Hanoi’s Metropole Hotel

Inside the classic French Colonial hotel.

With its gloved bellboys, whirring old-fashioned ceiling fans, and vintage Louis Vuitton trunks stacked high in the lobby, the Metropole Hanoi belongs to an authentic, energetic world that feels at once French Colonial and bustling, modern Vietnamese. In our opinion it is one of the most glamorous hotels anywhere, alive with fun-loving Americans and French who crowd the poolside tables at cocktail hour and beyond. Dating from 1901, it’s perfectly situated on the fringe of the Old Quarter and is well loved by everyone, not least of all its Sofitel management. Last July the hotel emerged from a four-year refurbishment with a new spa, an Italian steakhouse (should a constant diet of local cuisine grow tiresome), and a renovated Opera Wing, where even the least expensive rooms are a delight and recommended over and above the original historic suites. From $220. At 15 Ngo Quyen St.; 84-4/3826-6919; sofitel.com.