BMW Euro Auto has been continuously selected as the official fleet provider for large corporations. Meanwhile, other luxury hotels including Sheraton Saigon Hotel, Sheraton Nha Trang Hotel, Moevenpick Hotel and Hilton Hotel and other large partners such as Bayer Vietnam and Samsung Vietnam have also being used BMW cars for their business operation and promotion activities, which has since contributed to its overall sales increase by 26%, compared to 2009. This rising trend has further consolidated BMW's position as the leading premium automotive brand in Vietnam, and highlights Euro Auto's commitment in expanding its fleet policy outreach to both large corporations and luxurious hotels and resorts. Also, in 2010, BMW is the most valuable car brand in Vietnam, according to the latest survey on "Top 10 brands" by Nielsen and Singapore Campaign. More information Information of BMW 730 Li handed over to Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi Hotel The BMW 730Li is equipped with the six-cylinder engine producing a capacity of 2,996 cc and a max output of 190 kw at 6600 rpm. BMW 730Li can reach the top speed of 245 kilometers per hour and accelerate in 7.8 seconds. BMW 730Li continues to demonstrate its environmental responsibility thanks to BMW EfficientDynamics technology encompassing many innovations to offer a reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions but remains outstanding performance.
This technology helps BMW 730Li to consume just 9.8 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers*. *Fuel consumption is made up of approximately one-third urban and two-thirds extra-urban driving according to the European standard. Product highlights New Integral Active Steering - unique combination of active and rear axle steering – which clearly sets us apart from all other manufacturers – offers a unique symbiosis of agility at low speeds and supremacy at high speeds. Safety is always the top priority of customer and car manufacturers in luxury segment. BMW 730Li is equipped with Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) that ensures the highest possible levels of stability when driving and optimizes the traction from all wheels upon acceleration or deceleration. Moreover, Break Energy Regeneration can help to save fuel because electricity can be generated without drawing power from the engine.
BMW 730Li is also equipped with innovative driver assistance systems consisting of side/rear view camera with parking assistance, Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function (optional), Lane Departure Warning (optional). The latest generation of BMW iDrive control system, the simplest and most user friendly control system in its class, features a 10.2 inch display with a high-resolution graphic presentation, enabling easy control of the car's entertainment, information, navigation and telecommunication functions. New safety and comfort features have been integrated into the range to improve manoeuvrability and safety for driver. BMW 7 Series brings to customers many choices in entertainment with a capacity of hard disc memory of 80 GB, HiFi audio, a USB port, multi-channel audio system. Moreover, there are some optional choices for driver such as rear-seat entertainment, four-zone automatic air conditioning and massage for rear seats, etc.
All things create perfect combination to meet BMW's objective of being leader in luxury segment.
18 Feb. 2011
International Inspiration Swirls at Hotel Metropole Hanoi
F&B staff journey into history and craft of baking and bartending with seasoned hands
Hanoi (18 Feb. 2011) - The Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi has stirred up Hanoi's food scene in recent years by inaugurating a New Wave of nightlife at its avant-garde Italian restaurant and lounge, Angelina, and introducing haute brasserie dining at Le Beaulieu.
Now, the venerable hotel is fostering international exchange at the patisserie station and behind the bar by recruiting European experts to mentor its F&B staff. Earlier this month, Anton Bjuhr of the 3-star Michelin Pierre Gagnaire Seoul began a two-month residency during which the New York-trained Swedish pastry chef will guide the Metropole's mission to refine its approach to creating breads, chocolates, and pastries. That doesn't just entail handing down recipes. Whether the lesson is glazing with ganache or creating custards, the aim is to impart the processes and practices that elevate a kitchen to the next level.
"The name Pierre Gagnaire inspires awe," said Thibault Souchon, Director of Food and Beverage at Hotel Metropole Hanoi. "But what Anton will demonstrate is that great baking is not a mystery, but the product of discipline, professionalism, and know-how. These are the pillars that maintain a reputation for excellence."
Alessandro Boneschi will likewise employ his experience as a globetrotting bar manager to summon the muse at Hotel Metropole Hanoi. Over ten days, Boneschi will cover the nuances of catering to an international clientele and immerse the staff in the history and mythology of cocktails and spirits. Southeast Asia's contributions to the annals of libation are not lost on the Metropole, which opened its doors in 1901, at the dawn of a golden age of the cocktail.
"Almost 100 years ago the Singapore Sling was first mixed at the Raffles Singapore, and by a staff bartender," said Souchon. "We want our bartenders to feel connected to that history, to believe that their own bespoke cocktail could one day become an international classic too." The residencies underscore the Metropole's continuing endeavor to raise the bar at every stage of the gastronomic experience and earn Hanoi a seat at the table with regional culinary capitals. "This is how a great food city develops," said Souchon. "Bite by bite. Tipple by tipple. Every new flavor we introduce to our customers contributes to a culture eager for the next course."
8 Feb. 2011
Le Beaulieu finds inspiration in simple comforts
Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi re-imagines its French fine dining stalwart as a haute brasserie
HANOI (8 Feb. 2011) – This Year of the Cat, Le Beaulieu at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi is dispensing with the formalities and embracing a more casual and lively expression of French culinary heritage—that of the brasserie.
The volte-face comes at a time when Hanoi itself is turning a corner. On the back of an economic boom, Le Beaulieu's Vietnamese customer base is burgeoning and its business and leisure travelers are no longer starved for options. In today's ancient city, the restaurant believes the tastes of its clientele are better satiated by the brasserie. "Fine dining can be quite intimidating when you are courting a new cuisine," said Thibault Souchon, director of food and beverage at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel.
"We wanted to create a space where French food is liberated from ostentation to fulfill its raison d'etre—to nourish the body and soul and fortify friendship." To that end, Le Beaulieu has reworked every aspect of its operation, with the exception of its wood-furnished, chandelier-lit dining room. Beginning this month, guests are encountering a totally new experience, from the manner in which meals are served to the level of interactivity. "The brasserie is not yet a part of the culture in Hanoi," said Souchon. "We realize we must create the atmosphere, every day and at every table."
Chef Denis Groison has contributed to this endeavor by crafting a menu that promotes the French philosophy of shared experience at the table. Henceforth, many entrees will arrive on dinner tables in steaming cocottes, the cast iron baking dishes that hark back to family meals in France's culinary heartlands. Out on the dining room floor, cooks and waiters have been appointed ambassadors of brasserie culture, dispatched to the tableside with cast iron, steel and flame to deliver those iconic cocottes, carve succulent slow-cooked meat and poultry, and flambé delicacies like crepe suzette. The chef de cuisine himself will be a regular fixture in the dining room.
"In this atmosphere, it's much easier for guests to acquire a foundation of knowledge in French food," said Souchon. "They develop a relationship with the waiters and the chef and feel comfortable asking questions. They can share cocottes and try three items rather than one. The education is interwoven with the experience."
Seasonal menus span the canon of France's diverse culinary legacy, featuring regional classics like stewed Brittany cod, traditional bouillabaisse and rouille, and Arabica roasted lamb fillet. La Brasserie will also unveil new dishes regularly, giving Chef Groison ample opportunity to experiment in the kitchen and establish the restaurant as a modern haute brasserie—an amenity that any international city should boast.
"The food we are serving is the kind of food that families eat around tables throughout France," says Souchon. "But the commitment to creating new expressions of old classics and the elegance that the storied setting imparts, that is what makes Le Beaulieu a true haute brasserie."
24 Nov. 2010
Vietnam on the up down under
Australians represent largest non-Eastern growth segment in Vietnam
HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam (24 Nov. 2010) — Vietnam's status as Southeast Asia's fastest growing tourism destination is reflected in new statistics that illustrate Australian visitors are flocking to the country like never before.
Perhaps due to their own country's relative isolation, Aussies have cultivated a reputation for being voracious travelers. Traditionally, however, they have looked to Indonesia — particularly Bali — Fiji and Thailand when making plans to explore other parts of the Asia-Pacific region. While these locations retain a potent pull, data from some of Vietnam's top hotels, as well as Vietnam's National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), the country's own tourism authority, show that a growing contingent are choosing to spend their vacation in Indochina's most populated nation.
Ho Chi Minh City's iconic Caravelle Hotel has seen a twofold increase in visitors from Australia this year while the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, the Vietnamese capital's most prestigious address, has reported a 48% rise over the past 12 months. On the fledgling central coast, the award-winning Nam Hai resort has witnessed a significant upsurge in visitors from Down Under, too.
The property, recently voted among Asia's 20 best resorts by readers of travel bible Conde Nast Traveler, reported a 69% increase in Australian occupants through the first eight months of the year. The phenomena is reinforced by VNAT, which has reported a 128% rise in Australian visitor numbers in 2010 — the greatest percentage increase of inbound arrivals from non-Asian countries.
The trend appears unlikely to be a flash in the pan either. The results of the Asia-Pacific Travel Intentions Survey, a major poll conducted by Visa and the Pacific-Asia Travel Association, were announced in November. They showed that an impressive 16% of Australians canvassed plan to visit Vietnam in the coming two years.
"Australia escaped the worst of the global downturn and its dollar is relatively robust, which means Aussies are traveling as much as they have ever done," says Kai Speth, general manager of the Metropole Hanoi.
"What's more, Australia has been one of our priority markets in recent years. We have representation at all the big travel trade shows there and I think it's fair to say that our efforts in marketing the hotel are really starting to reap rewards."
John Gardner, the Caravelle's general manager, concurs with the view that an increased focus on the Australian market is paying dividends.
He also believes Vietnam is finally beginning to rival traditional regional heavyweights such as Thailand and Indonesia in the eyes of holidaymakers.
"Thailand is beginning to recover after the recent turmoil," Gardner says. "But throughout that stumble, and troubles elsewhere, Vietnam has sharpened its profile as the region's most safe and secure destination. Safety and security is far more top of mind for travelers today than it was 10 long years ago." Gardner also points to other factors that are boosting the country's reputation Down Under — its solidifying infrastructure and its value for money. "As well, Vietnam is catering to a wide variety of customers from business visitors to traditional sun-seekers who are steering toward an array of resorts opening throughout the country." Also significant in the opinion of travel industry insiders is the improvement in air links between Vietnam and Australia. Low-cost carrier Jetstar operates regular flights between Ho Chi Minh City and Australia's major conurbations, while competition between other airlines means that traveling to Vietnam has never been more cost effective.
"I think Australian interest in Vietnam has grown for a number of reasons," says Damien Van Eyk, Australasian Sales Manager for Exotissimo Travel, a company that specializes in individually tailored trips within Southeast Asia. "The country's relative proximity to Australia makes traveling to Vietnam very easy. "I also think that word of mouth is a very important factor. As more Australians experience the sights, sounds and cuisine of Vietnam, they come home and share these experiences with their family and friends."
4 Nov. 2010
Sofitel's Metropole Closes 2010 on a high note
Landmark hotel garners 21 awards that redefines the property's world standing
HANOI (1 Dec. 2010) — The fireworks that recently erupted over Hanoi in celebration of the capital's 1000th anniversary may well have served to herald the coronation of the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi.
Renowned as the country's foremost hotel since Vietnam opened its doors to world travelers less than 20 years ago, the hotel in 2010 won a record-breaking 21 awards, one of which identifies the hotel as one of the four best urban hotels in the world.
"Really, in the hotel's long history, this year has been unprecedented," said Kai Speth, general manager of the hotel. "With recent accolades from such prestigious publications as Conde Nast Traveler and from organizations like PATA, we've been moved to a new echelon entirely." The most recent of these awards, conferred in November by a prestigious North American lifestyle magazine, Cigar Aficionado, trumpets the hotel as one of the top four city hotels on the international stage.
In the same issue, the hotel won recognition as one of Southeast Asia's top three hotels, together with the Peninsula in Hong Kong and Oriental in Bangkok. Earlier in the year, Travel + Leisure called out the hotel on three of its most prestigious lists. And the hotel made the grade on Conde Nast Traveler's Gold List and its Hot List, a remarkable achievement for a 109-year-old hotel and a testament to changes made over the past several years.
Why all the acclaim, all of a sudden for the Metropole? Speth credits two deciding factors. The hotel's owners recently concluded a $25 million refurbishment that balanced the hotel's storied heritage with room enhancements, an avant-garde new restaurant, Angelina, and a spa, the first in its history. The hotel's management company, Sofitel, selected the property as the first in its portfolio to be classified as a Legend hotel.
This status, and the operational changes necessitated by the status, have redefined the hotel's image. "Is there room in Southeast Asia for another hotel to be mentioned in the same breath as the Oriental and the Peninsula?" said Speth. "Apparently, there is.
This is great news for Hanoi, and for Vietnam."
Vietnam's Top Hotels dreaming of a bright Christmas
HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam (4 Nov. 2010) — Britain's straitened finances may have caused the Queen to cancel her annual festive bash, but Christmas 2010 is colonizing new ground in the Far East, so much so that ol' St. Nick's usual haunts are being put to shame.
Look no further than Vietnam, where a communist government is no impediment to making merry at Christmas.
In Ho Chi Minh City, the Caravelle Hotel is planning the grandest festive celebrations in its storied 51-year-history.
Further north, The Sheraton Nha Trang will be marking its first Noel in the country's top beach resort with a $10,000 extravaganza.
Meanwhile, up in Hanoi, the Metropole will be marking the season with Francophone flair – a cornucopia of lights and the capital's tallest Christmas tree counting among the hotel's array of uplifting attractions.
We are well aware that some people find it hard to get their head around the concept of celebrating Christmas in Vietnam," says John Gardner, the general manager of the Caravelle Hotel, "but, in fact, weather-wise, it's one of the best times of the year to be in Saigon. And more than that, the holiday is remarkably well suited to the festive nature of the country's culture. The Western traditions of illumination, especially, are really popular in Vietnam, so when the international calendar licenses a light-up, it's go go go."
Not so back in the Old World. The UK is one of many European countries to have implemented harsh austerity measures in an attempt to cut its huge budget deficit. And with many of her subjects facing up to a long, hard winter, the British monarch has vetoed the $75,000 shindig at Buckingham Palace as a way of showing empathy. Meanwhile, some of the most desirable addresses in Vietnam are pulling out the stops to ensure that Christmas in eastern Indochina goes off with a bang. Guests at the Caravelle are unlikely to complain about any half-heartedness on the part of their host. The hotel has given a renowned local interior decorations company carte blanche to transform the property into a glittering winter wonderland.
Utilizing the biggest budget ever made available for festive decoration at the hotel, the firm is set to produce a lavish display of violet and silver lights and Christmas balls. The extravaganza is due to be unveiled on 3rd December at the hotel's annual Christmas light-up which will also feature a performance of festive favorites by a 30-strong children's choir from Thang Long School in Saigon.
On the south-central coast, the new Sheraton Nha Trang is also pushing the boat out for the season of goodwill. The hotel, which held its grand opening last month, is dishing up all the trimmings in its first Christmas as the resort town's only internationally renown five-star property. In addition to its 6-metre high tree, there will be a gingerbread house to entertain youngsters while Director of Rooms Nick Lee will be moonlighting as Santa Claus on 18th December when the hotel turns on its Christmas lights. A little farther up shore, the acclaimed Nam Hai is trucking in a pair of 2-metre high evergreens down from nearby Hai Van Pass for guests to decorate while sipping Christmas concoctions in the bar, whose combination of white lights and dark woods make for one of the coziest watering holes in the country. Nevertheless, no expense has been spared to ensure that guests at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel don't miss out on the festivities.
The halls of the legendary hotel – a landmark in Vietnam's capital since 1901 – will be strewn with ornaments and decorations while approximately 5,000 lights will be strung along the façade and the interior gardens. On December 1st, the country's biggest Christmas tree, a 15-meter pine imported from Hong Kong, will be displayed in the Metropole courtyard. Over the course of December, the tree will be hung with 'wishing cards' – hopeful notes written by local orphans. Guests will be invited to pluck a red wishing card from the tree and to make an orphan's dream come true. "It's completely in keeping with the overarching message of Christmas," says Kai Speth, the hotel's general manager.
"Yes, there are the lights, there is the music, there is Santa Claus, but it's also a time to give, whether you are in New York, in Bethlehem, or in Hanoi."
10 Sept. 2010
TTG Awards singles out Vietnam Hotel
HANOI (10 Sept. 2010) — Vietnam's airlines, hotels, operators and agents scored but a single victory in TTG's annual Travel Awards Oct. 7.
In the 21st annual awards presentation Oct. 7, the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi took home the top spot in the 'Best City Hotel – Hanoi' category. Only the capital cities of countries across the region were evaluated.
The criteria for the Best Hotel award included an appraisal of services, facilities, value-added benefits and most professional sales and marketing team. None of the other 77 awards went to an organization based in Vietnam. More than 48,000 readers of TTG across the Asia-Pacific contributed assessments across four main categories. The awards are widely recognized as one of the most prestigious in Southeast Asia.
"There's something immensely satisfying about this title – Best City Hotel," said Kai Speth, general manager of the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi. "We have a reputation as a great heritage hotel, and we've worked hard to sharpen our credentials as a destination for business travelers and as a destination for sophisticated night life. There's a well-roundedness to Best City Hotel that we plan to savor."
In the past year, the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi has scooped a number of coveted awards from around the globe, including a spot on the Conde Nast Hot List and, most recently, PATA's top award in the Heritage category. In the 2010 TTG awards program, the trade publication conferred 53 awards to travel suppliers (airlines, hotels, MICE, travel service), 15 awards to travel agents, four awards for oustanding achievement, such as destination of the year, and seven awards in the Travel Hall of Fame. The voting process spanned three months, from early June to early August, and was completed online or through printed forms.
7 Sept. 2010
Hanoi's Metropole to escort guest through millenium
‘Hanoi 1000’ celebrates 1010 founding of capital and recent UNESCO designation
HANOI (7 Sept. 2010) — As Hanoi gears up for a celebration of its 1000th anniversary next month, the landmark Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi is set to usher visitors through 1,000 years of the capital’s history, century by century.
In coordination with Exotissimo, a leading inbound tour operator, the excursion begins in the 1000s with a visit to the Temple of Literature, founded in 1070, and concludes in the 1900s with a visit to Ba Dinh Square, where Ho Chi Minh declared the nation’s independence on Sept. 2, 1945.
The three-night, four-day package includes a three-night stay at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, four guided tours and multiple dining opportunities.
“A thousand years ago, when Emperor Ly Thai To spotted a dragon flying over the river, he founded this city as Thăng Long (Ascending Dragon)” said Kai Speth, general manager of the Metropole. “I’m not so sure about that dragon, but there’s no question today that Hanoi’s star is rising.”
The ‘Hanoi 1000’ initiative won additional impetus for development last month after UNESCO put Hanoi’s imperial assets on its World Heritage List. The Thanh Long Royal Citadel is Vietnam’s sixth World Heritage Site, joining Hue, Hoi An, Halong Bay, My Son and Phong Nha.
In a Nov. 2009 Outlook Report, PricewaterhouseCoopers identified Hanoi as the developing world’s fastest growing city.
The Hanoi 1000 tours reference the past not merely through sight, but through taste and sound. Pho, for example, the nation’s flagship dish owes its origins, in part, to the introduction of beef to Vietnam by the Mongols during incursions in the 1200s.
The whimsy of a water puppet show and concert reference the 1100s when Thay (Teacher’s) Pagoda was founded and where water puppetry earned its stripes as a cultural instituion.
“Every one of the past centuries is a remarkable showcase for a significant Vietnamese development,” said George Ehrlich-Adams. “And with Hanoi 1000, we expect to embed in visitors’ memories a collection of unforgettable references to Vietnam’s past.”
One of Hanoi 1000’s most compelling surveys will investigate the architectural legacy of the colonial French in Vietnam, from the Long Bien Bridge (designed by Gustave Eiffel’s firm) to the History Museum (the country’s foremost example of architecture from the Indochinese School) to the 1901-built Metropole, the country’s most iconic hotel.
Referencing the 1400s, when the city’s Old Quarter emerged from the ruins of Chinese occupation, Hanoi 1000 shepherds visitors through a warren of streets that established themselves as the ’36 Streets,’ with one specific guild doing business on each street.
The three-night, four-day package will be in effect for three months, starting Oct. 1. The cost is US $821 per person, based on double occupancy in the Metropole’s historic old wing. The cost includes guiding services by a professor of history.
3 August 2010
PATA Gold Awards 2010 winner in the heritage category
HANOI (3 August 2010) — The Sofitel Legend Metropole will glitter again at the PATA Gold Awards 2010 ceremony, taking place on 17th September in Macau, accepting the gold award in the Heritage category.
The award lauds the hotel for its refurbishment of one of Southeast Asia’s most treasured properties. Sofitel relaunched the Metropole in 2009 as the hotel group’s first Legend property.
“The challenge for any hotel in the Heritage category is achievement of a very delicate balance between celebration of historical charm, and satisfaction of tomorrow’s expectation,” said Kai Speth, General Manager of the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi. “Where so many hotels are only thinking about today and tomorrow, we have an obligation to think about today, tomorrow and yesterday. The PATA Award persuades us that we’re on the right track.”
The legendary Metropole’s refurbishment maintained the original architecture since 1901, enhanced with the development of new facilities, the creation of themed suites and a range of guest’s experience according to the way of living heritage within the spirit of centennial establishment. The restoration began in 2004 and was revealed as a “fait accompli” last year with the Legend launch.
The new facilities at the Metropole include, Angelina, a chic Italian restaurant that raised the bar on sophisticated nightlife in Hanoi. The hotel also opened Le Spa du Metropole last year. Remarkably, this was the first spa to be opened in the hotel’s 108-year history.
The Metropole’s themed suites indulge the property’s connections to legendary people like Charlie Chaplin, Somerset Maugham and Graham Greene, each of whom stayed at the hotel. Located in the historic, 1901-built wing, each of these suites is imbued with colonial-era aesthetics.
“When you’re in the Graham Greene suite, it’s not that difficult to imagine him sitting here, churning out the 500 words he was reputed to do every day like clockwork,” said Speth. “Being able to imagine that – to fall into that time warp, if you will — is exactly the kind of spell we’re trying to cast.” Kai added.
16 June 2010
Metropole completes landmark restoration with legendary events
New M.I.C.E concept does for events organizers what butler does for individual
HANOI (16 June 2010) — The last building block of the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi’s re-emergence as Sofitel’s first ‘Legend’ hotel was levered into place this month when the hotel debuted its ‘Legendary Events’ initiative.
A complement to Sofitel’s recently introduced InspiredMeetings™ program, Legendary Events is a turnkey events management solution that delivers the same individualized attention to groups that a butler provides to an individual.
The Metropole is Sofitel’s first Legend hotel (designated as such in 2009), and its Legendary Events concept is the first of its kind to be rolled out worldwide.
Standard menus and set itineraries are bygone. Personalized attention and one-of-a-kind functions are in. Forget about blasé coffee breaks. Legendary Events brews coffee breaks, and dinners with panache. To wit: The Hanoi Night Market, the Splendid Night, the Belle Epoque.
“Meetings in hotels can all too often be merely functional,” said Kai Speth, the hotel’s general manager. “But there’s no reason they cannot be functional and memorable and stylish and singular in a destination as remarkable as Hanoi.”
Off-site, Legendary Events can usher guests to some of Hanoi’s grandest landmarks — the 1925-built History Museum, the 1,000-year-old Temple of Literature — and to golf outings at several of greater Hanoi’s top courses.
Sofitel launched its InspiredMeetings™ Concept last September, setting the stage throughout the Asia-Pacific for events that coordinate dedicated personnel and technology and that deliver one-of-a-kind affairs, from intimate parties to large scale conferences.
Legendary Events steps up the bespoke appeal, albeit with an emphasis on the heritage of a particular Sofitel property. The Metropole launched the new M.I.C.E. (meetings, incentives, conferences, events) concept in June. The hotel has hired additional staff – events planners and concierges – to shepherd each event from initial inquiry to last goodbye.
Where a number of hotel staff previously commanded various aspects of an event, now two individuals within the hotel will manage the entire production from start to finish, liberating the client group’s leadership of the stress that naturally attends such events.
“Reducing the event organizer’s stress level is at the heart and soul of this new Legendary Events concept,” said Andrew Hartley, the hotel’s director of sales and marketing. “Our Planner and Concierge will organize, execute and follow a particular event from beginning to end, providing the utmost in personalized service and singular appeal.”
There’s much that’s new about the 109-year-old hotel. In April, Conde Nast Traveler found cause in a $20 million refurbishment to elevate the hotel to its Hot List, which is generally reserved for just-opened properties.
Le Spa – the first spa in the Metropole’s 109-year history – celebrated its grand opening this spring. And late last year, the hotel debuted Angelina, an Italian steak house that immediately redefined the cutting edge of Hanoi’s upscale night scene.
Le Spa and Angelina will be integral to the Legendary Events. So will the hotel’s older assets, like Le Beaulieu, the oldest continually operated restaurant in Vietnam, albeit with the country’s newest French chef, Denis Groison.
27 April 2010
Refurbished Metropole Hanoi gains spot on conde nast ‘hot list’
Le Spa du Metropole earns separate listing as Vietnam’s only new ‘Hot Spa’
HANOI (27 April 2010) – Every year, Conde Nast Traveler surveys thousands of hotels, checks into all the best new places and elevates the cream of the new crop to its prestigious Hot List. But thanks to a four-year, $20 million restoration, a 109-year-old hotel — the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi — has won a spot on the magazine’s 14th annual look at the world’s hottest new properties.
“The re-do merits thunderous applause,” wrote editors of one of the world’s most renowned travel magazines
Le Spa du Metropole, which debuted at the hotel last year and celebrated its grand opening this month, also won a spot on the magazine’s 2010 Hot Spa list. In a separate listing, Le Spa ranks as the only inclusion from Vietnam this year.
Said Conde Nast Traveler: The “spa feels like an elegant friend's residence, with grand staircases leading to candlelit havens for Eastern-themed massages and facials with Clarins and Ytsara products.”
The hotel’s refurbishment culminated last year in a rebranding initiative that introduced the hotel as Sofitel’s first Legend property. The French hotel group established the Legend brand to distinguish its legendary addresses around the world. The Hotel Metropole Hanoi was the first property to win distinction as one of Sofitel’s Legend hotels.
The four-year makeover delivered a host of compelling new reasons to view the Grand Dame of Vietnamese Hospitality as a debutante.
The hotel opened a new restaurant and lounge, Angelina, that immediately set a new standard for contemporary chic in this 1,000-year-old city.
Le Spa’s seven treatment rooms evoke old World elegance, and its Hammam offers a singular experience in Vietnam.
All of the hotel’s public areas took on a new sheen. The retail outlets were completely revisited, and a new gourmet shop and boutique were integrated into the mix.
Awards are nothing new to the Hotel Metropole Hanoi. Indeed, the hotel has made the grade on Conde Nast’s Gold List in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009. The hotel has always enjoyed a reputation as a classic. Now it’s garnering acclaim as a great new opportunity for travelers who revel in contemporary appeal.
“As one of Asia’s classic hotels, we’re obliged to honor the past and our guests’ expectations of a stay in the Hotel Metropole Hanoi,” said Kai Speth, general manager of the hotel. “But we also have a responsibility to provide accommodation that is as fresh and stimulating as it is venerable. Nobody wants to check into a museum.”
22 April 2010
Guests of the earth
In the whole universe there is only one place we can call news: Earth. Life on our planet is a fragile balance - around the globe people breathe the same air, share the same oceans, and live on the same land. Yet the grave dangers of pollution are pervasive, making it increasingly critical to set environmental checks to global development. Every year on April 22, Earth Day is observed to raise awareness about protecting the environment.
In 1970 a U.S. senator founded Earth Day as an environmental teach-in. In 1971 UN Secretary-General U Thant supported the global initiative to celebrate Earth Day, famously stating “may there be only peaceful and cheerful Earth Days to come for our beautiful Spaceship Earth as it continues to spin and circle in frigid space with its warm and fragile cargo of animate life.“ The day is now celebrated in many countries around the world.
Accor, the Metropole Hotel’s management group, has made Earth Day an important event for its hotels in Vietnam. In 2006 Accor launched the Earth Guest Program with the motto: “the Earth is our host; we host the world.” The program’s goal is to provide guests with superior comfort and service while simultaneously benefiting society and the environment. In 2005 Accor deployed a global network of correspondents focused on sustainable development, which made it feasible for the Earth Guest Program to achieve its short-term objectives. By leveraging its presence on six continents and its regular contact with 120 million customers, Accor makes an effort to spread the principles of sustainable development.
This Earth Day staff members from the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi will collaborate with colleagues at the Sofitel Plaza Hanoi and Mercure La Gare Hotel to volunteer for Earth Day by cleaning local parks. On April 22, 2010 over 200 staff members and managers from these Accor hotels will participate in cleaning up Con Coc, Co Tan and Ly Thai To parks. This annual environmental event is well known for its contribution to the community.
2 April 2010
Le spa du Metropole (Hanoi) celebrates grand opening april 1
A 109-year-old-hotel, in a 1,000-year-old-city, lures the leadership of two top cosmetics companies welcoming one luxurious new spa.
HANOI (2 April 2010) — When a legendary 109-year-old hotel opens its first spa, the industry is sure to notice – so much so, in fact, that the leadership of two world-renowned cosmetics companies were in attendance.
The general manager of Clarins, Olivier Courtin-Clarins, and Florence Jaffre, the CEO of Ytsara, flew to Hanoi and the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi to officially launch Le Spa du Metropole April 1.
For Kai Speth, the hotel’s general manager, the journey to Hanoi by this leadership represents a real coup and an early high point in what is already shaping up to be quite a year.
“As Hanoi gets ready to celebrate its 1,000th anniversary later this year, Le Spa du Metropole will continue to gain inspiration from its own rich past,” said Speth.“This is an important moment in a long proud history - a history that we continue to celebrate in Le Spa with Old World Elegance and vibrant Asian overtones.”
Clarins is the Number One skin care company in Europe and is active in 150 companies worldwide. Ytsara harvests a range of Asian plants for its creams, cleansers, moisturizers and other spa products.
The Clarins and Ytsara spa products at Le Spa are complemented by exclusive oil blends created by the French perfumer, Laurent Severac.
Le Spa du Metropole mirrors the hotel’s well-established charm, seducing guests with an indulgent 400- square meters split into two treatment rooms, two themed spa suites for couples and three for individuals.
There’s an additional treatment room dedicated to foot reflexology while the spa’s wet areas feature a Hammam, a Middle Eastern sauna /cold water treatment, as well as a Finnish-style sauna that heats to 80C.
Le Spa’s treatments combine ancient beauty secrets and holistic rituals from the East, artfully blended with contemporary methods of the West.
06 March 2010
Vietnam's oldest restaurant welcomes its newest chef
Le Beaulieu at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi updates intellectual capital
HANOI (06 Mar. 2010) — A Parisian chef who cut his first teeth in Asia at the Raffles Hotel Singapore joined the kitchen crew this week at Le Beaulieu, the oldest continuously operated restaurant in Vietnam.
Denis Groison’s appointment as Chef de cuisine is part of a larger effort by the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi to enhance its standing as one of Asia’s greatest French restaurants.
In operation since 1901, in the exact same place within the iconic hotel, Le Beaulieu reigns as the hotel’s flagship restaurant and as complement to Spices Garden, a traditional Vietnamese eatery, and Angelina, a recently launched Italian restaurant that cultivates 21st Century chic.
“As Hanoi celebrates its 1,000-year history, we’re making investments in our own substantial history,” said Kai Speth, General Manager of Hotel Metropole Hanoi. “Le Beaulieu is a great French restaurant. We’re now wondering why we shouldn’t be known as the greatest French restaurant in all Asia.”
Groison is likely to help the cause. Prior to his year-long stint as chef de cuisines at the Raffles Grill, Groison was chef de cuisine at Le Dôme du Marais in Paris. He also served as sous chef at an establishment awarded two stars by the Michelin Guide, the Restaurant Guy Lassausaie.
He was chef at a brasserie in Paris, Le Café Doucet, and he grew up working in his family’s pâtisserie-confiserie, L’Arlequin.
All this was but preparation, says Groison, for the assignment he embarks upon this week.
“For as long as I’ve been cooking, I have been steering toward Vietnam,” said Groison. “Perhaps it’s the country’s association with France. Perhaps it’s the enormously rich culinary heritage. I’m not sure. But I am sure Le Beaulieu is exactly the place to be.”
29 January 2010
Risotto shooters hit the bar at Angelina
February promotion propels Happy Hour fare to a new level of sophistication
HANOI (29 Jan. 2010) — What do you get when you cross a martini glass, an Italian chef, a wet rice culture and a legendary hotel? A grand excuse for a risotto promotion.
Come Feb. 2, the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi will start lining up the shots for a month-long Risotto Martini promotion. The novel celebration at Angelina positions these inventive morsels as an answer to tapas, and other bartop snack foods.
Angelina’s Chef de Cuisine, Egidio Latorraca, has concocted nine distinct presentations, including shots featuring foie gras, Japanese scallops and crispy wild mushrooms. Look for risotto dressed up by Classic Saffron veal, Chantarelle mushrooms and Italian sushi.
The shots are expected to win diners looking for a light lunch, and for Happy Hour patrons looking for a little more sophistication. Consumption of the treats should enable business people with clients to close bigger deals faster.
Located on the ground-floor of the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi’s Opera Wing, Angelina opened in October 2008 as the country’s most distinctive new dining venue. Part lounge, part nightclub, part venue for trendy Italian dining, the space seats 120 on three levels and 16 more in a discreet, upper level suite.
8 January 2010
Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi greets city's next millenium with new spa
After 108 years in incubation, Le Spa du Metropole opens up to all Hanoi
HANOI (8 Jan. 2010) — As Hanoi struts upon the world stage, celebrating its 1,000th anniversary and its status as the world’s fastest growing city, the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi is fronting the new year, and the city’s second millennium, with something it’s never had before — a spa.
Four months after its soft debut, Le Spa du Metropole has fully opened to hotel guests, to locals and expatriate residents alike, and to other travelers who want to experience the country’s most iconic hotel even if he or she isn’t staying there.
“2010 is the Year of the Spa for the Metropole,” said Kai Speth, the hotel’s general manager. “We waited 108 years before opening a spa. With an incubation that long, we knew we had an obligation to make it worth the wait.”
Like the hotel itself, Le Spa trades on the hotel’s stature as one of the venerable grand dames of Asian hospitality. Its seven treatment rooms evoke Old World elegance and the spirits of such former guests as Charlie Chaplin, Graham Greene and Somerset Maugham.
With floors of dark hardwood, gilt-framed mirrors, paneled doors and double-slipper tubs, Le Spa is a vibrant echo of the hotel’s well-established charm.
“There are certain expectations and traditions that must be honored at the Metropole,” said Speth. “Part of the allure to this spa is the allure of the hotel itself, and the delight that comes from being in that space, and having a treatment at the Hotel Metropole Hanoi.”
Housed in a wing of the old hotel that abuts the interior courtyard, Le Spa takes in 400 square meters comprised of two treatment rooms, two themed spa suites for couples and three themed individual suites: the Vietnam Suite, the Retro Suite and Thailand Suite. As well, a separate treatment room is dedicated to foot reflexology.
Beyond the treatment rooms, the spa’s wet areas feature a Hammam, a Middle Eastern sauna /cold water treatment that was first popularized during the Victorian era, and a Finnish sauna that heats up to 80C.
The spa’s product line is anchored by Clarins, a line of French skin-care products, and complemented by Ytsara, a high-end spa product line from Thailand focused on body care treatments. Laurent Severac, a renowned French perfumer, is the spa’s tertiary line.
The spa’s menu opens with a suite of wet bath treatments and segues to a la carte spa journeys. Several of the spa’s treatments are singular to Hanoi’s urban situation and its storied appeal as a shopping destination.
With the new year, the spa is also the beneficiary of a new manager, Arie Sunia, an Indonesian from Bali who began her career in Bali and who later managed the spa at Le Meridien in Siem Reap.
Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi - Awards from 2007
- "Gold List" of Condé Nast Traveler
- "The world's best hotel values " - Travel & Leisure
- "The world's top 50 Most Romantic Hotel" - Travel & Leisure
- "The best hotels in Hanoi" - DestinAsia
- “Best hotel in Hanoi” – Reader’s Choice Award by DestinAsian Magazine
- “Best 500 Hotels 2010”, US Magazine Travel & Leisure
- “Expedia Insiders’ Select™ Hotel 2010” - annual Expedia’s global marketplace award
- "Hot list Spas 2010" of Condé Nast Traveler
- "Hot list 2010" of Condé Nast Traveller
- "Gold list 2010" of Condé Nast Traveller
- "Best hotel in Hanoi" – Reader's Choice Award by DestinAsian Magazine
- "Best 500 Hotels 2010", US Magazine Travel & Leisure
- "Expedia Insiders' Select™ Hotel 2010" - annual Expedia's global marketplace award
- “Most Outstanding Hotel General Manager” for Mr. Kai Speth at Worldwide hospitality awards 2009, organized by French trade magazine HTR
- “Top 500 best hotels”, Condé Nast Traveller
- “Gold list 2009” of Condé Nast Traveller
- “Best 500 Hotels 2009”, US magazine Travel & Leisure
- “Best hotel in Hanoi”, Hong Kong financial magazine Asia Money
- “Best hotel in Hanoi”, Hong Kong based magazine Destin Asian
- “Best business hotel in Hanoi”, Business Traveler Asia Pacific Magazine
- “Top ten Best Leisure hotels & Resorts” and “Best Conference Hotel in Asia”, Smart Travel Asia Magazine
- “Top 400 best hotel”, US Forbes Magazine
- “Best luxury hotel in Hanoi”, Vietnam Economic Times
- “Gold list 2008”, Condé Nast Traveller
- “Best 500 Hotels 2008”, US magazine Travel & Leisure
- “Best Hotel in Hanoi”, Hong Kong financial magazine Asia Money
- “Best Hotel in Hanoi”, Hong Kong based magazine Destin Asian
- “Top ten Best Leisure hotels & Resorts” and “Best Conference Hotel in Asia”, Smart Travel Asia Magazine
- “Best Business Hotel in Hanoi”, Business Traveler Asia Pacific magazine
- “Best luxury hotel in Hanoi”, Vietnam Economic Times
- “Best Leisure and Best Conference Hotel in Asia”, Smart Travel Asia Magazine
- “Best Business Hotel in Hanoi”, Business Traveler Asia Pacific magazine
- “Best Luxury, Tradition and Creativity in Hanoi”, Vietnam Economic Times
- “Top ten hotels in Vietnam in 2007”, Vietnam’s Tourism Association