Located in Rue Beaujon, which connects Avenue Hoche and Avenue de Friedland, just off L’Etoile, the Sofitel Paris Arc de Triomphe is a relative newcomer to the Paris luxury hotel scene, having opened in 2013. It is a small hotel, with little over 120 rooms, but very cosy and comfortable – the rooms’ progressive decor showcases what I believe Sofitel wants to be in the future across all its properties (stylish, clean, comfortable and tres sexy).
Sofitel is, I think, the only French luxury hotel chain with true international projection, who has changed a lot in the last couple of years and may surprise you if you haven’t stayed at one of their hotels in the not too distant past. Recently, I have stayed at its Lyon, London, Berlin and Amsterdam properties, the latter being one of the top 5 city hotels I have ever stayed at (and that is not a compliment I would give lightly!).
Here’s how my recent stay at the Sofitel Paris Arc de Triomphe went.
– Was there any pre-arrival communication by the hotel with myself via email or social media?
My stay was organised very last-minute, with less than a week to spare. It was organised by a multitude of channels and confirmed by email.
– Did I try to engage the hotel via Twitter? Did the hotel interact with me and made me feel welcome/special?
I had, and the hotel responded to me during the week (i.e. not the weekend)
– Has the hotel tried to gather any personal information (e.g. preferences) prior to my stay?
The Sofitel team knows me quite well by now and I really did not need anything special.
– The wow factor! What was the hotel decor style?
My first initial reaction was quite interesting – judging from other Sofitel hotels I had stayed at, I was expecting a much larger reception area and was a bit surprised to find quite a cozy space. There was nothing wrong with it – it looked very nice, but just different from what I expected.
– How quick and efficient was the hotel check-in?
We had a fantastic check-in, not only was it super efficient, it was well humoured too, which in my opinion, makes a huge difference.
– Was I addressed by name once reservation has been located? (it is all about the small details, some others are outstanding with this, and I love it, like I do when I board an airplane)
– Did I get an upgrade from my confirmed pre-booked room type?
I had a junior suite confirmed and it was the room type I was assigned.
– Did I feel genuinely welcomed by the hotel staff?
Very much so. Throughout the 3 days we were at the Sofitel, everyone, no exception was brilliant.
– Luggage – how many people did I have to tip before the luggage made it safely to my room? This is cultural, I know
We gave our bags to the doorman and only saw them again in our room.
– Wi-fi – was I told anything about it? Was there a charge?
We were told about the complimentary basic wifi and it’s very simple one-off login process (just with a password and no other fuss).
– First impressions – décor, size and wow factor
Our room was lovely – the journey from the lift was also very soothing as the hotel perfectly worked the grey, white and beige colour scheme.
– Welcome amenity
When we returned to our room after our first day out, I found some lovely macarons, le yum!
– The bed
I am a great fan of Sofitel’s ‘My bed’ concept. So much so, that it is the bed I have at home – I don’t have the bed structure, but I have the featherbed, the pillows and the duvet, which I adore. So every time I stay at a Sofitel, I couldn’t feel more at home – the bed was heavenly and difficult to leave, which is a welcome side effect.
– Closet/Wardrobe – proper hangers or those annoying ones where you need a PhD to get them out one by one? This is a personal pet peeve of mine. I can’t stand them.
The wardrobes were located at the entrance of the room (which you cannot see from the image above), and I felt they were quite compact. We struggled a bit with hanging space for 2 people staying for 3 days, and would be harder for longer stays. Nonetheless, it was well-appointed and had some interesting details, the best being the coat hangers by the door, which meant our coats were always in great shape and did not take space elsewhere (either in a wardrobe or in some chair).
– Iphone Charger/Dock
The room has quite a snazzy sound system which an iPhone 4 dock, which we did not use.
– Bathrobes and slippers
Yes, and lovely.
– Coffee and Tea
Oui oui, with a Nespresso coffee maker and tea making facilities. I also noticed the lovely individually shaped sugar cubes (which are all the rage in Paris at the moment).
– Free bottled water
Yes, Evian, of course.
– Magazine selection – had some nice surprises and doesn’t happen often enough!
I did not find any magazines.
– Power sockets in useful places – we have more and more devices and we know where we want them! By the bed, by the working area.
One side of the bed had spare plugs, but the other (coincidentally, mine did not have any spares). But there were plenty of plugs around the room, including a USB port by the TV which also worked to charge our devices.
– First impressions – décor, size and wow factor
The bathroom was fantastic. Fantastique. Magnifique. Without a doubt, one of the room’s features, which I adored.
– Bath, shower and taps – I am looking for Duravits and Hansgrohes (or other fab brands) around the world. How fab was the shower? And a little pet peeve.. was I able to operate the shower without asking Mr. O for help?
It was a mini Grohe paradise as are most Sofitels and it was really well designed. My only criticism is that it has a separate room with a loo (toilet) only, which wasn’t to the same standard of the rest of the bathroom. The bath looked amazing (but we sadly did not use it) and the shower room was fab. Great pressure and a massive shower head.
– Towels – yes, please! How many and how soft and lovely?
Sofitel towels are usually very good and they did not disappoint.
– Toiletries – own brand, super brand, baby ones or proper ones? I shall find out!
Sofitel uses Hermes toiletries and although I am not a fan of the conditioner, I love the smell of the shower gel.
– Amenity kit – I don’t want more sewing kits thank you very much, but I will need a shower cap.
We had everything we needed in this department, nicely displayed.
– Hairdryer – is it a human one, or just something stuck to a wall that only makes noise?
Yes, under the sink and with plenty of power points which allowed one to use it by the mirror, which doesn’t always happen.
One of my favourite parts of staying at a Sofitel is, without a doubt, the breakfast. Why? Because they are very French (mais oui), which is lovely no matter where you are in the world, and being Portuguese, bizarrely, means that our breakfast habits are very similar to the French (and not the Spanish, for example). So I know I will have a great selection of fresh bread, hams and cheeses, pastries (and in a Sofitel, my beloved chausson aux pommes, which I miss on a day-to-day basis), juices and decent coffee.
Obviously there were plenty more options, for every taste, but all I wanted were my chausson aux pommes. And cake.
By reception, there is an area which doubles as hotel lobby and a bar, where you can also eat. It is quite cozy and open, and would be fair to say it is for hotel residents only. We did not use it as a bar during our stay, but ended up having lunch before leaving to the airport on our last day. I had a very nice croque monsieur and orangina and liked being able to just sit down and relax a bit.
– How good and reliable was the wi-fi?
It wasn’t stellar, I have to say. At times it was so slow, I just used 3G.
– Did the hotel interact with me via Twitter during my stay?
Not over the weekend, which is when my stay took place, but certainly acknowledged by stay before and after, and its concierge also helped us make some lunch and most importantly, hairdresser appointments.
A location that worked for us, very well – maybe 2 blocks from Place Charles de Gaulle, between Avenue Hoche and Avenue de Friedland.
– Cost – rooms starting from…
Standard rooms from €290 per night, and junior suites from €490.
– Would I recommend it to my best friend?
Without a doubt.
– Would I stay again?
Have you visited this hotel? What were your thoughts?
Disclaimer: I was a guest of Sofitel during this stay, but hopefully you will see that this has not influenced my thoughts about the property. For more information about the hotel, visit its official website.