5. Feel pampered
There are massage parlours everywhere but to really pamper yourself, look into a hotel spa to experience premium treatments and service. Our favourite is the Marvel Spa, found within the Marvellous Hotel (No.55 Duong Thanh St, Hoan Kiem District). They offer a traditional ‘Body & Foot Massage’ service, perfect if you’ve been out sightseeing and need some down time. The Vietnamese spa hospitality includes complimentary tea and light snacks upon arrival, a cool down with a cold towel, and the therapeutic massage experience in a beautiful atmosphere. This is definitely a calming little oasis in the heart of the city.
6. Splash out at a skyscraper
The Lotte Center building (54 Lieu Giai, Ba Dinh) is the tallest building in Hanoi, with an impressive 65th-floor observatory (below). Once photos are done, it’s time to shop till you drop in the Lotte Department Store selling everything from designer clothes and fragrances to gadgets. You can even find one-Michelin-star dim sum restaurant Tim Ho Wan in Lotte Center. While the chain in Hong Kong is packed and a hole-in-the-wall type of establishment, in Hanoi it is magnificently perched on the 36th floor and makes for a beautiful date spot. In addition, the tower also houses a hotel (one of the best in the city), a spa, bars, upscale supermarket and much more.
7. Be entertained at the Puppet Theatre
The Hanoi Water Puppet Theatre (57b Dinh Tien Hoang St, Hoan Kiem District) first opened in 1969 and offers daily spectaculars to a local and international audience. Shows are a splash of puppetry with lighting and musical effects telling stories of Vietnamese legends.
8. Take a dip with city views
The Apricot Hotel (136 Hang Trong, Hoan Kiem District) is simply divine and a new addition to Hanoi’s luxury hotel circuit. For those who decide to stay elsewhere, its five-star facilities can still be enjoyed by all for a small entrance fee.
We turned up to use the glorious rooftop pool (below), the only one in the city centre, which overlooks the downtown area and the iconic Hoan Kiem Lake. For just 500,000VND (US$22), you can enjoy the sweeping views, perfectly heated pool and relaxing lounge all day.
The cocktail list is extensive and staff can take both food and dessert orders right over to your lounge and table (try the almond ice cream, it’s amazing). As sunset looms, grab a seat on the leafy edges and say cheers to a beautiful evening in Hanoi.
PHOTOS: APRICOT HOTEL FACEBOOK, THE HANOI SOCIAL CLUB FACEBOOK, APRON UP COOKING CLASS FACEBOOK, HANOI MARVELLOUS HOTEL AND SPA FACEBOOK, LOTTE CENTER HANOI, STARKSUITS FACEBOOK
This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.