I'm a big fan of Sofitel's. Their Asian properties are typically very beautiful with very good service. At the Suzhou Sofitel, you have to be a bit more patient:
●The air conditioning does not work well. It was very warm even in April.
●The staff in the restaurant are very passive. No one would offer tea/coffee until you ask.
●Their processes are intrusive and strange -- the executive lounge requires that you sign for services in the evening. Plus, the happy hour selections are very limited.
●The hotel in general is not as nicely decorated as other Sofitel properties. I stayed on the 6th Floor -- supposedly renovated, but the overall decor is far inferior to the Xian property, let alone the fabulous Wanda in Beijing.
●Nevertheless, the staff was helpful. They would try to address your concerns, but do not count on having a solution all the time.
●This is also the best 4* choice if you want to stay close to the downtown -- Guanqian area. Look for the best deals on the Sofitel's website
Unique Quality: ●The design of the bathroom is bizarre. I had an executive club room -- the bathroom had a glass wall and door. There was a gossamer thin curtain that did little to protect the privacy of the person in the bathroom.
●Between the glass door and glass wall of the ensuite, and the other mirrors inside the room, every activity in the bathroom (and I don't mean just taking a shower) can be seen outside!
●You could view this as an opportunity to train yourself to lower your inhibitions!
Directions: Only about 2-3 blocks S of Guanqian Street, the main pedestrian/shopping area of downtown Suzhou.
my first stay was in february during the introductory soft opening. i was quite overwhelmed with the lobby's decor. very 'continental' in design and feel. the rooms mirror the european modern design. while many of the other 'name' hotels had recently been built near the high tech development zone, far from the city center, the softel built an entire block of shops surrounding the grounds of the hotel smack dab in the center of the city. you don't even have to hail a taxi to go to a nice restaurant or shop for the family. its all within safe walking distance.
Unique Quality: the sofitel is part of the well known and highly regarded accor group. they are aggressively expanding throughout china's main cities. the fitness center is first rate. the breakfast leaves nothing to be desired. everyone speaks english. the staff is well trained and cheerful. managers who have been with the organization for many years were brought from surrounding accor group hotels to ensure a smooth entry into the hospitality business in suzhou.
Directions: center of the city
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Address: 818 East Ganjiang Road, Suzhou, Jiangsu, 215005, China