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Wanda Vista Beijing
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Reviewed September 22, 2013

This was my second stay at the Sofitel which seems to never really hit the mark as a true five-star property. Some Beijing hotels are really geared to foreign guests. The Sofitel, however, seems to have fallen into the category of international hotel with a domestic China service attitude.

My suite was beautiful and quiet. Absolutely no faults except for a burned out bathroom mirror light and a nasty stain in the center of the bedroom carpet. Reception and bell staff were courteous and efficient.

My biggest gripe is the dining experience. Breakfast is a bit hit and miss at the 6th floor restaurant. Dishes are OK with selection that is average for a global chain hotel. But table service is non-existent. For some reason, the Sofitel doesn't believe in having an ample supply of napkins or cutlery. When you ask for coffee, some wait staff will give you a French Press while others will pour weak, lukewarm brown water from a thermos or deliver a cup that has been filled from a common urn. Requests for a napkin are met with stares as in "why on earth would you ever want one of those?" Just go hunting for one on a spare table - it's faster than asking.

The worst offender is the dinner buffet. At a heart-stopping CNY358 (USD60), the dishes are not replenished. Arriving around 7:45 pm, I was told by the hostess that "the best option is the buffet because ordering off the menu will take a long time." She had clearly been told to "sell the buffet tonight." The only thing is that it wasn't a buffet. A buffet has food. The restaurant looked like it had been hit by a cyclone - a good third of the guest tables were stacked with dirty plates, there were empty chafing dishes under the heat lamps, the feature salmon dish was completely picked over right down to the bones, name cards were placed beside platters that had no food and worst of all, the chefs stood around staring at everything as if they just wanted to go home. A napkin, of course, was no where to be seen. Requests for cutlery, a glass of wine and a beer where acknowledged but never delivered.

And what of the staff? They were too busy trying to satisfy the irate diners who were crowding around a service station demanding their receipts in order to pay. It was all quite laughable and rather sad.

Dine elsewhere but if you must endure the F&B at the Sofitel, bring your own dinnerware, an extra supply of patience, a napkin, and be prepared to wait a long time before emptying your wallet. Instead, go to the JW Marriott for delicious and professionally-served meals.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled on business
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3  Thank PegasusMiami
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Betty L, Assistant Quality Manager at Wanda Vista Beijing, responded to this reviewResponded October 7, 2013

Dear PegasusMiami,
Thank you for your comments on TirpAdvisor.
We are very sorry that we did not meet your expectations.Please accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience that had brought to you.
Regarding the dinner issues you have encountered, please rest assured that we will take them very seriously along with investigation and training, as we strive for excellence and wish to provide a Magnifique experience to all our guests.
We hope we can have another chance to serve you better in the future.
Best regards,
Betty

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 22, 2013

The Sofitel Wanda is a beautiful hotel. The rooms are nicely furnished. The staff need more training. Check in was fairly quick. But the check-in staff left me feeling that checking us in was a huge burden to them. Room service and housekeeping were extremely slow. The Concierge was very very disappointing. A simple request for directions to take subway train combination transport to the Great Wall was met with stubborn resistance, insisting that we take a tour arranged by the Hotel for a hefty price of ¥2500。Fortunately the Porter in charge of the car park area in front of the Hotel gave us directions to the subway which is less than a block away. You can get to the Great Wall via subway and train. It's quite easy.
Taxi's in this area only want to do airport runs. When we tried to get a taxi to take us to a local shopping district, they refused to go. A gentleman overseeing traffic in and out of the hotel took pity on us and successfully hailed a cab for us.
Room service breakfast, when it arrived, was very good!!!!
There is a Starbucks next to the hotel. The street behind the Hotel has some shops and small local restaurants .
On checking out, we were met by Cedric Besler, the Hotel Manager. He apologized for the most glaring of problems we met up with at this fine Hotel- the Concierge. I do believe he is focused on improving the service level standard.

We have stayed at Sofitel Wanda more than once. It's been hit and miss. Very sad, as the hotel itself is beautiful.
There are other fine Hotels in the area with better price points and friendlier service.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Kexin T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Betty L, Assistant Quality Manager at Wanda Vista Beijing, responded to this reviewResponded October 7, 2013

Dear VolunteeringTrinidad,
Thank you for your comments on TripAdvisor.
We do apologize for the all the inconveniences that had brought to you. As you have mentioned, we are dedicated to improve our service level. We appreciate all your suggestions and feedback which will offer us an opportunity for improvement.
We hope you can give us another chance to serve you better in the future.
Best regards,
Betty

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Reviewed September 20, 2013

First, the bad, then the good.
At checkout we were shocked to find a charge of 98 (could have been 96) RMB for a bottle of Evian water. We were told that water in the room was for drinking or brushing teeth and that is what we used it for. Come to find out that there was a small tag on the bottle, facing backwards, in light pink, with white reversal saying that the bottle cost "x". $16.50 for a bottle of water????!!! I bought water on the streets of Beijing for $.50 (3 RMB). Secondly, we ate the buffet dinner in the hotel one night and it was horrid. Not just bad, horrid. Ended up eating 3 pieces of cool, flat pizza. My wife had something similar. The desert was good. I didn't ask what the buffet cost before hand (my mistake), but was shocked to find it cost 844 RMB for two people (approx. $140). I discussed this concern with the front desk staff at check out and they were sympathetic. The restaurant manager came and expressed his dismay at our experience and he did give us a box of lovely mooncakes. A nice gesture. Nonetheless, I do not think the charge for Evian water is realistic. Let me also say that I found Evian water for less than half their cost in the Xi' an Hilton and the Shangri-La, Pugdong, Shanghai. The Sofitel needs to address this issue.

The good news. It is a lovely hotel and without exeception every person that we dealt with at the hotel was first rate. Could not ask for better. The room was lovely, the location was perfect in CBD, and the breakfast buffet in the same room where the bad dinner buffet was served, was wonderful (4 days worth). Would I return to the Sofitel? Yes I would. The facility is very good, and the people who work there make it a pleasure to be a customer.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank rogerjm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Betty L, Assistant Quality Manager at Wanda Vista Beijing, responded to this reviewResponded October 7, 2013

Dear Rogerjm,
Thank you for your comments on TripAdvisor.
Thank you your suggestions as well as your recognition.
Regarding the Evian water, we do charge for it as we provide 2 bottles of free Ice Dew in the bathroom; however, we should have explained it clearer to you in advance. Also please rest assured that I will share your concern on the price to our management team for reference. Regarding your dinner experience, I wish to apologize that we did not meet your expectations. I will deliver your message to related department head for further investigation and improvement.
At the same time, I am glad to see your recognition on our facilities and our staff service. I hope we can have you stay with us again in the near future.
Best regards,
Betty

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Reviewed September 19, 2013

I had the pleasure to spend a few nights at the Sofitel Beijing and was impressed. As a frequent business traveler I am not often wowed but every once in a while you feel truly special as a guest and this was one of these experiences. A handwritten welcome note, a forgotten item returned to my room (impressive detective work), complimentary shoe polishing service, polished hotel staff and excellent food. Chapeau.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled on business
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2  Thank Florisse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Betty L, Assistant Quality Manager at Wanda Vista Beijing, responded to this reviewResponded October 7, 2013

Dear Florisse,
Glad to see your comments on TripAdvisor.
Thank you for the recognition on our hotel. I will share your feedback with all our staff which I am sure will serve as an encouragement to all of them.
I hope to have you stay with us again in the near future.
Life is Magnifique!
Betty

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Reviewed September 17, 2013

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled on business
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Review collected in partnership with Accorhotels.com
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Betty L, Assistant Quality Manager at Wanda Vista Beijing, responded to this reviewResponded October 7, 2013

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
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