Hotel Sofitel Lisbon Liberdade

When I visit a new city for a few days I look for a centrally located hotel that is comfortable and welcoming. I’ve stayed in many of the Sofitel hotels, each has a different feel and style depending on the city and area it is based in.

The Lisbon Sofitel has a business vibe, discreetly placed on the grand Avenue de Liberdade, amongst the designer boutiques and towering trees. It is economical with space but doesn’t feel squashed. Inside, the hotel is decorated in dark colours, which offers a calm atmosphere coming in after exploring the hot streets of Lisbon. There is a glamorous bar for an evening aperitif and a lounge area ideal for mapping out your sightseeing plans.

Our bedroom was on the 5th floor, a quiet section of the building which felt very removed from the busy street below. When I stepped out of the lift, I noticed the corridors were filled with a fresh floral scent, inside the bedroom there was a cosy, plush feel. The twin beds were topped with marshmallow soft white duvets and luxuriously large pillows. I slept brilliantly well each night, waking up feeling rested and relaxed. A small desk was equipped with business essentials and in one corner we found tea & coffee facilities, which I was very grateful for. The bathroom was compact but smartly arranged with a powerful shower/bath complex and a set of expensive Hermes toiletries from Paris.

Breakfast is served on the lower ground floor, which sadly lacks windows and natural light, but I soon forgot about this when I saw the decadent spread of exotic fruits, cereals, pastries and Portuguese treats. We indulged each morning with the sweetest fresh orange juice, milky coffee and an array of tasty delicacies from the buffet.

When you want to leave the comfort of the Sofitel Lisbon, the knowledgeable concierge will guide you to the city’s most charming spots or book you in for a delicious meal at a local bistro, so you have the best time in and outside the hotel.

More information and book a stay here.

Sofitel Le Faubourg Hotel, Paris

A Sofitel hotel is the ultimate place to stay if you’re after style and sophistication. Le Faubourg is centrally located in the Saint Honore district of Paris, with designer boutiques and cute cafes on the doorstep (you can imagine my delight discovering Hermes almost next door!). We arrived late after an evening at the Moulin Rouge and our sighs of relief were almost audible as we stepped inside into the luxurious hallway. Silence reigned through the attractive reception room, an area I could imagine was filled with guests socialising in the lighter hours of the day.

High on the fourth floor, the 549 sq. ft. sumptuous Opera suite provides the ultimate in indulgence, and after an overnight stay at Sofitel Le Faubourg I felt completely pampered and prepped, stylish and alert ready for a day out in Paris. Our room was big enough to be an apartment and I would have happily moved in… it would be the perfect Paris abode. The contemporary interiors are designed by Didier Gomez and are swish and sexy, simple and sultry. With glamorous black and white prints on the walls and comfortable velvety furniture, it is a cool modern living area, ideal for relaxing and hanging out.

It took us at least 15 minutes to explore and fully investigate the whole suite. Awe-inspiring extras are found in every corner:  walk-in closet, espresso & tea machine, Home Video, integrated DVD player, Bose system with iPod dock & free minibar. I was delighted to find the free WiFi easy to use and super speedy. Follow the carpeted corridor and you find the bedroom with an absolutely epic Sofitel MyBed, perhaps the largest, softest and most comfortable bed I have ever slept in. Why go out and explore Paris when you can stay in bed this amazing all day? I almost convinced myself this was a valid argument.

The bathroom is incredible in the Opera Suite, the bath is so close to the bedroom you can almost jump from one to the other. A huge bath is accompanied by green bottled Hermes toiletries, ideal for a long bubble bath. Through the doorway, a separate boudoir has two sinks with mirrors, a separate toilet and a separate Hammam shower. The space is bright and airy with natural light streaming in through the windows. Exhausted after trying out all the numerous amenities, I slumped into the gigantic bed, it moulded round my body and enveloped me in immersive sleep.

Downstairs guests gather in the lovely dining room for breakfast. An array of fresh pastries, fruit, meats and cheese is on offer…the highest quality and all looking divine. We struggled to pick, and took an assortment back to our table only to be further tempted by the detailed hot menu… waffles, pancakes, eggs… we managed to resist and enjoyed a typical French breakfast of coffee and croissants. Simple and delicious, it was my favourite kind of breakfast.

The service throughout the hotel was exceptional throughout our stay. Kind and yet discreet, I felt the staff were very happy to go above and beyond to ensure our visit to the Sofitel was impeccable. Before leaving I was given a small bag with Le Faubourg flavoured tea and a scented candle, a lovely touch that made our visit here all the more memorable.

France is home to the Sofitel brand and after visiting this branch I can understand how Parisian elegance and style have affected the brand’s concept and design. For guaranteed indulgence and an excellent night’s sleep, I highly recommend the sublime Opera suite, which is full of character and charm, just like the capital city itself.

Visit the Sofitel website here for more information.

Sofitel Legend Le Grand Hotel, Amsterdam

The Dutch people are humble and modest… luxury is not usually their thing… but when they do indulge they exceed all expectations… a fact proved at Legend Le Grand the spectacular Sofitel Hotel in the heart of Amsterdam.

Located between two quiet canals, Legend offers envious views of the picturesque city, while offering the guests discreet and relaxing accommodation. The venue is stylish and smart but certainly not showy or ostentatious. Walking in, I was amazed by the quirky, individual design, innovative artworks and impressive sculptures occupying every corner. Above the main reception desk, a stunning swarm of white butterflies provide light. The hotel was busy, the main hall a hub of excitement and chatter when we arrived early on Friday afternoon. We were kindly escorted up to our gorgeous and very spacious suite. A huge bright and airy living room, pristine with magnificent views of the canal and street below. Our room was supplied with a Nespresso coffee machine, mini macaroons, wine and water all there for our enjoyment.

Through a small corridor, we discovered the beautiful bathroom, bedroom and wardrobes… I was speechless. The classy bathroom was immaculately designed with a TV above the bath and a pillow on one side of the tub – a genius invention! I tried to act cool, but the smart green Hermes toiletries in the bathroom were just too thrilling, I couldn’t conceal my delight. As part of the prestigious French Sofitel brand, the designer toiletries were a fitting match. I proceeded by spending ten minutes trying each product and taking numerous photos, which I won’t bore you with. Sure enough these products were better than any I have tried in a hotel before, and both of us were amazed by the soft and silky shine it gave to our hair.

The bedroom was as plush and luxurious as imagined… a soft mattress to sink into and pillows that ensure a good night’s sleep. Despite the long itinerary for must see things in Amsterdam, we couldn’t resist spending some of the evening in our room, cherishing every moment with long hot baths, lazing on the sofas watching the huge TV and drinking our way through the rich roasted coffee.

And the luxury continued outside our room, champagne in the heavenly courtyard and breakfast in the elegant acclaimed Bridges Restaurant (which by night is one of the city’s most popular fish eateries). A vibrant display of fresh fruit and pastries greeted us on Saturday morning, choosing was quite a challenge: delicious food of the highest quality, the sweetest orange juice, buttery croissants and finest, smoothest coffee. Everything you need before a day out exploring.

The hotel has wonderful facilities, the intimate Marriage Chapel is a rare and special place to exchange vows while the SoSpa downstairs will relieve you of all your worries and stress, and we were particularly impressed by the beautiful and exotic pool.

Aside from the faultless facilities, it is the staff at Legend that make the hotel such a special place… they have a rare quality of professionalism paired with friendliness and an unrivalled knowledge of the city. Before we had even stepped inside our room, we had potential plans for the whole weekend, with bookings for the hottest club, newest cocktail bar and most important sights. All of which you will find mentioned in my later post, Things to Do in Amsterdam.

When staying at Le Grand expect to see celebrities, royals and diplomats… anyone who is anyone resides at this legendary building, a hotel whose history is just as remarkable as it’s bright and promising future. A landmark of Amsterdam and a palace of luxuries, I treasured every second of my stay there.

Visit the website here for more information.