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“Needs Major Improvement But Has Potential”
Review of EME Catedral Hotel

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EME Catedral Hotel
Ranked #43 of 177 Hotels in Seville
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 4 June 2009

Arriving at the eme fusion hotel, particularly after having read the many scalding reviews by previous visitors, we honestly didn't know what to expect - and while we do have major criticism to offer, it wasn't quite as horrendous for us as it was for other people here on tripadvisor who visited in 2008. Oftentimes, hotels receiving poor customer service ratings take a 180 degree turn for the better because thankfully, a manager or someone else working at the hotel reads these reviews and immediately tries to ameliorate the conditions. This was mostly the case for us. The customer service was adequate: courteous, calm and perhaps you could detect a lack of confidence, knowledge of the hospitality industry or forced efforts but that certainly is a step ahead of despicable service noted just after the hotel's launch. The place has improved but still has some way to go to merit its 5 star status.

Reception
We arrived at the hotel on a hot day after a 2 hour flight to be greeted by a competent desk attendant who spoke excellent French for us. Someone from the bar brought us refreshing drinks, which was a welcoming plus. After the paperwork was squared away, a gentleman (the iconic figure you see representing the eme website), a sweet and a bit shy man from Senegal, showed us to our rooms and gave us the necessary run-down of how everything works. We spoke French together and we really liked him and wondered how anyone could find him rude (from another review); perhaps there was a shyness, language barrier or cultural misunderstanding problem, I am uncertain.

Room
Our room was tiny and very dark, which was exacerbated by black walls and the insufficient lighting provided for the room. Additionally, there was not ample storage for all of our clothes, and we both travel extremely light. Storage for toiletries in the bathroom is also lacking, which requires that you place your belongings on the floor. The plus side is that the bed was comfortable but it wasn't a true king-size bed, but rather, two beds pushed together. Lastly, the floors were not cleaned very well. I liked the rain shower but water leaked into the bathroom. We just put towels down but this can be dangerous and an accident waiting to happen.

Image Desired vs Reality
Eme fusion's aim to be an exclusive "quality, chic designer boutique hotel" is sadly unachieved in that the basics and the details have betrayed the caliber of quality it should possess. Merely saying it is a 5 star hotel only baffles visitors as no 5-star hotel would have such a poorly constructed interior that carries all sound and bounces it every which way. From inside our room I could actually hear the conversations of people on the same floor lobby and in the stairwells. The walls are not soundproof, nor are the windows, which is the reason why many people cannot sleep at all here. I've stayed at the Radisson and the Marriott (both 4 star hotels) at the CDG airport in Paris and it's so well insulated you can hardly believe you are next to one of the busiest airports in the world. They are that quiet. The fact that Eme fusion is so centrally located and within close proximity to prodigious activity and noise, is no excuse for this hotel to be so noisy at night that guests cannot sleep. They simply must invest in better quality windows and reinforce the interior walls. I'm sad to say that the image Eme fusion exudes is pretentiousness surrounded in black, cheap plastic.

In our room the walls were black as there was a sort of plastic covering over them. I understand the designer's intention but using plastic as a material, no matter how shiny, evokes a sense and quality of the inexpensive, not to mention environmentally insensitive. Additionally, the furniture and room accessories were shoddily made items (plastic lamp, Ikea-style drawers), hardly the stuff that 5 star hotels are made of. Lastly, there are snacks on the desk, which look like they're complimentary but they aren't. They aren't very good either; I had to throw them out and got charged for it, which I didn't expect.

Breakfast
Everyone on tripadvisor was raving about the breakfast but I think it was less than spectacular. It has potential but must change some things to match its goal of being a 5 star hotel. The juices should be fresh. Sadly, they were instant, or mixed. Even if you mix Tang with fresh orange juice, you can always detect the Tang (or whatever equivalent it was). Apple Juice shouldn't be green, either. There were quite a variety of foods but I'd prefer a smaller selection if it meant that everything was fresh. With so many choices, you can always spot and taste unfresh items. A sad thing for me were the oily, stale churros. I love Spain for the fresh, crispy churros with real hot chocolate. If they can't get a local thing right, they should be ashamed of themselves. Perhaps there could be a section with local specialties and labeled so that people know what they are and that they're uniquely Spanish.

FYI: Here's what they offer for breakfast: yogurt, industrial individual box cereals, dried fruit (prunes, apricots) that smelled moldy, instant scrambled eggs (real eggs would be preferable), sausages, bacon, crepes, good cheeses, chorizo and other dried meats, cold cuts, croissants, pain au chocolat, which looked good but were terrible (sorry but I live in France where and we're a bit spoiled with those kinds of pastries), very good breads and a toaster, little sandwiches, fresh and canned fruit, a can of whipped cream (why not fresh whipped cream?), donuts which were pretty good, and an average apple tart. You have to serve yourself coffee from a nespresso type machine (there's only one) or teas (meager selection) or instant hot chocolate (shame!). Since there's only one capsule coffee machine, there is oftentimes a wait. I hate those capsule coffees because I just don't enjoy the taste but they are also a waste. For a hotel of this desired caliber, they should serve the coffee and drinks to the guests just like in other 5 star hotels. Making your own nespresso makes it feel like you're in a cafeteria... or simply at home. I know I'm being extra critical but there are so many staff people just standing around trying to help people (when they really don't need it); they might as well serve drinks and help where help is needed. This is how it's done in hotels all over the world.

Restaurants
Based on the quality of food during breakfast, we weren't inspired to try the hotel's restaurants so I can't really comment on them. What I can say about them is that from the exterior, the design (solid black and sparse) isn't very warm or welcoming and we rarely saw any people in the restaurants.

Lastly, a staff member walked around during breakfast questioning guests about how they felt about the hotel. This, I find, is inappropriate as it's hard to be critical in public, particularly first thing in the morning. I admitted to the guy that it was too noisy for me and that I couldn't sleep because of it, and he feigned surprise, totally pretending his reaction. So fake. I had just heard another guest say the same thing to him so I know he wasn't surprised at all - Then he mentioned that they have earplugs at the reception desk, which didn't help me because that was the day of our departure. While I do appreciate that they are trying to find out how to improve the hotel, they should leave questionnaires in the rooms. People can be much more honest and detailed.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank cate_d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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523 - 529 of 1,435 reviews

Reviewed 14 May 2009

Knew I was in for a bumpy ride at this hotel when they handed me keys to a room that was still occupied (imagine the horrified look on my face and that of the person I "walked in upon"). Staff never apologized as I lumbered back to the front desk with all my luggage to get a new room. My experience only got worse. After waiting another hour for them to put me in another room, I was given a room, facing a noisy-dark alley, with barely enough room to maneuver around the bed. It took nearly 20 minutes for warm water to make its way out of the shower and, when it finally did, a surge of scalding hot water would make you jump out of its path ever 25-30 seconds. Hardly the premium room I had paid top dollar compared to similarly listed hotels. Staff, generally, treat you as if you're lucky to be staying there --shrugging off my complaints about the above and offering no solutions for this miserable experience. Worse part was that I had 4 other friends staying at this hotel, and everyone had a similar/bad experience. Don't stay here. Go up to the rooftop bar to check out the view, good luck ordering a drink from the snooty bar tender, but don't waste your money on the EME Fusion.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled with friends
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1  Thank gr8tguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 May 2009

The Eme Fusion is very trendy and located in a fantastic position. It is directly opposite the Cathedral which is based in a very buzzy place. However, the hotel is very expensive for what it actually is. For example, the rooms are very trendy but lacked any wardrobe place. The balcony was very nice with our own jacuzzi but there was no privacy whatsoever. To ensure privacy in the room I had to keep the curtains drawn which was annoying.

The gym was RUBBISH - it was extremely small and not really designed to be used by more than 2 people at a time.

The swimming pool area was below average but there was no service and if you wanted to have any food or drink it was a struggle to find anyone who could service you. I had to complain as for two days there was lots of drilling and refurbishment work by the pool which meant I could not relax when sitting by the pool. The pool itself was tiny and not really designed to swim! Also, it was freezing!

The television in the bedroom only had two English speaking channels-BBC World and CNN - again given the extortionate price the hotel needs to make an effort to cater for everyone and offer more TV entertainment (movies etc).

The SPA facilities were RUBBISH. I had a massage which was terrible.

The Japanese restuarant in the hotel was very good and good value but the other restaurant wasn't so good.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank RomeoLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 May 2009

Granted it was Semana Santa (Holy Week) and everything in Seville is expensive then - BUT.....we were charged 800 euro/night for three nights - for a room (and yes, it had a balcony) that was [1] tiny [2] poorly lit with limited closet capacity and [3] the shower did not work (except for the handheld part) and overflowed into the bathroom making the concrete floor slippery and dangerous. Outrageous! Complaints to the front desk about the shower were ignored for the entirety of our stay.

We sought information regarding the Holy Week processions three times from varying front desk personnel. Each time the response was that there were no schedules available and no one knew what was happening. On our last night we saw someone with a schedule and asked where it came from. She said, "Oh, they have these at the Front Desk".

Trying to make reservations for dinner at the hotels restaurants was an equally challenging chore. Coffee/tea service in the morning in the lobby was non-existent. Not that the coffee and teas were not there - they were. But there was no hot water. Nor was anyone around to remedy the situation.

One of the parties with whom we were traveling was given a key to their room. When they opened the door, they found the room already occupied. Reporting this to the Front Desk elicited a bored response of "yes, we know". ????? No apology - just an acknowledgement that the room had already been assigned to someone else?

I was given the key to my room - but offerred no guidance as to how to find the room - or once in the room, how to work with the lighting system, electronics, room service - nothing. Again - this was 800 Euros per night.

I predict this hotel will be gone from the City within a year. Totally incompetent manager and indifferent staff. A polite letter of complaints to the management remains unanswered to this day.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled on business
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3  Thank Nimblecat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 May 2009

my boyfriend selected to pay the most on this hotel but regret.
SERVICE was only 2 stars (I had to run downstairs to collect CD from staff hand!; no facial tissues so I asked - they delivered a thin packet and maid looked at me like weirdo. so we made the most by sitting at BALCONY drinking own wine watching the town (close enough, only 2nd floor, everyone can see us)

likes : mojito at rooftop is perfect (pay extra); location of pool can see the tower (but water is too cold!); gym can overlook view but who will work out during sightseeing.

dislikes : staff even forgot to remind us to use spa voucher! (so waste); we are there to sightseeing or di'dn't have time to use the facilities of hotel including bar.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank ipviranuvat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 April 2009

We were a bit apprehensive about staying here, especially after reading the many negative reviews. However, once we had arrived at the hotel, we had very quickly forgotten everything and just got on with enjoying ourselves.
We had stayed in one of the EME rooms - very trendy with a nice little balcony. The EME rooms are the smallest available but size was not an issue.
Great service, super funky bar and lounge areas and the location is just superb.
We would definitely stay there again.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank carla018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 March 2009

The hotel sits in front of the Giralda, Seville's main attraction. The rooms are very nice, the staff is always happy to help. The restaurants and bars are trendy. A great mix since the outside of the building is quite old. But inside everything is new. The terrace has great views to the tower. Great value for money.

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled with friends
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Thank TravelVinceDotCom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about EME Catedral Hotel

Address: Calle Alemanes 27, 41004 Seville, Spain
Phone Number:
Region: Spain > Andalucia > Province of Seville > Seville > Casco Antiguo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Seville
#26 Luxury Hotel in Seville
#40 Romantic Hotel in Seville
Price Range: £137 - £339 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — EME Catedral Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 60
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
EME Catedral Hotel a Boutique Hotel located in the historical centre of Seville, in the Santa Cruz neighbourhood, right in front of the Cathedral and the Giralda, just some steps away from the shopping area. As a result of the restoration of fourteen typical sevillian listed houses from the XVI century, the urban resort has 60 rooms and an excellent gastronomic and leisure space with restaurants, cocktail bars, wellness spa, outdoor swimming pool and outstanding panoramic terraces. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Eme Fusion
Eme Fusion Seville

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