Check-In: Hotel de l’Opera Hanoi, Vietnam

Hotel de l'Opera Hanoi, Vietnam1

Hanoi should be on every South East Asia traveller’s itinerary. Not only is it the populous capital of Vietnam, but it is also a metropolitan city like no other. For one, it is the hardest city to cross the street in – not because of traffic, but because of the number of whizzing motorcycles around, way outnumbering the number of cars. Some of them tend to borrow traffic laws and others pretend act as pedestrians.

Other than that, the city is bustling with amazing restaurants, many nightlife options and has a plethora of nearby essential destinations. Not only is it a great city, but it’s also a good way to start your Vietnamese experience.

But for the city, if you are wishing to stay in luxury and get fully pampered there are a few options. The one that suited us the most is Hotel de l’Opera Hanoi. It is the epitome of boutique in this busy capital. Being near all the high-end shopping areas, the hotel is a member of Accor’s exclusive MGallery Collection. With a staff of 150, almost everything is taken care of in the duration of your stay.

The hotel has a special ambiance – that of Vietnamese cool coupled with French decor – the modern and the traditional. The lobby is spacious with a full bar and trained mixologists – a rarity in Hanoi. It is perfect for pre-drinks before going out to events around the city, including the beautiful Opera House which is a couple of steps away and the namesake of the hotel.

The hotel is noted as the first boutique hotel in the heart of the capital. It boasts accents of architecture from many eras of the city’s rich 1,000 year old history. Featuring 107 rooms and suites with windows overlooking downtown Hanoi. The rooms are pretty spacious and are filled with all amenities one needs, including free WiFi.

The culinary options are varied. The downstairs bar is a buzzing social room called La Fée Verte. There you can have an array of traditional teas or imbibe some premium liquors, which include a drink of Absinthe that locals flock to the place for. The venue often has entertainment and scheduled happy hours throughout the week.

On the ground floor, there is a popular venue by the names of Café Lautrec frequented by hotel guests and locals. The place serves Mediterranean-style dishes and an extensive wine list. Another option is a restaurant called Satine located in the heart of the hotel’s 8-story atrium – an architectural nook that gives the hotel a unique feel. Moreover, the place serves some of the best Vietnamese cuisine from different regions of the country.

Another thing not to miss is Splash, a pool and fitness area overlooking the city. Although the gym is on one side, the pool turns into a social gathering, especially with the tropical pool parties the hotel is trying to promote nowadays – with specialty drinks, eclectic DJs and food stands. Sip while you watch the city.

Hotel de l’Opera Hanoi is unlike any other in the capital of Vietnam. It errs of the side of luxury, but it is so laid-back and central. For most of the important sight-seeing locations, you you can get there by walking. Otherwise, the hotel concierge has a list of arranged excursions that will make your Hanoi trip memorable. The staff were very friendly and the service was impeccable.

 

Melbourne remains the most liveable city for five years in a row!

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Melbourne remains the only city in the world to have this week topped the Economist’s Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Global Liveability Index for the fifth year in a row.

The annual ranking looks at living conditions in 140 cities across the globe by assigning a rating across five broad categories, including: stability; healthcare; culture and environment; education; and infrastructure.

Daniel Andrews, Premier of Victoria said: “Once again Melbourne has come out on top confirming we really do have the best of everything in Victoria. Melbourne offers an enviable lifestyle – some of the best sports and major events, the best artists and creative minds, the best universities and schools, the best entrepreneurs and ideas, world-class and well-connected infrastructure and a strong economy – what’s not to love!”

“To keep Victoria number one we need to keep investing in the future.  In 2015-16 the Victorian Government has invested A$20 billion in major transport infrastructure and a further A$5.4 billion to health and education to create more jobs and grow our economy,” he added.

Ranked first, Melbourne cemented its positions with a perfect score of 100 in healthcare, education and infrastructure and within the culture and environment basket, a perfect 100 on sport underlining the Victorian Government’s continued investment in these priority areas.  

Melbourne has consistently appeared in the top five cities since the ranking’s inception in 2002, and has taken out the top spot in the index for the past five years in a row.

John Butler, Commissioner for Victoria in the Middle East, Africa and Turkey, said:  “Melbourne has established itself as a key destination for companies, including those from the Middle East, that are looking to expand their global footprint into Australasia and Asia. Our high quality of life, cultural diversity, world-class infrastructure, high-tech manufacturing and investment in research and development makes Melbourne an attractive place for people to live and work.”

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Qatar Airways to introduce flights to Helsinki, Zagreb, Perth, Mombasa, Gassim, Kigali and Zanzibar!

Qatar Airways is expanding vast and reaching locations on this earth that were previously a nightmare to get to from the Gulf. Rumours are circulating the the 5-star airlines will launch routes to Helsink, Finland, Zagreb, Croatia, Perth, Australia, Mombasa, Kenya, Gassim, Saudi Arabia and Zanzibar, Tanzania soon! Click here fore more information! 

 

 

Fly Fact, Vol. 116

It’s curious to think that without a little rust, Uluru wouldn’t be red at all. This extraordinary rock formation rears abruptly from the heart of Australia’s dusty, russet desert and famously glows a fiery orange-red, especially at sunset. As you hike round the base of what’s probably the world’s largest monolith, think also about Uluru being made up of arkosic sandstone. This acquires its distinctive reddish hue when exposed to oxidation and the iron in the arkose rusts. So what color would this iconic, vivid chunk of rock be without a little chemical decay? A dismal, rather dull grey.