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“Worst Sofitel in China”
Review of Sofitel Harbin

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Sofitel Harbin
Ranked #2 of 1,166 Hotels in Harbin
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 1, 2014

Stayed in late June - early July, 2014. It was during the Harbin International Fair and the hotel was packed. It is obvious, that the staff is not trained well enough for this kind of pressure. Breakfast is a disaster - you hardly can find a clean table, you ask the waiter to clean it up and it takes him ages. Room service is slow as well. Be sure you are well prepared for the business trip, because there are no irons in this so called 5 star hotel. It is far behind its Big Brothers - Sofitel Chengdu and Sofitel Macau. Consider another option in Harbin.

  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled on business
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Thank Sergey L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sofitel_GM, General Manager at Sofitel Harbin, responded to this reviewResponded July 3, 2014

Dear Valued Guest,

First of all please allow me to thank you very much for your feedback whilst I would like to sincerely apologies for the service shortfall.
As you mentioned indeed your last visit was falling during the Harbin China-Russia trade Fair in highest occupancy level with numerous large groups that were coming to have breakfast more or less at the very same time. We realize that at some stage our restaurant has been challenged with rush time at breakfast, and that at time our ambassadors and part timers were not efficient enough as not fully prepared to such a pressure , with the lack of seats at some stage.
Please rest assured that we are taking very seriously the incident that happened to you and that this is definitely not the kind of service standard Sofitel Harbin wishes to provide our Guests with,therefore reviewing thoroughly our all day dining breakfast flow process and efficiency, as well retraining our Service Standards operating procedures to our Members.

Please do not hesitate to contact me directly through email address quality@sofitel-wanda-harbin.com for the reservation of your next stay here and welcome to process your booking through me to ensure your stay is to your satisfaction.

Once more thank you very much for your feedback and patronage,

Most sincerely yours,

General Manager
Sofitel Wanda Harbin

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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165 - 171 of 511 reviews

Reviewed June 15, 2014

Have not stayed in any other hotel in this area as we usually use this one for corporate purposes so cannot compare with any others in this area. Good hotel and has always met my needs anytime I stayed here. Location is good for central Harbin but can be a nightmare if you have to travel in and out of the city everyday during your stay. Mind you, alot of development going on with road network so is much better now than 2 or 3 years ago when I first went.

Nice friendly staff on the reception but have to say the concierges can be a little bit too eager to take your luggage off you when there are people who prefer to cart it themselves. Can feel like intruding on your privacy.

Restaurant is not bad, has a mix of Chinese and Western cuisine but for the same item on the menu, you may not get exactly the same presentation or content of it if you have it more than once in the same week for example. There is always the option of the buffet menu too though. Have not tried the Japanese restaurant opposite the main restaurant but heard it is good.

Rooms are good and comfortable, sometimes felt like A/C didn't work. You need a tool to open the windows by calling reception but if you are high enough up in the building, you may not see alot due to the air pollution (comes and goes, a bit unpredictable).

Overall form my experience I would recommend it. Fine for a weeks stay or thereabouts but you may find yourself getting bored and if you have someone with local lingo or can speak it yourself, it is good to take a walk in the vicinity, there is abig mall next door with shops and restaurants and a few restaurants in the vicinity, it will certainly make it a bit more worthwhile.

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled on business
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Thank J5TPM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sofitel_GM, General Manager at Sofitel Harbin, responded to this reviewResponded July 8, 2014

Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you very much for your feedback.
We are happy that you could fully enjoy our facilities and have appreciated our buffet restaurant as well as our rooms, Location and surounding of the hotel .

One more time thank you very much for your feedback and patronage.
We are looking forward to the pleasure to welcome you back soon here in Harbin.

Yours sincerely,

Franck G.P.LOUIS
General Manager
Sofitel Wanda Harbin

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Reviewed June 8, 2014

The hotel is a short drive away from the main sights and touristy area, but it is right next to a shopping mall with a supermarket, decent shops and restaurants.

The lobby looks decent but was disappointed by the size of the rooms and bathrooms. Stayed during the start of spring and my room had no air-conditioning but a heating system that can be turned off. Leaving the windows open did not help at all and after complaining twice, the hotel manager was able to help get me a cooler room on another floor and the staff took good care of the move. The staff was also helpful and reliable in providing local information and making arrangements for local transport. Will return for the good service and this is probably still one of the better hotels in the area.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled on business
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Thank Y880
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sofitel_GM, General Manager at Sofitel Harbin, responded to this reviewResponded July 13, 2014

Dear Valued Guest

Greeting from Sofitel Wanda Harbin!

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your experience at the Sofitel Wanda Harbin. 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. Please rest assured that we are taking the appropriate measures to address the problem and prevent future occurrence.

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

Sincerely,

General Manager
Sofitel Wanda Harbin

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Reviewed April 15, 2014

Stayed here as I wanted a little French culture while in China fora long trip. The lobby bar did not not have any of the first four glasses of wine I ordered, all French.
Seriously, Dynasty and a cheap California merlot were best they could do!
Rooms small and I can hardly wait for new Marriott to open...

Room Tip: Wait for new Mariott
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled on business
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Thank CWinstin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sofitel_GM, General Manager at Sofitel Harbin, responded to this reviewResponded April 19, 2014

Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you very much for your feedback.
First of all please kindly accept our sincere apologizes .
After a full investigation we have been able to deduct that obviously your experience with us had been an unfortunate combination of misunderstanding and mishandlings with one our newly hired management trainee, as in fact items you were looking for were available at all time. We certainly understand your feeling and that some approaches combined with your original has not been nderstood through difficult communication with this young and still inexperience member at that time, as in fact classic French Wines are available as having close to a thousand of bottles in Cellars, with 110 different wine labels from classic French to highly ranked Vintages , Italian, Spanish and other new world wines, making it one of the most comprehensive large wine list here in the city, as well as having one of the only Sommelier in the city of Harbin.
Please rest assured that we take seriously the incident that happened to you and that this is definitely not the kind of approach and service standard Sofitel Harbin wishes to provide our Guests with, therefore reviewing thoroughly our Service Standards operating procedures related to that matter.

Please do not hesitate to contact me directly for the reservation of your next stay here in and welcome to process your booking through me to ensure your stay is to your satisfaction, as it will be a pleasure to meet you personally, allowing me to show you around the property, including the present numerous upgrades we are working on from rooms to F&B side, and of course as well to show you our Cellar and master Wine list, introducing you to our newly joined Director of Food & Beverage coming from Hong Kong, as well as to our outlet Manager and Chef Sommelier.

Once more thank you very much for your feedback and patronage,

Most sincerely yours,

Franck G.P.LOUIS
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 1, 2014 via mobile

We come to the hotel around 18 oclock. Our booked room was not prepared due a before late checkout. We accepted to wait for 45 min..after that time the room was still not available. Only after complain we received a upgrade. And then it was okay but still too expensive at all. Swimming pool havea little humidity problems. Breakfast really good. Harbins air pollution killed all fun finally...

Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
Thank ThomasGruebner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sofitel_GM, General Manager at Sofitel Harbin, responded to this reviewResponded March 3, 2014

Dear Valued Guest,

First of all thank you very much for your feedback.
I would like to sincerely apologize as could see that you have been waiting a little while for your room, certainly not the standard we are used to provide even if we were in high occupancy and late check out group.As part of our schedule our Swimming pool will soon be renovated.
We are happy that you could fully enjoy our facilities and have appreciated our full offer for breakfast that does not only offer western specialities but also a large choice of chinese specialities from dim sum to freshly prepared Noodles to experience whilst staying with us.

One more time thank you very much for your feedback and patronage.

Yours sincerely,

Franck G.P.LOUIS
General Manager
Sofitel Wanda Harbin

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2014

I checked out a disgraceful hotel in the middle of the main street in Harbin which was so shocking that I did not want any more unpleasant surprises and i am glad i did. This hotel is very non-descript with large car park in front surrounded by shops and is a little away from the main street but felt I made a good decision.

It is a corporate hotel which i normally try to avoid and you have all the standards you expect but i might as well have been elsewhere. It is too expensive for what it is but this is there busy time I understand. The reception staff was efficient, bag was brought up immediately and staff was friendly and even spoke a little english which wear nice. Compared to my previous hotel in Harbin the room was heaven but not to big and this was a standard room. There is more clutter and notices in the room than i have ever seen before but i think this is what these corporate hotels probably want.

The food is just standard and I ate in the lobby/bar area a snack. It is all very open with very little atmosphere and I would recommend to go out simply to experience Harbin but do wrap up as it is freezing in February and know where you are going. I was with local people and did have a great meal but do not know name of restaurant.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled on business
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Thank willem333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sofitel_GM, General Manager at Sofitel Harbin, responded to this reviewResponded February 18, 2014

Dear Valued Guest,

First of all thank you very much for your feedback.
We are happy that you finally could have experience our Hotel which indeed is well located and well surrounded with the large shopping malls on both sides of the hotel and rather convenient according to most guests points of view.
Our Hotel has in fact the opportunity to serve a mix of business travelers as well as Guests coming here for leisure, which is the particularity of Harbin, that is becoming a first choice destination for people willing to discover and enjoy northern China .
We took note that you have appreciated the sense of hospitality and efficiency of our Ambassadors and will not miss to pass on the message to them to further encourage them.
Once more thank you very much for your feedback and patronage,

Most sincerely yours,

Franck G.P. LOUIS
General Manager
Sofitel Wanda Harbin

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2014

There are said to be two 5-star hotels in Harbin, The Sofitel and the ShangriLa. This needs prefacing with the observation that, with the possible exception of some hotels in Beijing and Shanghai, the 5-star rating system in China does not equate with that in other SE Asian territories. It is, frankly, naive to raise one's expectations to, say, Hong Kong levels. The ShangriLa is situate in a more tourist-oriented area and is unarguably more convenient for the Ice Festival (q.v.) sites: the Sofitel is approximately 30 minutes ride away by taxi which are plentiful and reasonably priced. The Sofitel is said to be more aimed at business visitors. I knew this when booking a 5 night stay and this partly motivated my choice as I would rather be in a somewhat quieter area. I also fancied a change from ShangriLa, in whose hotels I have stayed frequently.

We were very happy with the overall quality of the Sofitel generally. Quick and efficient check-in and check-out. The rooms, at least the Club rooms, are spacious, well-maintained, comfortably and attractively furnished with comfortable beds provided with a daily linen-change and good bathrooms with hot water that is actually hot. A nice touch is being able to have a window open, albeit only to a limited extent - even if the external air quality is dubious.The staff are very eager to please - perhaps occasionally too much so, becoming a touch intrusive.

The only let down there was centred around the buffet breakfast. The choice of items was no more than acceptable but almost every "hot" item was, in fact, stone cold. The reason for this was blindingly obvious - the items were too far from any heat source and the plates were all cold...not even warmed. This was pointed out to the staff (both in English and Mandarin) day after day but made not a blind bit of difference. There was also a complete lack of comprehension of the basic use of a French press for making coffee - which persisted, again despite demonstration or explanation. It is this mainly this factor (which of course is not acceptable) which stops the visit from getting 5 stars from me.

Two dinners were taken in the Western-style restaurant (I'd call it a coffee shop) which offered a reasonable choice of dishes at fair prices. One dinner at the Japanese restaurant was a roaring success - lovely environment (albeit almost deserted) and the best Japanese food I have eaten anywhere in China. It was certainly of a very high standard and service was knowledgeable and well-paced when the waitress was told what was required. If this restaurant were in my home town, I'd be there once a week. Not many other good restaurants in the surrounding area it seems (McDonalds and Pizza Hut do not constitute restaurants) although we did discover an interesting-looking enclave about 2 blocks away on the last day.

If I were to visit Harbin again I would unhesitatingly stay at the Sofitel.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank ryetee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sofitel_GM, General Manager at Sofitel Harbin, responded to this reviewResponded February 17, 2014

Dear Guest,

We very much appreciate your comments regarding Sofitel Wanda Harbin. It is always a pleasure to receive positive feedback.

As you well noticed, we focus a lot on guest service, what we call "service with the heart". I am glad our different staff service was up to your satisfaction

I will share your comments with our team, I am sure that this feedback will serve as an encouragement to all of our staff as we strive to continuously improve the quality of our services.

Thank you again for sharing your experience, and we hope your next visit will be as pleasant as the previous one.


General Manager
Sofitel Wanda Harbin

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 Luxury Hotel in Harbin
#2 Spa Hotel in Harbin
#3 Best Value Hotel in Harbin
Price Range: $114 - $186 (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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