Three months after cutting the ribbon on a landmark makeover, the 20th floor Summit Lounge overlooking West Lake is taking wing as the newest haunt of Hanoi’s upwardly mobile.
Following a dramatic redesign, the rooftop lounge at the Sofitel Plaza Hanoi is gaining ground as the most ambitious and photogenic nightspot to debut in the Vietnamese capital.
In 2011, the Sofitel Plaza Hanoi called on noted Singaporean architects DPD+ Design to execute a new concept throughout the venue. Celebrity chef Will Meyrick spent two weeks in Hanoi writing a menu of 40 culinary cocktails and upscale hawker fare, and music producers in Hong Kong composed the lounge’s signature soundtrack.
In April 2012 the Sofitel Plaza Hanoi re-launched Summit Lounge as a five-starnightspot with a spacious wooden terrace, fibre-optic ceiling, dedicated DJ booth and long, sleek bar. The lounge is wasting no time putting its own spin on Hanoian nightlife, hosting a string of buzz-worthy events – from bubble shoot-outs to nostalgic 90s parties to toga nights – each month since its re-launch. But it is the peerless 360-degree view that is the lounge’s most attractive asset.
“The space on the 20th floor was originally intended to be a penthouse delivering the best view in Hanoi,” said Antoine Lhuguenot, the hotel’s general manager. “We decided to take that concept of lofty luxury and rework it into a fabulous lounge that a greater number of guests and residents could enjoy.”
From the early afternoon, the venue draws visitors seeking a bird’s-eye view of the city. The landscape is at its most mesmerizing after sundown when an evening breeze invites patrons on the outdoor terrace to sit back and soak up the luminous horizon. Indoors, softly flickering lamps, cozy seating and a palette of midnight blue, purple and crimson fosters a relaxing, romantic atmosphere.
The menu by Will Meyrick – of Jimmy Lik’s and Sarong restaurant in Australia—is a modern interpretation of Southeast Asian street-food. Salmon rice papers rolls share space with Japanese scallops in sweet and sour sauce, steamed clams in Saigon Beer, and Nha Trang oysters in nam jim sauce.
Meyrick’s drink list caters to adventurous palettes, employing mixology’s newest trend of culinary cocktails to produce concoctions such as white sangria and lemongrass martinis.
Summit Lounge has introduced several weekday drink promotions. On “Magnifique Tuesdays”, patrons receive half-off on displayed French wines; and during Thursdays’ “Missbehave” event, ladies get two free shots with each culinary cocktail ordered.