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“Good location, helpful staff” 4 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
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Good location, helpful staff”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2014

The location of this hotel is convenient if you're looking for a city centre stay, and most taxi drivers are aware of it despite the level of English being relatively poor amongst them. The staff were quite helpful were generally able to assist with most queries - I was also allowed to check in earlier than normal as I arrived earlier than expected, and this was quite handy.

I stayed on the first floor near the conference rooms - it was fairly busy and I could hear a lot of noise with set up etc - however I was on business and the set up was for the event I was there for, so I can't complain too much! The room itself was of a good size and looked out on to the car park and front of the hotel, and let in a lot of natural light which is big positive for me personally. There was good desk space in the room and the bathroom was of a decent standard, although there were some cracks in the wall.

The reception/lobby area was quite impressive and the casino not too bad in terms of games available. The breakfast room was of a good size and being vegetarian there were enough options for the 5 days I stayed. Although it is an old hotel, it has a bit of character and all in all wouldn't mind staying here again.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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, February 3, 2014
Dear Valued Guest,

I would like to sincerely thank you for sharing your positive thoughts and feelings about the services and facilities at the Sofia Hotel Balkan A Luxury Collection Hotel.

I was very pleased to read that the members of our staff have fulfilled your expectations and you had an enjoyable stay in our 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.


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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492 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)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
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English first
Dallas, Texas
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2014

Starting with the positive, the hotel has an amazing location. It is right in the heart of Sofia and you can basically walk everywhere. The staff is really friendly and polite and makes you feel at home.

On the other hand, wouldn't necessarily classify the hotel as safe since I had someone come into my room while I was sleeping and steal my belongings (the rooms are card activated so I am guessing it was probably someone from the staff). I was staying at a pretty big suite and the living room was separated from the bedroom. I had left my watch and my wallet in the living and went to bed in the bedroom. When I woke up my watch and the cash from my wallet was gone. The hotel is supposedly running an investigation but at the end of the day they are not willing to reimburse me for my loss.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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, February 11, 2014
Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for your kind words about our staff at the Sofia Hotel Balkan A
Luxury Collection Hotel.

As for the loss of your belongings, please allow me to remind you that, in
addition to personally escorting you to the Police Station for the necessary
statements, we initiated our own internal investigation immediately after
receiving your complaint. All cameras and door locker list were checked, and
our security team interviewed all of the staff on shift.
Yet, there is no proof that anyone but you had been in your room or that the
items in question were indeed taken from your room.

Allow me also to mention that, as courtesy to our guests, we provide free of
charge safes in all our rooms, and the safe in your room was not used.

Nevertheless, we are still waiting for the official Police investigation to
end and we will get back to you with the final results.


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.
London
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2014

Ok, so it's a little dated and the in-house gentlemen's club, casino and string of eerie shops seem rather out-of-place in what you'd expect of the Sheraton, but still, it's an incredible relic of modern history. Go into the courtyard and you will find a real 4th century relic. The rooms are big, clean, comfortable, but just a tad dim. The lounge is hardly packed (off season) and you can enjoy a quiet drink and read here till the staff remind you it's "last orders". Excellent spot to explore Sofia on foot, via buses or the underground.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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 10, 2014
Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts concerning your experience at the Sofia Hotel Balkan A Luxury Collection Hotel through Trip Advisor.

Please know that your comments and concerns about the amenities and services have already been taken into consideration.

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 Five Star 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.
Sofia, Bulgaria
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2014

Very convenient location, staff quite helpful ,nice breakfast, but there was no fresh orange juice, and you could only have some filter coffee or black tea there was no other coffee choice:( What disappointed us most was the fact that there was no swimming pool.

Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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 10, 2014
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.

In reference with your suggestion about our breakfast variety, I would like to assure you that I have already paid a very special attention regarding your comment and I fully believe that next time when your travels bring you to Sofia we will meet all of your expectations.

Thank you once again for your invaluable input and we are looking forward to welcome 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.
Serres, Greece
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
Report response as inappropriate
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.
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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
#19 Luxury Hotel in Sofia
#20 Business 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 
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Sheraton Sofia
Sofia Sheraton

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