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“Magnificent service” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Grand Hotel Sofia

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Grand Hotel Sofia
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1, Gurko str., Sofia 1000, Bulgaria   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 121 hotels in Sofia
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Magnificent service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2014

Grand Hotel Sofia was one of the best hotel experiences my family has had in years. Sofia is very compact and walkable, and Grand Hotel Sofia is central to every sight - it's no more than ten minutes walk from every tourist spot. We got a complimentary upgrade to a large corner suite with an anteroom, a palatial bathroom, a large main room, and a side area for our baby's crib. But the service was the most impressive part. The concierge booked us excellent restaurants, helped us carry our stroller, and even got us a good babysitter for an evening so we could enjoy the town without the baby. The breakfast buffet was delicious and had good hours - you could sleep in and still take advantage of it. We'd go back in a heartbeat

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Petya A, Front Office Manager at Grand Hotel Sofia, responded to this review, March 5, 2014
Dear valued guests,
I can’t begin to tell you how happy it made me to read about your experience at our hotel. The team here strives to make each guest experience as close to perfect as humanly possible. When we accomplish that goal we’ve done our job. The fact that you were mostly impressed by the service is our greatest reward. My colleagues and I really appreciate it. Thank you once again.


We look forward to welcoming you back again the next time you are in town.


Sincerely,
Petya Angelova
Front Office Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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343 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Greece
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2014

We spent 3 nights at this hotel. The location is great and they offer free parking space, which was one of the reasons we chose this hotel. The room was big, comfortable and clean. What we really didn't like was the fact that you can't open any windows and no fresh air enters the room. The hotel employees were nice and polite and they even offered us a free bottle of wine for some minor noise heard from the basement because they were doing some works.

My other complaint was the way we were treated while paying the bill the night before check-out. Let me explain: The receptionist gave me the bill and I realized that they had charged us for breakfasts we didn't have. Anyway, that was an honest mistake I think as his colleague had noted that we wanted to have breakfast, although both my husband and me said no when we were asked. So, the receptionist apologized and said that he would have to check if we had breakfast and then issue the correct bill. Haven't they heard of people's word? They had us waiting for about 15 minutes just to check that. Although he apologized, I don't think this is the correct way to treat clients at 5 star hotels! I mean, our word that we didn't have breakfast didn't matter, he had to check that with us waiting there! What I would do if I were the receptionist: I would apologize for the mistake, issue the correct bill and let the clients go for their night out. I would then check if they had breakfast and if they had lied, well then, I would do what it was necessary. That was our experience there.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
Petya A, Front Office Manager at Grand Hotel Sofia, responded to this review, March 5, 2014
Dear valued guests,


I would like to express my gratitude for taking the time to share the experience you have had at our hotel.
Your comments regarding the breakfast are very much appreciated by the staff since this is what we are counting on in our ongoing efforts to improve the level of service that we provide.
Do not hesitate to state your preferences for opening windows during your next visit, because it will give us the information needed to respond to your needs more adequately.
We hope it will not be long before we welcome you again as guests of the Grand Hotel Sofia. I can guarantee you that my colleagues will make sure that it would be a worthwhile experience for you.

Best Regards

Petya Angelova
Front Office Manager
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Bruxelles
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
95 helpful votes 95 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2014

I’ll start with a summary of my detailed review that you will find below.
I do not always agree with TripAdvisor’s classification, but I must say that in the case of Sofia, The Grand Hotel Sofia is probably meeting member’s expectations.

Special Funny Feature: every morning the elevators are customized! Their floor states the day of the week! “Welcome Sunday” “Welcome Monday”…
That is really an original touch. As far as I remember, I never saw that anywhere else.

Pros:
- The staff makes you feel very welcome.
- The general atmosphere, decoration, of the hotel is brilliant and sober.
- The attention to details makes the difference. An umbrella in the room or very nice bathroom amenities like bath salt or face milk. Not the strict usual minimum. And that note telling you to order additional items if you need or to refill anytime. It is very nice to be welcome to do so.
- The location: walking distance to everything from shops to sightseeing.
- In executive rooms, that are affordable, you will have around 60 Sqm of space. On top of that you also get a complimentary airport pickup (one way only) and a welcome bottle of wine (that I didn’t get though…). If you’re staying over a week-end you will pay two nights and get the Sunday free. A couple of hundreds for a week-end in a nice hotel is quite reasonable, isn’t it?

Cons:
- For smokers, there are rooms with balcony and rooms without. If no balcony, be aware that windows simply do not open at all. But then, we can only blame ourselves right?
- The bed. Sorry to say that the bed is way too hard/firm. I don’t like soft ones, but this one is really hard. Also, if you’re loving huge king size beds, be aware that this one is around 160 cm wide probably. It is fine of course but smaller than the usual beds in such hotels and level of rooms.
- No spare toilet paper roll. Ask for one just in case. This seems to be a regular Sofia Bug.
- The internet filtering: I was willing to read an article:
“Nude Photo Of John And Yoko Ushered In Age Of Enlightenment”
And I couldn’t ! Remember to use a VPN to bypass the internet security.
That said, I was able to query Google for bars and restaurants that returned many ads about “Escorts in Sofia”. Go figure.

Dates of stays:
February 15th to 17th, 2014.

The Exterior:
I must admit that it is quite…massive.
The building is not pretty but not truly ugly either as it is a full glass one.
It overlooks a nice park on one side with a view on the National Theater and a street on the other.

The Area:
Sofia is quite easy to deal with. Everything is centrally located.
You will be happy to take a fresh breath and walk to any location you would like from the hotel. Attractions, shops, bars and restaurants are minutes away.

The Interior:
Neat. To say the least.
It’s looking like it has been renovated a few months ago. The way the hotel has been build, designed and decorated makes it timeless. There is no funny/funky decoration, only a very tasteful and sober one.
From the lobby to the corridors and rooms, it really feels like a luxury and yet discreet hotel.

Check in:
Prior to check in, I called from my previous hotel to make sure all was fine. I was handled very professionally by a lady who confirmed that I would have an Executive room in which I would be allowed to smoke.
On arrival, a nice gentleman at the front desk offered me to stay in a room with terrace.
I accepted of course although he was telling me that this room was quite small. He even offered me to show me the room but I declined.
As a matter of fact, he was right: the room was small (901), so was the bathroom and feature a single person bed. But the terrace was huge!
I called the front desk to ask to change room and in less than 5 minutes I was moved to a huge room, with no terrace, but much nicer (712).

The room:
712. It’s very large. I would say almost the size of a Junior Suite.
There is a desk facing the window with views on mountains and a park.
A sleeping area, a sitting area consisting of two sofas and a table, a flat screen tv, numerous closets, a “wet bar” with complimentary coffee, tea, water and the mini bar. This one has all you can want for a quick snack or drink at much more affordable prices than in my previous hotel.

The Bathroom:
A great feature of the Executive room.
A single sink but with a very large space, many closets underneath, a toilet, a bath, a separate shower. The shower is “cabin type” but larger than the usual.
Towels, bathrobes and amenities are top notch. You will even get bath salt or face milk offered in the standard package.

The Bed:
I’m not sure that this is the best feature of the executive room. The bed is very hard and quite small. My guess is around 160 cm wide.
That said, I woke up in great shape. I guess the hard bed isn’t really an issue.

Internet:
There is an Ethernet cable and WiFi is also available.
As far as I can tell, the connection isn’t the fasted I experienced but it works well enough to browse and send mails. To watch a TV show, it is not always a great experience.

The Breakfast:
It’s held in the Triaditza Restaurant on the first floor. The place is quite ok for breakfast but seems a little cold for a meal in the evening.
That said, the Breakfast offer is complete. I can’t think about something missing. For eggs lovers it is possible to have eggs of any kind prepared just in front of you.

For Smokers:
This is once again an eastern country. The reason why I say that is that as a smoker, I don’t feel like a weird human. I’m welcome.
This property offers smoking rooms. They also have rooms with terraces.
So, if you’re travelling alone, I recommend the smoking rooms, and if you’re travelling with a non smoker, get yourself a terrace room even if they are smaller!.

The Executive lounge:
That is not a lounge at all. It’s a private “meeting room” in fact. There is no Executive Lounge where one can chill out with a glass of wine. Not a big deal but why call a meeting room “Executive Lounge”?

Room Service:
Impressive. Fast and reliable, with very good food. My first order was a Spaghetti Carbonara. They warned me about not having spaghetti anymore but only Talgliolini. That was fine with me of course and when the dish arrived I had one of my best In Room Dining Experience. It was almost like having pasta in Italia.

House Keeping:
No complains here. The service was great and all items were refilled. With the exception of the toilet paper “spare” roll, they do their job as expected.

Fitness center/Wellness/Spa:
The hotel features a health center, but I didn’t use it.
For having visiting it I can say it will suits the needs of any type of guest.
At least when it comes to Sauna, Steam Room, Jaccuzi and treatments/massage. The work out area is enough for a short stay but if you are seriously working out, it is a little to simple. Few cardio machines and almost no weights.

The Restaurants and bars:
There are quite a lot of options to eat in house.
The In Room Dining Menu offers a very large choice and seems to be available 24/7. It is also offering some of the Chef Ivanov from Shades of Red in house restaurant recommended dishes.

The fine dining place is the Shades of Red. I didn’t eat here but after having a look at it I have to mention that the place is not the most cozy one. Checking it out at lunch time it was even a little cold.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try it in the evening maybe. Probably the food is great as some of it that were send to my room.

You will also have the choice to go to Grand Café, with a nice open space/terrace. They offer loads of drinks, coffees and cocktails as well as simple food like sandwiches/pasta and pastries/pancakes/waffles.
Finally there is a lobby bar of course, with the possibility to ask for a private space, which is a great idea to have a romantic diner.
The Sofia Club, very trendy looking, I assume is the hotel “evening/night club”. I didn’t test it.

Business center:
Although I didn’t use it, it seems that the center can provides all you need in case you forgot your laptop :-)

Check out:
I requested a late checkout as my plane took off at the end of the afternoon. Of course, this is not a Starwood property and I’m no “special platinum guest”. Specially that this was my first stay at the Grand Hotel Sofia. However, they have an offer for late check out. I even got a special discount and paid as low as 19€ for a 3.30 PM check out.

My conclusion:
Until Starwood starts to renovate their Sofia Hotel (Former Sheraton), I will not check out any other hotel but The Grand Hotel Sofia. I’ve read some very bad reviews about some more hotels in Sofia by the way.

They made my stay and I absolutely recommend this property.

All the best,
Stephane

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled solo
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Petya A, Front Office Manager at Grand Hotel Sofia, responded to this review, March 5, 2014
Dear Stephane,

Reading your amazing review was such a pleasure for all of us. Thank you very much for sharing your experience not only from the hotel but from Sofia as a tourist destination.
It is a great reward and motivator for the whole team to know that we have managed to pass the experience to our guests and our efforts have been noticed.

I am sure that the Tripadvisor readers will be grateful for such a detailed and frank evaluation and will find it extremely helpful. We are delighted that we have come to the level of your expectations considering your worldwide travel experience and understanding of the hospitality industry itself.

I hope that upon your next visit you will be able to enjoy all the benefits that our loyal guests are experiencing. Thank you once again for the high remarks you have given on the hotel itself and the level of services that we provide.

Sincerely
Petya Angelova
Front Office Manager
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kusadasi
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2014

My experience is ok with this Hotel.Very large room,clean and suspicious,very large Balcony that you can smoke at your Balcony with a very nice view of Sofia.Lifts are very slow and not dated.Breakfast must be improved,cheese,jams,fresh cookings,kreps,waffles,chocolates,sirials are missing.Nice lobby,comfortable furniture and smiling staff of the reception.Close to the center with a 10 minutes walk you can easily access to everywhere,taxi prices are very reasonable,most expensive distance is not more then 10 Leva almost 5 Euro.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Petya A, Front Office Manager at Grand Hotel Sofia, responded to this review, February 19, 2014
Dear valued guest,

Thank you for your overall rating of Grand Hotel Sofia as a good hotel.
We would also like to thank you for the valuable feedback you shared with us, because it all will help us in our ongoing efforts to meet guests’ expectations.
We do provide all the items you listed as missing at breakfast. Please, accept our apologies if the selection of products did not meet your personal preferences. Do not hesitate to contact me up on your next visit so that we could be aware of your preferences and respond more adequately to your personal taste.

We hope it will not be long before we welcome you again as guest of the Grand Hotel Sofia. I can guarantee you that my colleagues will make sure that it would be a worthwhile experience for you.

Best Regards

Petya Angelova
Front Office Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Helsinki, Finland
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2014

After spending four days at a crowded, obnoxious five star resort on the Black Sea, we welcomed the quiet, sophisticated elegance of the Grand Hotel. Our room was spacious and overlooked Gradska Gradina. Located right in the heart of Sofia, it was ideal for walking around and enjoying this quaint city. We didn't eat breakfast but we had a few meals at the gorgeous terrace and really enjoyed the food as well as the view. The staff was truly professional, helpful and efficient in the way that truly makes this hotel a five star.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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.
Petya A, Front Office Manager at Grand Hotel Sofia, responded to this review, February 14, 2014
Dear valued guest,

Thank you for the kind words and recognition. We are very pleased to know that you have enjoyed your stay in our hotel during the summer. You already have visited our Grand Café garden but definitely you have to do it again during the spring – nothing compares to the scent of a flowering garden when enjoying the morning coffee.
Thank you once again for sharing your experience with the Trip Advisor readers.
We are really looking forward to your next reservation.

Sincerely
Petya Angelova
Front Office Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bucharest, Romania
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2014

I was in the Grand Hotel Sofia two weeks ago i was totally impressed.
The hotel rooms are huge, the breakfast is amazing and the service is personalized.
I have been in almost all5* hotels in Sofia, but Grand Hotel Sofia amazed me!
I highly recommend this hotel. Great value for money, perfect location, exceptional service.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled on business
    • 5 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.
Petya A, Front Office Manager at Grand Hotel Sofia, responded to this review, February 14, 2014
Dear valued guest,

What a wonderful review! Thank you so much! I truly enjoyed reading your comments and have shared them with the entire staff. The fact that you are familiar with all 5 star hotels in Sofia and you praise us in all aspects means a lot for us.
We can’t wait to welcome you again in Grand Hotel Sofia.

Sincerely

Petya Angelova
Front Office Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ravenna, Italy
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2014

Huge rooms, good food and fantastic staff. Right in the centre of Sofia. Rooms at high floors have a fantastic view over the park and monuments. Very good breakfast with many things cooked at the moment. They just have to improve their espresso..

Room Tip: Ask for 8th floor
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Petya A, Front Office Manager at Grand Hotel Sofia, responded to this review, February 11, 2014
Dear valued guest,

Thank you for the kind recognition. We are very pleased that we have come to the level of your expectations and you have enjoyed your stay with us. Thank you for the overall rating of Grand Hotel Sofia as a very good hotel.
We have other coffee options at breakfast , so please do share your prefferences up on your next visit, so that my colleagues could respond to your needs.
We look forward to welcoming you back!

Sincerely,
Petya Angelova
Front Office 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 Grand Hotel Sofia

Address: 1, Gurko str., Sofia 1000, Bulgaria
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 Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in Sofia
#2 Romantic Hotel in Sofia
#3 Luxury Hotel in Sofia
#3 Family Hotel in Sofia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Grand Hotel Sofia 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This five-star hotel's unique central location and easy access to major sights makes this an ideal choice when staying in Sofia. It offers extremely spacious rooms where to enjoy a 5-star level of luxury, style and comfort. The modern Convention Centre features 4 conference rooms, varying in size to accommodate from 10 to 150 delegates in different set-up. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sofia Grand Hotel

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