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Sofitel Warsaw Victoria: the revived splendor of an outstanding hotel

March 29, 2014 Hotel News No Comments Email Email

The five star Sofitel Warsaw Victoria hotel, located in the heart of Poland’s capital, has just enjoyed a complete makeover.

The characteristic seventies design of this famous Warsaw address and historic listed building absolutely had to be respected. To do so, Accor called on talented French interior designer Didier Gomez.  With the skills of a true alchemist, he successfully enhanced the existing design, preserved the establishment’s original soul and infused new elegance and modernity. Patrick Carabin, General Manager of the Sofitel Warsaw Victoria and Marta Muszyńska, Senior Sales Manager, describe this metamorphosis.

The Sofitel Warsaw Victoria has hosted many illustrious guests, for example, US presidents Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, Hollywood actress Jane Fonda, French president François Mitterrand and musician Jean-Michel Jarre. “This hotel is a legend in Warsaw. It was built in the seventies on the site of a royal palace that was destroyed in 1944,” explains Patrick Carabin. The H-shaped building features a typically seventies geometric façade.

As the only luxury hotel in the Polish capital, it welcomed guests from all over the world.  However, over the years, it lost some of its luster.  This property was acquired by Accor group in 2001 and needed a makeover.  “It has been transformed from a tired seventies hotel into a modern diamond, glistening with a thousand lights.  The old breakfast room was very rustic and featured large wooden RTEmagicC_20140321_sofitel_varsovie_frise_01.jpgpaneling. Now, everything is designer, from the furniture to the decoration.

Extensive refurbishment

The renovations started in April 2013 and are due to end in the first half of 2014.  It was a big challenge for both employees and workers as the establishment stayed open during the work.  Of the 343 rooms, 130 are still being renovated.  “The new interior design reflects the concept of relaxed luxury,” explains Patrick Carabin, “Nothing is snobbish:  the hotel is chic, but not gaudy.” It meets all Sofitel’s new standards of comfort and modernity.

The Didier Gomez touch

Gold and bright orange, grey and silver, wood and marble: interior decorator Didier Gomez, who also renovated the Sofitel Paris Le Faubourg, has chosen emblems of luxury that are both modern and elegant.

In the lobby, a gold and brown carpet echoes the style of the beige and grey arm chairs. “A huge bay window offers a view of Pilsudski Square, the capital’s largest square on which the hotel stands.” Photos on the walls and discreet lighting create a warm atmosphere similar to that of a home living room.  “Guests can unwind here, leaf through a magazine, wait for someone, etc.”

In the corridors, asymmetric black and white patterned carpeting contrasts with the spotless white walls.  Didier Gomez reinterpreted the seventies decor for the Victoria Lounge bar, with grey marble on the walls, high orange stools and coffee tables surrounded by deep armchairs and sofas.

RTEmagicC_20140321_sofitel_varsovie_frise2_02.jpgA tribute to gastronomy

The Sofitel Warsaw Victoria now has two restaurants: the Kitchen Gallery, exclusively for breakfast, and the Victoria Brasserie Moderne. “In March we will start serving a brunch formula in the Kitchen Gallery with several buffets (Asian, Italian, seafood, desserts, etc.) as well as activities for children.

The kitchen show, which close to Sofitel’s heart, is the focal point of the Victoria Brasserie Moderne. The new open kitchen and bar counter allow the fifty or so guests to admire the work of the kitchen brigade of Polish chef Maciej Majewski. The menu features duck, Zurek soup with white sausages and veal cheek. “We serve the best French cuisine in the city”, declares the General Manager enthusiastically. Chef Maciej Majewski, who trained in France’s greatest restaurants, puts all his genius into continually concocting new recipes.

A timeless hotel

The building, which is a genuine architectural masterpiece, is ideally located in the heart of Warsaw, just walking distance from the Royal Castle, Saint John’s Cathedral and the Old Town Market Place. “The hotel has been used as the venue for television programs, fashion shows and fashion magazine photo shoots,” explains Marta Muszyńska. The vast 800 m2 gilded ballroom is very sought-after for receptions such as weddings and private parties, etc.

One of the Sofitel Warsaw Victoria’s other showpieces is its 15m by 8m swimming pool. “It was inspired by Cleopatra,” explains Patrick Carabin. “Without exaggerating, our pool really is the most beautiful one in the city!” The temperature of the water is constantly kept between 29 and 30°C and its reclining chairs and huge mattresses invite guests to unwind and enjoy being idle.

A face lift

The last stage of the renovation will be the restoration of the hotel’s façade, which is due in the spring of 2014.  The updated Sofitel Warsaw Victoria remains a destination of choice for both new customers and regular visitors. “One guest lived in the hotel for 20 years! He was completely at home here”, laughs Marta Muszyńska. After this major refurbishment hotel can look forward to a rosy future.

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