Metropole’s Speth Takes Over Vietnam

Written by Aksel Ritenis


Hotel GM embraces responsibilities for additional hotels in Hanoi and Saigon

HANOI (14 March 2012) — Sofitel has promoted the current general manager of the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, Kai Speth, to a new position as area general manager for Vietnam. Now, in addition to ongoing responsibilities at the landmark Hanoi property, Speth will have oversight responsibilities for Sofitel Plaza Hanoi and Sofitel Saigon Plaza.


General manager at the Metropole since 2008, Speth has amplified that hotel’s stature on the international stage in recent years. Mileposts of his tenure at the Metropole thus far include:

Renovation. With an investment of more than $30 million, Speth has managed the most thorough refitting of the hotel since its rebirth as a contemporary property in 1990. Changes to the hotel include the launch of a new Italian restaurant, Angelina, a completely rebuilt Bamboo Bar, a new outdoor garden at Le Balcon, as well as technology and amenity refurbishments throughout.

Legend. With the renovations complete, Sofitel relaunched the Metropole as the brand’s first Legend hotel.

Spa. A major development during the recent renovation, Speth unveiled Le Spa du Metropole in 2010, the first spa in its then 109-year history. The hotel won immediate acclaim, including recognition on the Conde Nast Traveler Hot List for spas.

Awards. In addition to recognition for the spa, Conde Nast Traveler elevated the hotel to its Hot List after the renovation. That recognition was a harbinger to a spate of subsequent awards, including accolades from Travel + Leisure, PATA, AsiaSpa, Cigar Aficionado and many others.

Air Raid Shelter. After rediscovery of the hotel’s wartime air raid shelter in the summer of 2011, the hotel has launched an excavation and restoration project for the shelter, exciting worldwide media attention in October 2011.

“The writer, Ernest Hemingway, once said that when he was writing really well, he was writing better than he could,” said Speth. “With the Metropole, I’ve felt the same way: I’ve had the assistance of a muse all the way through these discoveries and developments.”

Prior to his work at the Metropole, Speth managed Hyatt properties in Korea, Los Angeles and Colorado. He worked for much of the 1990s in New York City after graduating from Heidelberg’s Hotel Management School in his native Germany in 1989.


Opened in 1901, Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi reigns as the Grande Dame of Vietnamese hospitality and one of Southeast Asia’s most iconic hotels. In 2009, the hotel became the first in the Sofitel portfolio to acquire Accor’s Legend brand distinction.

The 364-room hotel was completely renovated in June 2009. Its historic Metropole Wing features suites named for Charlie Chaplin, Somerset Maugham and Graham Greene, each of whom ‘stopped’ at the Metropole during his time in colonial Indochina. The hotel’s restaurants include Spices Garden (Vietnamese), Le Beaulieu (French) and Angelina (Italian). Le Spa du Metropole opened in late 2009 and immediately set a new standard for nostalgic elegance in Vietnam.

For reservations, call + 84 43 9386 999. For additional information, contact Ms. Le Thi NHUNG at ext. 8509 or email

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Aksel Ritenis

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