A curated experience in Hanoi
Life in Hong Kong can happen at a whirlwind pace. It’s so easy to get caught up in the intense work-hard, play-hard mindset, as many of us are constantly on the go, meeting new people and frequenting Hong Kong’s lively dancing, drinking and dining spots. Don’t get me wrong, we do love these spots, but sometimes it’s nice to take a break. And what better way to relax, recharge and reconnect with your nearest and dearest girlfriends who really matter than with a quick Girls’ Getaway? That’s just what I got to do on a fabulously fun, 3-night trip to Hanoi with three other lovely ladies.
We’re lucky to be close to so many amazing Asian destinations that are relatively easy to get to, and Travolor are making it that much easier (and cheaper!) to visit them. I’ve always been one to scour the web for all the best airline steals and deals myself, but I really appreciated having someone else plan and organise every little detail.
When you’re travelling with the girls, the last thing you want to do is be ‘the organiser’, so why not pass on the role to Travolor instead? They manage to get super cheap flight deals to Vietnam that are included in the price of your chosen deal with the accommodation… it often works out much cheaper than booking everything separately yourself, at only $5,978 (based on two people) for return flights to Hanoi and 3 nights’ accommodation at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi (plus tons of added special offers). Cheap? Hassle-free? No extra organisation required on my end? Sign me up. Again.
The care-free journey didn’t end there – we were greeted by our tour guide as soon as stepped out of the airport in Hanoi and were escorted to our very own car to take us to our hotel. No worrying about getting a taxi, no organising airport transfers. It was all done for us, and with everything so easy-peasy, we had more time to relax and enjoy ourselves! Just what you want when you book a trip with the girls.
If you’re seeking a stress-free trip, then be sure to treat yourselves to a little slice of luxury and stay at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi. This extravagant option is surprisingly affordable with Travolor (check out the deal here), and ideal for a long weekend. The Metropole is one of the oldest hotels in Hanoi, and beyond the beautifully-decorated rooms, exquisite dining areas and attentive service, you’ll find little gems of history scattered throughout the hotel. Whether it’s the classical French architecture, the old embassy rooms or the recently discovered bomb shelter (more on that later!), there is a real sense of the past at this elegant spot in the Old Quarter.
The rooms are decked out with ridiculously soft, ‘cloud-like’ beds, quaint details and regal bathrooms. The perfect sanctuary after a day wandering around the hectic streets of Hanoi! Celebrities, politicians and esteemed guests such as David Beckham, Charlie Chaplin, Bill Clinton, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have all stayed at the Metropole, with the famous author Graham Greene even setting up camp in one of the rooms for a few months to write the novel ‘The Quiet American’.
Our stay also included breakfast at the Spices Garden restaurant, and it did not disappoint. There was a huge array of freshly baked goods (the croissants were on point thanks to the on-site French bakery), fresh juices, fruit, an egg station, cooked breakfast items, pho and cold cuts. More than enough to keep you fuelled for a day of exploring ahead.
Apart from Spices Garden, the Metropole has two other dining venues, Le Beaulieu and Angelina, as well as three other bars. Tuck into an outrageously decadent chocolate buffet at the Club Bar in the afternoon (as an exclusive Travolor benefit), where you can dine in the grand, greenhouse-style room and feast on every form of chocolate imaginable… even chocolate dim sum! Or sit back and enjoy evening sundowners by the pool at the relaxed Bamboo Bar. This hotel is truly exquisite and has a venue for every occasion… we loved it so much we found it hard leaving the hotel some days.
I was personally quite surprised at how luxurious the hotel was, considering how reasonably priced the Affordable Luxury package is with Travolor. With all the extra special add-ons that you get exclusively with the deal, you really do get value for money. One of the highlights of the extra benefits had to be the ‘bomb shelter’ tour inside the hotel, which was fascinating. The tour guide was so engaging and led us, along with a small group of other hotel guests, to the recently discovered bomb shelter that’s tucked under the Bamboo Bar. It was a fantastic, hands-on way to learn more about the Vietnam War and the role that Metropole has played in Hanoi’s history. Definitely worth signing on for!
Apart from the hotel and flights, Travolor also organises extra trips and tours which you can add on to your ‘base’ trip. We were lucky to experience the Evening Street Food Tour with our wonderful guide, who helped us navigate the busy streets of the city to find the best street food stalls. We tried everything from street-side spring rolls and cup of corns, to chicken pho and our favourite – bun cha! That’s chargrilled pork patties, vermicelli noodles and herbs, for all you bun cha virgins. I would definitely recommend a Street Food Tour, as the food in Hanoi is a true highlight. Also, it’s pretty hard to find the right stalls on your own. Trust me, we tried. We may or may not have been walking around Hanoi on our own for four hours the next night on the hunt for bun cha…
We were also lucky enough to experience a full day tour of Hanoi as well with our expert guide, wandering round the Old Quarter and stopping off at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the Temple of Literature. In addition, we managed to stop off for a spot of lunch in a beautiful old, colonial-style French building (recommended if you want a stunning setting for sharing a bottle of wine) and ended our busy day with a viewing of the famous Vietnamese Water Puppet Show. You can choose to add any of these activities to your trip with a simple click of a button, making sure your experience is specially curated to your interests.
My experience with Travolor was hassle-free and fun – it was such a pleasure having everything so easily booked and taken care of. For a weekend break that’s easy to organise and budget friendly, I couldn’t recommend it enough. Not only do you get an amazing deal with the flights and accommodation, saving money and time, but you’re also able to personalise your trip to create a unique travel experience to suit your needs.
The Affordable Luxury trip to Hanoi with Travolor includes flights and accommodation for just $5,978 (based on two people), and you also get exclusive offers thrown in, including:
- One complimentary buffet lunch, chocolate buffet, or three-course set menu dinner
- Three complimentary breakfast buffets
- Two US$26 discount coupon on 90-minute spa treatment in Le Spa du Metropole
- An exclusive UNESCO Path of History and Bomb shelter tour for both guests (this isn’t open to the general public, so make the most of it!)
- A free upgrade to Luxury room for bookings made 30 days in advance
- Return Private Airport transfer
So what are you waiting?! It’s the ultimate Girls’ Getaway weekend! Book now and you’ll also get to take advantage of a Special Sassy Perk. The first ten Sassy Girls who book before the end of February can bag 15% off any extra optional activities! After you’ve selected your travel experiences, click on the “Generate Itinerary Now” button and enter the code ‘SASSYHK’ to redeem the discount. Hello Street Food Tour…
This offer expires on Monday, 29 February, 2016.