I wish I had stayed here fir a few days as really the time we stayed was not anywhere near enough to see Xian which had been the capital of China under 13 dynasties.
I don’t associate the Sofitel brand with high end luxury but everything here from the suite we had to the service was superb . The location is superb near the old city walls and Bell and Drum Towers. These towers date back to the Ming Dynasty . In the olden day the bell tower would ring out at dawn and the Drum tower at dusk
Everything here is done to perfection. I loved the intimacy of the reception and the bar area with never get up sofa. The flower arrangements from those in our room to everywhere in the hotel were fabulous .Our suite was spacious and immaculately designed. The bed was just so so comfortable. Every detyail ahs been thought off. Even a bath had been prepoared with a fragrant oil and scattered flowers. The welcome fruit pastries and wine were superb. Luxurious and tempting. The bathrobes and towels were pure softness and all the products available were sheer indulgent
The view from the room was the only let down. We were so tried we really didn’t want to leave the room but as our time was limited we set off initially to visit the Muslim quarters which I am so mad at missing as they are supposed to be unique with shops and traders and a totally different feel but we somehow got distracted walking there and ended up having dinner in this massive place that specialised is some sort of dough. I don’t really know what exactly as no one spoke English but whatever it was it was delicious. We just pointed to what we could see other people having and stuck to fish and vegetables. We were so stuffed relaxed that we decide to just return to the hotel for a good night sleep.
The next morning we sat in the garden and watched people do their exercises before we meandered back to breakfast. Everything here is high end luxury. Throughout our stay in China I was surprised by the perfection of pastries. In all honesty I had croissants here that were far more indulgent than anything in Paris. I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise as Chinese cooking at its best is one of the most creative
I loved the fact that they prepare a lovely bath for you with a choice of fragrance so your bath is strewn with herbs and or flowers. The breakfast buffet was very well done . Everything here was extremely stylish and cleverly thought out. The garden was lovely and a welcome respite from the crowds in the city. My only suggestion would be is that rather than have an Italian restaurant I would have liked to see a Chinese on the premises. Highly recommended with fantastic service.
The next day we went to the main event which was the Terracotta Warriors. Accompanied by our tour guide and an archaeologist it was an eye opener. I ma glad we chose to have an expert with us a young professor who just made the whole experience become alive and explained the history. This is a park very well run . We had opted to have special transport essentially a little golf cart that took us around the different sections. We ended up of course in the tourist shops and bought little gifts of Terracotta Warriors.
Again I wish we had planned it to stay longer in Xian as I think our one night and day was just too hurried to fully appreciate the city. We ended up at Xi’anbei station for the bullet train to Beijing. Again I stress the importance of a guide. We would have been hopelessly lost as English is not spoken readily. The station is massive and we were safely put into our carriage. We had reserved business class seats which were super comfortable for the 4 hour journey . We were served with initially a hamper full of snacks and later a dinner which was ok. The bathrooms were not super clean but usable.
Arrival at Beijing was an unforgettable experience. I had never seen so many people and luckily a porter was standing by our carriage with our name and led us to our car and tour guide. There is no way we would have managed to get out of the station I mean it was a warren of corridors people and what seemed like endless tunnels going in so many directions.
It was a relief to be met by Franck our guide and driver for the next part of the adventure