Metropole Hotel in Hanoi Discovers Its Vietnam War Bunker
October 19, 2011 at 10:36 AM
Today's cool hotel history lesson for today involves the Metropole Hotel in Hanoi which recently discovered a Vietnam War-era secret bunker that once housed Jane Fonda, Joan Baez and a few others during the 1972 Christmas bombings by American forces.
After the bombings and the war, the bunker had been sealed and forgotten. And while the hotel always knew of the shelter, they could never find it. Until over the summer, when during renovations of their poolside bar, a worker's drill hit a piece of concrete. The seven-room, five-foot high bunker had finally been uncovered. Associated Press reports:
Since then, workers have been excavating the flooded and low-ceilinged space. Not much has been found in the seven rooms: a wine bottle, a rusty paint can and a light bulb still in a socket. But a few tales remain, some involving famous guests.
“If these walls could talk, they would tell a lot of stories,” says hotel general manager Kai Speth, while giving The Associated Press an exclusive first glimpse. The bomb shelter “needs to be brought back into the life of the hotel as a reminder of what this hotel and this town went through.”
Definitely! They could probably even offer guests a chance to spend a night in the bunker, although that might take away from the purpose of preserving the bunker.
The Metropole could even take some notes from another hotel with a secret bunker--the Greenbrier in West Virginia has a Cold War-era bunker that's open for tours. Until then, you'll just have to ask the hotel nicely if they can show you a sneak peek. Rates at the Sofitel hotel start around $300 a night.
[Photo via Associated Press