My stay was 8th through 12th October and 27th October 2012.
I have been involved in one way or another in the hospitality industry since 1980. Those who know me would say I am not given to praise and the highest adulation I usually give is “it’s fine”. That’s true, I tend to concentrate on the weaknesses because these are the areas that I know can be attended to.
However, for the Sofitel Wanda Beijing, I need to make an exception and say freely that it is a ‘great’ hotel, fully representing the very best of Accor. When the selection of hotel was made for Beijing I was wholly unaware that this Sofitel would be in my experience the best of Sofitel in China and in fact the flagship in the Sofitel fleet.
It is not that one could not find faults if one wanted to but that they are surely insignificant in the light of the overwhelming positive experience that one gets at this hotel. It truly stands out as any beacon. I can’t mention all the positive attributes but it would be remiss not to mention some of the highlights.
Firstly, I was welcomed by the Hotel Manager, Cedric Besler and Ada Jian, Front Office Manager. Both have a perfect command of English. English in fact is more than adequately spoken by almost all the staff I had contact with, whether it’s the waiters in the restaurants, the chefs, the concierge, the bell boys. Not having to struggle with my inadequate mandarin was a relief. I truly was able to relax within hours of arrival.
I was fortunate to enjoy a Sofitel Suite and Horizon club facilities. The bedroom and study are large and well appointed. There is a 2nd toilet off the study. The rain shower was the largest I have seen and I am sure 20 people could fit in that shower room without touching elbows.
Second point of note is the attention to detail. I love that housekeeping actually take notice of the “Do not disturb” sign. The towels are fluffy and feel luxurious. No worn out fraying towels as seen in other properties.
Third “mon chapeau” to the chefs. I was pleased that Mr Marko Rankel, the Head Chef, introduced himself whilst I was breakfasting in the VIC but really the food speaks for itself. The range is similar to that found in some other Sofitel’s but the quality is unsurpassed. Whether one tastes the cake they made for me, or the croissants at breakfast, or the chocolate eclairs at happy hour in the club lounge, everything is perfect. Frankly, I have not tasted better macaroons in Paris or Amiens. How this Sofitel achieves this standard in China is frankly a little wonder and should surely be shared with other Group hotels. I tried my best in the three weeks in China to only eat authentic Chinese food in restaurants that spoke no English, Chinese only menus and often with no pictures. I succumbed for the 2nd time on the last night in China and eat at the Sofitel's Le Pré Lenôtre. I was dubious and partly convinced that this was going to be another “Western nightmare”. I was wrong. This was a first class meal. The price was not inexpensive but I did not begrudge the price because it truly was as good a meal as I have eaten for example in Beaune, France and about the same cost. In this restaurant English was spoken perfectly, food perfectly prepared and expertly served. My thanks to Frank Yan, Le Pre Assistant Manager. Historically I avoid hotel food because it always fails in some way but I will now review future hotel offerings in the hope of a similar experience.
Fourthly, if I had concerns about concierge and front desk services from reading some of the reports in Tripadvisor, I can assure the reader that they were not found wanting in my visit. Alex Li, Chief Concierge kindly produced a brochure on local restaurants. Neither is air conditioning turned off as in some parts of China under Government edict or by hotel choice. On my 2nd visit the speed of check-in was frankly lightning.
Lastly, and my no means least, mention must be made of the staff and services provided in the Club lounge. My thanks in particular to Kevin Wang, Butler. The happy hour snacks are nearly a meal in themselves. The quality of each mouthful is simply devine. Take the dim sum. Yes other Sofitel and hotels may offer these as snacks but the quality in Sofitel Wanda is unsurpassed. The staff are extremely attentive and frankly they went beyond the call of duty to deliver a superb experience.
Overall experience was most excellent and I have no hesitation in recommending this hotel and particularly to the most demanding guests. This is perhaps one of only a handful of hotels in Eastern China that truly can accommodate the most fastidious guest.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear Clive G,
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Was a "plaisir" to welcome you at the Sofitel Wanda Beijing and happy to read you appreciate our passion for excellence.
On behalf of all Sofitel Wanda Beijing Ambassadors wish you a Magnifique Festive Season!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.