When you organize your first trip in Sofia, it is not really easy to find a place to stay, even more when you do not really know where the hotel is located from the main attractions of the city. Do not panic. I went to stroll in some hotels of the Bulgarian capital and I present you my 5 favorites. Follow the guide.
The first time I came to Sofia in 2012, I have been facing the same dilemma as most of the time when I’m going to discover a new place I do not know anything about. I don’t know if this is the same for you but when it comes to pick an hotel, it is always a difficult choice as there is usually a lot of choice. Is this one better than that one ? What did the customers write about this one ? How well did they rank that one ? So, because the tourism season will start soon, last month, I decided to test for you a few hotels in Sofia and let you know what I thought about each of them and why I would have enjoyed staying a few nights there if I were to come to visit Sofia. In order to pre-select only a few hotels among the 100+ hotels which are on booking.com, I started to follow my instinct. I went over all the hotels proposed in the site and pre-selected only 15 hotels. Then, I went more into details and selected a final panel of only 5 hotels for which, according to what I read on booking and according to the hotel website, I would have hesitated to make a decision. In order to experience them as a real customer I decided to process through the all path from check-in to check-out including the breakfast. I slept one night in each of them and here are my conclusions about each of them.
First, you have to note that all the hotels bellow have a parking, either outside or inside but if you come by car, no worries, you will be able to park. Secondly, the service includes the breakfast, all very nice, a mix between local and occidental. As well, I really want to point out the fact that in all of the hotels I tested, the personnel was extremely nice and professional. Then, my 5 hotels selection offers an excellent value for money.
Magic Castle Hotel, the most Magical Hotel in Sofia
The hotel is located at only 11 minutes walking distance from NDK, one of the most central point in Sofia. Moreover, there is a metro station located at less than 200 meters from the hotel and from there you can take a metro to go almost anywhere in Sofia, including the airport. What I really enjoyed in this hotel is the fact that this is a 100% family business, owned by one of the most famous magician in Bulgaria who bought it himself from another famous Bulgarian magician. The room are spacious and the hotel management did not forget to offer bath slippers and Q-tips in addition of the usual soaps and shampoo. At the back of the hotel, there is a restaurant in which the magician is performing every evening but this is going to be the topic of another article as the restaurant itself is just amazing and deserves to be known.
Novotel Sofia, the French excellence (Full of surprises…)
Novotel Sofia is located at 3 minutes walking distance from one of the major business center and shopping mall of Sofia. I really enjoyed the French elegance touch that the hotel offers. I have to admit that from the moment you pass the entrance door, you enter a totally different world from the one outside. You feel like you enter a bubble and you will be able to relax and enjoy. Another great advantage of this hotel is that it is located at less than 10 minutes from the airport by taxi whatever the time of the day or the night as the hotel is not located in the center of Sofia but on the axis to the airport. So, no need to plan one hour travel to get to the airport, you really can leave at the last minute, traffic will not be a problem. If I have to remember one thing from the room, this would definitely be the shower! You press on the button and the window between the shower and the bedroom becomes transparent. This definitely gives a side a bit less formal to this large international business chain. This can be very funny to play with this button if you see what I mean… 😉
Park Inn by Radisson Sofia, the most relaxing place of the capital
The hotel is located outside the hyper center of the city so it is ideal if you want to be away from the city atmosphere. It is very quiet and if you are looking for a place to relax this is perfect. The design of the hotel is cool as it looks like a castle and you can feel an atmosphere that you can feel usually when you visit old castles with lot of stories. The main strength of this hotel is definitely its restaurant area. The restaurant is located in a huge and great veranda which gives on a terrace. So, the restaurant is lighted up by natural light even during winter time when the weather tends to be darker. During Spring and Summer it is even better because you can choose to eat or have your breakfast on the terrace surrounded by trees and flowers. I really enjoyed the breakfast. Even if all the breakfasts of the hotels I tested were large and delicious, this one was really unique. The breakfast follows the international standards but the management added some original touches which made the breakfast time a very special moment. Last, I think it is very important to note that 100% of the energy consumed by the hotel is from green sources (solar, wind etc.) so if you feel that you care about the planet, Park inn Radison in Sofia is made for you !
Sense Hotel, the most Design Hotel
According to the room you will be given, you might a a wonderful point of view on the Alexander Nevski cathedral, one of the most beautiful monument in Sofia. I really enjoyed the restaurant and the bar at the top which gives you one of the best point of view on the Bulgarian capital. I already made an article about it last year that you can read here. As well, the spa and wellness center, is, according to me, one of the best in Sofia and this is the perfect place to relax after a hard day of work or a long day site seeing. You will definitely enjoy it for sure but this will be the topic of another article as this spa really deserves to be known. The hotel is located at only 5 minutes walking distance from Ivan Vazov theater which is one of the most central point of Sofia and where, during summer, people of Sofia enjoy laying in the grass or sit on the benches of the park and play chess, have a drink, enjoy the company of their friends…
Hotel Niky, the most traditional hotel in Sofia
Hotel Niki is a small family owned hotel located in a little street at only 3 minutes walking distance from the Vitosha Boulevard, the main commercial avenue in Sofia (kind of the Sofiot Champs Elysées). When you get in the hotel you feel that you are in Eastern Europe, no doubt, and this is great because I think that one of the purpose of traveling is to change atmosphere. So, the management has been able to keep this Eastern Europe touch without falling into ridiculous heavy design that you can find sometimes in hotels in Bulgaria. One of the other strength of the hotel is the restaurant which is located in the interior courtyard which serves typical Bulgarian cuisine. A real pleasure !