We stayed here for one night after arriving in Sofia, before heading out into Bulgaria.
After a short taxi tide from the airport, the welcome at reception was very pleasant, although no offer was made to help us with our luggage. However we didn't ask for any help in any case, and the lift is very close to reception.
The first impressions of the room were very favourable; although it was only a standard room, it was quite spacious. The warm weather in Sofia meant that the room was rather hot at first, but the air conditioning is very effective.
The furnishing in the room was generally in very good condition, although there were one or two signs of wear and tear on the edges of a few items.
Unfortunately there was a peculiar smell coming from the toilet when we first arrived; I wonder if this was due to the fact that the room had perhaps not been occupied for some time, and the doors all being closed had caused this. Still after a bit of ventilation all was well.
We particularly liked the bathroom, which was big, with a big bathtub and separate shower cubicle, which itself was large and equipped with an enormous shower head which could probably have flooded the whole floor if allowed to! Fortunately the drainage was quite effective. Particularly impressive was the fact that the hotel provides individual toiletries from L'Occitane, which are high quality and certainly rather expensive to buy.
The general design and decoration are quite similar to other hotels in Bulgaria, and (in my opinion at least) quite distinct from the standard white and grey which seem to characterise so many of the big hotel chains. You may or may not find it to your liking, but I certainly have no complaint about it.
Everything was very clean, and we certainly appreciated the comfort after a fairly long day of travelling.
The breakfast is very good, being a buffet with a large selection of both typical Bulgarian items and the usual standard international fare.
The reason we are giving this only 4 and not 5 out of 5 is that there are just a few rough edges which need to be ironed out. The toilet flush didn't quite work as designed; some of the small doors on cupboards, and some of the drawers needed some maintenance, and the whole impression is not quite up to the standard which one should be able to expect from a hotel which claims to be 5-star. If you make that kind of claim then you should be something special and quite distinct, and this hotel almost gets there but not quite.
It's worth mentioning, however, that the price we paid for our one night was very good value; certainly less than you would expect to pay fof 5-star hotels in many other countries and even in Bulgaria.
One thing which you may find useful: the hotel offers its own transfer to and from the airport, for which they try to charge 20 euros. This is not worth it, since the taxi costs 15-20 Leva. No doubt reception would be able to call a taxi from a reputable firm.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Arena di Serdica is the newest 5 star Residence Hotel in Sofia affiliated to the FPI Hotels & Resorts chain.Strategically located in the heart of the city, right next to the main states institutions, business centers and banks, as well as to the cultural and historial places of interest in Sofia, the luxurious Arena di Serdica Residence Hotel Sofia is excellent choice for business and cultural trips. ... more less
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