Sometimes designers run amok with their fantasies and we bemoan the lack of restraint. With the Capella Hanoi we are only too gratified that Bill Bensley got a carte blanche to wrought as he will, for the resultant opulence is startling with details that are too extravagant even for the man renowned for extravagance. An art deco masterpiece set in the historic Opera district of the Vietnamese capital, Capella Hanoi is an indulgent nod to lyrical excesses, from lush suites dedicated to art world luminaries to stunning restaurants that transcend cuisines. There are also a swimming pool illuminated by cyclopean chandeliers and hand-painted canvases of bygone menageries in the lifts that are installed to induce gasps from all newly arrived guests. This is clearly a creative and conceptual tour de force where within its precincts there are no parallels.
While at Capella Hanoi,
why don't you ...
For a 47-keys property, there is a variety of suites that are thematically distinct even though the variation is mostly cosmetic except for the grander classes that exhibit no restraint embodying the flashier qualities of luxe. For those who feel entirely comfortable luxuriating in a gold tub and dozing off under a silk parasol, look no further than the 194 sqm Grand Opera Suite that even comes with a gigantic terrace jacuzzi shaded by a medieval tent. For those of us with more grounded aspirations for accommodations, the 67 sqm Premier and Deluxe Suites are superbly well-appointed with grand luxuries like full service bars, illuminated terraces and a musical latrine where Chopin's nocturnes tinker away the moment your derriere hits the spot.
Capella Hanoi proudly declares that there are no 'all-day-diners' under its roof and indeed there aren't. Backstage serves a fabulous breakfast followed by superb modern Vietnamese cuisine for lunch and dinner while The Hudson Rooms curates American classics amidst rarefied New York ambience. Koki aspires to a wide rage of Japanese fine dining experiences and succeeds with its elegant milieu and sake selection. Peruse our Vietnam Gourmet Bulletin for more detailed reviews.
Raised right off the steps of the Opera and Hoan Kiem district, Capella Hanoi is a grand base to explore the historic neighbourhood not just because of proximity, but because staff here remember your name and offer mineral water and cold/warm towels upon your return.
A cuppa, any cuppa, is a mandatory indulgence on the street level terrace, if only to gaze upon scenes of a bygone era still clocking time on these enigmatic streets.