Sofitel Plaza Hanoi, located at Truc Bach Lake, reopened following the renovations helmed by Singaporean firm DPD Pte. The hotel's Luxury Club rooms, Ming Restaurant, Plaza Ballroom, business center, and 20th-floor Summit Lounge were all re-imagined and revamped over the course of 2011.
DPD capitalized on the skill of Vietnamese artisans to execute its vision, with locally sourced and manufactured products making up the majority of the lanterns, furniture, pots, porcelain, rugs and artwork used in the redesign.
For the Luxury Club rooms, the wall between the vestibule and the room was knocked down to be replaced with a timber lattice featuring Vietnamese motifs. Transparent glass walls and doors were also installed in the bathroom.
Among the room's new furnishings are the Vietnamese antique-inspired writing desk, lotus lamps, silver-ringed drawer handles, lattice timber screen, European carpet and winged reading chair. Neutral whites and grays serve as a backdrop for warm timber, royal purple and soft golds. The feature wallpaper is in the yellow whitewash of Vietnam's historic buildings, while its pattern is typical of the interiors of European homes.
A genuine 500-year-old piece of Cham pottery salvaged from a sunken vessel greets guests in the doorway, while the new bathtub has the hotel's slogan that "Life is Magnifique" embossed on small a glass mirror indented in the marble walls.
The feeling of luxury culminates in the hotel's over 4,520 square-foot Plaza Ballroom, which can accommodate 500 people. The room was upgraded on a larger scale, with mirrored ceilings, marble walls and crystal chandeliers. Designers used a palette of reds, golds and silvers to a contemporary effect.
Just outside the ballroom, in the hotel's flagship fine-dining venue, Ming Restaurant, the concept is openness. Timber panels, a line of pedestals with potted bonsai, and a corner tea lounge are featured to harken back to Ming's culinary roots. Twelve oversized lanterns line the restaurant's wall overlooking the hotel lobby and atrium, while on the other side, diners look out over tree-lined Thanh Nien Boulevard.
The Summit Lounge at the hotel's 20th floor nightspot delivers 360-degree views of the capital, including views of two of its lakes and the Red River in the distance. The concept of a floating pavilion in the sky was created by using mirror panels to reflect the views of the horizon outside the lounge. Featured are shades of midnight blue, purple and red add drama, frosted flickering lamps lend romance and a changing fiber-optic ceiling area. Seating options vary from hooded birds-nest loungers, to cushioned wicker armchairs to deep sofas.