Hotel Online  Special Report



Le Beaulieu Restaurant, Like the Sofitel Metropole Hanoi Itself, 
Has Been Open for More than 100 Years
BANGKOK, 21 October, 2003 — Le Beaulieu restaurant of Sofitel Metropole Hanoi was re-opened after a complete renovation. With tasteful architecture, luxurious furniture and russet colored décor, Le Beaulieu offers a brand-new experience in an Indochina style setting.
Le Beaulieu restaurant, like the hotel itself, has been open for more than 100 years and has earned a solid reputation for the quality of its food as well as for its social events. Famous diners in the first half of the last century included Somerset Maugham, Noel Coward and Charlie Chaplin. The 1950s was the decade of Graham Greene, who used to spend much of his time during Vietnam’s war years at Le Beaulieu and the hotel bar (now Le Club Bar), along with fellow war correspondents from Reuter, Associated Press, the New 
Sofitel Metropole Hanoi
15 Ngo Quyen Street
Hanoi, Vietnam
York Times. In those days, Greene (played by Michael Caine in the film version of The Quiet American) would have enjoyed a full meal with wine and dessert at Le Beaulieu for less than one Indochina dong. 

When the Vietnamese government took over ownership of the hotel in 1954, it became known as Thong Nhat Hotel and the restaurant simply as Thong Nhat Restaurant. Both Vietnamese and international food were served, and while it might not have earned the rave reviews of the 1930s, it still dished up the best food in the city to visiting VIPs. This was much to the embarrassment of some foreign visitors, who in the 1960s and 1970s were acutely aware that while they feasted on meat and seafood dishes, the average Vietnamese person would have been lucky to get a small piece of bean curd with their pho soup.

In 1989, Le Beaulieu, like the hotel itself, closed for much-needed renovation and re-opened, after 3 years, under a subsidiary of the French hotel management company Accor in 1992. With the conditions in Hanoi still austere, the newly arrived Chef Didier Corlou provided an oasis of gourmet luxury for the pioneering expatriate community, with the Sunday brunch a focal point of the week for most foreign residents.

Since 1992, Le Beaulieu restaurant has experienced numerous renovations to preserve its colonial splendor and better serve the guests. The latest renovation (summer 2003) recognized a new change in style of Le Beaulieu.  Marble floor replaces dark carpet, a large window (without curtains) opens widely to the streets, overhead fans waft a gentle air and chandeliers light up the whole room when night arrives. Le Beaulieu has a new look: spacious, bright, modern and ‘natural’. It’s au revoir to the old fashion style, and bonjour to the 21st century-style of Le Beaulieu, offering Indochine ambience with a touch of French modern architecture. Together with the creative and innovative autumn menu of Didier Corlou, Le Beaulieu will continue to impress and delight customers as well as serve as a culinary window to the French lifestyle here in Hanoi.

With 150,000 associates in 140 countries, Accor is the European leader and one of the world's largest groups in travel, tourism and corporate services.

Tom Racette
Manager PR and Communications – Asia
Tel: (662) 659 4535

Also See: Sofitel opening in Ho Chi Minh City Strengthens Accors's Dominant Position in Vietnam / Sept 1998

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