Advantages Comfortable, well-appointed rooms, nice breakfast, free internet, good business facilities
Disadvantages nothing major
|Value for Money|
|Quality of Rooms|
|Standard of Service|
|Quality of Food & Drink|
|Quality of Facilities|
The Warsaw Sofitel Victoria is an upmarket business hotel in the heart of the capital of Poland in central Europe. Sofitel is the top of the range brand in the portfolio of the Accor Hotel Group, which also includes inter alia Novotel and Ibis. My visit here was for a two-day conference for work, the whole event being held in the excellent conference facilities of the hotel.Location - the hotel is situated just across the main road from the site of the old Saxon Palace in the centre of Warsaw, near the Opera House, 20 minutes walk from the Old Town Square, and 15 minutes from the landmark Palace of Culture.
The building - the Sofitel Victoria is relatively low-rise compared to the other main hotels in the city, such as the Inter-Continental and Marriot. It has 7 floors, 341 rooms (11 of them suites) and is a square concrete block building, vaguely reminiscent of a cross between a municipal car park and a cinema multiplex. Such an impression would be misleading, as it is a luxury/executive hotel. The glass façade means that the bars and the lobby are very light, without the necessity for a large atrium. Interestingly, this was the premier hotel during the Socialist/Communist years up until the fall of the Berlin Wall1989, and has been completely refurbished twice since then.Check in and reception - Check-in was slightly chaotic since I was one of a large group who arrived on the same bus at the airport. The manager tried to speed things up by putting more registration forms on the desk, but all this served to do was cause the entire queuing system to break down. However, the staff were helpful if a little flustered. Outside of this, the service at reception and the concierge which is next to it was friendly and efficient, and the people working here smiled, which always makes a difference.
Room - I was in the standard room. It has a card key, the card going into a slot to turn on the lights and electricity, although the TV seems to be on a separate circuit. I had two twin beds in the room, the mattress on the bed being nice and firm and had duvets not blankets and sheets, and very comfortable it was too.By the window were two armchairs, a coffee table and an upright lamp. In addition there was a long desk against the wall, which had a kettle with tea and coffee sachets, and a bank of plug sockets which also had a cable for the broadband internet, which was laid on free of charge. The furniture was all of good quality, sturdy and traditional/classic in style.
The TV was an old-fashioned chunky CRT with an uninspiring mixture of channels. Pay-TV is on offer, and the information menu allows you to view your bill, read any messages and order a wake-up call. This alarm comes in the form of music, although if you haven't switched it off after 20 minutes it changes into persistent beeping.The bathroom is a decent size, with a shower over the bath. The toiletries provided are by Roger and Gallet, which a colleague assures me is a very presentable brand. There are full length white towelling bath robes and slippers in the wardrobes. The TV and radio can be heard in the bathroom, should you so wish.
The room has plenty of hanging and drawer space, a wall safe and a minibar. You can order room service for breakfast at a cost of 82 PZl (about £17). I would describe the décor as traditional, with greens and browns, rather than more minimalist whites and blacks.My view was nothing special, towards a courtyard and office buildings at the rear of the hotel. Although the room is air-conditioned, you can open the window a small distance to let air in. The air conditioning was fine, although some others in the hotel complained it was turned up too high.
Food - Breakfast was an excellent buffet, with 7 or 8 different types of fruit, the most unusual being water melon balls. There is a wide range of fruit juices, cheeses and hot dishes, including hash browns with cheese in. The staff bring your choice of hot drinks to your table with understated efficiency.The lunch buffet was perfectly presentable, with a good variety of local dishes, particularly pork.
Bars, restaurants and shops - there are two bars on the ground floor, one of which is in the lobby. Drinks in the bar are very reasonable for a top of the range hotel - a round of drinks for 5 people was 62 PZl (£12), which included vodka, wine, beer and soft drinks. The restaurant, the Canaletto, serves classical European cuisine, and is open from midday onwards, although it is shut on Mondays.There a several shops on the ground floor - a gift shop/newsagent, florist, LOT airlines office and tourist information office, and also a cash machine (English is one of the 5 languages offered on the screen, as well as Lithuanian, which was the first time I'd seen that).
Other facilities - there is a small swimming pool available for the use of guests, with a bar, which didn't seem to be manned when I was there. There is also a sauna and fitness centre on the same floor, and a beauty and wellness salon.The hotel boasts a casino, open from 11 till 6.oo in the morning, with roulette, black jack and slot machines. Guests can also make use of the underground car park for a charge.
Cost - my room cost 472 PZl (about £95) a night, including breakfast. The hotel offers guests the opportunity to make a donation to Unicef of 5 PZl a night. If you have an Accor loyalty card, you get a 20% discount, plus accumulating points. There is also a loyalty programme just for Sofitel, but this is open only to those who stay regularly at Sofitels.Overall - this is a very nice, comfortable hotel. It hasn't got any strong character, but it has no real faults. It is well located, and you can be confident that you will have a very pleasant, unfussy and relaxed stay.
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Overlooking the historic Saxon Gardens and the National Opera in Warsaw city centre, Sofitel Warsaw Victoria features a heated swimming pool with...
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Availability: Price is per double room per night and may vary depending on date booked