I flew on Vietnam Airlines in Business Class from Singapore to Hanoi and I managed to check out the beautiful Blossom – SATS & Plaza Premium Lounge in Terminal 4 prior to the flight. While the flight experience was fairly mediocre and there were a number of teething problems, it did get me into Noi Bai International Airport (HAN) on time. Getting past immigration and security did not take long at all and since the checked baggage of Business Class passengers are tagged with priority tags, it did not take me more than 30 minutes to get from the aerobridge to the main arrival area of the airport.
To ensure that I stay connected, I have pre-purchased a 4G SIM Card from Viettel via Klook and this gave me access to 5GB worth of data (up to 15 days) for just SGD10. I did have a little trouble finding the exact location to pick-up this SIM Card but everyone was really helpful at directing me towards the right counter. I was also met with my driver from the InterContinental Hanoi Landmark72 who then escorted me to the car after I have collected my SIM Card. As soon as I got on the car, I was informed that WiFi is provided and there was a digital welcome letter in the iPad in front of me.
I found a welcome gift in one of the compartments next to me and this consisted of locally-sourced honey. Shortly after, I received a Skype call from the Club InterContinental Lounge to welcome me to Hanoi and also to check whether anything could be done to make my visit a little better - the limousine has dining menus that you can order from and these can be prepared in anticipation of your arrival. While this was obviously not the first time that I have arranged for a limousine transfer, it certainly was the first time that I received a courtesy call from the team at the Club InterContinental Lounge.
The drive from Noi Bai International Airport to InterContinental Hanoi Landmark72 took approximately 45 minutes and it flew by quickly since the limousine had everything I wanted. In fact, there was even a selection of music that I could choose from - I went with traditional Vietnamese music but I realised shortly after that the driver was actually quite a fan of KPOP so that worked out well for all of us.
As soon as the car pulled into the driveway, I realised that there were already people waiting for me at the entrance of the hotel. One of the perks of being a Club InterContinental guest is a meet-and-greet by management. My luggage were quickly taken care off and I was immediately whisked to the Club InterContinental Lounge where I was offered a beverage and a snack while they processed my personal documents for check-in. There is a long list of perks that Club InterContinental guests can enjoy and these benefits were highlighted to me during check-in. One of the perks that stood out to me immediately was the guaranteed 4:00PM late check-out (which I already had as an InterContinental Ambassador member) which I thought was a nice benefit for travellers without elite status. The Club InterContinental is truly beautiful (more on this later) and not a lot of people know this but this is actually the largest Club InterContinental Lounge in South East Asia!
I stayed in one of the best suites at the InterContinental Hanoi Landmark72 during my visit - the Royal Suite is the second largest suite in the property (just one category below the Presidential Suite) and it features 148sqm of beautifully-appointed space. This two-bedroom suite comes with a massive living area, two en suite bathrooms for each bedroom as well as powder room (half bathroom) that is connected to the living area. There is also a separate dining area with fresh flower arrangement so I ended up ordering room service on one night (just so I can utilise this space!).
As an InterContinental Ambassador member, I received a set of beautiful coasters from the hotel (which I definitely brought home with me) but what truly impressed me then were the other amenities that they have put together. There was a whole quiche (which was definitely a first for me) on the table, a bottle of Bollinger Special Cuvée and a bowl of fresh fruits! In fact, there were even an assortment of nuts (including pistachios!) on the dining table so I certainly did not go hungry during my entire stay.
The living room and dining area is located between the two bedrooms in the Royal Suite and it offers plenty of space for you to lounge about. The sofa and chairs can fit at least six adults comfortably - there is also a large flat-screen TV here where you can watch over 50 international as well as local channels.
One of the small things that I look forward to each morning is starting the day with an illy coffee - I am a huge fan (read: addict) of coffee and I really enjoy an espresso in the morning before heading out. With that being said, the Club InterContinental Lounge here at the InterContinental Hanoi Landmark72 actually serves up delicious coffees (including a traditional Vietnamese one that all hotel guests should try) throughout the day. Teabags (same as the ones that are offered in the lounge) are also provided here should you prefer tea over coffee.
Located to one side of the living room is the master bedroom which features a king-size bed - the bedroom offers sweeping views of the city but since I got in pretty late in the afternoon, it was starting to get dark by the time I was taking photos. The weather was also not great on most days that I was there but it certainly did clear up on one morning (photo of the view below!). There is a work desk located towards the end of the master bedroom near the windows (which is great since there is plenty of natural light in the day) and there is also a separate lounging area. Honestly though, the sheer size of this Royal Suite makes some of these otherwise appreciated features incongruous (e.g. I can easily work from the living room instead of the study).
As you would imagine, this room also comes with an en-suite bathroom with a glass window that looks out into the bedroom. If you prefer to watch some TV in bed (rather than your massive living room), you will find another flatscreen TV here with the same 50 local and international channels that you have access to outside.
I really enjoyed my sleeping time here at the InterContinental Hanoi Landmark72 - the beds were firm, there were plenty of plush pillows and the sheets were amazing. Housekeeping has also done an amazing job throughout my stay (regardless at evening turndown or in the morning) to refresh my room so it looks exactly the way it was on the first night (minus all the special welcome amenities of course). Seriously, how do they get the sheets to look like that?! There is an alarm clock on one of the small bedside tables but if you really want a wake-up call in the morning, your surest bet is to call the service desk.
I have a love-hate relationship with teddy bears that I receive at hotels - they are adorable but I do not know what to do with them when I get back home. InterContinental Hanoi Landmark72 has provided a cute teddy plush for me and obviously I took him (or her!) home. Some locally-sourced gourmet products were also provided and I really enjoyed the cocoa nibs since they are a relatively-healthy snack which have great antioxidant benefits.
There is a dressing table as well as a small walk-in closet in the main bedroom and this area separates the bedroom from the bathroom. Fresh flowers are also located throughout the Royal Suite (the most beautiful one is found in the dining area) and these make a huge difference for guests staying for a few nights. While I did not personally utilise the dressing area per se, I can see how they can be quite useful for ladies wanting to put their makeup on (since the lighting here is perfect!).
Even though both bedrooms here in the Royal Suite come with attached bathrooms, only the one with the master bedroom comes with a deep-soaking tub as well as a separate shower area. Considering how big this bathroom is, I was slightly surprised to find only one sink here (not an issue since there are actually two more to choose from in the Royal Suite).
I always enjoy a nice soak in the tub at the end of the day but for some reason the tub appears to be leaking (not onto the bathroom floor unfortunately) when I was there. Hopefully they have fixed it but I am definitely guilty of wasting more-than-usual amounts of water when I was there to keep the tub full.
Consistent to brand guidelines, bath amenities here at the InterContinental Hanoi Landmark72's Royal Suite are provided by Agraria and similar to select suites in InterContinental properties around the world, the bottles are larger so you can certainly go all out to make that bubble bath you so deserve. In fact, you will notice that there is no shortage of these bath amenities here in the Royal Suite - I counted at least two sets in the bathroom attached to the master bedroom and another set in the second bathroom.
Should you feel peckish during your stay, the InterContinental Hanoi Landmark72 has a number of great restaurants and dining outlets (I will cover some of them in a separate post) but these nuts that were placed in the Royal Suite that I stayed in were great at helping me fight off some of that midnight hunger pangs.
The second bedroom of the Royal Suite is not small either - even though this is supposed to be an 'extra bedroom', the size is larger than most hotel rooms in Asia-Pacific. There is no bathtub in the bathroom here in the second bedroom but it has a massive shower area as well as a toilet (there are 2.5 bathrooms altogether in this suite as mentioned earlier on). You will probably notice that the second bedroom does not have a separate working desk but it does have a nice lounging area by the side of the window.
Much like the master bedroom, the second bedroom has plenty of storage space for long-term guests who reside in the Royal Suite. There is also a large flatscreen TV here in the second bedroom if you (or your kids!) prefer to watch TV in bed (who doesn’t?!).
I went back up to the Club InterContinental Lounge after taking some room shots and this exclusive space is accessible only to guests who book the hotel’s Club InterContinental rooms and above. Located on level 71 of the building, the club lounge offers evening cocktails and hor d'oeuvres from 5:30PM to 7:30PM. As mentioned before, this is the largest Club InterContinental Lounge in the region and it never got too busy during the nights that I was there.
You can probably guess that i visited the InterContinental Hanoi Landmark72 during the Christmas season (since the Christmas tree is a dead giveaway). The Club InterContinental Lounge is massive and it definitely exudes a more corporate and formal look as compared to the ones in Singapore. I really like the different seating configurations in the lounge since it allows you to mingle (if you wish to) or enjoy a quiet drink if you prefer.
When I visited the lounge on a Friday evening, there was even an artist performing a few pieces from a traditional musical instrument. Club InterContinental guests can enjoy a selection of wine, spirits, cocktails as well as mocktails from the beverage menu. There is no Champagne in case anyone was wondering but they do pour Liquid Gold Prosecco for all you sparkling-lovers. Classic cocktails like Negroni (yum!), Old Fashion, Gin & Tonic, Margarita, Martinis as well as Cosmopolitan were also offered .
Now the food selection during the evening cocktails at the lounge will probably not fill you up (unless you are a tiny eater) but there is quite a good selection of both hot and cold items. I tried only the cold items when I was there (since I had a dinner reservation at a restaurant downstairs that I was really looking forward to) but the good news is that the InterContinental Hanoi Landmark72 actually has a number of restaurants in-house that offers a wide variety of different cuisines.
Since I was fairly tired from traveling on the first evening, I decided to stay in for dinner and I was really interested to check out Stellar Teppanyaki (located above Stellar Steakhouse) in the hotel. Both set menus as well as an a la carte menu is offered but since I was not ready to make a decision, I decided to go for the set menu and I was really entertained by the knife skills and theatrics of the Teppanyaki chefs. The night view from the restaurant is also stunning but most importantly the meats are just done beautifully! I will certainly write about my experience at Stellar Teppanyaki in a separate post but I definitely recommend it if you are looking for an unforgettable and fancy dining experience here in Hanoi.
The weather really cleared up the next morning and I was able to see a lot more of the city as compared to the evening before. The InterContinental Hanoi Landmark72 is the highest hotel is Hanoi and the views from here on a clear day is just ridiculous. In fact, the hotel probably recognises this as a USP of the property and therefore, it is clear that they have designed most of the social spaces to take advantage of this stunning view. I heard there was once an observatory located in the same tower but that is currently under refurbishment (so just head to the hotel for a meal instead!).
Club InterContinental guests have the option of having breakfast at either 3 Spoons (which offer a full buffet breakfast experience) or in the Club InterContinental Lounge - I decided to go for the latter option since I wanted to save some stomach space for food outside of the hotel. One of the friendly lounge staff actually recommended that I give the traditional Vietnamese coffee a try. Honestly, that was one of the most delicious coffees that I have ever had but boy did it pack a punch. If you are sensitive to caffeine, make sure you stay away from these (no matter how tempting!) after lunch!
There is a small buffet selection in the club lounge but what stood out to me most were the fresh pastries located on one of the tables. Other items on the buffet table included salads, fresh fruits, yoghurts, cereal as well as other danishes that guests can choose from.
What really impressed me however is the a la carte breakfast menu that Club InterContinental guests can order from. In fact, this menu actually changes on a day-to-day basis so I actually saw a slightly different menu on each morning that I was staying at the InterContinental Hanoi Landmark72. There is a good selection of a la carte items that range from the classics (e.g. eggs benedict and omelette) to local flavours. While I did not bring my camera along with me on one morning, the Korean Seafood Porridge was probably the best dish that I have had during my stay for breakfast. As many of you may already know, there is a strong Korean community in Vietnam and this dish certainly did that justice.
If you are craving for some local dishes without wanting to head out of the hotel, there are a couple of items on the a la carte breakfast menu each day that you can choose from. This is a great benefit for corporate travellers who wish to try the local cuisine but somehow cannot find time outside of work to do so (I can attest to this struggle whenever I travel for work too!).
The InterContinental Hanoi Landmark72 is truly a gem in Hanoi and it is quite possibly one of the most impressive and luxurious hotel here in this city. The contemporary design of the property is not ostentatious and the expansive space provides travellers and locals a peaceful haven to escape the hustle and bustle of city life while still being in the middle of it all. Even though the hotel is located in a business district, getting around in Hanoi is fairly easy on Grab (you can also opt to take a motorcycle if that is something you prefer) but if you are feeling less adventurous, a private driver can be arranged by the hotel to take you around to see some of Hanoi’s best sights.