Built in an architectural style that mimics the Opera House directly opposite, the crescent-shaped, beaux arts Hilton Hanoi Opera opened in 1999. Its location in Hanoi’s business district, just two blocks from Tran Quang Khai highway (from where it’s a quick 17-mile ride to Noi Bai International Airport), makes it in demand with the corporate crowd. The two-story lobby has floor-to-ceiling marble columns and a French crystal chandelier shaped like an inverted wedding cake. Rooms feature locally made furniture, double-glazed windows that promise quiet, wool carpets, and bathrooms that have separate tubs and walk-in showers, but their overall middle-of-the-road corporate look is a little underwhelming. The markedly more impressive 1,200-square-foot Presidential Suite on the seventh floor has a dining room, kitchenette, marble bathroom with whirlpool tub, and sublime views of the Opera House. Expect similar vistas from the outdoor pool, which is heated in the winter.
Have you been here? Share a tip or a photo with fellow travelers.
Given the hotel’s name, it’s no surprise that the Opera House looms large in the Hilton’s identity. It figures in history, too: this is where the Viet Minh coalition announced the August Revolution against French rule in 1945. The area, known as the French Quarter, almost has the feel of a European city, with grids of wide, tree-lined boulevards and grand neoclassical-style buildings such as the Palace of Presidents, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Hanoi Medical University. The mesmerizing Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre, just north of Hoan Kiem Lake, celebrates an art form that’s been performed in Vietnam since the 11th century. St John Cathedral, also near Hoan Kiem Lake, is an imposing Gothic-Revival structure.
Need to Know
Rooms: 254 rooms, 14 suites. From $105. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: With a skylight-esque glass roof and potted plants between tables, Ba Mienfeels connected to the outdoors. Its name means three regions (referring to the three parts of the country—north, central, south), a theme that also informs the menu. Anticipate Mediterranean dishes like salad Niçoise and prawn risotto, and killer Opera House views at Chez Manon. JJ’s Sports Barreins in the formality factor with sports broadcast on large flat-screens and a pool bar and dartboard for the marginally active patrons. The Lobby Lounge hosts a classic afternoon tea featuring TWG brews, finger sandwiches, homemade scones, and sundry pastries. Spa and gym details: The gym is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and has two saunas and a Jacuzzi. There is no spa.
Who it’s for: Businessmen—the ballroom can hold conferences and events for up to 500 attendees—and arts buffs who can handle staying in a corporate hotel if it allows them to walk to the Opera House in a couple of minutes. Our favorite rooms: Not much separates the rooms’ decor and amenities, so get one with a view of the Opera House. Maximize the view: Request a room with a higher floor for the best views of the Opera House.