Sofitel Frankfurt Opera

100   Recommended

March 7, 2017 by EXPERT
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The Sofitel Frankfurt Opera soft-opened in October 2016 and is now fully-operational.  It is a stylish hotel in an excellent location in the centre/West End of Frankfurt

Check In

Check in was quick and efficient, though the staff are clearly still learning the ropes.  We received the usual 'Bonjour' greeting of Sofitels, and were then shown our reservation details.  A card was taken for incidentals and we were given cards for our room.  No recognition of Platinum status was made, and we didn't receive the customry drinks vouchers (I forgot about this until checkout, when I reminded the person checking us out she asked if we would like them now, don't bother).

We were escorted to our room by an eager employee who insisted on showing us some of the room's special features.  I usually decline this service but she seemed very insistent.  Once we got to our room the show was a little amusing.  We were shown how to hold the card in front of the door reader to unlock the door.  Then followed a detailed explanation of the operation of the taps and shower, along with the helpful advice that the toilet was located in a different room.  She explained that the TV could be turned on by simply using the remote control and then showed us the operation of the telephone on the desk and the one by the bed.  We then had a demonstration of opening and closing curtains using one's hand to pull the fabric to one side and then the other.  She explained that the switches on the wall operated the many lights in the room.  Finally we had a long stare at the closet, which came complete with several differet types of hangers.  Unfortunately she couldn't find the mini-bar in the 37 sq m room (until I pointed out that it was likely in the cabinet between the window and the wall-mounted TV...it was).

Very friendly, and useful if you've never stayed in a hotel before (or live in a house).

Room

The room itself is perfectly fine, albeit with some design issues.  The hotel has just opened so everything is clean, new and fresh.  The whole hotel has fresh paint smell (in a good way).  We had a superior room of ca 37 sq m with a nice view to the north.  The bed was extremely comfortable and we slept well, soundproofing both the the hallway and the outside is excellent.  The design is modern-Sofitel, which anyone who stays in these hotels regularly will understand.  Overall nice inetrior, with plush carpets and wooden floors.

Despite being new (or maybe because of) there were a number of snagging points and design flaws.  Some of the fittings were loose and coming off the walls, including some wall-mounted light fittings and the shower holder in the bathroom).  The toilet room is so small that you can only close the door standing up next to the toilet.  With the door closed your knees are almost touching the door, and it quickly becomes hot and stuffy in this room.  Opening the door fully means you cannot access the toilet roll, so you had to move this to the room door handle.  A terrible design.

The shower room with glass door is also poorly designed, since opening the door immediately makes most of the bathroom floor wet, and it is not possible to put a bathmat in front of the shower as the floor is at the same level.  There is no way to get out of the shower and step on a bathmat and no way not to make the floor wet.  The shower pressure is a disgrace.  It took me about five minutes to rinse off the soap!

The closet is too small and too short to accommodate very much (one coat only, the rest have a drop hight of about 1m).  The mini-bar is of the auto-charge variety, very annoying.  The TV is nicely hidden behind a sliding wooden painting-box.

The desk is well-sized, but the extremely bright flourescent strip lamp supplied is very unpleasant for the eyes.

Overall very nice but a few design and technical issues to be addressed.

Service

I can't say too much about the service as we didn't make much use of any facilities and had minimal human interaction (we had a very busy two days outside of the hotel).  The concierge always stood at attention in the beautiful lobby, and I imagine that overall the service is of the usual high level expected of a Sofitel.

The one service we wanted was a turn-down.  We had had a short night the day before, and a busy day the next, so we left the hotel at ca 1830 for a 1900 dinner and planned to go to bed early.  On leaving the hotel we asked for the turn-down service.  We returned at 2100 and found that nothing had been done in the room.  Never mind, we went to bed.  The next morning I found a note on the door that they attempted to turn down the room at 2125 but didn't as we had 'do not disturb' on.  Pretty poor for a hotel that couldn't have been more than 20% occupied.

Dining

There is a French-inspired restaurant Schoenemann at the hotel, which has a nice view over the old Opera House.  I didn't eat there but it looked fairly typical for the price category and the target clientele.  Breakfast is also served there.

The bar in the hotel is beautiful, with a great selection of drinks and cocktails.  I had been in here a few times before and found it very cosy and useful for business purposes.

There is no club lounge in the hotel.

Location

The location is excellent.  The hotel is on the Opernplatz, opposite the beautiful old Opera House, at the start of the pedestrianised shopping zone, as well the financial district.  It's a nicer location than some of the competing hotels, including the Jumeirah and the Villa Kennedy.  There are plenty of excellent restaurants in the area and shopping along the Zeil (mainstream stores) and Goethe Strasse (designer boutiques).

Spa

There is a very good spa and the fitness area is access through Fitness First.  A great pool for swimming laps, along with a steam room and sauna.  This area is still in the final stages of being made ready, so not all facilities are currently available.

Overall

I'll probably stay here again, but the room I had certainly had both snagging points and was the victim of some poor design issues, some of which can be rectified (shower door arrangements), some of which can't (toilet door).

My next stay will probably test the service and restaurant points a bit further, but I'll drop the GM a note about the shortcomings this time.

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