I’m not normally decadent enough to stay at the Sofitel brand within Accor Hotels, but I had two expiring suite upgrades and thought that this might be a useful place to use them. Although I didn’t stay at this hotel on my birthday, as I wanted to be at the Novotel, it was a little treat to myself to stay here for a couple of days earlier on during the week.
Richard had checked into his little room earlier on in the day, but I guessed correctly that my suite wouldn’t be available and hadn’t even tried. I tried to check in at 15:30, but the room wasn’t yet ready which wasn’t ideal, but wasn’t a problem. The staff member was polite, although she gave me a drinks voucher to apologise for the wait, although it transpired that this was the voucher they would have given me anyway as a welcome drink. I thought this whole element was botched by the hotel, who could only provide the room over an hour after the standard check-in time.
There was then a problem that the hotel couldn’t find payment in their systems, even though they agreed that Accor had stated that they had taken it. There was some discussions about what had happened by staff members, but I thought best to just resolve it on check-out, which transpired to work well as I switched to a currency commission free card which saved me some money compared to if they’d used the card on file.
The hotel’s water feature in the lobby, which kept making me think that it was raining when walking into reception. The hotel was built between 1973 and 1976 on the site of the Kronenberg Palace which had been destroyed by the Germans during the Second World War. There was lots of dithering about what to do with the site and the remains of the structure weren’t removed until the 1960s, and then there was talk of building an embassy here. It’s a large hotel, with 359 rooms and around 50 suites, and other than the Raffles over the road (also Accor, and too decadent for me) it’s the grandest accommodation option in the city.
As another aside, there has been some drama here, with this paragraph coming from Wikipedia….
“On August 1, 1981, the hotel saw an attempted assassination of the Palestinian Abu Daoud (nicknamed Mohammed Oudeh Daud), suspected by the Mossad of involvement in the attacks in Munich , who occupied the presidential suite.”
I obviously feel the need to comment about the drinking options and there was a poor selection of beers available, this is a generic Żywiec in the Victoria Lounge. The whole set-up here felt quite dated, neither on-trend nor classy, and I thought this was the weakest area of the hotel, something more inviting could be done with the bar area.
At this stage, I wasn’t thrilled with the hotel as everything seemed botched and muddled, but I arrived at my room with sort of high hopes.
The suite’s living room area, with my first impressions being positive. I don’t usually watch television in hotels, but that’s one of the largest that I’ve seen in a room.
I didn’t realise when booking that the suite came with two bathrooms, this is the one attached to the living room area. It was probably a little more than I needed since I was in the suite on my own, but it gave me options….
The suite’s bedroom.
And the second bathroom, with a shower and bath.
The coffee machine.
An umbrella was available should it rain.
Slippers and dressing gowns were provided, along with a range of other posh toiletries and the like.
The welcome letter and gift, which I always appreciate (both the letter and the gift).
These were delicious, chocolate coated orange things, very moreish.
I very much liked the view of Piłsudski Square from my room and that’s the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to the mid-left of the photo. It’s the largest square in the city and this was once the Saxon Palace, until the Germans destroyed it during the Second World War, but there are some quite surprising plans to rebuild sections of it. Incidentally and back to the hotel, the windows don’t stay open, although they’re meant to.
Anyway, any annoyance I had with the hotel disappeared with the comfort of the room and two of the best night’s sleep that I’ve had in a hotel. The room can be blacked out entirely so no light comes in and there were no internal or external noise issues.
And here’s a heap of breakfast photos. There was a wide selection of food and drink options, with the only slight omission being the variety of breads seemed quite minimal. But there were plenty of cheeses, cold cuts, yogurts, cereals and hot options. There was an egg section where omelettes and the like were available, with the staff member making me a rather lovely Eggs Benedict. There were plenty of juices, including some detox ones to give more choices. The quality of the food and drink was high, with the choice meaning it’d be hard for someone to complain about the lack of options. The breakfast room was large and spacious, with relatively few other guests, so it was a relaxing environment, not like the Holiday Inn Express set-up I’ve had this year which is a bit more, well, hectic and lively.
The cost of the suite for two nights including breakfast would usually be somewhere around £300 to £400, but my suite upgrades meant that the cost to me was £187.16 for two nights. However, I gained 1,600 Accor reward points with this stay, which is around £28, making what I consider to be a charge of £160 or so for this rather lovely experience. At £80 per night including breakfast, I’m going to say that this is excellent value for a (very) occasional treat.
The welcome was a bit botched, but the staff were helpful throughout and the breakfast was excellent. The room was beautifully comfortable, although lacked a large desk and some of the furnishings were a little rickety, but this didn’t impact on my stay. There was definitely an air of decadence about the whole arrangement and a turn-down service was provided on the first night with a staff member coming in to move slippers near to the bed and put a bottle of water on the bedside table. As an aside, I can’t be doing with that sort of thing and as there was no free chocolate, I put the ‘do not disturb’ sign on the second night. Richard didn’t do that in his room, he likes the turn-down service for reasons unknown to me.
I’d absolutely stay here again and since I have a couple more suite upgrades to use next year, I might repeat this whole experience in November 2022. Absolutely the best breakfast that I’ve had in an Accor hotel and also the most luxurious room, but since I’m really an Ibis Budget person at heart, that’s probably not surprising. For anyone wanting more information, the hotel can be booked here.