In the hotel industry, you’ll sometimes hear people say this about awards programs. “Awards? We don’t care much about awards. We care about service. And great food. About rooms that surprise, baths that wow, and guests who keep coming back because they feel as if this hotel is a home away from home.” But here’s a dirty little secret: Hoteliers do care about awards. A lot. Why? Because nothing substantiates … Read More
When the motorbikes all pull over, the raincoats come out and vendors turn in, you know it’s raining in Hanoi. Famous for its organized chaos, the 1000-year-old city shows a different side during a downpour; roads and sidewalks empty half their contents, Hoan Kiem and West Lake lie dappled in droplets, and ancient walls and waterstains become saturated in colour. Hanoi’s character is inseparable from its weather, but for travellers … Read More
Surprises are a part of life in Vietnam, and often one of biggest surprises for visitors is what this country is able to create when it gets down to business. Vietnam’s potent coffee beans are gaining ground internationally, premium Vietnamese teas are exported to China and Korea, and high-quality Vietnamese furniture is shipped all over the world. What’s next? The answer, it seems, is a product most people associate with … Read More
In my business, Goodbye isn’t a word we like all that much. We’re all about Hello, and when it comes to parting company, we’re much more keen on ‘See You Again’ than we are on its more melancholy cousin. But, my friends, it is time for me to say Farewell to all of you who’ve stayed with us at the Metropole, and who’ve indulged my ramblings in the Virtual Lobby. … Read More
In 1972, the U.S. Air Force launched Operation Linebacker II, the most intensive bombing campaign by the U.S. military since World War II, as a way to get Hanoi back to the negotiating table with the Americans. Joan and her delegation, including Telford Taylor, who was counsel for the prosecution at the Nuremberg Trials after World War II, weathered this onslaught in an air raid shelter just behind the hotel.
In the evening, as the sirens wailed and the bombs exploded around the city, the hotel’s guests scrambled from their rooms for the shelter.
“The people who ran the hotel would come knock on our doors,” Joan said. “We would get stuck in our mosquito nets and make fools of ourselves, and then run for the shelter. where we’d feel somewhat safer.” Read more