In an effort to capitalize on the unforeseen media attention, Sofitel seemed to have initiated an ad campaign in recent weeks. Gilt’s Jetsetter had some excellent deals, but the competitive rates were also available on Sofitel.com. I bit. I booked a suite to celebrate my husband’s birthday. The “Magnifique Romance” package, had a number of indulgences- breakfast, champagne, chocolate, etc,- all in an enormous suite complete with a terrace bigger than our entire apartment. Best of all, the package came with a 4pm checkout, as indicated in the package description on the hotel’s website.
We got all this for under $600, including tax. Yes, that’s $600. It was one of the largest rooms in the hotel. You can kinda see the layout of the room here. Look at the room on the right of room #2820, underneath the “#1” section. We were on the 24th floor, and we had a terrace that isn’t shown in the diagram. It was luxurious, albeit the hotel seemed to be designed for male guests. Only items from the Hermes D’Orange Vert (including the hand soap) were on display. It was all very French. The hotel’s restaurant where we had our breakfast was no exception. The service style was very European; impeccable at-your-service attention, but without the warmth American servers are so good at having. We assume this is because the waiters know that most guests pretend they don’t know they have to leave tips. We left a 20% tip even though our breakfast was complimentary.
Back to almost getting caught naked…
At 1:50 on the day of checkout, blatantly ignoring the “Do Not Disturb” sign on our door, housekeeping opened the door to our room. They were stopped by the door limiter. Shortly afterward, we got two phone calls. The first was from a jerk (by his tone and manners) who asked us if we wanted to extend our stay. I told him we had a 4pm checkout. The next was from a gracious woman who, after I told her about our package, told us we could take our time. We complained to management about the attempted intrusion, who told us that housekeeping should have called us before they entered the room. They hadn’t.
I made sure husband had a great birthday by that time; even so I’m not sure he wouldn’t have thrown a punch or two if housekeeping had walked in on us. People do crazy things when they’re naked and others walk in on them.
We don’t know what happened with DSK and the maid. From news reports, it seems both are total assholes. From experience, it seems Sofitel doesn’t know what a “Do Not Disturb’ sign is.