Alluring, nostalgic, and decorated with more than a hint of decadence, The Hotel de l’Opera Hanoi draws liberally on the romance of the theatre to create a one-of-a-kind experience in the Vietnamese capital. Plush fabrics, bold colours and theatrical touches seem to suggest elegant evenings and sparkling moments onstage. And while the hotel’s location just steps from Hoan Kiem Lake can’t be beat, that’s only one of many good reasons to check yourself in for ‘a night at the opera.’ Here are the highlights.
A Golden Era
From the moment you step inside, the hotel’s dedication to pleasure is evident. Many elements conspire to create this opulent atmosphere in the centre of the city. Velvet curtains and stage lights are your first references to the hotel’s love of the stage. Elsewhere, you’ll encounter glamorous dressing-room mirrors, repurposed microphone stands, and countless allusions to La Belle Epoque, when the allure of the arts reached its height.
Inside the L’Opera Suite
The over sized, gold-painted mirror in the entryway of the L’Opera Suite hints at what’s inside. Patterned rugs, fuchsia armchairs and smoky-hued curtains stand out against deep, forest-green walls. The bathroom is equally enticing, with gleaming mosaic tiles, a pristine clawfoot bathtub, and L’occitane amenities. The windows present a clear view of the ornate columns and balconies of the Opera House up the street. Ring for a bubble bath, climb into the enormous bed, or situate yourself on the sofa with a magazine. Whatever you do, the L’Opera Suite is a fabulous space you won’t want to leave.
Afternoon tea at La Fée Verte
A long afternoon tea is the perfect excuse to people-watch from the windows of La Fee Verte. The Hotel de l’Opera’s ground-floor lounge is an enclave in the middle of bustling Hanoi, where you can sink into a plush armchair or claim one of the tented seating areas in the inner courtyard. La Fée Verte serves a classic three-tiered afternoon tea, but for something special, order the afternoon tea music box. This photogenic spread arrives with finger sandwiches, mini cakes, and delicious pastries, as well as your choice of freshly brewed tea. Make your way leisurely through each bite and sip — there’s no hurry.
Evenings in black and white
After a day of exploring Hanoi, it’s a treat to sit back in the eight-story atrium, and unwind with a drink in hand. The bar’s signature drink is the ‘Green Fairy’, a cool, aromatic cocktail with a base of absinthe, the favoured drink of artists during the Belle Epoque. From 6pm each evening, the hotel screens classic, black-and-white films from a projector in the courtyard; and at the same time on Wednesdays, La Fée Verte is filled with warm notes from a piano-cello duo. If you feel like stepping out for a night on the town, Hanoi’s best bars are in easy reach.
Breakfast in bed
Hanoi is beautiful in the early mornings. A peek outside your windows reveals the fluttering red flags of the Opera House, and a few motorcycles circling beneath the tree-lined streets of Hoan Kiem District. The hotel puts on a full buffet in Café Lautrec each morning, but if you can’t be enticed to leave your suite, a quick call will earn you an indulgent breakfast in bed. The in-room breakfast menu features several Asian and Western combinations, including the kitchen’s famous ‘Fat Man’ crepes — the perfect start to a new day in Hanoi.
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