The story for the Hotel de la Coupole is very much based in reality. Sapa was once a sleepy market town tucked between high peaks and verdant rice terraces. However 1914 it became the summer capital for French colonists, seeking to escape the summer heat of the Red River Delta, as many of the colonial residents were living in bustling - and hot - Hanoi. This hotel tells a story - that of what might have been the second hotel built in Sapa, the Hotel de la Coupole, which was created by ten French architects. Together they created an enchanting masterpiece in the clouds, embellished with 50 shades of mustard! Sadly, Sapa was attacked in the 50s and everyone - Vietnamese and French - had to flee for almost 40 years... Eventually the surviving architects returned, recovered the original plans amidst the rubble, and it has slowly been brought back to life ever since. It is inspired by French motifs du jour, with a Sapa twist - telling the story of the French living amongst the hill tribes in the early 1900s.
The idea for the DNA of the hotel came to Bill Bensley during a trip to Paris. He stumbled upon a beautiful antique Vietnamese hat, in the rarest of traditional shapes. What made it truly unusual was the fabric it was wrapped in: pink and polka dotted! It became the heart of the story here at La Coupole: the enchanting marriage of Vietnamese Hill Tribe style and French Haute Couture, creating a delightful synergy.