The InterContinental Hanoi Landmark 72 is not only the newest 5-star hotel in Vietnam’s capital, but also the tallest building in Vietnam. The hotel occupies the highest floors of the tower from levels 62 to 71 giving hotel guests amazing views over Hanoi and beyond. Shiny and new and packed with a vast array of facilities plus an impressive club lounge, this is one of the newest and best places to stay in Hanoi.
This is my first visit to Hanoi and I’m already impressed. Getting my bags and clearing customs happens in record time (less than 10 minutes in total) and my hotel driver is ready and waiting to take my luggage. I am also impressed with the hotel’s new Mercedes which has in car wi-fi. What really blows me away is the video call from the club lounge enroute to the hotel. They use the iPad mounted on the back of the front seat headrest to Skype and check I’m comfortable and ask if I have any special requests such as ordering room service prior to my arrival.
On arrival I am greeted by the ground floor door staff and escorted directly to the 71st floor to the InterContinental Club Lounge cheek in. The hotel’s reception is located on level 62 and the hotel has eight floors offering 359 rooms and 34 suites, with the 69th and 70th floors dedicated to club guests. Again, an assortment of attentive staff greet me at the club lounge entrance and escort me to a large lounge area with a striking view overlooking Hanoi. Cold towels and a welcome cocktail are presented, and paperwork is completed in a matter of minutes.
As I’ve arrived in the early evening the club lounge cocktail hour is in full swing, albeit with a small crowd of 10 or so people who I only notice after I go for a wander. The club lounge is one of the largest I’ve encountered in my travels and takes up almost half the floor area on level 71. As a club lounge guest you get a number of nice extras such as private check-in with a welcome drink, breakfast with a large menu, afternoon and high tea with freshly made sweet and savoury delights plus evening drinks and canapés from 5pm to 7pm nightly, and late checkout.
With jetlag looming I retire to my room where my bags have been neatly arranged next to the wardrobe. The room is large with a soft king size bed and a large bathroom with a tub and rain shower, plus king size bath sheets which add another luxurious touch. All the mod cons are also on hand such as a work desk with multiple connections and adapters, a mini bar and a coffee pod machine. However, with the club lounge staff willing and always ready to offer complimentary coffees on request I have no need for the machine.
I awake early to a VERY warm Hanoi day and make my way down to 3 Spoons restaurant on level 62 for breakfast. As a club floor guest, you have the choice of breakfast in either the club lounge or 3 Spoons. With such an extensive range of European, Asian and American choices I find 3 Spoons a bit overwhelming in my jetlagged state. I opt for a made-to-order omelette from one of the chef stations and try the fresh juice of the day. Hhmm, beetroot and lime? No, it’s definitely not for me. I ask to exchange it for a fresh pineapple and orange juice that is fabulous and order a latte which arrives with no additional charge. 3 Spoons opens for breakfast, lunch and dinner and serves everything from classic Chinese and Vietnamese dishes to pizza, pasta and burgers.
I decide to head up to the lounge for a second coffee and am asked if I would like to try a traditional Vietnamese coffee. This it turns out is a bad idea as I’m immediately hooked on this delicious sweet caffeine hit that is a mix of coffee, condensed milk and ice. I have a lovely chat with the club lounge hosts who wisely suggest a day at the hotel might be a great idea as the temperature in Hanoi is going to be extremely hot with high humidity. It turns out that I have arrived in Hanoi in middle of a severe heat wave with my phone app telling me it’s 46 degrees Celsius but feels like 51. Suddenly a day at the hotel enjoying the pool and other facilities sounds like the perfect plan.
Facilities at the InterContinental Hanoi Landmark 72 include a large outdoor pool on level 7, gym facilities on level 7 and a private gym for hotel guests on level 71 if the main gym on level 7 is busy. One unique feature is the indoor running track on level 7 that takes care of the heat and traffic issues of busy Hanoi. There is no in-house spa at the hotel, but a new spa had opened in the same building a few days prior to my stay. I did try this but they were still finding their feet and things were a bit rough around the edges. The massage therapists were good but be warned: their definition of medium is not for the faint hearted. Other hotel facilities include a large business centre and meeting and function areas.
My afternoon at the hotel includes High Tea at The Hive Lounge, a large area with unique seating pods that is adjacent to reception. This drinking and dining venue is great for people watching with many groups enjoying the piano tunes provided by the hotel’s resident pianist. The high tea is delightful with the highly trained pastry chefs Vietnam is famous for working their magic on treats that look almost too pretty to eat. French tea is offered along with coffee or soft drink, depending on your preference. If you are staying in a club room, a similar high tea is served free of charge in the club lounge each afternoon.
Later that afternoon, as I hadn’t eaten anything for perhaps 10 minutes, I booked myself into Stellar Steakhouse for dinner. This venue is also located on level 62 and has art deco décor and extensive views over Hanoi. It is ideal for romantic couples or business travellers who are out to impress. Remember to book early as the coveted tables by the window disappear more quickly than the restaurant’s delicious steaks.
Before dinner, I had time to drop into the club lounge for a pre-dinner snack and a glass of wine. Unlike some club lounges, all of the food at the InterContinental Hanoi Landmark 72 club is ordered off a menu. It comes as a ‘set’ so you get quite a bit of hot and cold food, all beautifully presented. The photograph below features the cold component of the ‘set’ and was followed by a hot selection featuring items such as spring rolls and dainty kebabs. Serving the food to the table gives the club an extra luxurious feel but may not appeal to those who prefer to graze, or just grab a few quick nibbles to enjoy with drinks before they head out to dinner or an evening appointment with clients.
The menu at Stellar Steakhouse is extensive and predominantly features steak and dishes with a French twist. Prices are sky high by Vietnamese standards but about the same as you would pay in Australia for a meal of similar quality. I choose a filet mignon that is cooked tableside and get dinner and a show; dessert is a beautifully presented milk chocolate fondant. Highly trained staff, who are always on hand to assist with suggestions on food and wine matching, enhance this classy dining experience.
I arrive back at my room where turndown service is in full swing. Extra water is provided and I’m very happy to turn in ready for my first day touring Hanoi. Overall the InterContinental Hanoi Landmark 72 is an impressive hotel and highly recommended for both business and leisure travellers. The only drawback is perhaps the hotel’s location which is a 30 minute drive from the Old Quarter and most of Hanoi’s major tourist spots. However, taxis are cheap so this isn’t a major problem. The InterContinental Hanoi Landmark 72 is the perfect hotel for enjoying a ‘soft arrival’ into Hanoi, with every comfort imaginable and facilities which make it easy to recover from a long haul flight. Fly into Hanoi, enjoy the fantastic service and facilities and then head out to explore.
Disclosure: The writer stayed as a guest of the InterContinental Hanoi Landmark 72.
If you are visiting Hanoi and would prefer to stay somewhere more central, the Pan Pacific Hanoi could be a better hotel for you.