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“Food poisoning, gastroenteritis, fever!” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Sofia Hotel Balkan

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Sofia Hotel Balkan
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   5 Sveta Nedelya Square, Sofia 1000, Bulgaria   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #26 of 124 Hotels in Sofia
Serres, Greece
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Food poisoning, gastroenteritis, fever!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2013

The worst Christmas of my life.
Food poisoning, gastroenteritis, fever for me and at least half Greek group.
After the official dinner of Christmas Eve, I spent the whole Holy Night in my toilet room (Room 127)!
THANK YOU SOFIA HOTEL BALKAN
for the unforgettable experience that you generously offered us.
Very important note:
In group participated elderly people with other potential health problems.
I wish them to be healthy now as I write this message.

Happy New Year with health!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMSheratonSofia, General Manager at Sofia Hotel Balkan, responded to this review, January 13, 2014
Dear Sir,

We regret that we were not notified about your condition otherwise we would have called immediately a doctor. I would like to inform you that indeed we called doctors upon request of several of our guests staying during Christmas time and the doctors stated that the discomfort of the guests had been caused by a specific type of virus and not by food poisoning.

I would also like to inform you that we received the results from the food sent for analysis to the Centre of Food Biology. We tested 10 samples both from the prepared food and from the raw products. We would like to assure you that all tests were negative for food poisoning. If requested we could present you with the official results.

In addition, allow me to clarify that the dinner you have mentioned was not a Gala Dinner. It was the half-board dinner booked by the Travel Agency. May we kindly inform you that we do not organize Gala Dinners for Christmas.

Once again I would like to express our sincere regret for the health problems you had, and which prevented you to enjoy your stay with us. We very much hope to restore your trust in the Sofia Hotel Balkan.

I believe that the above information is satisfactory. Please let us know if you have any further queries by contacting me personally.


Yours Sincerely
Athanasios Pantazis
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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489 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (75)
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English first
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2013

There is no wonder why it doesn't belong in the Sheraton chain anymore.

Service is terrible. Food is so limited, like two mains and four salads (of which one is plain tomato, other plain cucumber etc) and some really average desserts. I've been in better bed&breakfast!

We also got FOOD POISONING which ruined our Christmas day. The whole group had someone of their family poisoned, resulting in canceling our visit to Rila mountain and spending the night and day in the bathroom puking and with diaroia.

Sauna was also out of order and the whole gym-sauna floor abandoned. I didn't meet a single soul there.

WORST HOTEL ever!!! It doesn't worth a penny of what it charges. And it is definitely not going to last more than 5 years. Terrible management, awful service.

Oh the rooms are pretty big. That's the only good thing about it, if you care about space.

I won't come back again and I would advise you to save the pain and not come here either. Good luck to the rest of you

Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMSheratonSofia, General Manager at Sofia Hotel Balkan, responded to this review, January 15, 2014
Dear Madam,

I would like to express our sincere regret for the health problems you had, and which prevented you to enjoy your stay with us. We also regret that we were not notified about your condition otherwise we would have called immediately a doctor. I would like to inform you that indeed we called doctors upon request of several of our guests staying during Christmas time and the doctors stated that their discomfort was caused by a specific type of virus and not by food poisoning.

I would also like to inform you that when we became aware that several guests have health complains, as per our safety policy we sent samples from the food for testing. We tested 10 samples both from the prepared food and from the raw products and all tests were negative for food poisoning. If requested we could present you with the official results.

Please allow me to mention that Luxury Collection Hotels is one of the nine brands of Starwood as the Sheraton brand is, for further information please visit the Starwood Hotels site.

We are taking under serious consideration your negative comments about our management, services and facilities. We have already proceeded with actions and measures on these that we very much hope to restore your trust in our hotel.

Please let us know if you have any further queries and do not hesitate to contact me personally.


Yours Sincerely
Athanasios Pantazis
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bucharest, Romania
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2013

The hotel is very well located in the center of Sofia, and a short distance from the main attractions of the city. The style of the hotel is very "big" and baroque, but the style is quite successful. Even though the rooms were probably already a few years, they are very comfortable and enjoyable. The staff is incredibly helpful and professional, and helped me to organize my days in Sofia. A reception like at breakfast, no complaints about their friendliness and seriously. Breakfast is precisely varied and very good. Sofia is a little-known French city, but interesting to visit in 2/3 days, and the Balkan hotel is an excellent choice for this.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMSheratonSofia, General Manager at Sofia Hotel Balkan, responded to this review, December 27, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

Let me thank you, for sharing your thoughts and positive feelings about our facilities, as well as the services and hospitality that our employees have extended to you during your stay at the Sofia Hotel Balkan A Luxury Collection Hotel.

I was very pleased to read that we have fulfilled your expectations and you had an enjoyable stay in our hotel.

We are thankful that you chose to stay with us, and I would like to assure you that we will continue to do our utmost to meet and exceed your expectations. As such we would be delighted to welcome you back to Sofia Hotel Balkan A Luxury Collection Hotel next time your travels bring you to Sofia.

Sincerely Yours,
Athanasios Pantazis
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adelaide, Australia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2013

Nice Grand old hotel in a very central location.Large room.Reasonable service.Very Reasonable rate for accommodation.Mini bar prices ridiculously high.( $20 for a small beer )..go out to eat and drink.The hot water flow in the shower was negligible., which spoilt things..My wife and I stayed there in mid 2013.Would stay again if they get the water issue sorted.The location is excellent.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMSheratonSofia, General Manager at Sofia Hotel Balkan, responded to this review, December 21, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you very much for your valuable comments about the services and facilities at the Sofia Hotel Balkan A Luxury Collection Hotel.

I would like to assure you that we have taken your comments regarding the mini bar prices and and water issue under serious consideration.

Once again, thank you for sharing with us your thoughts about your experience at the Sofia Hotel Balkan A Luxury Collection Hotel. Your valuable comments will contribute to our team’s on going efforts to monitor and improve our service standards and help us in our continuous search for excellence.

Sincerely Yours,
Athanasios Pantazis
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wildwood, New Jersey
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2013

Sheraton Sofia Hotel Balkan is a glorious Luxury hotel located at the center of Sofia. On our last visit the hotel was impeccably clean and the staffs were friendly and always with a smile and for this I recommend this hotel for anyone looking for a hotel with the above characters. The hotel itself is elegantly built with Bottom of Formarchways of ceiling-high columns and imported Italian marble floors for the lobby. The outside is also an architectural wonder having been recognized as one of landmarks in the city. The dining hear is unique and every guest has a choice of various dining choices to make, you can opt for the health club, the 24/7 business center or varius shops and you will enjoy the food in any of the options.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMSheratonSofia, General Manager at Sofia Hotel Balkan, responded to this review, December 19, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

May I thank you for your time taken to write such positive comments regarding your stay with us and to extend the greetings from all here at the Sofia Hotel Balkan A Luxury Collection Hotel

Thank you, for sharing with us your thoughts about the services and facilities experienced during your stay here. Your valuable comments will contribute to our team’s ongoing efforts to monitor and improve our service standards and help us in our continuous search for excellence.

Once again thank you very much for your invaluable input and we are looking forward to welcoming you again at the Sofia Hotel Balkan A Luxury Collection Hotel.


Sincerely Yours,
Athanasios Pantazis
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
switzerland
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2013

i first stayed in this hotel...then called simply the 'balkan' and run by balkantourist....way back when...in september 1964 to be precise....so it was interesting to stay there again...nearly 50 years later.....there are still some vestiges of the 'old' balkan....the massive...VERY massive....white marble staircases and balustrades....the wide corridors...the vast amount of unused space in the upper landings....the mile high ceilings in the rooms....after the end of the socialist era the hotel became to be known simply as 'the sheraton'....now the latest incarnation is 'luxury collection'...but in many ways it is 'plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose'....i was very favourably impressed with reception who gave me a room change with alacrity after i complained of the traffic noise (in spite of double glazing the road noise caused by sofia's yellow paving blocks won through)...and a repair to the shower head (which came apart in my hand) was very quickly dealt with on a sunday morning....the bed was very comfortable...the bed linen absolutely immaculate.... the room was warm and was comfortably furnished...the tv had an excellent variety of channels.....breakfast was fine...a good selction of hot and cold dishes .. the service was very good....all in all i enjoyed my stay...and i can thoroughly recommend the hotel .

Room Tip: for a quiet room either at the back or the front of the hotel
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMSheratonSofia, General Manager at Sofia Hotel Balkan, responded to this review, December 18, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

Let me thank you, for sharing your thoughts and positive feelings about the services and hospitality that our employees have extended to you during your stay at the Sofia Hotel Balkan A Luxury Collection Hotel.

It is through responses like yours that we can evaluate our services and I thank you once more. Let me assure you that your sincere and kind comments have already been shared between all our team members.

We are thankful that you chose to stay with us, and I would like to assure you that we will continue to do our utmost to meet and exceed your expectations. As such we would be delighted to welcome you back to Sofia Hotel Balkan A Luxury Collection Hotel next time your travels bring you to Sofia.


Sincerely Yours,
Athanasios Pantazis
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
59 hotel reviews
Reviews in 55 cities Reviews in 55 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2013

Its hard to justify the Sheraton brannding for this hotel it's in serious need of modernisation. The location is good but tht's about it. Walking through the doors of the entrance lobby is like stepping through the doors of a time machine and being transported hundreds of years back into the Balkan era. The decor is bland and depressing the service was poor and the breakfast was terrible.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMSheratonSofia, General Manager at Sofia Hotel Balkan, responded to this review, December 18, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

I was very sorry to learn about the negative experience with our services. This is a field in which we have invested a lot in the past years, and we are investigating deeply on this. It would be highly appreciated if you could share more details with us.

I would like to assure you that corrective action has already been taken regarding your remarks about your breakfast experience, and we have taken under serious consideration your comments regarding the décor of the hotel. Here at the Sofia Hotel Balkan A Luxury Collection Hotel we strive daily to meet and exceed all guests’ expectations.

I sincerely hope that during your next stay in Sofia you will choose to stay again with us and I will have the chance to meet you in person.

Sincerely Yours,
Athanasios Pantazis
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sofia Hotel Balkan

Address: 5 Sveta Nedelya Square, Sofia 1000, Bulgaria
Location: Bulgaria > Sofia Region > Sofia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Casino Hotel in Sofia
#8 Family Hotel in Sofia
#18 Business Hotel in Sofia
#19 Luxury Hotel in Sofia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — Sofia Hotel Balkan 5*
Number of rooms: 184
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sophisticated Hotel in traditionally styled, 5-story building located at city center. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sheraton Sofia
Sofia Sheraton

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