I’m a firm believer in that you get what you pay for, and that’s worth bearing in mind if you book this hotel. We booked a refurbished hotel room on the upper floor (4th Floor), which they term as a ‘standard’ double room. Don’t book a budget room! It was certainly good financial value; it worked out to be 30 Euros for a couple in a double room with twin beds. In a nutshell, this hotel has the appearance of a 1930’s ex-soviet era hotel that’s been badly patched up.
The staff were fairly friendly and helpful. The first room we were allocated had no working TV nor air conditioning unit, but the receptionist allowed us to view two hotel rooms independently and picked the one we wanted, which I thought was a nice gesture. The location was superb and in the centre of Sofia.
Health & Safety does not apply to this hotel (although to be fair I don’t know what Bulgarian standards are, but it seriously lacks to come up to EU/Western European standards); the lift was a death trap! The door to the lift could be pulled closed/opened but there was no barrier whatsoever, so if you happened to still have your hand on the door when the lift moved down/up it would tear your hand/fingers off quite efficiently. The light switches were hanging off the wall and light bulbs were left to lay loosely and ill fitted in light fixtures. Bare electrical wires were also exposed near electrical sockets that were loose and could be yanked off the wall when I pulled out my camera charger. The bathroom sink was prompted up to an adequate height with loose bathroom tiles.
The cleanliness was adequate but lacking; there were brown marks on the upper parts of the walls near the ceiling in places. The bath panelling began to peel away quite obviously during our short stay which was never rectified. The cleaners did a bare minimum job daily and even put our bedding thrown on the floor one day in a crumple!
The room is adequate; the air conditioning unit worked and the TV reception was good, although only CNN was available for English speakers. Minimal provisions were provided for the bathroom, but I would recommend you bring along your own soap/shampoo etc, etc.
Be aware that the beds were extremely hard to lay upon and the pillows offered were lumpy and hard, which personally made sleeping uncomfortable for us. An interesting thing was that one of my sheets had a clean cut hold in the middle of it – this naturally led to all sorts of ‘hole use’ theories! Seriously though, the hard beds were present in all of the three rooms we encountered, but in one room the beds were planks of wood topped with hard, unyielding mattresses.
Hotel was smoker friendly.
The breakfast was cheap (3 Euros per person) but was a small selection at best and the hot food (a couple of sausages and pieces of scrambled eggs were often left to grow cold and lonely on their metal plates). You are better off going to the local McDonalds to be honest.
Bulgaria seems to be struggling to distance itself from its neglected soviet era past, so I can’t criticise too harshly as I have nothing else to compare this hotel to (keep this comment in context, I mean within Bulgaria of course). I would say it’s a budget hotel and you need to be aware of that (imagine Travelodge on a bad hair day with a killer lift!).
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