Have you think about the existence of a colonial-style hotel in Hanoi? Evidently, it’s a type of residences with a structural design ubiquitous in European countries over 100 years ago. But for many countries in Asia, in fact, this is impossible since Eastern culture is so different from Western one. This leads to the disparity in the decorative style in accommodation, such as hotels and houses. However, in the case of Vietnam, colonial-style constructions are quite common, especially in the proximity of Hoan Kiem Lake.
To find the reason for that, it’s necessary to date back about one century ago. At that time, the French started conquering Vietnam to expand their control in poor countries. So they exploited more natural resources to support the development of industry in France. Considered as one of the largest cities, Hanoi was an important location to facilitate the process. Therefore, more French settled down there, causing the increasing demand in dwellings and head offices for governmental department. And then, numerous premises with a trendy style at the beginning of the 20th century, or the colonial style, were erected. And hopefully, they have still remained hitherto. Meanwhile, influenced by such luxurious buildings, certain newly-established hotels also prefer this style. That’s why the diversity of eye-catching properties in the city has emerged.
Therefore, if you want to live at a colonial-style hotel in Hanoi near Hoan Kiem Lake, your aspiration will come true very easily. In order to let you cut down the time for searching and checking the quality of a wide range of such hotels, it is recommended to view the ones introduced to you below. Indeed, they all receive a lot of good reviews from experienced travelers, local people and tourism consultants as well.
1. Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
Address: No.15 Ngo Quyen Street, Hoan Kiem District
You mightn’t know that Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi is recognized as the oldest and most exorbitant 5-star hotel in Vietnam’s capital currently. Actually, it was built in 1901 by the French on a spacious area in the southern east of Hoan Kiem Lake. All guestrooms inside the hotel are divided into two parts: Opera Wings for neo-classical design, and Metropole for historical French architecture. But for the outside, it merely shows its guests one colonial style which makes the hotel become more romantic and sparkling at night. I advise you to take some photographs there if you accompany with your loved one.
To soak yourself in more characteristic French ambiances, you can visit Le Beaulieu Restaurant for French meals and Le Club Bar for beverages. Additionally, Vietnamese and Italian culinary arts are also exhibited at respectively Spice Garden Restaurant and Angelina Restaurant. Aside from Le Spa du Metropole excelling at gentle massage, and a fitness center, the hotel has got an integral garden and an open-air swimming pool for visitors to escape from the heat in summer.
2. Apricot Hotel
Address: No.136 Hang Trong Street, Hoan Kiem District
Different from Sofitel Legend Metropole, this one is a new colonial-style hotel in Hanoi that came to being in 2015. However, it’s very attractive to travelers since the hotel is located beside the western shore of Hoan Kiem Lake. That means from the balcony, you are able to view the lake without many impediments. It would be more exciting if you go up to the pool on the top roof, and order a drink at One36 Bar to observe this green treasury of Hanoi. Of course, once you step out of the hotel at the weekend, countless interesting activities will arise in front of you instantly.
Apricot Hotel has obtained an elegant exterior surface the French favor. And it is enhanced by golden light at night, turning the hotel to a star brightening a corner of the lake. For dining in French spaces, you can try a few dishes at L’Artiste Restaurant, or sip tea at A’telier Lounge, while in terms of recreational deeds, another possible choice could be Spa L’Art for introverted people, or Avanti Music Stage dedicated to extroverted ones.
3. Hilton Hanoi Opera
Address: No.1 Le Thanh Tong Street, Hoan Kiem District
Pretty close to Sofitel Legend Metropole, Hilton Hanoi Opera needs mentioning in this list too. Similar with the two hotels above, this one has achieved 5 stars on the basis of Vietnamese standards for accommodation. However, it’s surrounded by sizable greenery to keep itself and guests away from noise and exhaust emissions produced by vehicles. Some seats are available for you to blend into the green space on one side of the hotel, whereas the other side is a big outdoor pool.
Looking at it from above, to some extent, you will take this French-style building as a giant bow. I hope that you wouldn’t be stunned when you see it for the first time. As you pass through the entrance, there are several destinations to let you enjoy your holiday. You could taste local food at Ba Mien Eatery, intercontinental cuisine at Chez Manon. Meanwhile, chocolate, bread and cakes are available at The Bakery. Although the spa inside the hotel is not really famous, JJ’s Sports Bar gives you a memorable moment for Hanoi’s nightlife.
4. Hotel de l’Opera Hanoi – MGallery by Sofitel
Address: No.29 Trang Tien Street, Hoan Kiem District
Another noteworthy colonial-style hotel in Hanoi and near Hoan Kiem Lake is Hotel de l’Opera Hanoi – MGallery by Sofitel. Actually, just walk along Trang Tien Street. Not only will you see the lake within 2 minutes, but also the eminent Trang Tien ice-cream restaurant is in your vision. This landmark is, interestingly, a 5-star hotel that offers a large balcony on the 3rd floor. Nothing would be better if you lie down at this place and then sunbathe. One more choice is an indoor pool beside the balcony. Or if you have a particular liking for beautifying and keeping fit frequently, Santé Spa and a gym on the same floor are able to gratify you and even discerning individuals.
Anyway, when you become a guest there, you should not miss four separate restaurants & bars. For example, you can have a meal at the terrace lounge in the center of the building run by Baudelaire by La Fée Verte at the moment, or present in Satine to taste loads of Vietnamese food.
5. Zephyr Suites Boutique Hotel
Address: No.4 Ba Trieu Street, Hoan Kiem District
In the case you have an aversion of 5-star colonial-style hotel in Hanoi, how about lower-ranked ones? The first I want to bring to you is Zephyr Suites Boutique Hotel. Partly like Apricot Hotel, this 4-star lodging is not distant from Hoan Kiem Lake. Inside certain special suites, the lake view is feasible. But the price for this, of course, is always higher, from 150 USD/night, than that for ordinary guestrooms. In addition, you should notice that the hotel lies in one of the busiest and most uproarious roads in the French Quarter. That’s why you will face with traffic congestion and hordes of tourists there. Seeking silence for rest is sometimes difficult.
Grateful for its outstanding décor inside and outside, the hotel could reminisce about the French atmosphere. It’s not different from what you might experience on the trip to Europe. Besides, a must-visit place is Zéphyr Restaurant, where you can rejoice in lots of Vietnamese and Western spices. There is no lack of Fresh Bakery, and a mini bar for drinks.
6. Noble and Swan Boutique Hotel
Address: No.16H Duong Thanh Street, Hoan Kiem District
If five hotels above are not affordable, Noble and Swan Boutique Hotel is apparently your admirable selection. What you must pay for the cheapest room is only 45 USD/night. But you can accommodate in an impressive French-design room. Indeed, the hotel was reconstructed from an old house, enabling it to keep some colonial outlines lying in tiles, structure and decoration. Fascinatingly, you will figure out this feature as soon as you walk through an ancient gate near the hotel’s entrance.
Positioned in the Old Quarter, this location is advantageous to discover Hang Da Shopping Mall, Night Market and Hoan Kiem Lake as well. But its most noticeable aspect is Swan’s Gone Raw Vegetarian Restaurant on the second floor. The place provides fresh vegan diets from plenty of countries. The hotel, consequently, is called “A heaven for vegetarians”. Apart from this, handmade bedding and first-class amenities make the hotel more opulent than any 3-star colonial-style hotel in Hanoi. Amazingly, it also supplies a public bathroom for those who are waiting for checking in.
In conclusion, for a colonial-style hotel in Hanoi, 6 hotels I’ve shown to you are usually on the top of numerous travelers’ lists. During the time you dwell there, perhaps, you will explore another cultural feature of Hanoi that doesn’t pop up in the advertisements and writings you have read before.