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“Too hot”
Review of Sofitel Harbin

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Sofitel Harbin
Ranked #2 of 1,138 Hotels in Harbin
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 6, 2013

Wonderful room, except for the inability to regulate in anyway the temperature; preventing this from being a 5 rating. Pleasant staff provides excellent service and check in and out was superb, especially considering how much of a pain it can be in China. Great breakfast - food and service.

It will always be better to have more English channels, but recognize where I am staying. Would stay there again.

Room Tip: Make sure you get a room that has reasonable temperature, especially in the winter.
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Kevin R
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 February 17, 2013

Dear Kevin;
Thank you very much for your comment.
It is a great pleasure to receive such a positive and constructive feedback.
Your feedback has been shared with all of our staff as an encourage to deliver superior guest experience every day, while of course, not forgetting to improve the room confort on temperature and TV channels.
Thank you again, and have a nice day!

Sun HE, Quality and Service Manager

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Reviewed January 30, 2013

We enjoyed our stay at the Sofitel in Harbin. Nice atmosphere and good service. The F&B at the hotel was beyond our expectation. Breakfasts in the coffee shop were fantastic with a very large variety of items to choose from, and all well done. The manager offered us a special "healthy" breakfast, which was such a nice touch. Also loved the French press coffee! The Chinese restaurant also was a positive experience -- the head waiter spoke good English and helped us with all of our selections, including the Harbin beer, which is delicious! We had good service from the concierge desk, and we found it very helpful to have some European staff there who speak perfect English and also very good Chinese. We would not hesitate to return to this hotel or recommend it to friends.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Laura_M46
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 February 6, 2013

Dear Laura;
Much appreciated for the positive comment!
Your message is well received by Mr. Revy, Berta and the management team.
We sincerely hope your next stay will be more pleasant one!
Happy Chinese New Year!

Sun He, Quality and Service Manager

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Reviewed January 29, 2013

Sofitel Wanda Harbin

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just completed a 2-night stay here as part of a visit to the Harbin Ice Festival..............although the hotel is not located on the right side of town (near to the river), and is about an hours taxi ride from the airport, the hotel is definitely 5-star and we would definitely choose this prop again if we return to Harbin.......prior to arrival we were upgraded to a Suite...... breakfast in the Club Lounge.........light snacks and drinks in the evening............prop located next to a shopping plaza.............. met both the GM, Oliver Revy, and Resident Mgr, Olivia Guan, who were both active in meeting/greeting guests to insure they are being looked affer..............kudos go out to both Yuki in the Club Lounge and Chris Zhao at the Conceirge Desk for their special treatment towards the Mrs. & I............only reccco, fopr security, would be that the Exec Floors should be key card usable........

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank BangkokLeeky
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 February 6, 2013

Dear Mr. Klein,

Greetings from the cold Harbin.
Thank you very much for the very nice comments.
It was a pleasure to meet you.
All the best for the new Chinese New Year....year of the snake.

Olivier Revy, General Manager

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Reviewed January 24, 2013

After the great experiences in the Beijing Sofitel, this one was a bit disappointing (still on a pretty good and high standard, mind you).

The rooms are a bit dated, the cigarette burns on the floor were a bit "unusual" for a non-smoking room. (The latter is the fault of the ignorants who smoked in the room, not the hotel's fault).

Service overall was friendly and nice, the breakfast very good.

We had a hotel car booked to go to he ice festival and confirmed with our booking. Considering the outside temperature (-20 degree Celsius) this seemed like a pretty good idea. Unfortunately the car booking was "somehow lost" and -of course- hotel cars were not available anymore. This was pretty annoying and simply must not happen in a hotel of this class! While dealing with the concierge and his manager, the behavior of both made it very clear that they did not care too much about the issue. Their recommendation was "take a taxi". (That's the cheapest idea for everyone who wants to wait of 1 hour in the cold when trying to get a ride home..something we were not too keen on)

After some complaining, one concierge took initiative and resolve the situation and managed to organize a local taxi we could hire for the evening.I felt a bit disappointed that there was no apology or follow-up for the "lost" car booking, previous stays at different Sofitel hotels had left a much better impression...

Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
2  Thank sbe_000
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 24, 2013

Bonjour sbe_000;

Thank you for taking your time to tell us about your experience at Harbin.
We are delighted to hear your compliment on the service and breakfast;
Nevertheless, we did note your comment on the outdated room and transportation issue;
Regarding the room, please rest assured that we are and will be keeping on maintenance and upgrading our room as per Sofitel Standard;
Regarding your transportation difficulty, again, I am sorry for the inconvenience caused;
In order to see both issues into a more detail for prevent future, would you mind to provide your stay information (date of check in and check out, room number)?
Again, thank you very much for your concern and sharing the experience, and it is our hope that you will give us the opportunity to better serve you in the future.

Sun HE Quality & Service Manager, sunhe@sofitel-wanda-harbin.com

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Reviewed January 22, 2013

It was a really pleasure to stay in this hotel during our trip in Harbin !

First, you need to know that in January there it is around -30ºC. So after walking a few hours outside, it is really great to go back to a warm place ! I don't know for you, but me after 2 hours outside, I was completely frozen and really happy to go back to take a rest before to leave during evening for the Ice and Snow Festival.

We were upgraded to a luxury room which we take it as an act of kindness ! Free wifi in the room, efficient AC, great bedding and welcome fruits

The location is nice if you want to go out from the hostel (Cinema, mall). The hostel is nearby the Wanda Mall. After it is a little bit far from the downtown. You will need to take a cab or have your own driver. There is a lot of traffic. So you will need 30min to get to the Sophia Church per example. And 45min to 1 hour to go to the Ice and Snow Festival.

Breakfast was really great, plenty of choice ! You have all you need : chinese, japanese and western food. Fresh juice and excellent bread (same taste as in France). When we left, they asked us what we thought about food... It looks like they take care about the comments because we had nothing to complain.

Then the service was excellent. They all speaks English which is really pleasant.

I really advice this hostel !

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MademoiselleAmandine
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 24, 2013

Bonjour MademoiselleAmandine;

Thank you very much for taking your time writing down your experience at Harbin. It is a pleasure to see you been happy with your stay!
You comment is printed out (with nice editing), and posted in our back house notice board, and it has surely served as an encouragement as we strive to deliver excellent guest experience!
Again, thank you for sharing your experience; we look forward to welcome you back in the future!

Sun HE Quality and Service Manager sunhe@sofitel-wanda-harbin.com

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Reviewed January 18, 2013

Prior to arriving to Harbin, we read stories about the dodgy taxi drivers in Harbin and how some of them raise prices mid-journey and threaten to kick the passengers out into the -25C cold. So we decided to play it safe and used the hotel taxi for 220RMB (150RMB for the taxi ride, 20RMB for tolls and 50RMB for the empty fare to get to the airport). We arranged this via email through the concierge. Concierge are friendly and helpful and speak good English.
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We paid about US$300/night and by China standards is expensive. However as we stayed during the Ice Festival and the Shangri-La was about the same price. The room was what you would expect for a 5 star hotel. Not as nice as Sofitel Xi'an though where we stayed previously. But it was decent enough. Most of the staff spoke English at a reasonable level. Free wifi too. Taxis are hard to come by in Harbin so when we wanted to go out that night we got the concierge to call a taxi which took about half an hour to arrive. Taxis don't drive past the hotel as the hotel is located in car parking lot as well. It took another hour or so to get to Saint Sofia's Church and some shopping areas that we wanted to go to. It only cost about 20RMB but took ages as we just crawled along in peak hour traffic. Catching a cab home was interesting. In Harbin it's common to share taxi's, so our taxi driver would beep at solo people waiting for taxis and ask them where they were going. If it was along the way he'd stop for them, otherwise he'd just shake his head and drive off. It's pretty funny to watch. Taxi drivers won't drop you off at the lobby, they'll drop you off outside the parking lot and you'll have to walk around 50m to get to the entrance.

The next day we did the main tourist attractions - Siberian Tiger Park, Sun Island Snow World and the main Ice & Snow Festival. Concierge told us that it's near impossible to catch a taxi from those areas so we arranged for a private taxi with our hotel for 80RMB/hour. Our taxi driver was a nice lady who kept trying to talk to us in Chinese thinking that if she spoke really slow we'd understand more. But it didn't really work that well. She was nice though. But she drove even slower than the first taxi driver - we think she was just scared though. But the whole private taxi thing is definitely the way to go! She waited in the taxi while we went to each attraction and was always in the same spot when we got out. It ended up being 900RMB for the day, which is heaps less than a tour which wanted to charge us 250USD/person (approx 3000RMB) and you really don't need a tour guide for these attractions. Could be handy to have someone there to help you take photos so you don't need to take off your gloves though.

On our last night we thought we would stop by the restaurants to check them out and came across the Essence restaurant and ordered some desserts a la carte. We ordered a creme brulee and a chocolate cake, we expected it to be a type of chocolate fondant, instead chocolate mousse came out with chocolate sauce. The creme brulee was worse, it wasn't creme brulee, there wasn't the crisp top layer made of melted sugar. The creme brulee itself was pretty bad, didn't even taste like creme brulee and the texture was too thick and gelatinous.

The location of this hotel is not the best for tourists. Ideally as a tourist you would want to stay close to the Songhua River where Ice and Snow World, Pedestrian Street and St Sophia Church to reduce travel time, but the taxi service the hotel offers was useful. We were tossing up between this and the Shangri-La which were around the same price and in hindsight we probably should have chosen the Shangri-La (maybe not, as it's supposedly more run down).

The room service here is pretty average. We ordered french toast (had some weird spam type meat in the middle) and scrambled eggs for breakfast (they gave me the wrong scrambled eggs as well!) for 150RMB and was pretty disappointing.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank brown-and-cony
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 February 6, 2013

Dear cony-and-brown'
Thank you very much for your time to write down your experience.
I am sorry for failing your expectation on the food and beverage, would be convenient to provide your stay information (check in date, check out date and room number), so that we may be able to look into your comment into detail, at least to prevent future happening.
Again, thank you for staying with us. Wish you a happy new year!

Sun HE, Quality and Service Manager, sunhe@sofitel-wanda-harbin.com

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Reviewed January 15, 2013

guess they need good renovation for the hotel. it doesnt look like a "Sofitel Touch" in all area, lobby, restaurant and particularly ...rooms. but very close to shopping mall and good view to the dragon tower.. Don't attempt to go on dec-jan to harbin.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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Thank dinatrip
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 17, 2013

Dear dinatrip
Thank you very much for taking the time to tell us about your experience at the Sofitel Wanda Harbin.
Sorry for not meeting your expectation on the hardware, please rest assured as we have kept and will be keeping on hotel maintenance and upgrading.
Regardless of some difficulties, winter is still the most beautiful season to see a Harbin character, if you agree.
Again, we appreciate for sharing your concerns, and it is our hope that you will give us the opportunity to better serve you in the near future.

Sun HE, Quality and Service Manager, sunhe@sofitel-wanda-harbin.com

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Additional Information about Sofitel Harbin

Address: No.68 Ganshui Road, Xiangfang District, Hei Long Jiang, Harbin 150090, China
Location: China > Heilongjiang > Harbin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Harbin
#2 Luxury Hotel in Harbin
#6 Best Value Hotel in Harbin
Price Range: $105 - $175 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Sofitel Harbin 5*
Number of rooms: 321
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ideally located in the heart of the city’s business district, Sofitel Harbin brings the latest trends in hotel design to Harbin and sets a new standard in combining classic French hospitality with Chinese culture. Providing easy access to Taiping airport, the convention and exhibition centre, the hotel is your gateway to the region. Featuring 321 rooms of pure indulgence and Club Sofitel executive floors, 3 inspired restaurants, state of the art conference facilities, spa, fitness centre and indoor heated pool, the hotel has everything you need and more. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sofitel Wanda Harbin Hotel Harbin
Accor Wanda Harbin
Harbin Sofitel

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