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Reviews & comments on Kempinski Hotel Marinela Sofia (ex Kempinski-Zografski Hotel in Sofia

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Deborah Zyxe

Review

from Jerusalem, Israel, 10 September 2008, 15:52


Rating
4 4 4 4 Overall
5 5 5 5 5 Staff
5 5 5 5 5 Rooms
5 5 5 5 5 Food
4 4 4 4 Fun
Comment: I stayed at the Kempinski in Sofia for 3 nights in the beginning of July. I was attending a conference and meetings at the Kempinski conference center, so also received the amazingly cheap rate of 110 Euro per night (single occupancy), B&B.
Upon arrival, I was told that I had been upgraded, so I have no idea what the original room was like.
My room had been fully rennovated, each of the twin beds was at least 1 meter wide, more like 1.20, which is huge by Israeli standards, and very comfortable, with thick quilts and pillows.
The bathroom was spotless, with every possible amenity you could want, including bathrobes and slippers. Both the bathroom and bedroom were thoroughly cleaned every day.
TV and Internet were as expected for a business hotel.
Breakfast was fine - I'm a cereal and fruit person in the morning, and was more than satisfied with the choice of cereals and fresh fruit.
Lunch was catered by the hotel for the conference, and was very good.
We spent each evening in the bar, dragging together most of the tables on the outside deck to make space for about 20 people each time. Food and drinks at the bar I found to be a bit pricey . Considering how much was being ordered at our "table" over and over again during the evening, the unsmiling waitresses managed to get most of the orders right. The only think they had a problem with was dividing the bill - I can't really blame them!
For personal reasons I had to be closer to the city center for my last 2 nights in Sofia, and I was really sorry to leave the Kempinski.

Steve Mar

Review

from Switzerland, 25 July 2008, 20:57


Rating
5 5 5 5 5 Overall
5 5 5 5 5 Staff
5 5 5 5 5 Rooms
5 5 5 5 5 Food
5 5 5 5 5 Fun
Comment: Last week I stayed there for 5 days during the week. My room was on the last floor and the view over the city was great! Mine was bright and clean, TV and Internet were also very good, service was fast and attentive. I tried the Bulgarian restaurant and I don't regret. Overall my stay there was great.

Aburel Lopesco

Review

from Buscharest, Romania, 29 June 2008, 14:37


Rating
4 4 4 4 Overall
3 3 3 Staff
3 3 3 Rooms
4 4 4 4 Food
5 5 5 5 5 Fun
Comment: I have to say at the beginning that I refer only to the not yet refurbished rooms, those which are usually available for less than 150 euro. Otherwise the hotel looks great, bars are really nice, staff is good and the breakfast was excellent. Its not in the city center, maybe 15 to 20 minutes far by cab, which by the way is not always in front of the hotel but 200 meters away is a cab station.

Michael Adams

Review

from USA, 17 February 2008, 04:38


Rating
5 5 5 5 5 Overall
5 5 5 5 5 Staff
5 5 5 5 5 Rooms
5 5 5 5 5 Food
5 5 5 5 5 Fun
Comment: I enjoyed my stay at Kempinski Hotel Zograsfki Sofia during my recent visit to Bulgaria.Very good location - minutes away from downtown Sofia. The room I stayed in was very nice with plenty of natural light, spotless and had really comfortable beds. I admired the mountain view in the beginning of the winter season. Good Internet connection, very kind and helpful staff. It was an awesome experience!

Alison Scanapiego

Review

from Florida, USA, 08 February 2008, 20:01


Rating
5 5 5 5 5 Overall
5 5 5 5 5 Staff
5 5 5 5 5 Rooms
5 5 5 5 5 Food
5 5 5 5 5 Fun
Comment: My parents recently stayed in the Kempinski in Sofia whilst on a tour of the Balkans with a group of senior citizens. The hotel’s American steakhouse was just perfect but expensive and my folks feel at home.They were very pleased by the very friendly staff. The staff spoke English and one of them even spoke in Japanese (!!!), which was a bit of a surprise for them. The rooms were clean and hygienic and the rooms had WiFi. On the last day of their stay in Sofia, there was a problem in the bathroom with a leak that came from above as per the hotel’s maintenance staff, however the problem was dealt in a very professional manner and the management even provided my parents with a fresh bowl of fruits and a bottle of Bulgarian wine, which was not really necessary but very much appreciated.

Tim&Janice

Review

from UK, 31 December 2007, 23:17


Rating
5 5 5 5 5 Overall
5 5 5 5 5 Staff
5 5 5 5 5 Rooms
5 5 5 5 5 Food
5 5 5 5 5 Fun
Comment: We plan to buy a property in Sofia so we decided to do some reconnaissance on the destination and find out if this is really a city to invest in. Our agent booked us into the Kempinski hotel due to its prime location in the upscale Lozenetz area and I have to say that we were happy to have made that move. The spacious lobby was already in a delightful festive atmosphere and the registration at the reception was quick and friendly. By the way they even offered us juice on arrival. Our room was in a cream color and tastefully decorated. The bright bathroom was meticulously clean which compensated for the size as it was not big enough for both of us. We went to the Alfredo Italian restaurant were the waiter Iliana suggested us to eat the restaurants signature dish - fettuccini pasta. Even though the food and service was 5* they could make it cozier like in most Italian restaurants. We had a bit of a surprise when we went back to our room, the room had been prepared for night time and the drapes closed and a good night story was provided on a card on the pillow, this showed us that the hotel staff really look into details as we travel in many city hotels and never came across this before, I guess simple things make the difference - Bravo. We will definitely come back to this hotel next year when we conclude our property deal hopefully.

Steve Rodwick

Review

from San Francisco. USA, 02 July 2006, 22:10


Rating
3 3 3 Overall
5 5 5 5 5 Staff
5 5 5 5 5 Rooms
5 5 5 5 5 Food
4 4 4 4 Fun
Comment: I have stayed there a few years ago - cosy, comfortable, fun place with excellent service. They have a non-smoking floor too!! The omelettes in the cofee place downstairs are outstanding!!! I am very picky customer and I was comletely satisfied. My husband was not happy for just one thing- the pool was closed for cleaning during our entire stay. Hopefully they do not do that again!!

Manos

Review

from Greece, 03 April 2006, 15:49


Rating
3 3 3 Overall
2 2 Staff
3 3 3 Rooms
4 4 4 4 Food
3 3 3 Fun
Comment: I booked this hotel with higher expectations than reality.The room was medium, the tv set at least 20years old (the second day didn't work at all!) The bathroom was ..amazing the tub was in less than 1m height!!!The girls at the reception were not helpful at all.
I will have definitely second thoughts to go back again, unless it will be reinnovated

Elys Fikkie

Review

from Croatia, 08 June 2005, 16:31


Rating
3 3 3 Overall
5 5 5 5 5 Staff
5 5 5 5 5 Rooms
5 5 5 5 5 Food
4 4 4 4 Fun
Comment: I stayed in Kempinski for a 6 days and was very satisfied with accomodation. Actually, I was very satisfied with all in this hotel. It's very big hotel with numerous places to have fun from several restaurants, pool, sauna, gym, caffe's, casino, playboy club .The rooms are big (my room was), with a nice view and everything inside is ok. Big wide tv, bathroom. Maybe you can expect a little bit more from 5 stars hotel rooms in Bulgaria with the 115 euros price for double bed, but I had a nice experience. I think it's the cheapest five star hotel in Sofia and it generally it was worth it.

Marie

Review

from Croatia, 05 June 2005, 23:55


Rating
4 4 4 4 Overall
4 4 4 4 Staff
5 5 5 5 5 Rooms
4 4 4 4 Food
5 5 5 5 5 Fun
Comment: I stayed in Kempinski for a 6 days and was very satisfied with accomodation. Actually, I was very satisfied with all in this hotel. Maybe it's not like newer Hilton, which is by the way much more expensive, but it's got some kind of charm. It's very big hotel with numerous places to have fun from several restaurants, pool, sauna, gym, caffe's, casino, playboy club (don't go there - it's a rip off!). The rooms are big (my room was), with a nice view and everything inside is ok. Big wide tv, bathroom. Maybe you can expect a little bit more from 5 stars hotel rooms in Bulgaria with the 115 euros price for double bed, but I had a nice experience. I think it's the cheapest five star hotel in Sofia and it generally it was worth it.

afo44

Review

from London, UK, 22 May 2005, 12:24


Rating
5 5 5 5 5 Overall
5 5 5 5 5 Staff
5 5 5 5 5 Rooms
4 4 4 4 Food
5 5 5 5 5 Fun
Comment: I stayed one night Saturday 21 May 2005, while making a brief weekend visit to Sofia during a business trip to Macedonia. It is 4 hours by road from Skopje. This hotel is huge, covering a large area on the southside of Sofia. Of the major hotels, it is probably the farthest out (beyond the recent Hilton). The hotel has 17 floors, 6 restaurants and a lovely 20 metre 4 lane swimming pool on the far end of lower ground floor. It is open 07.00-22.00 Mon-Fri and 08.00-21.00 Sat and Sun. I chose it for its pool and was not disappointed. The ground floor Bulgarian restaurant served a very good stuffed aubergiine lunch, and the top floor Panorama restaurant an excellent fish dinner - both fully upto international standards. The bedroom was comfortable and the bathroom functioned well. The hotel is on tram route No.9 but as taxis into the centre cost just EUR 1.00 there was little point in bothering about trams on this short trip. The hotel blocks access to my BT calling card, and some of its in-room literature was a little vague but, those apart, I had no complaints about the hotel. I would certainly stay again for a leisure visit.

misterfatboy

Review

from London, UK, 23 March 2004, 06:35


Rating
4 4 4 4 Overall
4 4 4 4 Staff
4 4 4 4 Rooms
3 3 3 Food
3 3 3 Fun
Comment: Pros
Good value, everything works, fairly quiet location.

Cons
Somewhat inconveniently located, showing its age, not 5-star service.

The Bottom Line
Good, solid value. No frills (except in the lobby), but no horrors, either.

The Kempinski Zografski Hotel has changed hands three or more times since it was built in the 1980s, and has undergone a couple of renovations as well.

It is located in the Lozenets neighborhood, just a few minutes by taxi or tram from downtown Sofia. This location makes it somewhat inconvenient, but rooms can be had a bit cheaper than at the Hilton or Radisson, which are closer to downtown, and the Zografski is a clear bargain when compared to the overpriced, noisy, landmark Sheraton, which is situated in the heart of the city. The Zografski is in a neighborhood that affords ample opportunities for dining, drinking and shopping at Bulgarian prices.

The Zografski offers good value: The rooms are clean, adequately appointed, and in good condition. The various restaurants, cafes, and other services (health club, pool, etc.) are functional and reliable. This is not a hotel that pampers you in luxury, but it is comfortable and you won't find any unpleasant surprises.

Most of the rooms have spectacular views, either of towering Vitosha Mountain or of the city.

One very nice touch is a penthouse restaurant that offers some of the best food in the city. Unfortunately, Bulgaria is still a "smoking" country, and there is no separate section for abstainers.

In many of Sofia's hotels, shadowy men in black and their painted ladies frequent the cafes and casinos; you will see such types at the Zografski, but their scowls are worse than their bite. They won't bother you. This brings up another advantage of the Zografski: because it is a bit off the beaten path, you can avoid the touts and "change money?" artists who plague most tourist venues in the capital.

You'll get the best price by calling the reservations office directly.