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“Passable hotel - shame about the staff.”
Review of Forum Hotel

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Forum Hotel
Ranked #29 of 133 Hotels in Sofia
Certificate of Excellence
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Passable hotel - shame about the staff.”
Reviewed July 22, 2011

I was swithering whether to give this experience a 2 or a 3 out of 5 but I decided on 2 for the following reasons.

The hotel, is not, as the name suggests, particularly central. It's a good half hour walk / 10-15 minute tram ride to the main attractions of the city. The tram stop is right outside the hotel, which is useful. There is also a large supermarket nearby - also good. However the area is largely residential.

The welcome we received was wholly underwhelming. The receptionist substituting the usual basic courtesies ("hello", "welcome") for monosyllabic instructions ("passport", "which room"). It also took rather a long time to check in, or perhaps it just seemed that way, thanks to the crushing silence in the foyer as we waited for our room key.

However the hotel is clean and bright, the rooms are air conditioned, the bathrooms are well equipped, the showers are fine. There are no double beds, only singles pushed together, the beds (and rooms) are on the small side but basically comfortable. Breakfast is what you would expect - a selection of meats and cheeses, cereals and yogurts. Adequate rather than amazing.The coffee was good, best enjoyed on the terrace, a welcome respite from the dry heat of the day. Hotel guests can also use the fitness suite and sauna on a complimentary basis.

All in all, the hotel has a lot of potential but this is swiftly destroyed by the attitudes of the front of house staff who are surly, rude and unforgivingly indifferent to the mere presence of their guests. I welcome the fact the customer service in Eastern Europe is so different from the over-familiarity of America or the formal servitude of Britain. However Hotel Central Forum boasts an apathy towards the term 'customer service' I have never experienced, and never hope to again, in all my travels.

I will briefly go into detail here so feel free to skip ahead. We asked if it were possible for the hotel to help us with our pre-arranged airport transfer which was met with, "impossible" and we were told we would have to dial the number from our own rooms. We got the impression, thanks to the woman's hand-on-hip, gazing at own fingernails, stance, that we were a mere inconvenience to her morning. We asked about the best route into the city and the answer consisted of a raised arm and an index finger. We asked if they had any recommendations for restaurants and were informed that the hotel's restaurant was open until 10pm, that was all. The overall impression was just so unwelcoming and uncomfortable and beware future guests; the prices for the mini bar are in Euros - not Levas. I will say that the young bell-boy was their only saving grace. He was polite, efficient and - unlike the others - actually capable of a smile.

My suggestion would be to avoid this hotel, I think its main business stems from conferences and weddings rather than tourist city breaks. A better experience can be found elsewhere for the same cost or less. The people of Sofia were welcoming and kind, on the streets and in the restaurants but Hotel Central Forum is appalling in its attitude to guests, we witnessed similar scenarios with other groups at the reception desk. It just shows you what a difference a warm welcome and helpful staff can make. This hotel would scrape 3 stars if its customer service improves tenfold, after all, it's nice to be nice.

Room Tip: On one side of the building the rooms have balconies - but the staff like to keep this a secret.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BurntOutBarista
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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156 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
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Italy
Level Contributor
89 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed March 17, 2010

Nice spacious rooms. Good restaurant. Breakfast ok, but not 4-star level. Staff very helpul. Some small remarks: sometimes it was difficult to set hot/cold water. The toilets on the ground floor were not so clean and had no soap. The room was a bit noisy at night (probably because of my neighbours). In general, consider it a good 3 stars, not a 4 star. However the price was very good.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Danielearro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed February 27, 2010

This was one of two hotels I stayed in when I went to Sofia last year. The first I stayed in for a few nights and was lovely (Les Fleurs) and then I travelled to another part of Bulgaria and was meant to stay at Central Forum for one night. It ended up being two nights due to a change in travel plans.
The service was absolutely fine, no complaints there, and the room was clean enough. I didn't really like the location, it seemed in a bit of a quiet place and a bit too removed from the centre of the city. I just didnt feel particularly comfortable. I also found the room quite claustrophobic. It wasnt tiny, but it was just the layout. There is a narrow corridor as you walk in, and then the bed in the middle of the room which pretty much took up all the space. It may be that I am comparing it to Les Fleurs (which I thought was gorgeous), but after the two nights here I was really looking forward to leaving! Breakfast was ok - not that great but it was edible.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank vnb84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rome
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 19, 2010

Last June I've been staying for a few days in Central Hotel Forum Sofia and I would really like to recommend it! I've been already several times in Sofia on the occasion of buisness gathering and conferences and I was always quite disappointed from the hospitality but last time was great. I found Central Hotel Forum on the net (Easy Click Travel web site) for relatively quite an attractive price and I booked it immediately. Our rooms had wireless Internet access which was very important for us, the location was great and facilities were excellent too.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank gofore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed January 12, 2010

We had a large, clean room with well-stocked mini-bar, coffee making facilities, balcony and a huge bed.
Staff were helpful and spoke English. Breakfast was lavish and good.
AND we paid 60 Euros a night. Brilliant!
Highly recommended.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank david4848
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bruxelles, Belgium
Level Contributor
62 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed November 15, 2007

The hiotel looks pretty OK. Not too old and in good conditions. It is notb elegant but not bad taste either. Rooms are however very small and with single bed. Also, it is not really in the town centre. I don't have particular compliants but would not say that it was an impressive hotel in any regard. All in all, very much average.

Stayed June 2006
Helpful?
Thank bruges00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
co.durham
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed August 5, 2007

Arrived by taxi and though "[--] what a hole"
Then walked into reception and thought, "mmmm, this looks OK"
Went to room and was very pleasantly surprised.
I was in room 220 and it had the best pillows of any hotel I’ve stayed at. Bed was also very comfortable.
Breakfast was good, rooms very clean, not much traffic noise so managed to get some sleep.
It is Bulgaria so I don't expect a pleasant smile at reception so I'm never disappointed in the hotel staff.
Right next door to a major supermarket with great take away food. Paid £30 per night and would say that was excellent value for money.
I stayed the night before at the sister hotel in the centre of town and this is better by far

Hotel reviews are sent by people who have had a real [--] time or an incredible time. That’s why I always write reviews whatever the experience.

Stayed August 2007
Helpful?
1 Thank bluemore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Forum Hotel

Property: Forum Hotel
Address: 41, Tsar Boris III Blvd., Sofia 1612, Bulgaria (Formerly Central Forum Hotel)
Phone Number:
Location: Bulgaria > Sofia Region > Sofia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #29 of 133 Hotels in Sofia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Forum Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 51
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Forum Hotel Sofia is a business hotel located near the city center with convenient transport links to important administrative centers and sightseeing-1 km from the Russian monument , 2 km from the NDK, 2 km from Sveta Nedelya, 2 km from Mall of Sofia, we are close to BMA, Alexander's Hospital , Medical Academy. Hotel Forum combines all services of the business hotel and the opportunity to relax. The hotel has free wireless internet access, 4 conference halls, 3 restaurants, 2 summer gardens with a place for smokers, spa center with hot tube /jacuzzi/, massage. Hotel Forum offers 51 rooms- 33 economy rooms, 12 deluxe, 3 suites and 3 apartments with kitchen equipment. All rooms are furnished in style for a business hotel with free internet access. Free services: WI-FI, coffee and tea facilities. ... more   less 
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