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“Not a 4 star hotel but great for families” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Riu Helios Bay

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Hotel Riu Helios Bay
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Tchernomorska, 50, Obzor 8250, Bulgaria   |  
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Ranked #1 of 15 hotels in Obzor
Oxford, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Not a 4 star hotel but great for families”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2013

This hotel is ideal for families, but singletons and adults beware, unless you like to be surrounded by kids 24/7 then it is not for you! It is clean, and well run but I fail to see how it achieves its 4 star rating. There are no tea/coffee making facilities in the room, the lounge areas are wholly inadequate for the numbers of guests, no where to sit for that pre dinner drink, and the food, whilst plenty of it is fairly dull and a bit canteen'ish. There was no feel of any kind of luxury and it had the feel of a 3 star punching above its weight! Never been all inclusive before and won't do it again, the area has some really nice bars and cafes etc all deserving more trade than they were getting. The evening entertainment was quite frankly dire - really very poor quality and nothing, and I mean nothing seemed to be geared for adults, no disco, no music bar, no bar without kids ....... you get the picture. Oh and people smoked everywhere, beach, pool, bars, terraces so go if you enjoy smoking or even passive smoking!

Now if you are travelling with Thomson on their platinum package, expect a base metal service! We had to hunt the rep on arrival at the airport, got misdirected to the coach (all passengers not just us) had to trek in the dark to find it to be met with a driver who spoke no English (but then why should he the reps are supposed to do all the talking!). We then waited for a rep to arrive who eventually did, but then had to wait for a missing passenger (prob on the wrong bus as he never showed so we waited in vain!) The transfer took 2 hrs not an hour and we arrived a the hotel at 3am! The return was no better no rep to check that everyone was on the coach to return to the airport as expected and we had to put our own luggage on the coach! At the airport a rep came on board and ratttled out the numbers of the check in desks like she was on fast forward - that was it!

Hideous flight times - will NEVER - fly those times again!

So to summarise, nice hotel for families who smoke, bit basic feeling, lovely hard working staff, charming little town, sloppy repping!

Room Tip: I think any room will be ok
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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363 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (115)
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English first
Sheffield
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2013

What a lovely hotel and friendly staff. Food excellent with plenty of choice although not much fruit at breakfast. The hotel is exceptionally clean. The rooms are large and very comfy. You need a shower mat in the shower as there are no handrails and it is slippy. The only downside is the towels, the pool towels are so small you need 2 each and you can only have 1. The bathroom towels are very thin and not very big they only just go round if you are a size 12 any bigger then don't bother to try to wrap then round. My suggestion is to take your own. Lots of children and the entertainment at night was mainly designed for the children. The adult stuff did not start till 9.30 and then sometimes it included stuff for the kids. Children need to be on first sitting for evening meals instead of running round at the 2nd sitting.

Room Tip: Ask for 5th floor less noise from the pool. We had room 5019 and it was excellent. Email the hotel...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
bicester
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2013

Just returned from this Amazing Hotel, travelled with my 3 children aged 8, 8 and 11 and had a fantastic time.
My reviews are always frank and HONEST! unlike a lot of people on here who just like to moan, click on their profiles n see their other reports, all are negative .
The rooms ( we had a family suite ) which had 2 massive bedrooms, a balcony that must have been 16-20 foot long and easily my 3 could have a game of footy on it. Large bathroom, all kept immaculately clean by the lovely Dora . There were 3 birds nests on it with a few bumbles of birds poo, which was removed each day( but was only on the railings , not on the actual balcony. But if the birds weren't there, flies and mossies would be lol.
Most rooms overlook the pool and sea, amazing views .
The kids club , what can I say , apart from Amazing, my 3 loved it, it's on from 10am until 12.30 and 3-6 pm, everyday apart from Saturdays and on Wednesday evenings they do a late club until 10pm, the animation team are all fantastic but we did have 3 favourites that went that extra mile, Milanka, George and Natalie , the rest were lovely too, but these 3 were the hotels star playersand I would welcome them into my home anytime such amazing people.
Each evening apart from Saturday there is a kids Disco , followed by a show at 9.30, half done by animation team and half by outside entertainers , the ones by animation team I think are fab ( especially as the average age is 20 ) and most of the outside ones are too, especially the magicians, the best by ar were the kids show, where the children practice and put on fab shows , some as young as 3 were in them .
Extra's safety deposit box is 45 levs ( approx £20) but I wish I hadn't bothered cos quite often we left iPads n iPods out n were still there , so I wouldn't bother with that .
Wifi is 20 levs per stay ( approx £8) but could only be used by Internet room and in reception lobby.
You can use pc in Internet room for 2levs for 30 minutes ( approx 80p )
Pool/football and any other table games are 3levs (approx £1.20)
Hotel
Immaculately cleaned apart from communal toilets because men use the ladies and pee on floor , so it's stinky, I did mention this to the Hotel manager and he doubled the cleaning, so wasn't so bad after that.
The exterior needs a paint job , but interior was fine ( told you I'm honest ).
Reception staff were amazing , especially Biliana the reception Manageress .
The restaurant
Ivo , the Matrie d runs a very tight ship , lovely man and remembers everything , on arrival he will allocate a table for dinner and give you the choice of either 6-7.30 or 8-9.30 , if travelling with children , you will need to book the early sitting so they can go to the kids disco which starts at 8pm .
Breakfast
So much choice
Bacon ( god how many moan on here about this), you are not in England so don't expect English rashers, it's lie streaky bacon, sausages( again not like at home ) but extremely tasty, eggs in 4 varieties fried, sunny side up,boiled scrambled and omelette , fried tomato,hash browns, beans, 10 varieties of cereal , 10-15 varieties of fruit, 20 varieties of continental , 6-10 varieties of bread, 6-10 varieties of pastries , plenty of variety of hot drinks and cold drinks there's 2varietes of fresh juice and cold milk .
7.30-10am, if you're a late riser they serve a late breakfast 10-12 , which is continental and the same as above but without the cooked option.
Lunch 12.30-2.30
There's 2options
Main Restaurant
2 soups and approx 10 different sorts of bread and rolls, I really enjoyed trying the different soups and all were delicious , tried pea soup for the 1st time and it was my favourite of the 2 weeks .
There was always fish, 4 different lots of meat, 6-8 veg, rice, pasta and sometimes a kids corner, salad there was so much choice, approx 20 plus items to choose from. Desserts were delicious and again plenty of choice , the cream ice cream is best I've ever had , always plenty of fruit , yoghurt s , cakes , mouses etc etc .
Beer, red and white wine and soft drinks. I was a bit shocked by wine menu, it's not included in the all inclusive bundle ( not that I even like wine but still found it odd, never experienced that in any other Rui hotels )
Lunch by pool, same time ( not that we used it but did look lol ) are generally pizza , burgers, hotdogs, chips, small selection of salad and desserts but people we met rated it.
Dinner was pretty much the same but more meatier options and larger selection .
The themed restaurant is one 3 evenings per week and in my view the best dinners ever ( I've been to sandals many times before children ) especially the lamb, the chicken liversband the hot cheese dish called shopska ( or something very similar lol ) so make sure you book that .
The staff
I felt like we were treated like V.I.P's by all the staff, nothing was ever too much trouble, they all seemed to really enjoy their jobs and all had smiles on their faces.
The Rep Barney , he has a dry SOH and thinks his jokes are funny , they are the 1st time but he tends to repeat himself but his knowledge of Bulgaria is really good, but he did annoy me a bit at the airport, he got off coach never to be seen again and all the other reps were helping their clients, so a big tut tut to Barney for that .
The sun bed saga !!! Lol
They DO NOT charge for sun beds or umbrellas on beach FACT !! They could do with a few more but we never ever had a problem with getting any in 2 weeks we were there, also I will add they do have life guards on beach, 3 at all times . Around the pool , again never a problem and again 3 lifeguards working at all times, lovely friendly guys too. To the comments about birds poo on sun beds , I only saw 1 dropping the entire 2 weeks and that was removed by one of life guards.
The Beach /Black sea
We had 15 green flag days , I read that there was loads of litter there, I never saw any, I'd say it was one of cleanest beaches I've been on , a few sharp shells, so make sure little people wear at east flip flops but if ya taking toddlers invest in beach shoes .
The Town
There's some fantastic points and some not so !
The people are lovely and friendly and have plenty of banter,
There is a really beautiful park,
Plenty to keep kids entertained,
A small amphitheatre , where we were lucky enough to see local kids dance, was amazing but couldn't take photos grrrrrrr.
Always felt safe .
The downside
Most shops sell cheap nasty souvenirs , bad fake clothing, a few sell lovely stuff amongst the awful stuff , we didnt notice the nice stuff until our 3rd visit lol.
The bars are very cheap , especially loved Bedrocks and the pink bar. Make sure you go up the square at the weekend, it's like party time , lovely atmosphere .
It's an up and coming resorts, so lots of building work going on, apartments from 10k euro's , so a reckon in a few years it will be a lot more commercial .
Cigarettes
50 lev per 200 carton( depending on exchange rate you get , approx just under £20 atm )
Most uk brands available.
Tobacco was very cheap too , so I was told about £3 for the biggest sized pouch.
OTHER USEFUL INFO
DO NOT book excursions in uk , cheaper in resort.
DO NOT buy lev's in uk, rate much better over there .
Do NOT pre-book your seats together for return flight in uk, again cheaper via the rep .
Make sure you get out and about and see some other bits of Bulgaria , it's a stunning place.
DO NOT waste your money on trip to varna , they take you to the most expensive malls, do it yourself on the bus ( timetable available from reps )
Basically me and my kiddies had a brilliant cheap holiday , obviously the hotel wasn't the same as the 5 star rui hotels we have stayed in before but the saying ' you get what you paid for ' springs to mind.
If you need anymore info, then please feel free to message me

Room Tip: Either have a Double Superior room, if travelling as a couple . A family suite room in 4113, 5113...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harlington
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

stayed at this hotel june for 10 days. Restful and enjoyable stay
Rooms and check in were fab, our bathroom needed new tiles but hey not in it for that long each day. Television stations are not English except CNN and one other which was slightly odd.
Pool and bar area was lovely and is right on the beach and we had no trouble getting a bed each day although maybe at the height of the season i could see there may be an issue but they do have areas to put more beds.
Food was fine but catering more for the other Nationalities staying there, we were told that two years ago they catered for all nationalities which seemed to have changed, but we always managed to find something nice to eat. This was a reasonably priced holiday and thats what we got...I would pay more if they upgraded the bars etc.
Now to the animation team, well they were useless we were there 7 days before one of them ackowledged we were actually staying at the hotel.LOL No interaction with the guests that didn't take part in the games. They need more training in entertainment LOL
Overall the holiday was great and we would go back for a restful and beach holiday.
We walked to the town which for some reason the reception staff seemed to think was not good but we had a great evening looking in the shops and partaking in a couple of Baily's & ice at the bars.
Rip off prices to keep your room on happily would have paid the normal, room on till 7pm and to have a safe was £100 for the 10 days and was so small we could get the ipad or camera in it so had to carry with us most of the time.
The shop at the resort was very reasonable not like some hotels we have stayed at.
Gets a bit chilly in the evening so take a cardigan or little jacket..still lovely though

Room Tip: high floor has the best view and lifts are good. 6111 was a nice room but balcony railing did move...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ulceby, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2013

Stayed here for a week in May with hubby and friends, wasn't sure about Bulgaria as none of us had been before. Had a great time lovely hotel, very clean good food staff very friendly and helpful, nice pool area and straight down to the beach which was lovely. Would highly recommend this hotel for a nice relaxing holiday by the beach.

Room Tip: All rooms have sea view
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Croydon, United Kingdom
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2013

I stayed at this hotel with some friends for one week at the beginning of June 2013. I really cannot fault this hotel. Rooms were clean and spacious. The pool and surrounding areas were lovely and very well kept, cleaners were visible around the hotel all day long. The food was amazing. Lots of choice available with different meat & fish options everyday. The breakfast had so many choices from full English, continental, cereal, yoghurts, fresh fruit & pancakes. I really was spoilt for choice.

The entertainment team were excellent with lots of activities taking place throughout the day from water polo, air rifle shooting, darts, beach volleyball (special mention to George from the entertainment team). We took part in two aqua fit classes. The evening entertainment was a bit more hit and miss with some days better than others but the team tried their best and worked extremely hard.

The bar staff were also fab and after a few days knew exactly what we were going to order. Special mention to Vlado behind the bar and thanks for the extra shots of rum in our Strawberry Daiquiri's

Overall we had a fab week at this hotel and I would recommend to anyone looking for a quiet relaxing holiday! If you are looking for a big resort with lots of shops and clubs go to Sunny beach but Obzor was perfect for us. There is a small town a short walk up the road with some souvenir shops, bars and restaurants and a square. We would definitely return to this hotel and resort.

On a final note, the hotel provides pool towels but they are small so I would recommend taking your own. You have to pay for WiFi, 20 levs for your stay and its only available in the lobby area. The wine is rough too, beer is ok ( so I am told) and the cocktails very good!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oswestry
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2013

Just returned from 2 weeks here and can echo a lot of previous reviews. Staff were excellent and food was good. Rooms cleaned to high standards. Biggest problem for us was bird crap everywhere. We had a nest on our balcony and everyday the furniture was covered in it. I would move the chairs to 1 side to try and keep them clean but the next day the cleaner would put it back over to let it get covered again. We never used the balcony after 3/4 days. If you sit on the veranda for your meals check the walls above the table and avoid the ones with nests unless you like birds flying in and out and crapping. The first week was ok although the pool and sea were very cold, by the second week both had warmed up and were very enjoyable but the 'mood' in the hotel changed. Lots of children turned up and with it we heard lots of rows around the pool between families falling out over them. One woman in particular managed to have a row with at least 3 other families because of her little 'cherubs'. We decided to go to the beach every day after, which was quieter. The dining room went from being orderly and polite to a free for all which was more akin to a Macdonalds outside a football ground. We were so pleased the first week and so disappointed the second. Will not go back to this hotel or Bulgaria. We rated the cleanliness down because of the birds but otherwise it is excellent.

Room Tip: All rooms face the sea but to get 1 without a birds nest is a bonus.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Helios Bay

Address: Tchernomorska, 50, Obzor 8250, Bulgaria
Location: Bulgaria > Burgas Province > Obzor
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Obzor
#1 Family Hotel in Obzor
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Helios Bay 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the Sunny Beach resort area on the Black Sea. 5-storey building. Situated on the beachfront. 300 m from the centre of Sunny Beach. 25 km from Burgas airport. Credit cards accepted: MasterCard, Visa. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Helios Bay Hotel
Riu Helios Bay Obzor

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