Capella Hanoi

A Roaring Twenties reverie in the Old Quarter

An emblem of grace and grandeur, drama and design, the Hanoi Opera House has been a must-see landmark in the Old Quarter of Hanoi since the neoclassical structure emerged in the early 1900s. And now, the spirit of the opera lives on at the nearby Capella Hanoi, where rich cultural elements and Roaring Twenties glamour converge.

Every detail of this 47-room luxury hotel was left to the imagination of decorated designer Bill Bensley, who also happens to be the creative force behind Bali’s Capella Ubud and Cambodia’s Shinta Mani Wild, among other magical escapes. For this project, Bensley conjured up visions of a petite auberge — a little boutique hotel where actors, opera singers, composers, stage and costume designers and spectators liked to stay in opera’s golden age.

As with many of Bensley’s designs, stepping inside the hotel feels like walking into an enchanting alternate universe. Each unique room and suite pays tribute to different opera talents, while the property’s theatrical dining destinations showcase authentic turn-of-the-century artifacts. Meanwhile, Capella’s curated cultural experiences — think tai chi beside Hoan Kiem Lake and intimate Song Cai gin distillery visits — celebrate the many treasures in Vietnam’s capital.

Our Inspector's Highlights

  • The hotel’s dramatic design and Jazz Era flair will leave you in awe before even stepping inside. Stand back to take in the stunning art nouveau and deco façade, as well as a gilded rooftop statue of a winged angel wearing an nón lá (a conical Vietnamese leaf hat).
  • The lavish, colorful rooms and suites take their names from opera performers, composers and designers. For instance, one suite is an ode to English actress Ellen Terry, complete with framed prints from her plays, original newspaper clippings, vintage playing cards, opera glasses and a custom-made showpiece portrait.
  • Accommodations provide plenty of space, including the handsomely decorated 376-square-foot Premier Rooms, each of which includes a romantic iron-wrought French balcony and courtyard views. The largest and most dramatic accommodation is the 2,088-square-foot Grand Opera Suite. The suite’s décor fuses East and West in reference to Madama Butterfly, while a marble-clad bathroom leads onto a terrace overlooking the leafy Old Quarter.
  • The Auriga Spa channels that same artistic energy, offering a grand departure from the usual spa interiors. You won’t find any quiet, earthy tones here but rather unexpected hues like turquoise, red and gold and eclectic furnishings inspired by imperial Vietnamese décor. The spa is also home to a dazzling art-deco-inspired pool dubbed “La Grotta,” where a mirrored ceiling, black-and-white tiles and bold geometric patterns delight the senses.
  • The epicurean experiences have just as much vitality and variety as the rest of the luxury hotel. Look forward to elevated Northern Vietnam dishes in a sumptuous setting at Backstage, cocktails and Vietnamese-inspired tapas at ultra-glam Diva’s Lounge, 1920s New York cocktails and caviar at Hudson Room and world-class teppanyaki alongside Vietnam’s largest sake collection at Koki.

The Design

  • It’s said that Bensley builds worlds rather than hotels. To create Capella Hanoi’s operatic universe, he went the extra mile, personally procuring wardrobe and set design pieces, including vintage gowns, wooden shoe molds and trunks. His team also collected more than 1,000 pieces of original opera memorabilia, which you can discover across the hotel’s spaces.
  • The imaginative designer’s whimsical style goes well beyond the surface level. Even the little details sing with drama and intrigue. For example, the hotel bar, Diva’s Lounge, features an original antique zinc bar and 18th-century fireplace — both hand-picked by Bensley, who also had the Vietnamese-inspired rugs, furniture, menus and bar games custom-designed.
  • Who said lift lobbies have to be boring? In the lobby, while waiting for an elevator, check out the four caryatids (sculpted statues serving as architectural support) holding up the ceiling. Continuing the celebration of all things opera, these chiseled giants were also regular features on the stage in days gone by.
  • Sicily-based artist and longtime Bensley collaborator Kate Spencer provided custom portraits for every room — no small feat considering the hotel tells the story of more than 40 different characters. Take a closer look at the bottom of your breakfast bowls, too: Spencer’s paintings and drawings also adorn much of the tableware.
  • Backstage, the hotel’s signature restaurant, explodes with character. You’ll enter past a mural that portrays paparazzi on the prowl and discover a space filled with mirrors, a brass-cage-like structure housing antique musical instruments, loads of stage props and pink photographs of antique opera accessories.

24-hour room service
Indoor pool
Getting There
11 Le Phung Hieu Street, Trang Tien Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam
NeighborhoodHoan Kiem Lake
HAN (35 min-1 hr 5 min)  
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