Hot New Hotels: Capella Hanoi

The ultra-luxe hospitality brand’s debut outpost in Vietnam bears the stamp of leading designer Bill Bensley.

The 1920s-inspired facade of Capella Hanoi. (All photos courtesy of Capella Hanoi)

Exactly six months after opening its riverside retreat in Bangkok, Capella Hotels and Resorts has just launched a brand-new hotel in the Vietnamese capital. Situated in the former French Quarter near Hoan Kiem Lake, the boutique property is just a five-minute stroll from the 110-year-old Hanoi Opera House. This French-colonial landmark informs the design and flavor of Capella Hanoi, which has been conceived by the eminent Bangkok-based architect Bill Bensley as a petite auberge (small inn) where opera singers, composers, and artists would have mingled had it existed at the dawn of the 20th century.

Measuring between 35 and 194 square meters each, the 47 rooms and suites at Capella Hanoi have been individually styled by Bensley himself. The designer’s whimsical touch is evident in elements such as original operatic memorabilia, geometric prints and modernist details inspired by 1920s decor, and custom-made portraiture by Sicily-based artist Kate Spencer. All premier rooms come fitted with a wrought-iron French balcony, while the four Opera Suites atop the hotel each have their own terraces overlooking a tree-lined avenue.

Inside a Premier room at Capella Hanoi.

Downstairs, signature restaurant Backstage makes use of locally sourced produce and modern cooking techniques to create both international gourmet fare and northern Vietnamese specialties with a twist; these are served up against a backdrop of theatrical costumes and vintage tableware. Meanwhile, the intimate art deco–style Diva’s Lounge offers 1920s cocktails and Vietnamese-inspired tapas.

But the social heart of the hotel is The Living Room, where guests can browse a collection of Comoedia Illustré — the fortnightly supplement of France’s leading cultural newspaper between the 1900s and 1930s — and take part in a program of Capella Moments. This describes a roster of activities offered every day of the week, such as Vietnamese rum–tasting sessions and classes in making bamboo paper fans. A local team of Capella Culturists will be on hand to organize immersive Capella Curates experiences for guests around town; options include private workshops in Vietnamese lacquer painting and a visit to the country’s sole gin distillery, where guests will be able to infuse their own gin using native botanicals.

The bar at the intimate Diva’s Lounge.

Wellness-minded travelers can also unwind after a day of sightseeing at Auriga Spa, where treatments use natural products and have been designed according to the changing phases of the moon. Facilities here include couples’ treatment suites, saunas, steam baths, a fitness center, and an indoor pool named La Grotta — the latter built to recall a haven for opera singers to rest their voices.

Capella Hanoi’s opening special, the Dream Now, Travel Later deal, promises 30 percent off best available rates for stays of up to 14 nights. Inclusions range from daily champagne breakfast (for two) and a welcome slice of opera cake to bamboo weaving and gin appreciation classes. Those staying at least three nights will also be treated to a customized in-room dining experience and discounts of 30 percent on dining as well as treatments at Auriga Spa.

Guests can pre-pay in full before confirming the exact dates of their stay when the international travel landscape becomes clearer. Rates start from US$315++ per room per night.

More information here.

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