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Crystal Palace Boutique Hotel
No other place in Sofia can impress us more with its charming style and excellent location than the luxury four-star Crystal Palace Boutique Hotel, member of the FairPlay International Hotel Chain. It lies on the iconic Shipka Street in the nicest part of the city centre, right next to the lovely Doctors' Garden (Doktorska Gradina) and the Sofia University and in close proximity to some of Sofia's most notable landmarks, namely St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the Parliament and the National Library. Oh, we almost forgot to mention that Borisova Gradina Park is no more than a few hundred metres away, too. Just for the record, this is the largest urban park in Bulgaria and surly one of the most peaceful and symbolic places in Sofia. But enough with this sightseeing tour. Now, let's get back to the hotel.
Crystal Palace will strike you with its marvellous architectural design right from the get-go. Its exterior combines together exquisitely all the characteristic features of an early-20th-century aristocratic urban house with the fresh touch of innovation and modernity that comes from the upward glass extension to the construction, which was first introduced in 2004 when the hotel opened its doors to guests. Maybe here is the appropriate time to also tell you that the building is, in fact, an important monument of culture.
However, things become even more fabulous once you get inside, because this is actually when you learn why the word 'boutique' plays such an important role in the hotel's name. And it is quite simple to get that, really - everything in there, every tiny detail you will see in this place is unique. The sophisticated atmosphere of the reception area and the lobby, with their specially designed comfortable furniture and subtle decoration, spreads all over the fancy restaurant and lobby bar as well. This, of course, also holds true for all 53 rooms and 10 suites of the hotel. They are cosy, well-furnished, equipped with an astounding range of amenities and most of them offer some great views of the Doctors' Garden and St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.
The restaurant at Crystal Palace Hotel is arguably one of the best in Sofia. The food there is fresh and delicious, the prices are reasonable, the waiting staff are not only very helpful but quite cheerful, too, and they always do their job with extreme discretion, while the chef...oh, the chef is a real magician who can turn literally any product into a heavenly dish that you have never tasted before. Thanks to its perfect location and immaculate reputation, the restaurant has become a preferred spot for business meetings and casual or official dinners. In summer, the restaurant's flowery garden transforms into one of the most tranquil places in the central part of Sofia. The lobby bar adjacent to the restaurant also deserves attention, especially if you have a soft spot for tasty desserts or wish to try some cool refreshing cocktails.
The hotel's business centre and two fully-equipped conference halls host all kinds of events and meetings, while its wellness club takes special care of your well-being and provides you with a wide selection of spa procedures and beauty treatments. Not too shabby, right? Especially when you know that this relaxing oasis is situated at the very heart of the city.
Getting to Crystal Palace and parking there shouldn't pose any difficulties, either. The hotel has a reasonably big underground parking lot which guests are more than welcome to use and there is also a metro station nearby. Naturally, you can always choose to leave your car in the green parking zone around the hotel, but keep in mind that between 8 am and 7 pm on workdays you will have to pay a BGN 1 parking fee for every hour of your stay...and yes, there is a maximum four-hour stay.