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Experience: Arena di Serdica, Sofia


A review of the Arena di Serdica in Sofia, Bulgaria on the trip The Great Eastern Summer.

Highlights

  • Historical Roman ruins within the hotel property.
  • Located in the heart of Sofia with great city views.
  • Friendly and helpful service.
  • Spa integrated into the historic ruins.

Experience

The Arena di Serdica is a 5-star residential hotel which literally allows guests to “live” in history. While building the hotel in 2004, construction crews discovered an ancient Roman amphitheater of the ancient Roman city Serdica, dating to the end of the 3rd century. The excavations were funded by FairPlay International JSC to preserve and restore the surprising find. From that point on, every design teams took up the challenge to incorporate the ancient architecture with the modern building.

As a history lover, I was excited to stay at this unique property. Arriving from Thessonaliki, we checked-in quite late in the evening, but the reception was open and waiting for us. After a quick processing, we were shown our rooms.

Rooms are split into five categories from Classic Rooms all the way up to the Arena di Serdica VIP Suite. Each room is fitted with a deluxe mattress, premium satellite TV, spacious work space, complimentary wi-fi, minibar and full blackout curtains for a good night’s rest.

The bathroom accommodates travelers from overseas with international electric shaver points and shower cabins. Our room had another guest bathroom on entrance, before the lounge area. All bathrooms were clad in marble finishes.

The room also had a great view over the city and adjacent park.

The next morning we went down for breakfast at La Tribuna. The hotel’s main restaurant features international cuisine set in a classic interior with large windows and an outdoor seating area in a small garden. The restaurant La Terrazza di Serdica offers guests a panoramic view with their fine dining meal. Both restaurants also offer private spaces which are perfect for hosting events. The Lobby Bar is a great choice to wind down the evening. The contemporary décor and furnishings give visitors a comfortable place to enjoy a cocktail while admiring the view of the amphitheater.

The ancient Amphitheater of Serdica can be seen from the street outside the hotel as well as in the lobby. It has been determined from pottery and coins that were also discovered during excavation that the original construction began under Emperor Diocletian and concluded with Emperor Constantine. This is the only example of a late antique amphitheater and Roman theater being combined; the former was built around 100 years before the other. Now it sits as a main feature of the Arena di Serdica hotel where guests can walk through and even see ancient footprints of animals left in the clay tiles.

Integrated into the ruins is the Wellness Club which features a modern gym with state-of-the-art equipment, massage and beauty treatments, a sauna, a steam bath and a solarium all surrounded by the ancient Roman walls of the amphitheater.

As the hotel was located right in the center of Sofia, most of the major sights were accessible by foot.

The service at the hotel is very warm and welcoming. The front desk team gave us a tour of the ruins, helped us look into transportation options as well as provided a great touring itinerary of the city.

The Arena di Serdica Hotel is a unique choice for visitors and especially history buffs. With a central location, unique onsite ruins, and a wonderful front desk team, the hotel sets the standard for luxury hotels in Bulgaria and I recommend a visit for all travelers passing through Sofia.

Contact
Arena di Serdica
Address: Ul. Budapeshta 2 Sofia, Sofia-city, 1000, Bulgaria
Telephone: 028107777
Website: http://www.arenadiserdica.com/
Email: reservations@arenadiserdica.com

David De Clercq

About David De Clercq

Founder and writer at World-Adventurer.com, David is on a mission to travel to every country in the world and has less than 10 countries left! He loves new adventures, unique cultures, historic landmarks, and luxurious hotels. Follow along as David shares a journey of a lifetime!