My sister and I stayed at the Sofitel in Philadelphia 11-30-12 through 12-2-12. I must say, I have stayed a quite a few Sofitel’s throughout the US and have been nothing but totally thrilled with my experiences at all of them, which is why I didn’t even think twice about booking there in Philly. Upon arrival we were instantly greeted by the friendly employees at the front door, asking if we wanted luggage assistance. We declined and headed to the front desk to check in. Staff was friendly, the check in process was easy. We headed up to our Junior Suite, room 1408. After putting our stuff down, we noticed that there was a gaping hole in the ceiling right near the entrance of the room. It appeared as if the paneling for the ceiling was about to fall down. We called the front desk and were moved to another junior suite, room 915, no problems, again friendly helpful service. The room was fine, the decor, furniture, and overall appearance of the room clearly showed years of wear and tear, was a bit dated and tired looking, but the size was fine, it was clean, and so we overlooked the negatives. We returned from dinner that Friday evening and went to sleep around 10:30 p.m. Around 12:45 a.m. we were both woken up by the yelling and screaming of a group of drunk females in the hallway. It lasted for a few minutes, and while we were clearly annoyed, we were both exhausted and fell back asleep. Then around 2:30 a.m. that same morning, we were woken up by another drunk female, banging on our door, demanding we let her. After yelling at this drunken person that she was at the wrong room, she stumbled off and stopped banging on our door.
I called the front desk around 9:30 a.m. that Saturday morning to report the incident. I supposedly spoke to a manager, who promised to get back to me shortly as he was going to "investigate the situation". We left the room at noon to head out for the day, still no call back, and got back to the hotel around 5:30 p.m. on Saturday evening. I was shocked to see that no message had been left by hotel management in the eight hours since I had made the call. I called the front desk again, as neither of us wanted to deal with being woken up by drunk people again that evening. Much to my surprise, there was no notation of my earlier call, and so I had to deal with yet another manager, who when I told him the story, knew exactly what group of women I was referring to, and said "he wasn't that surprised given how they were when they checked in and that most likely, it could happen again that evening." What was fascinating to me is that you have guests who have had to move once already due to lack of hotel maintenance and awareness, but you now put them on a floor (where the rooms have ZERO sound proofing) where there could be potential noise issues with abnormally loud guests. Listen, I don't care what these girls do, how loud they want to be, as long as I can't hear them, and they aren't disrupting my evening, it's none of my business, but clearly, that was not the case. So yet again, we move rooms, junior suite 1137 (which is the most run down one out all the ones we were in) and are given a complimentary breakfast and a 3 p.m. check out on Sunday. At this point, I was super annoyed that the original manager I spoke with completely ignored my complaints, and that we were moving to a third room, however, the assistant manager Karim Meziane who handled everything that evening was very apologetic and pleasant, and even hand delivered the new keys along with a face to face apology. So I chalked it up to the fact that they were super busy that weekend and we had a little bit of bad luck. Then I hit my breaking point the following day. We got up early, enjoyed our complimentary breakfast, and headed out for the day as we now had a 3 p.m. versus a noon checkout. We get back to the hotel around 2:15 p.m., just enough time to tidy up our bags and head to the train station. We get in the elevator to learn that our keys are no longer activated. I go to the front desk, I was scolded that the reason our keys are not working is because we were supposed to be out of the room by noon, to which, I shook my head, had to spend 10 minutes explaining that we had a late checkout, but because there was nothing noted from Karim, they sort of all looked at me funny, asked my for my ID, and then finally reactivated my key. Oh and the kicker, I was told that all keys get deactivated no matter what your checkout time is, and that if guests have late checkouts they have to go down to the front desk to reactive their key, WHAT?!?! I have NEVER stayed at a hotel where if you have a late checkout, they don't just electronically extend your checkout time on your key card. Needless to say, I was beyond irritated. I emailed Karim immediately, as he had given me his card, and said if there were any issues, to please don't hesitate to contact him, well, needless to say, I of course have not heard a peep a from him and don't anticipate I will.
As I mentioned to Karim in the email, they had plenty of opportunities to right quite a number of wrong situations for guests that were paying to stay in premium rooms, that quite frankly, lost their premium factor a few years ago. Were the rooms sizable, yes, were the beds comfy, yes, besides that, everything needs a face lift. The couches in the rooms are so sunken in from years of use, they are extremely uncomfortable, and as many other guests pointed out, mold in bathrooms, rotting wood, etc. Clearly this hotel is in some financial distress as these reported renovations Vincent Vienne, General Manager, keeps on alluding too are not being addressed in any way shape or form from a guests perspective. I also find his responses comical as they are canned and very rarely do his responses address all the issues listed by guests, particularly the ones that have written about hotel cleanliness. So Mr. Vienne, please spare me the condescending canned response, as I don’t feel like adding being patronized to the list of issues I had with my stay at your hotel. Clearly, Hotel Palomar is the way to go in that area, worth spending a few extra dollars in my opinion.
If you want quiet, choose a room on one of the ends, do not go with rooms in the middle, you can hea...
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