Sharing Vietnam’s Sweetest Story: The Metropole and Marou

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

Farewell from GM Kai Speth

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

Joan Baez Returns to the Metropole: Part 3

Part 3 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 … Read More

Joan Baez Returns to the Metropole: Part 2

Part 2 Joan Baez returned to Hanoi March 27, carrying a piece of shrapnel, in the shape of a vulture, that she’d picked out of a crater after an all-night bombardment in late 1972. “It’s time I take it home,” she wrote in an email shortly before leaving the States. Her return to Hanoi was not a matter of closure. In other words, I never got the sense, before or … Read More

Joan Baez Returns to the Metropole: Part 1

The first in a three-part series on the Return of Joan Baez On Feb. 7, I opened my email earlier than usual and found a message, deposited less than two hours earlier, from the legendary American folk singer and activist, Joan Baez. If you’ve been following this blog, you know what Joan Baez means to this hotel, and if you haven’t you’ll remember Joan Baez from the 1960s. She is … Read More