Hilton or Metropole?

Sep 21st, 2004, 05:17 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2004
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Hilton or Metropole?

I know Metropole is more preferred hotel among the gallery, but some of the pics just don't look that nice. Has anyone stayed at Metropole and/or Hilton? Love to hear your comparsion. (Yeah, yeah, Hilton is another generic American hotel....)
NYCWahoo is offline  
Sep 21st, 2004, 06:10 AM
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I'm assuming you are talking about Hanoi?

I didn't stay at either, but did look at the public spaces in both. The Metropole is certainly much nicer.

I stayed at the DeSyloia, which I liked better than either of those. It's a small boutique hotel. Take a look at www.asiahotels.com for reviews of all these hotels and good prices.
Kathie is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2004, 04:14 AM
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I stayed at De Syloia too but we went to the Metropole for a meal and I thought it was charming..find it hard to believe pics look bad...
hobbes is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2004, 03:27 PM
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We have stayed at both the Metropole and the Hilton in Hanoi. The rooms at the Hilton are fine the only real downside is that IMO the entire interior of the hotel looks as if it popped right out of 1985 (I know it is a relatively new hotel - go figure?!)and it is already looking a little tatty around the edges. I also feel the location isn't as central as the Metropole. We were on the club floor and the club floor amenities and rooms were nice, comfortable, and clean - the hotel was a little empty when we were there and it doesn't have the buzz and atmosphere of the Metropole. Absolutely nothing wrong with the Hilton IMO just, as you said, quite generic.
The Metropole has beautiful public areas and is a bit more centrally located for shopping. We also found the staff to be very accomodating and helpful. We stayed in the new wing (I actually think most of the rooms are in the new wing) on both of our stays at the Metropole and it is quite nice but don't expect historical ambiance in your room if you are in the new wing. The rooms are nice but not overly luxurious. IMO room quality is one grade up from the Hilton. Also, if use of the gym is important to you - we did have to pay seperately to use the gym. Someone else may be able to share their experience about rooms in the historic wing and that may be more helpful. IMO I would vote for the Metropole. I prefer the location, rooms, service, restaurants, and other amenities ( the Metropole has their own cyclo drivers and we were far more comfortable using their drivers than some we used on the street - I would highly recommend using this service if you stay in the hotel). Hope this helps! Have a great trip!
dlh is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2004, 04:30 PM
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I stayed at the Metropole almost 2 yrs ago and loved it. Around new years eve, they hung about 100 silk lanterns in the restaurant and it was magic! If I were to return, I'd stay at the Metropole again.
nan_49 is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2004, 06:43 PM
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We stayed at the Metropole also 2 years ago and looked at the rooms in the old and new wings before making our choice.The rooms in the old wing were definitely more atmospheric but to my sensitive nose smelt quite "musty".We preferred the new rooms which were very comfortable with a smart marble bathroom.The hotel itsef is lovely with a real sense of history,a gorgeous pool area and a wonderful restaurant.We normally don't eat in hotel restaurants but as part of our package we had a free dinner included and I remember it was great.
The location in the "French"section of Hanoi was convenient to the lake and old section and there were lots of interesting galleries and good places to eat nearby.
We went to look at the Hilton which seemed pleasant and comfortable but was indeed a generic hotel without the graciousness and atmosphere of the Metropole.
The staff at the Metropole were very helpful with directions and writing down addresses in Vietnamese for the cab and cyclo riders!
shooshy is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2004, 11:20 PM
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No question: The Metropole. I generally stay at Starwood properties worldwide, but each time I am in Hanoi, I stay at the Metropole. The hotel itself is a bit of Hanoi history, having been around for a very long time. Request a room in the old wing overlooking the garden/pool (the stree-side rooms can be a bit noisy.) The hotel is both beautiful and charming. The staff is professional and efficient. The restaurants and bar are excellent. (There are generally "bargain" rates that include breakfast if you book through the Sofitel website or book with a travel agent in Vietnam such as Saigon Tourist.) The Hilton is a nice place, but it is relatively new and, in my view, is a generic Hilton. Currently in Saigon again, heading to Hanoi in 4 days.

--A well-traveled Los Angeleno
WSL is offline  
Oct 4th, 2004, 05:31 AM
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The Metropole is great for all the reasons stated above. Also, you want to eat at The Press Club right around the corner, particularly on the Terrace on a Friday night. See http://www.hanoi-pressclub.com/index.php
DavePitt is offline  
Oct 8th, 2004, 05:57 AM
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Metropole-stayed there and loved it!!! Had a great suite and stayed on the club floor. Great stay, great service and they hooked us up with a private tour of halong Bay ( with some female staffs husband) It was amazing. The guy picked us up and took us to halong Bay in a very nice car and then we went around the bay in hismedium size boat.
Tokyomama is offline  
Oct 24th, 2004, 08:45 PM
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I wanted to alert everyone to a problem I've just had with the DeSyloia. My travel agent reserved a room for us there several weeks ago. Two weeks before my departure date, my travel agent told me that the DeSyloia cancelled my reservation to free up room for a conference. Nothing like this has ever happened to me. Of course, I had to scramble to find a new room (the good hotels are already booked). I emailed the DeSyloia to ask how they could do this to me, and they have not responded.
StuartPDX is offline  
Oct 25th, 2004, 07:01 AM
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Was this during the ASEAN conference? If so, it is my understanding that hotels were "ordered" to free up rooms for visiting dignitaries. Also, VN suspended the visas of many people trying to visit during that time. So your problem is likely with the government rather than with the hotel...
Kathie is offline  
Oct 25th, 2004, 10:50 AM
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Definitely the Metropole. This is one of my favorite hotels in the world because of the excellent staff. I've stayed there over 10 times since 1997 and have always enjoyed my stay. One time, I twisted my ankle while out shopping and not only did the hotel arrange for me to see a doctor, but they also arranged for the hotel car (an ancient but wonderful citroen) to transport me. Now that's service! Plus I am still receiving Christmas cards from them!

One last point: the Metropole does not encourage individual tipping to the staff--to avoid staff who are on the lookout for tips. If you would like to tip someone for their extra help, attentiveness, etc., simply put your tip in an envelope with their name on it and give it to the supervisor. I usually left a general tip that gets divided by all the staff--I think this is the preferred way by the hotel management to ensure that all staff, whether visible or not, can share in the tips.
kathyl is offline  
Oct 25th, 2004, 11:30 AM
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Not sure that tipping procedure makes sense- how do you know if the tip gets to the right person and not in the supervisor's pocket? I say give it directly to the person who earns it.
BillT is offline  
Oct 26th, 2004, 08:34 AM
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I understand your reservations. I had the same thoughts myself. However, during my stays at the Metropole, I did check with the staff on ocassion about previous tips and was told that they do indeed get them in the original envelopes with their names on it. They also confirmed that with general tips, they do indeed get pooled and divided. I've had experience with some staff at the Metropole whow actually refused a direct tip (and explained about the general tipping), though some may not. In general, I believe the Metropole is rather fastidious with both its clients and its staff. The staff I've spoken with have also spoken very well of the training and management.

I have also often wondered how to tip those staff who "work behind the scenes"--i.e. the laundry folks, etc. So I actually like general tipping because it means that more people who have worked hard to make my stay pleasant can partake my the tips.

Lastly, I have had many problems with direct tipping in Vietnam and other Asian countries, where wait staff can become rather aggressive in pursuing tips. I find that since I trust the Metropole to divide my tip, then a general tip makes sense. Of course, you should tip however makes you feel most comfortable.
kathyl is offline  
Oct 27th, 2004, 04:06 AM
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Kathyl- seems like the Metropole has the right idea and its working- although I would think this is certainly not universal and so tip accordingly.
BillT is offline  
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