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The Pan Pacific Hanoi is located near Hanoi’s Old Quarter and West Lake and offers guests a sanctuary from the noise and heat of busy Hanoi. My arrival at the hotel comes as a welcome relief after spending a morning sightseeing on a very hot Hanoi day. Fortunately, it is only a five minute drive from the Old Quarter to the hotel. The foyer is large, modern and thankfully cool and a friendly doorman greets me and escorts me to reception. A warm welcome follows and I give my name the smiling receptionist. She asks one of the staff to escort me straight to the Club Lounge reception. On the way to the Club Lounge, glass sided lifts provide my first glimpse of the stunning view of West Lake available from many rooms.

Pan Pacific Hanoi lobby
Lobby at Pan Pacific Hanoi

The Pan Pacific Hanoi has 274 guest rooms and suites, with a number of higher-level rooms allocated to the Pacific Club category which include access to the hotel’s club lounge on the top floor of the hotel. Club Lounge access comes with additional amenities such as breakfast and evening drinks and canapés plus dedicated check-in and concierge services along with stellar views of West Lake, making it perfect for both business and pleasure.

Pan Pacific Hanoi club lounge
Lounge seating at the Pacific Club

The club lounge looks and feels like a high-end restaurant with an assortment of tables, chairs, lounges and a serving area with snacks and soft drinks. I take a seat on the lounge near reception and am offered a glass of sparkling wine as one of the staff takes me through the check-in process. On finishing check-in I head downstairs to my studio suite room. This is one of 11 room choices, which range from a standard deluxe room of 35sqm through to a 287sqm presidential suite.

The Pan Pacific Hanoi also has serviced apartments which come with a kitchenette, washing machine and dryer which are ideal for those who are in town for a longer stay. My room is a good size at 40sqm and comes with a separate lounge area, king size bed and large bathroom with a bathtub and high-pressure shower. The only downside is it has a few signs of general wear and tear. However, the view overlooking West Lake and Hanoi is superb.

Pan Pacific Hanoi bedroom
Pan Pacific Hanoi room

We don’t need a kitchenette with all the excellent food on offer in Hanoi, not only at the hotel but also in the nearby Old Quarter. The Pan Pacific Hanoi has four drinking and dining venues but we only try the Song Hong Bar and Pacifica, both of which are located on the ground floor. Food at Pacifica is of a high quality and comes with friendly service, but the prices are in keeping with what we would pay back home in Australia. With so much impressive (and affordable) Vietnamese dining available nearby in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, we found it hard to justify the prices at Pacifica.

Pan Pacific Hanoi restaurant
Pacifica Restaurant

Song Hong Bar is also pricey compared to what is available outside the hotel, but the Vietnamese coffees we had here were the standouts during our time in Vietnam (and we drank a lot of Vietnamese coffees). Vietnamese coffee is complimentary during breakfast at Pacifica so it is worth giving one of these refreshing iced coffee drinks a try, even if you have never had one before. Your first one is unlikely to be your last.

Pan Pacific Hanoi cafe
Song Hong Bar
Pan Pacific Hanoi bar
Summit Rooftop Bar

We are tempted to head upstairs to the Summit Rooftop bar on level 20 to enjoy its superb views of Hanoi. However, as we do not want to spontaneously combust due to the day’s unseasonably high temperature, we opt for a few drinks and nibbles in the air-conditioned club lounge. There is a wide range of snacks on offer, including hot nibbles such as spring rolls, sushi, cheese, dips and sandwiches plus delicious cakes. Pacific Club guests have a choice of breakfast in the club lounge or Pacifica.

Pan Pacific Hanoi club lounge snacks
Cocktail hour canapes
Pan Pacific Hanoi club lounge snacks
Cheese and charcuterie selection
Pan Pacific Hanoi club lounge snacks
Cocktail hour snacks are generous

While the a la carte breakfast menu at the club is excellent, it is hard to beat the extensive morning buffet selection available at Pacifica which ranges from typical western options, to Japanese, Korean and a dedicated Vietnamese pho station with a choice of chicken or beef pho made to order. While it might seem strange to have soup for breakfast, it is worth trying this classic Vietnamese dish while you’re staying at the hotel.

Pan Pacific Hanoi Pacifica
Breakfast at Pacifica
Pan Pacific Hanoi Pacifica
Breakfast at Pacifica

Another highlight of the hotel is the pool located on Level 4 which is large enough for laps and has plenty of room for everyone. Staff ask guests to sign a register on arrival and provide pool towels which are returned to a basket next to the pool reception desk. It is also fine to take your towel with you if it is wrapped around your waist for the trip back up to your room in the lifts. Level 4 is also home to a spa and a fitness centre which offers a cool place to workout if you don’t want to brave the heat outside.

Pan Pacific Hanoi pool
Pan Pacific Hanoi pool

Overall, the Pan Pacific Hanoi is an excellent choice for travellers who enjoy a touch of luxury but would prefer to stay somewhere well-priced. It is also in a superb location, with beautiful views over West Lake and within easy reach of the Old Quarter. In less than 24 hours, the staff in the lobby were greeting us by name. It’s just that kind of place.

Disclosure: The writer paid for her Pacific Club stay at the Pan Pacific Hanoi.

If you enjoy luxurious hotels and don’t mind being away from the main tourist sites, you may also like to consider staying at the InterContinental Hanoi Landmark 72. We split our stay in Hanoi between both of these hotels.

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Trevor Templeman is a photographer and writer who travels the world capturing the essence of locations through their landscape, architecture and people. His words and photographs are published in magazines, newspapers and online around the world.