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“You get what you pay for!” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Magnolia

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Hotel Magnolia
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Albena Resort, Albena 9620, Bulgaria   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #22 of 32 hotels in Albena
Peebles, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“You get what you pay for!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2013

First of all the holiday was very cheap. I went with my husband - it was actually our honeymoon. Unfortunately as we had spent quite a lot on the wedding, this meant we had to budget for the honeymoon, so we decided on a cheap package holiday somewhere hot that we had never been to before.

We flew from Glasgow to Varna, which was the first mistake. The transfer from Varna airport took 3 and a half hours, on a bus where the air conditioning wasn't working. It was an extremely uncomfortable journey. On arrival at the hotel, a porter came to get our suitcase to take it up the steps to the reception. A nice touch, or so I thought. We went to check in. We had been advised by our travel agent that she would tell the hotel it was our honeymoon and if we produced a copy of the marriage certificate they would make sure that our holiday was as perfect and special as possible, including the best of rooms etc. We did so, advising the receptionist that we had been told this, and he shrugged and asked us what we expected him to do with it. We explained what we had been told, and he shrugged again, said rooms were allocated, and it made no difference to him. This, in itself, was not a particular problemn apart from his attitude, but it went against everything we had been told. I asked if there was any chance of a cold drink from anywhere, even a cold glass of water, and was told no, in no uncertain terms. He then handed us a packed lunch box, which had been sitting in reception for hours with no refrigeration, and the porter showed us the way to our room, which was in the Magnolia Gardens, rather than the hotel proper. He then stood, obviously waiting for a tip - we had to give him 10 levs as we didn't have any change by that point. He must do pretty well on arrivals night. We did discover throughout the holiday that they have absolutely no concept of customer service skills.

The room was clean enough, with a double bed and a single, a desk and chair, and a small balcony, with absolutely no view, looking directly into the forest at the rear. It wasn't a huge problem. We unwrapped the unrefrigerated packed lunches to find half a cucumber each, 2 oranges and a limp nasty looking sandwich. There was, hiowever, a small bottle of water each which we drank fairly quickly! The best thing about the room was the excellent brand new looking air conditioning unit. The room was cleaned every day, but we did find it irritating that there was no do not disturb sign, and that the cleaners knock and come in without waiting for an answer.

Over the next few days we used the hotel restaurant a few times. The food is bland, and fine if you like pork. The cheese and bread are left out with flies over them and landing on them constantly. The pasta is horrible, and the salads are just cabbage. we did persevere for a few days in the hopes that the food would improve, but it didn't change from lunch to dinner, or even from day to day. By day 3 we both were suffering with bad stomachs, and were quite ill for 24hrs - luckily I had bought loads of the relevant medication in Glasgow Airport. We didn't eat at the hotel after this. We were given suggested meal times - we took umbrage at this as we assumed that we were restricted to these times but we asked the rep and she explained that they were just suggested times so as to avoid the busier times.

The pool was lovely, despite a few glaring health and safety issues (missing tiles, holes in the ground etc). We didn't try the poolside snack bar, although we did hear from other people that it was impossible to get served unless you were Romanian or Russian. It was easy enough to be served drinks. We didn't find that we were discriminated against at all actually, just for being Brits.

The Balkan Holidays rep Margarita was lovely, and she sorted out a problem we had with the dinearound - the receptionist - same one again, I think he's the head receptionist - had organised our lunch dinearound, but had told us that everywhere was full for the dinner one. We asked Margarita to sort this out, and she did. And in fact, when we went for that meal the restaurant was empty, so, after conversations with other people, we think he was after a backhander. By the way, if you have the dinearound, do not bother with the Ciel Bleu - the view is spectacular but the food is disgusting and bears absolutely no relation to French food!

We went on a couple of trips - Varna was a dump, but worth seeing, and Balchik and Kaliakra were absolutely beautiful. Well worth seeing.

We used the train up and down into the town a few times, and that was great.

In conclusion, we wouldn't not go back to Bulgaria, but we certainly would not stay at the Magnolia again. As I said in the title - you get what you pay for. We paid for a cheap holiday, and that is what we got. pay a little extra and stay at a better hotel. Albena is a nice resort, but the Magnolia lets it down badly.

Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Rating summary
  • Location
    3 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Jedburgh, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2013

I will write as honest a review as I can bearing in mind it is only me and my partner’s opinion.
We stayed a week at the Magnolia in Albena arriving on Saturday afternoon 15 June 2013, we were actually in the block called Magnolia Gardens, which is furthest away from reception and looks like the oldest part of the building. We were in the very end room, 167.
On arrival it took over 1 hour to book our coach of holidaymakers in to the hotel, standing in a queue in the afternoon heat which was probably in the 30’s.
On entering our room there was a foul smell coming from the bathroom (drains) but needing a shower after the journey I turned the shower on and out came dirty brown water, it took 15 minutes of running the shower to show clean water and also for it to come hot. Finally after getting a shower I turned on the sink tap and it was running dirty as well until the pipes cleaned themselves.
I do not think that this block had been used since last year’s holiday season.

Toilet: Not flushing as the cistern would not fill properly which I repaired myself on Monday night out of desperation and when it was flushed it had a strong leak of water from the waste pipe on to the tiled toilet/ shower room floor. (which would not help with the smell from the drains)

These were reported on the Sunday morning and despite being back at reception on Monday evening were not looked at.
The water pipes eventually cleaned themselves, the cistern I fixed and the leak from the waste pipe was not repaired until Wednesday after the maid reported it.
We later found out from other Brits that problems reported by them were also bring ignored.
My neighbour, another Brit (we mostly were in that old block) could not use his balcony as the floor was overgrown with a bramble bush which he reported on Sunday morning and again later in the week. It was still there when we left on the next Saturday; another couple said that their sheets had not been changed in the week they had been there despite complaints even as far as the holiday rep who immediately took it up and got a guarantee that fresh sheets would be fitted that afternoon, they were still not changed by the following afternoon, another couple on returning to their room, found both their balcony and main room doors had been left standing open by the maid two times.
No apology when they complained to reception.
Just some examples of complaints not dealt with by the hotel.
In our experience Brits were being looked on as almost second class to the Russians/Germans and I think Bulgarians that were the dominant nationalities in the hotel.

Food: In my and my partners opinion, it was mostly bad.
My first try at the meat was small pork steaks, raw in the middle, then chicken thighs, raw in the middle, then thick sausages, raw in the middle.
Bread sliced and laid out in baskets which allowed flies to crawl over it.
We ate mainly fruit and salads in the restaurant after that, with the occasional well cooked nice dish through the day and ate down the town for a full meal at night, even though we were all inclusive.

There were lots of uneven paving slabs on the paths and broken/missing tiles at the pool.
(I threw a used finger plaster out of the pool on Monday, only about a metre on to the tiles and it was still in the same place on Friday)

Staff: Mainly very difficult communication as most had a very limited knowledge of English or none at all. We had to use a lot of sign language which wasn’t always understood. There was very little interaction or smiles from them unless they were speaking to someone in what appeared to be their own language.
Bars: Often under-staffed and continually running out of glasses in the main bar, especially in the evenings. Beer was even being served in Irish coffee glasses at times in the main bar.
In summary I do not think that they cater much for the Brit tourist at the Magnolia which is a shame as I think with a lot of maintenance on the grounds/buildings/pool, and a bit of a better standard/choice of food and a bit of interaction from the bar/restaurant staff it could be a really nice place to holiday.
The pool system is one of the best that we seen on our walks round Albena although it does need a lot of tidying up.
The location is at the top of a hill but it is an easy downhill walk to Albena centre (168 or thereabouts steps and slopes) there is a good shop and restaurant near the bottom.
Lots of people walk back up but there is a little motorised train that you can get down or up for £1.50 per head there are also taxis and the hotel shuttle bus which I cannot comment on as I did not use them.
I would advise anyone with limited mobility to think of somewhere else due to the slopes and stairs at the hotel.
I think Albena itself is a good young family location although there are two nightclubs which open late for older ones. It is not a massive place but the whole complex is built specifically as a tourist resort.

I know that a lot of people will have enjoyed their stay at the Magnolia but the above is my and my partner’s impression of the place.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2013 via mobile

My self,wife and baby have just spent a week in the Magnolia we are very well traveled due to my wife working in the travel industry.
Here's the facts as we found them in June 2013.
Our first trip to Bulgaria a last minuet booking with one of the .com sites and cheap for the three of us.
The hotel is a bit run down in parts lots of steps and uneven footpaths built on a hill so lots of ups and downs with a pram.
Most of the staff are very very rude some of the rudest we have ever found.
We thought it may be a Bulgraian thing but we also spent a night in the Flamingo Grand and the staff were great the staff in the town bars are great so make your own mind up.
The food is local abit like Greek food very limited at points but you could find some thing to eat salads,pasta ect. Not the best at times and due to high numbers of people in the restaurant we were told to have set meal times.9am to 10am 12.00 to 13.00 and 18.00 to 19.00.
The bars are a problem at peak times we couldn't get soft drinks at points couldn't get other drinks at other times no glasses no cups for hot drinks..and it's a big problem in the small reception bar between 22.00 and 23.00 when the all inclusive ends.
When we were there I would say it was 95% local holiday makers and 5% UK holiday makers the locals tend to move on mass you might be waiting for drinks or food and I joke not 10 or 20 or more will at points push in and take all the drinks all the food or all the snaxs. After day one we just followed the locals and pushed in front of them in a dog eat dog way.
Our room was a little unclean at first but by day two the maid was on top of it.
All of the above didnt spoil our holiday a free bus runs to the beach and main area on the hour a small train runs all the time for 3 lev each and a slow walk down to the main area via the road and the long way with a pram takes around 30 mins and having to buy extra meals and drinks all came in cheaper than JUST the holiday prices to Spain.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bingley, United Kingdom
1 review
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2013

My best friend and I booked to travel here last minute, after checking some of the reviews on the site we were sightly apprehensive.

On arrival to the hotel (very late at night) we were given a packed tea, which we were very appreciative of at the time. The rooms were very clean, as was the pool area and eateries.

Our travel advisor at the hotel was well informed although we chose not to go on any of the excursions due to pricing.

We could eat at either the Orchidea or Magnolia restaurant as we were all inclusive, and also had the opportunity to Dine Around in several local restaurants included in our All Inclusive.

It was easy to get to the town centre and local beaches, although if walking there were A LOT of steps to contend with.

Only complaint I could say is that the bathroom door got stuck and we therefore couldnt shut it for the duration of the trip. I would also reccomend keeping hold of your passport as they are not locked away and the receptionist misplaced our passports!

I would definitely return here again!

I would definitely go back here again.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pitesti, Arges, Romania
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

I stay 1 week with my family (compouse of 1 child and 4 adult's).The swiming pool is ok but a litele old.The worst thing is that the food is very poor quality and quantity.Practicaly if you want to eat some meat you have to be first !You dont know what you eat becouse nobady care to put a paper and write the name or components of food.
All the members of my family said that this hotel has the worst cook of Europe.
The staf did not speak English (except at the reception).In the room there is some bad smell from Air Conditioning,and nobady care to change or clean the filters in 7 days !

I forget to say that the staff cook in front of you steak or sausage but you have to stay in line,and some days i stay olmoust 17minutes to wait for my steak.Alsow all the smoke from coking is all on your t'shirt :)))) (now i laugh, but there i was ,,crying,, becouse nobady care to change something)

Wifi is working only in front at the reception and is not free,yu have to pay ! But after 10 P.M. becouse of congestion ,the wifi will not work or eventualy work with very litle speed.

Parking is ... every where you want !

This is my first and my last visit here at this hotel.

Room Tip: Choose a room far way from Free Bar,if you want to sleep,but chose in the renovation area, or better...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wolverhampton
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2012

We travelled mid September and enjoyed our stay. Arrived on the Saturday afternoon to glorious sunshine. Up to the rooms we went to a basket of fruit and a chilled bottle of champagne. A quick freshen up and down to the bar we went. Beer was served in a plastic cup, but we had the initiative to request a glass as wernt taking it round the pool. English was very limited in the hotel, but after all, this is Bulgaria, not Brighton. We got on fine and learnt a little to get by. Hotel was clean enough, and our room was cleaned and towels changed every day. A few of us got involved in a game of water polo one day arranged by the annimation team. It was a game of England v The Rest. We won in style. Great afternoon. Food was OK, not something i would eat choosingly at home on a daily basis, but It was all edible. We new what to expect as did abit of homework on Bulgarian food. Its serverd neally cold as is supposed to be healthy. We eat it and enjoyed the change. Wernt ill atall. We did the dine around twice and enjoyed it very much. We joined another two couples and made a really good night of it. Bar staff were fine, didnt smile much but were friendly. (Pauline2961 Diet coke was available on AI but was in a bottle if you asked) We had a great time and would return if the price was right. Beach was great and a couple of sun beds were free to all Albena guests. In my opinion its a very safe place to go, but rather quiet in comparison to other destinations. I have to agree with wwfc79's review in reference to the other Brits moaning and poisoning other guests. They gather at around 7pm lobby bar, and moan to high heaven untill 12pm, then start again next day. I can honestly say we could have found things to moan about, but we like a few other couples whos company we shared, had no need to. We easily ensured that we had a great time. We asked for a kettle at reception, and that evening, one was in the room with tea bags, coffee and milk. We actually left on the day the hotel closed. They kindly left the coffee machine on for us as we left at 2am. We asked, and we got... Overall we had a great experience, and it was an experience. Yes hotel was a little shakey in places an a little effort could of been made towards British travellers, but we enjoyed it...

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2012

We stayed there for two weeks last month with anither couple and I can honestly say it was the worst place I have ever stayed in. The old saying "You get what you pay for" was true. Yes, it was a cheap holiday but it was a false economy as we had to eat out all the time. The staff had a couldn't care less attitude, beer was served in plastic cups, no facilities in the room to make a drink and the coffee machine in Reception wasn't turned on until 10.00 and then served sludge.. And don't bother asking for an ashtray as they don't have any!!!
My partner and one of our friends were ill after the 3rd day from the food, which was all cold, burnt or unrecognisable. After that we took to eating out and just used the hotel to sleep. Absolutely no entertainment if you couldn't speak Bulgarian as the Animation Team didn't bother trying to translate. Don't bother with the Dine Around Vouchers.
The Pepsi was out of a machine and no diet alternative available.
All in all, the area was nice and we had a good holiday but that was because we stayed away from the hotel. A lot of the other people on our Airport Transfer had good hotels so we must have just been unlucky chossing the Magnolia.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Hotel Magnolia

Address: Albena Resort, Albena 9620, Bulgaria
Location: Bulgaria > Dobrich Province > Albena
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #22 of 32 hotels in Albena
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Magnolia 3.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The All-Inclusive Magnolia Hotel is situated on a green slope in the upper part of Albena, about 1,300 meters from the beach. It provides 340 well-furnished, air-conditioned rooms with balconies and great opportunities for recreation, away from the noise and intensity of the central parts. Safety-box and fridge can be rented at Reception. There is a main buffet restaurant serving a variety of local and international cuisine, lobby bar, snack bar and pool bar where guests can enjoy refreshing drinks. Guests can enjoy thematic and barbecue evenings and live-cooking throughout the week. Lunch is also offered on the beach at Dorostor Restaurant. A sun umbrella with 2 lounge chairs at the beach are available per room. A free shuttle bus service is available daily on every half an hour, driving guests from Magnolia hotel to the beach and back. Rich animation program is offered in the hotel six days per week. Free Wi-Fi at 1 Mbps is available in all public areas. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Magnolia Garden Albena

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