Free unlimited Internet in all areas including rooms
Spa centre free to guests (18m pool, steam room, jacuzzi). In a strange anachronism you have to wear a swim cap to use the pool so don't forget to pack it or buy it at the spa centre reception....
Standard room was pleasant, the artwork was refreshing and unintrusive.
All staff where friendly, tried hard to speak English (receptionists spoke good English)
Location - very close to the metro and only a few blocks from downtown. The nearby shopping centre is also handy.
Good selection of toiletries in the bathroom
Good jet of hot water
No slippers (had to borrow them from the spa centre)
Decor. Not distinctly horrible, but definitely from a different aesthetic background than Western Europe and representative of the 90s.
The tv wasn't exactly hi-tech (old style CRT box rather than flat screen), but there are more channels than you could possibly flick through in an evening.
Other reviewers mention the breakfast being outstanding. I have to disagree in fact I would say it is sub-standard for a 5* hotel. I could reel off a list of 4* and 5* hotels with significantly better breakfasts. The filter coffee was pretty horrible (but the espresso I ordered was ok). The fairly meagre hot buffet was average (but good bacon) and the cold spread was also average. No condiments (not even salt and pepper) on the tables or even on the buffet bar. The croissants weren't bad, but the other pastries were below par. The service was the weakest i found in Sofia. Those who like cereals and fruit for breakfast, however, will be satisfied.
No complimentary tea and coffee in the rooms, no complimentary water either, although neither of these things are standard anywhere.
Simple MS Word notices forbidding this and ordaining that stuck up around the hotel don't enhance the 5* experience....
I had a light dinner there the first evening. While, again, the decor is a bit debatable I found the experience pleasant. The pianist played quite tastefully, the Caesar salad was tasty (excellent bacon, the lettuce could have been a bit fresher), the half-bottle of Chilean Sauvignon was fine (shame the local white had run out) and the waiters tried hard despite limited English. Price-wise the prices are more than reasonable for a 5* hotel.
Overall, while I seem to have more reservations than positives I am giving this hotel a 4 star rating. It was comfortable, offered a secure and dignified environment (if somewhat out-dated) and the staff were pleasant. At 80€/night (our corporate rate) I couldn't expect more. However, I have to say that the 5* the hotel proudly displays at every opportunity are exaggerated. 4* would be a more realistic representation.
If I returned to Sofia then I wouldn't hesitate to stay here again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- LOCATION Centrally located in midtown Sofia, Hotel Anel offers easy access to business, government and banking institutions as we as exclusive shopping areas, tourist attractions and the lively nightlife for both business entertainment and personal downtime. With it unrivalled proximity to the heart of Sofia and less time to commute guests can enjoy longer meetings with clients and business partners or just explore in depth the sites of the city without the hustle of time. CONFERENCE FACILITIES With 6 meeting and conference rooms and 3 additional venues including a The Roof Top Terrace, The M Bar and Restaurant Anel, Hotel Anel offers some of the best and most innovative facilities for any event in the Bulgarian capital. With more than 700 square meters (7500 square feet) of meeting and event space guests are provided with one of the premiere settings for conferences, seminars, annual meetings, board meetings, product launches, discreet business lunches, gala dinners, cocktail receptions, weddings and social occasions. RESTAURANT ANEL Savour fabulous cuisine prepared by our dedicated and professional chefs who are inspired by fresh and healthy ingredients to bring a truly extraordinary and delicious meal. The carefully selected wines to accompany the dinning experience will capture the guests' imagination. The soft brown interior with oil paintings from classical Bulgarian artist creates for the perfect ambience and style, which are further underlined by the floor to ceiling windows giving a quiet view of the surrounding city. Every night form 20.00H - 22.00H the restaurant features live music from our in house pianist.Capacity: 115 seats (with roof garden) Cocktail capacity: 140 peopleOpening hours: 12.00H - 23.00H THE M BAR Tucked away right above the Reception Desk and overlooking the hustle and bustle of the street below M Bar is the quintessential meeting place for morning coffees, light and delicious lunches or dinners, healthy refreshments, alluring cocktails and other swanky beverages. PALMS SPORT The Sport center houses a picturesque 18-meter heated swimming pool with a Venetian bridge cutting across it, a 3 person Jacuzzi, steam room, sauna, infra-red sauna, 2 rooms for body treatments and a fitness center with Italian Technogym cardiovascular and muscle-building equipment. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Anel Hotel Sofia