The purpose of Kim Jong Un's visit to Hanoi — denuclearizing the Korean peninsula and negotiating the United States' role in the region — may be serious, but his digs while in town are more suggestive of a trip for pleasure than getting down to business. When Kim's limo stopped at the Meliá Hotel on Tuesday, where Kim Jong Un is staying in Hanoi became clear.
There will surely be several tense moments during the summit, but one already took place when journalists were reportedly forced to move out of the Meliá Hotel before Kim's arrival, which journalists on Twitter say was designated by the White House as where the press corps should set up.
Margaret Talev, Bloomberg News' White House reporter, described the scene on Twitter. "Security forces prohibited us from taking pictures from inside the hotel though we could see (state?) camera rolling on him as his entourage came thru," Talev posted. "Guards were literally right up on us saying no cameras."
The Meliá Hotel Hanoi is located close to the city center and near most of the city's tourist attractions. It belongs to a Spanish hotel chain (also named Meliá) and has a Trip Advisor rating of 4.5 stars. Pictures show that the hotel is a tall building with large glass windows.
According to CNN, the building opened in 1999 and has 21 floors. There are a total of 306 rooms and suites. Kim will reportedly be in the Presidential Suite. That space is not even mentioned on the hotel's website — though some pages related to suites are not loading, perhaps due to the security concerns or general interest from the public.
However, that suite is 185 square meters and offers many spaces for Kim, including a living room, dining room, and office, as CNN reports. The views are reportedly fantastic, but what floor the suite is located on is not clear.
The hotel offers lots of dining options — some of which Kim may order food from during his stay. There are four options listed on the website, from a deli to a cava lounge. There are two main restaurants, one that serves international food and another that specializes in Thai and Vietnamese delicacies.
If you're traveling to Vietnam, the suite may not fit into your budget, though it's unclear exactly how much Kim is paying to rest his head there each night. For those trying to catch up with the summit, you won't be able to check in for Wednesday, Thursday, or even Friday night — rooms are sold out online — but starting Saturday normal "premium" rooms are available for $181 on Hotels.com. That comes with a large bed for two, Wi-Fi, and breakfast.
The hotel can also arrange for guests to travel in style like Kim with its limo service. In addition, the property has an outdoor swimming pool, spa, and salon.
Despite its luxurious spaces, reporters getting kicked out of the Meliá Hotel might result in it having a smaller profile during the days of the summit — especially if no pictures can be taken there from this point forward.