THE CITY'S FIRST DESIGN HOTEL
The hotel is located next to the city’s most famous buildings and just a stone’s throw away from the famous church of Aleksander Nevski, the city’s most popular tourist attraction with its magnificent and inspiring bronze domes. The location is actually quite a prestigious one, also being opposite parliament and other important state institutions. This part of town is very well kept and signals the city’s rapid development of the last few years. The hotel seems to stand out from the general combination of styles and architecture of the Bulgarian capital, in which one can find everything from socialist architecture to Turkish and other influences, all of which brings about mixed reactions.
The traffic in Sofia is a story in itself; if you’re lucky to arrive in the city outside of rush hour you might somehow manage it all. In any other case, the traffic is, at best, chaotic. The trick is to just let the taxi drivers, with whom we’ve had mostly good experiences, do their magic. The public transport is getting better, although it is still far from what you find in more organised destinations. A completely different story, though, is the modern airport connected to the city by metro that was opened in 1998. This transport is certainly the most efficient way of getting around the city and also very cheap, compared to other European capitals.
COLD APPETIZER - Architecture and Aesthetics
The architectural plan was worked up by the Lazzarino Pickering Architetti bureau and it is defined by its setting wedged between two city buildings. With its separated but still unified glass façade, the building elegantly fits the city’s ‘soul’. The ‘look’ of the façade constantly changes from the illumination of individual rooms. Charming reflections in the façade of the nearby architecture further emphasize the hotel’s elegance. The eastern part of the building is particularly interesting, slightly resembling the stores of top-notch fashion brands, and the atmosphere is heightened by the wooden floor and minimalistic equipment of the public areas.
WARM APPETIZER - Personnel and cuisine
We were most impressed by the hotel restaurant as the open kitchen raised our hopes of quality food, hopes that the cooks completely fulfilled. The culinary fusion convinced us with its quality, imagination and remarkable flavours – traditional Bulgarian cuisine is mixed with Thai, Italian and Mediterranean, and even the nowadays obligatory burgers are included. Breakfast is served in the rooftop bar and hits the mark for being decent with a top-quality view, although there is still some space for improvement here.
The staff is not short of a professional approach, but it sometimes feels that despite having numerous staff on hand, they are not responsive enough. This is particularly true for the hotel reception.
MAIN DISH - The hotel's congress services
The minimalistic rooms at the level one would expect of a design hotel, with the most characteristic in this regard being the panoramic windows stretching across the whole wall, making the view of the Vitosha Mountain even more attractive. The bright tones of the furniture are complemented by a series of design lights by Flos and top-quality electric switches that, handily, work intuitively. It’s a paradise for any lover of design and clear lines and furnishings, such as the Linteloo armchairs. The story continues into the smaller conference hall that can take up to 80 participants and is airy, modern and cosy.
DESSERT – Extras
Innovative cuisine at every service level, including the ‘cherry-on-top’ room service.
FLOP – NEGATIVE SURPRISES
The attentiveness of staff is inconsistent and in this area there is still a lot of room for improvements.
TOP – POSITIVE SURPRISES
A smaller spa that is extremely elegant and a pleasant place for relaxation. Its special character comes from the minimalistic swimming pool.
OVERALL IMPRESSION AND CREDIBILITY
This hotel takes care of the little details and isn’t short of nice surprises. All in all, its atmosphere is boutique and prestigious, and as such in line with the expectations for a hotel that is a member of the Design Hotel chain. Unlike generic hotels, this hotel has a clear identity; the architectural and design elements give it a touch of elegance, difference and the element of ‘surprise’ in the middle of Sofia’s historical centre. We were impressed by the blurred line between the public and private spaces, between the reception and restaurant, and with this the hotel also became also a lively social point in the city. In our opinion, the hotel is one of the best choices in Sofia.
|3. FIRST IMPRESSION||4.85|
|5. EMPLOYEE ATTITUDE||4.51|
|7. HOTEL ROOM||4.92|
|8. HOTEL BED||4.83|
|9. BATHROOM AND RESTROOM||4.77|
|10. HOTEL BREAKFAST||4.45|
|11. BARS AND RESTAURANTS||4.87|
|12. CONGRESS HALL||4.45|
|13. ADDITIONAL OFFER||4.62|