Sense Hotel Sofia, Starwood Design Hotel

Sense Hotel Sofia, a member of Design Hotels, is a Starwood affiliated boutique hotel in Bulgaria’s capital city. The 9th floor Rooftop Bar offers terrific panoramic views. The hotel is located one block from Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Bulgaria’s largest Eastern Orthodox cathedral.

Sense AN Nevsky night

Sense Hotel Sofia (SPG hotel website) is SPG category 3 at 7,000 Starpoints per reward night. The hotel does not show any Cash & Points availability at this time. SPG benefits are limited at the property.

TripAdvisor ranks Sense Hotel Sofia at #7 of 134 hotels at time of this post.

Sense Design Hotel-1

Sense Hotel has 71 rooms and suites on 8 floors and a 9th floor rooftop bar. Ground floor 0 has a restaurant and lobby bar. Basement –1 floor is the pool and fitness center.

Sense floors

I considered staying at Sense Hotel, but Sofia Hotel Balkan at 2,000 points + $35 with SPG Cash & Points nights seemed like a better value for me than spending 7,000 points.

Sofia Hotel Balkan Luxury Collection feeling marble

Sense Hotel is 400 meters from Sofia University St. Metro Station on the direct line for Sofia airport, so location is relatively convenient for public transportation. Oddly enough, the SPG website for Sense Hotel Sofia does not even mention the Metro as an option for 1.60 BGN, yet mentions taking the train from the airport to Sofia Central Station 3 km away from the hotel and then a taxi.

Stopped by for a peek and stayed for a drink

I passed in front of the Sense Hotel when walking back to Sofia Hotel Balkan from the Monument of the Soviet Army.

Soviet Monument  Soviet Monument-2

I took the opportunity to check the place out. The style of Sense is modern and completely different from the old style of Sofia Hotel Balkan.

Sense lobby-1  Sense lobby art

Sense lobby bar  Sense wine

Rooftop Bar at Sense Sofia

One side of the 9th floor is the Rooftop Bar and the other side is Gastro Bar for dining.

Sense Gastro bar  Sense gastro 2

Rooftop bar has great window views looking out to Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.

Sense AN cathedral

All those cathedral view seats were occupied. I sat by a window looking out to the Radisson Blu Sofia Hotel.

Sense Rad Blu

Music had a W Hotel vibe.

Sense Rooftop music

The place was popular and filling up on a Sunday night around 7pm. Stella Artois on the menu cost 8 BGN, about $5 USD, for a standard size 330ml bottle, more than double the average beer price for a pint in the city. I had a 0.5 l bottle of Stella at a beer garden in the Soviet Monument park for 3.20 BGN.

Sense rooftop bar Sense view National Assembly

The toilets are on the 8th floor via a stairway, although I assume you could take the elevator if needed.

Sense toilets

Two hotel choices in Sofia, Bulgaria for Starwood Preferred Guest members each offer a completely different vibe. Sofia Hotel Balkan is classic traditional and Sense contemporary cool.

Sense front

Rooftop Bar at Sense is definitely the hotel place I felt the better vibe for drinking.

Sense AN reflection    Sense cathedral view





About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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