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Reviewed February 14, 2012

This hotel was terrible. We expected 4-5 star and would have gotten better at a 3 star.

1. We requested a non smoking room and when we tried to check in they tried to give us a smoking room and we were told repeatedly that a non smoking room was not available. We had to argue with the woman that we wanted non smoking. It took about 30 mins to get our room preference.
2. The Euro restaurant was awful. I ordered the lamb shanks and they were horrible. They were tiny, swimming in a gravy-like soup, tough enough that I needed a steak knife to get any meat from them, and once I got some meat it tasted really gamey, as if it was goat and not lamb.
3. The Chinese restaurant called Old Shanghai had giant dried shark fins on display. If you don't know what shark fin soup is all about please click this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shark_finning I am amazed that a hotel like Sofitel can support this practice.
4. When I tried to check out the woman using the credit card machine tried to charge me 50000rmb when it should have been 500 rmb, and then proceeded to try my card in every other machine. All told they tried my card about 10 times to pay the disgusting meal that we couldn't even eat and the effect of this was my card was blocked by my bank. In the end she threw my card at me and toldl me to go to a cash machine to get money out.

However, I think this hotel could be very good. The problem seemed to me that the local staff were inadequately trained and the European staff seem at their wits end about how to change the level of service.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank sashok27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sofitel-Harbin, Front Office Manager at Sofitel Harbin, responded to this reviewResponded April 9, 2012

Dear Valued Guest,

Greeting from Sofitel Wanda Harbin.

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your experience. I am sorry that your experience did not meet your expectations; please allow me to express my sincerest apologies.

Your multiple comments are well noted and rest assured that the department head concern has been informed and we will take the appropriate measures to address the problem and prevent future occurrence.

In closing, thank you for highlighting the service and attitude areas where we can obviously improve upon as I strongly believe that feedback is the key to success. Nonetheless, I would like to once more offer my deepest apologies and it is our hope that you will give us the opportunity to better serve you in the near future.

Sincerely,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 13, 2012

Average hotel, looking a bit worn out. Ready for refurbishment. Some stains on the carpet and mould on the bathroom walls. The AC fan started rattling at about 5am. Avoid the European restaurant. Had the pork chop which was terrible. Really tough and tasteless.

Definitely not worth the price tag.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank alek815
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sofitel-Harbin, Front Office Manager at Sofitel Harbin, responded to this reviewResponded April 9, 2012

Dear Valued Guest,

Greeting from Sofitel Wanda Harbin.

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your experience. I am sorry that your experience did not meet your expectations; please allow me to express my sincerest apologies.

At Sofitel, we strive to provide a superior service experience for every customer; therefore your feedback is very important to us.

Your comment about the room and the restaurant are well noted. I am pleased to inform you that our hotel will replace the carpet in all the room and public area within 2012. As for the restaurant, our Executive Chef has taking your comment very seriously and appropriate measures will be address to prevent future occurrence.

We appreciate your sharing your concerns, and it is our hope that you will give us the opportunity to better serve you in the near future.

Sincerely,

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Reviewed February 12, 2012

Stayed here during the International Snow & Ice Festival in Harbin for two nights. This hotel is one of two five star hotels in Harbin and I wish I had spent a bit more and stayed in the other one (Shangri-La).

The things that struck me about this hotel were:

* Service *
- After check-in, the concierge seemed really bored and disinterested in carrying our bags to our room. When we were there, he stood around expecting a tip, we gave him 10RMB and he seemed disappointed even though it is not in our Aussie culture to tip.
- On the night before, I called front desk and asked to extend my checkout to 1PM so that I can sleep in with my partner. I got woken up at 10AM the next day by front desk to ask when I will be checking out.

* Room *
- Our carpets were filthy, understandable given the weather.
- There were no wireless internet access in the building, this was unacceptable IMO. We had stayed at many multi-storey hotels as low as 3.5 stars during our trip and they all had wireless.
- Room has really nice modern decor but is really dark even when all lights are switched on, I did most of my bedtime reading in the bathroom.
- Beds are really comfortable.
- There is a big marble bathtub in every room but strangely no bath foam.

* Facilities *
- The Sofitel Chinese restaurant downstairs had poor attitude. On our first night there we were in a hurry so we ordered fried rice, the waitress told us it will take 10 minutes to cook. It ended up taking 30 minutes because they don't make much money on the fried rice so it is deprioritised.
- Had dinner at Sofitel Elements on our second evening. Food is supposed to be French but came in much generous servings. The taste is pretty average and so it is overpriced for what you get. Plus entree, main and dessert are served in the wrong order. I asked for a medium lamb chops but got some rare and some medium rare chops.

Given all the problems of this hotel, the only reason I am giving it 3 stars instead of 2 is the bed. Because my god is it the most comfortable bed I've been in!

Room Tip: The park facing side of the building has nicer views and better sunlight during the day.
  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jack S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sofitel-Harbin, Front Office Manager at Sofitel Harbin, responded to this reviewResponded April 9, 2012

Dear Valued Guest,

Greeting from Sofitel Wanda Harbin.

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your experience. I am sorry that your experience did not meet your expectations; please allow me to express my sincerest apologies.

Your comment are well noted by all our Management team and further action will be taken to avoid such issue to occurred in the future such as:
- our carpet will be replace in all room and public area within 2012 as well as Wifi in all room (as now, only Suite room and public area have Wifi access).
- The chinese restaurant is not directly managed by Sofitel, our your comment has been communicate to the restaurant owner and he promised us to pay more attention to the customer service.

However, all our room are equip with reading light on top of the bed. Maybe you haven't seen the switch.

I am confident that our overall service is better than the one mentioned on your comment and and it is our hope that you will give us the opportunity to better serve you in the near future.

In closing, thank you for highlighting the service and attitude areas where we can obviously improve. Once more, I would like to offer my deepest apologies.

Sincerely,

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Reviewed February 7, 2012

Hotel itself is not bad..
What we didn't like was it's location.. It's a bit far away from the main attractions of Harbin.. So, be aware of the location before you book..

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank dincer80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nicolas-Girard, Manager at Sofitel Harbin, responded to this reviewResponded January 3, 2013

Bonjour Monsieur;
Thank you very much for your review on staying at Sofitel Wanda Harbin.
We are making effort to make the hotel a more convenient and comfortable one.
Wish a Happy New Year in 2013!

Sun HE - Quality & Service Manager at Sofitel Wanda Harbin

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Reviewed February 4, 2012

We came from Jakarta - Indonesia

During ice festival from 23/1 to 25/1-2012, I and my wife stayed in this hotel. Complain: first day: sign NO SMOKING great...in the reality smoking illegal but allowed,the worst experience as we would like to took lunch in the Shanghai Restorant,left and right of our table are smoker. We complained it to the resto person,but no action. We decided it better to walked out without lunch there. The last day before checked out,the hotel reception show us the breakfast's bill,she said only one person included. I show her my booking's confirmation,it was clearly described for two persons included breakfast. She wasn't sure,she called the hotel duty manager,he came to me without checked my booking's confirmation,directly he said,yes it was sure,you must pay,the pakage is only for one person. I complained,you should look at my booking's confirmation and read it each words. Maybe he doesn't understand or shamed to say the reality,he lets me and went in to the office room. After 3 minutes,the girl as reception,said to me,it was included and paid.

I had loosed my time almost 45 minutes only for this unnecessarry matters,I had prepaired before two hours (120 minutes) after checkout to go to the airport. Caused that happend,I had to say the taxi driver hurry up,after 30 minutes I had arrived at the airport,will depart to Beijing. My friends...you could imagine it,how is the crazy situation,5 minutes after the security checking...last called for boarding....God blessed us.

So,that was our worst short story during staying at the Sofitel Wanda Harbin Hotel. The room is quite small for the 5 stars standard.

We hope that the Sofitel Group Management can do better in the future,because we were Accor's member too.

Stayed: January 2012, traveled with family
1  Thank AlexDiana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sofitel-Harbin, Front Office Manager at Sofitel Harbin, responded to this reviewResponded April 9, 2012

Dear Valued Guest,

Greeting from Sofitel Wanda Harbin.

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your experience. I am sorry that your experience did not meet your expectations; please allow me to express my sincerest apologies.

This incident is totally regrettable and definitely should not happen in our hotel. It would be a great help for us if you could give us more information by sending us your details at my attention to the hotel email address: hotel@sofitel-wanda-harbin.com

In any case, we shouldn’t have let you wait so long and almost make you missed your flight. Once again, let me apologize for the inconvenient and looking forward to hear from you soon.

Sincerely,

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