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“Vintage Atmosphere and Unusual Setting.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Marinela Sofia

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Hotel Marinela Sofia
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   100 James Bourchier Boulevard, Sofia 1407, Bulgaria (Formerly Kempinski Hotel Marinela Sofia)   |  
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Ranked #51 of 125 Hotels in Sofia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Vintage Atmosphere and Unusual Setting.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2013

If you like modern style rooms and hotel facility this is not your place.
Look from the outside is not attractive but when you enter it is like entering in the past.
A piano player plays in the early evening, lights are soft.
A Japanese garden with ducks and narrow bridges is at the back of main entrance and is very relaxing. Rooms are big and bathroom gets light through a full wall window separating it from the bed. If you have a room in the high floor there is a nice view on Sofia. Breakfast is not superb but very good and there are plenty of alternative options to eat both inside the hotel and in the surrounding.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled on business
    • 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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410 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (74)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Richmond, Canada
Level Contributor
28 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2013

Great Hotel in safe part of Sofia. Large Property with small park attached where several of the restaurants have open air seating. The rooms where modern and updated. The lobby bar is a great place for a drink after a hard day then a dip in the indoor pool, good gym facilities. The Japanese restaurant is a great way to finish. Or if you prefer there's a rooftop restaurant also.

Room Tip: Very accommodating staff, large hotel and not usually full. Ask for a room facing the mountains.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Warsaw, Poland
Level Contributor
21 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2013

During my business trips I stayed in this hotel couple of times. I stayed in the renovated part, which was very nice. Spacious rooms, all necessary amenities. I've also used Panorama restaurant, lobby bar and fish restaurant. All were very good. Breakfast is on average level.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
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London
Level Contributor
124 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2013

I stayed at the Kempinski after a long hot day’s work. It would count itself as one of Sofia’s top hotels, and the accolade is not misplaced.

It’s a good hotel. Perhaps the top point in its favour is it’s rather lovely garden, arranged in a quasi-Japanese fashion, occupied by the hotel’s sushi style restaurant.

It is stylish, if copies (I assume they are copies, as there was a ‘Sunflowers’) of modern masterpieces arranged on the walls count as style, and well decorated and maintained throughout. It has a wealth of restaurants, albeit these have a slightly ‘themed’ air, so that Captain Cook’s is the fish restaurant. (Note their 'Happy Sushi' restaurant is part of a high-street chain. The sushi is OK but noting special).

There is a good gym and an indoor pool, albeit I thought this seemed a little warm. Do note there is a strictly enforced ‘bathing cap’ policy in the pool, so if you don’t want to use the shower cap from your room, bring one!

I had one of the standard rooms on the 7th floor, good view over garden and Sofia, so I’d recommend asking for something on the higher floors over looking the garden. The room was fine, although probably fair to describe it s a little intimate, but well looked after and with all the expected fixtures, TV, mini-bar, etc. Bathroom had bath and integrated shower and well up to standard. Free wi-fi through-out the hotel which was reliable.

We had a room rate which included breakfast. Probably worth checking this, as the continental breakfast weighs in at LEV40 if you are paying, which is not cheap, especially by Bulgarian standards. Breakfast was good, albeit pretty much in the ‘continental breakfast’ style of most 4 and 5 star hotels. If you are lucky you might get to sit next to a movie star shooting at the Boyana studio, as it is a favoured place for them to stay.

All I can say about the service is I didn’t notice it, which is an accolade as generally service is still a concept Bulgaria is coming to terms with.

You’ll have a happy stay at the Kempinski, but it probably won’t be one that makes it on to your top five hotel list that you remember in years to come. But no real complaints.

Room Tip: Ask for a view of their garden.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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Sofia, Grad Sofiya, Bulgaria
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2013

A perfect hotel for Sofia. It is classy and sophisticated and near in the center of the city. Staff was very helpful and welcoming and they gave me an upgrade without even being asked. The room was nicely decorated with all of the amenitites. One of the best resturants in Sofia with outstanding welcoming and surroundings.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lancashire
Level Contributor
26 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

I reviewed this hotel a while back and commented how the food in the hotel was expensive. Since then I have stayed a couple of more times there and have found I was probably mistaken the first time. Undoubtedly the price of a meal in the panorama restaurant is well above Bulgarian norm but the quality is superb and the staff are knowledgable and helpful. The red wine is fantastic and it's definitely worth treating yourself to this experience whilst there. The Happy Grill Sushi bar that is within the hotel grounds is great value for money both for food and drinks particularly when you consider the surroundings.
As I have said in my previous review the views from the rooms, particularly if you are facing the mountain, are stunning. The last time myself and my wife stopped we slept with the curtains open so we could watch the mountain 'wake up' as the sun rose.
The hotel location is now even better as there is a newly opened underground station a few hundred metres from the hotel.
Try and get a package that includes breakfast because this is quite expensive to buy whilst there. All in all great value for money

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Athens, Attiki, Greece
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2013

We stayed at the hotel for two nights in the Deluxe Room in the renovated area (asking for a renovated room is really worth it.)
The room was very clean and had a nice atmosphere.As we were staying at the 6th floor we had a very nice view of the city and great lighting in the morning.
I was amazed by the variety of restaurants at the hotel. We tried the fish restaurant Captain Cook wich had great food and service.
The garden area is also very pleasant for a walk and for coffee in the afternoon.
Although one of the days there was a party at the Candy Bar we did not notice anything at night.
The only drawback was that we had to pay for the Sauna.

Room Tip: Bring a swimming cap with you if you want to use the pool because you won't be allowed access to...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
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Additional Information about Hotel Marinela Sofia

Address: 100 James Bourchier Boulevard, Sofia 1407, Bulgaria (Formerly Kempinski Hotel Marinela Sofia)
Phone Number:
Location: Bulgaria > Sofia Region > Sofia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #51 of 125 Hotels in Sofia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — Hotel Marinela Sofia 5*
Number of rooms: 442
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Marinela Sofia has an outstanding location, just 20 minutes from the airport and in close proximity to the city center. The hotel boasts amazing infrastructure built on 30 000 sqm and features the most comprehensive facilities in Sofia offering 442 rooms and suites with stunning panoramic views, the biggest hotel conference facilities in the capital, superb leisure and dining facilities including six restaurants and two bars and a modern health club with the biggest hotel swimming pool in the city. The hotel also offers the only Japanese garden on the Balkan Peninsula. Each Deluxe room and Junior suite are equipped with mini-bar, safe, individually controlled air-condition and heating systems, LCD or plasma flat screen TVs, a modern hotel entertainment system with video and music on demand, high-speed free Wi-Fi Internet and a smart card system in accordance with the latest security standards. Hotel Marinela boasts the biggest presidential suite in Bulgaria, in which a number of celebrities have stayed, such as Helmut Khol, Recep Erdogan, Sylvester Stallone, Julio and Enrique Iglesias, Lady Gaga, Tina Turner, James Brown, Anatoly Karpov, Wesley Snipes, Sergei Mihalkov, Elton John and more. Hotel Marinela provides every amenity necessary for focused and effective business communication. It is appropriate place for your successful meetings and celebrations. Three large banqueting halls, fully equipped to meet international expectations: Sofia 1, 2 and 3 can combine to form the largest hotel ballroom. Hotel boardrooms offer daylight, comfortable chairs and tables, easy connectivity to power and the web for each delegate, access to built-in multi-media equipment, interactive screens, microphones, flip charts, white boards, peg boards and free Wi-Fi. The six restaurants and two bars offer tantalising culinary creations from world cuisines. You can sip aromatic coffee or tea on the sun-lit terrace of Intermezzo lobby bar or enjoy fresh fish at Captain Cook or sushi fantasies at Happy Sushi; dine at the top of the city under the starry sky in Panorama Restaurant, taste sweet creations at Candy bar or stylish cocktails in Bar Le Parfum. The spacious fitness center is one of the most modern in Europe and includes massage rooms and the largest indoor hotel swimming pool in Sofia. Hotel Marinela offers free Internet. ... more   less 
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