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HFP in Vietnam: Review of the Hilton Hanoi Opera

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This is our review of the Hilton Hanoi Opera in Vietnam.

It is part of our series on Vietnam. You can read more about my trip in Vietnam, including reviews of business class on Vietnam Airlinesa review of premium economy on Vietnam Airlines, a Halong Bay cruise, the MGallery by Sofitel Royal Hoi An and a review of the Sailing Club Resort Mui Ne.

As a reminder, Vietnam Airlines offered me and my plus one complimentary flights (one way Premium Economy, one way Business).  It also used its contacts to arrange complimentary hotels, including the Hilton Hanoi Opera.  HFP paid for all its incidental expenses.

If you are reading this review via email, you should know that there is another Vietnam article on the HFP website today which you have not been sent.  You can read it here.  It covers a one night cruise on Halong Bay with Paradise Cruises.

The Hilton Hanoi Opera is situated – as you might expect – adjacent to the Hanoi Opera, in the French Quarter of Hanoi. It is in walking distance of the Hoan Kiem lake

Hilton Hanoi Opera

Hilton Hanoi Opera is inside a large building that evokes the French colonial style, although it was built in the late nineties.  You are greeted by a large atrium:

Hilton Hanoi Opera atrium

…at one end of which is reception:

Hilton Hanoi Opera atrium

There is also a cafe area here as well as access to conference rooms including a ballroom. It is an impressive space.

My room

I was upgraded to an Executive Room because I have Hilton Gold Elite status, thanks to my American Express Platinum card.  I was put on the third floor. This was my room:

Hilton Hanoi Opera bed and

Hilton Hanoi Opera bed

There is a desk in the corner with an office chair:

Hilton Hanoi Opera desk

….. and the bathroom, with the usual Crabtree & Evelyn amenities.

Hilton Hanoi Opera bathroom and Hilton Hanoi Opera bathroom

The room itself, as you can see, is very large. It almost feels like the furniture is lost in the space! It is a little dated – I can’t imagine anything has been done since the hotel opened, although I quite like the red granite bathroom. I wouldn’t be surprised if the rooms get refurbished in the next few years.

You also get a large wardrobe with mini fridge and tea/coffee facilities, as well as slippers, gowns, hangers and an iron/ironing board.

Hilton Hanoi Opera safe

This was the view from my window:

Hilton Hanoi Opera view

The Executive Lounge

The Executive Lounge is on the 7th floor, which is at the top of the building.  Stepping out of the lifts you are greeted by a reception desk, although this is normally unmanned and you can walk into the lounge area where you will be asked for your room number.

This photo is from the Hilton website because it was quite busy when I was there, but it looks the same:

The lounge is separated into three different ‘rooms,’ the last of which is very quiet.

The lounge is open all day (and I presume all night?) but has three distinct meal services. Breakfast is 6-10am, and features a mixture of western and Asian foods including sausages, hash browns, tomatoes, dumplings, steamed buns and cold meats, cheeses, pastries, bread and spreads etc etc.

Hilton Hanoi Opera executive lounge buffet

andHilton Hanoi Opera executive lounge buffet

Between 3pm and 6pm afternoon tea is out, which includes scones and whipped cream and jam.

Between 6pm and 8pm you have access to alcohol including beers, wines and spirits (mix your own cocktails) as well as dinner items which include stir-fry, a western pasta dish, vegetable dish, salads and a small sandwich station.

The quality of the food is about average for an Executive Lounge – although the Asian / Vietnamese items are typically much better.

Breakfast

The main hotel breakfast buffet is included if you have Executive lounge access. This is on the first floor, in a lovely glass extension:

Hilton Hanoi Opera breakfast buffet

The buffet is made of several stations staffed by chefs, including a pho, egg, crepe and smoothie stations. This photo shows you how much there is, and it’s not even the whole thing!

Hilton Hanoi Opera breakfast buffet

In addition you will find the usual tables filled with cereals, pastries and hot items, again including an full English style buffet. You’re unlikely to go hungry here! I went with a beef pho to start:

Hilton Hanoi Opera pho

….. followed by a freshly made nutella crepe …..

Hilton Hanoi Opera crepe

Pool & spa

Also on the first floor is the pool, gym and spa. This includes a nice outdoor pool:

Hilton Hanoi Opera pool

….. as well as a small gym and jacuzzi indoors. Changing rooms also have a steam room/sauna. All are open from 6am until 10pm, which is great – the sauna is an excellent way to wind down in the evening!

Unfortunately, the pool is shaded by the hotel itself in the late afternoon, although it does get sun morning and early afternoon.

Conclusion

The Hilton Hanoi Opera is a decent hotel very well located in Hanoi. Although the rooms are in need of an overhaul in the next few years the facilities are good (there are also a handful of restaurants and cafes, none of which I tried – it seemed a shame with authentic local eateries within walking distance!).

I want to draw particular attention to the staff, who made my stay at the Hilton Hanoi Opera especially good. They are warm and welcoming and so friendly, even when (like the room service staff) they cannot speak good English. In the end you can still communicate and are left with a smile on your face.

You can see the Hilton Hanoi Opera on the Hilton website here.

Hilton Hanoi Opera review

How to earn Hilton Honors points via UK credit cards

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Hilton Honors points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Hilton Honors Gold status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Marriott Bonvoy Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold, Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade and Melia Rewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Hilton Honors points.  That page is regularly updated with the latest special offers and will still be accurate even if you are reading this article months after publication.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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HFP in Vietnam: My one night river cruise with Paradise Cruises on Halong Bay
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Comments

  1. Lady London says:

    Can I ask a stupid question? Is street food really safe in Vietnam/Cambodia/Laos?

    • My wife has a weak stomach and got sick once in Bali for 3 days and it ruined our trip. She also was a bit ill in Hanoi, but I had no probs, so depends on you

    • yeah and its 99% of the reason to visit hanoi. Just incredible food everywhere you go.

    • the_real_a says:

      Vietnam is generally OK. I wouldn’t hesitate to use a baguette stand, or pick up some piping hot grilled meat or streetside noodles. Anything that has a flow of locals will be fine. I`d be more cautious in Cambodia and Laos, although i find that the meat is so terrible its not enjoyable to eat – hence usually head to a cafe. Having said that, asian diets seem to be devoid of fibre so you tend to have very rich/spicy food thats sat in your gut for longer than usual. This can mimic a tummy bug IME.

    • you follow your intuition to an extent .. have a look at the set up, is the raw produce on ice ? does it look fresh ? does the person cooking look clean and presentable etc ? are they busy ? how are they washing up ? Is there pre cooked food sitting around ?
      I have not had any problems following these basic rules and have eaten all over East Asia. I very rarely go to a restaurant proper, prefer to watch my food being prepared and cooked right there. Its easy to get it less/more spicy or leave out something you’re not sure about.
      For me this is one of the highlights of a trip to Asia and I’m no backpacker.. they seem to prefer 7/11 these days !
      India and Mexico not so lucky for me ; ((

    • Totally, yes, the best experiences. Hoping for the same in Cambodia…

  2. the_real_a says:

    The Hilton Garden Inn Hanoi (embassy district) is just 5 minutes away from this hotel with redemption’s at 10k a night, with 5for4 nights its a steal. As a Gold i’m upgraded to a suite each time i stay with free Breakfast (Gold) its incredible value for points. The advice on boutique hotels near the moat is valid for cash stays, however Grab car (uber) is SO cheap its possible to use it like a private car. Hotel to the Moat/Old town is about $1.50 total.

    • Lady London says:

      Wow. And to think I just blew about 30k on one night in Europe. ( cash price was about 140 euros for my last minute night though).

      My pathetic Hilton stash is now much diminished. But after your hint, @the_real_a, I am going to target that HGI.

      Feedback from colleagues who worked in both HCMC(Saigon) and Hanoi was Hanoi more French colonial in style/flavour and food better in Hanoi but both great.

      • the_real_a says:

        Hanoi old town really does feel like an old European capital city. When its raining its lovely to borrow an umbrella to walk around cobbled streets. There are plenty of boutiques, markets and street food. Most is lower to mid range to suit the budget market (still delicious), but there are plenty higher end restaurants to splurge. HCMC i feel is more of a working city, after 3 days i was looking for things to do… Still there are countless bars, restaurants, shopping malls and museums etc.

        If time allows, Sapa and Halong Bay are easy visits from hanoi and worthy of a few days in each.

        • Shoestring says:

          can’t believe I have got 2 such good recommendations in SE Asia that I knew next to nothing about – Hanoi Old Town and Georgetown/ Penang

          not trying to find colonial stuff but both places seem to give a nice historic feel plus have moved with the times and offer great food as well

          • On the Georgetown front, the Eastern & Oriental hotel is absolutely lovely – I think it was a sister hotel of the Raffles empire at one point. They have a colonial-type feel in places (think staff in safari hats and knee-socks) but it is luxurious, characterful, has a lovely pool, is 5 mins walk from a food court for fab street food and another 5 mins from the centre of town.

          • Georgetown E&O looks great, another one to add to the list ! Cheers

          • As Andrew says, E and O fab choice, must have sea view balcony. Staying there in nov after Cambodia. It’s a real treat. And eat at the street food quarters couple of block as away. A real favourite.
            Treats in store for you Harry.
            Old town Hanoi, we stayed in, roughly £ 40 a night, B and B, with roof pool, and views. Close to everything, and local eats of course. Everyone sits on kids stools on the streets. Just so different.
            But Hoi An is sweet for some beach time too. But don’t stay out on the da nang strip, stay in old area. We used Palace Garden Hotel, balcony suite, 30 to 40 a night, little bus to beach, massages £ 5 for an hour, great prawn dishes for lunch. Money goes a very long way over there.

          • Harry, add Hoi An old town to that list…

  3. Boutique is the way to go in Hanoi, stayed in O’Gallery Classic last year and loved it (only a couple of balcony rooms though..)

  4. Walk north from the Hilton Opera, stroll along a pretty lake, then enter old town. Fascinating. We spent several days just walking around.

    • The vicinity of Hoan Kiem Lake is pedestrianised on some/all weekends and it is absolutely brilliant. All the locals seem to come out, there’s quite literally dancing in the streets.

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