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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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