We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Lacking class” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Balneo Complex Saint Spas

Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 3 more sites!
Save
You added Balneo Complex Saint Spas to your Saves list
Balneo Complex Saint Spas
97 "Nikola Vaptsarov" st., Velingrad 4600, Bulgaria   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 23 Hotels in Velingrad
Sofia, Bulgaria
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Lacking class”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2014

Stayed in Balneo Complex Saint Spas on a business trip for three days in November. Yes, the hotel fulfills minimal criteria of Bulgarian requirements for a five-star hotel. But nothing more in my opinion. I found the staff haughty or at least unfriendly (not all of them of course). The towel boy at the pool area was very rude, not only to me, but to few nice old ladies, which came right after me. The pool area itself was very good, I like thermal pools much. Very impressive SPA. The double room, which I stayed in, was clean and simple, nothing special. The bathroom was small, but OK. Had to wait for warm water for a long time (in five-star SPA hotel!). I didn't like the food in the restaurant (full board basis, buffet style). Even worse - had some stomach discomfort and heartburn as well, nothing serious, but unpleasant. Some of my colleagues had similar complains. I didn't go out from the hotel for these days and didn't eat elsewhere but anyway, I don't blame anybody. I would not hurry back.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Boyan A, Director of Sales at Balneo Complex Saint Spas, responded to this review, May 13, 2014
Dear BaiIvan,

Thank you for your time to review our hotel!

I am sorry to hear you had stomach problems, this is the first time I hear this. I hope it all passed quickly.
We are constantly working on training our staff and we will try even harder to address the specifics that you pinpointed.

Thank you,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

31 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    15
    6
    6
    3
    1
See reviews for
13
8
1
4
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (11)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Sofia, Bulgaria
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2014

Spacious rooms with high seilings, balconee lets you feel the mountain breeze, lobby was properly decorated for Easter. We visited this hotel for 1 night, it was full with happy families. Smiling kids were playing around.

Room Tip: If your room faces the road - you can enjoy seing the local narrow-gauge train passing by from time...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2014, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boyan A, Director of Sales at Balneo Complex Saint Spas, responded to this review, May 13, 2014
Dear kirillevterov,

Thank you for your review for our hotel! Every Easter we make special arrangements for kids showing decoration of Velingrad Easter eggs. You can find some pics in our FB profile.

Sincerely,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2014

Having stayed in many hotels in Bulgaria, including several in Velingrad, this is not 5 star. It is more of a 3 to 4 star. Location is ok, pool is small for the size of hotel and it gets very busy in there. Lack of loungers around the pool. Food is ok but not great, even if you are first into the restaurant when it opens the food is luke warm not hot. Not much for the kids to do. Wont bother again, there are better hotels in Velingrad for less money.

Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boyan A, Director of Sales at Balneo Complex Saint Spas, responded to this review, May 13, 2014
Dear Diana W,

Thank you for reviewing our hotel. I am afraid nothing of what you wrote here is correct, as if you are describing another hotel.
The pool is 20 m long, there are sun-beds all around the pool area (actual hotel pictures show this), food is warm if it needs to be (according to food), and we have indoor and outdoor facilities for children (also visible on hotel pictures), including extra professional animation for children on weekends.

Sincerely,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sofia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2014

This hotel promotes itself like 5 stars, but it's 3 or 4 stars. The hotel is big enough, but the SPA zone is too small for this capacity of people. All rooms and common areas are worn out (we visited double and apartments). The rooms are clean and warm. The SPA zone is warm, but not clean: the sauna was a lot of dust under the stove and dislodge wooden beams of the ceiling, sitting in a room on one wall. In the relax room: all the window blinds was dirty and rotten; under the lounges was full of dust. The food in the restaurant was delicious: rich breakfast, rich dinner. Kind staff.
If you go there, take a promotion, not at their normal rates!!!

Room Tip: A train passes in front of the hotel, get a room overlooking the courtyard.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boyan A, Director of Sales at Balneo Complex Saint Spas, responded to this review, March 27, 2014
Dear Ivan0va,

Thank you for reviewing our hotel!

Let me add some comments to your notes:
1. The hotel is 5 stars as per all Bulgarian regulations as it should be.
2. The SPA area includes total of 23 cabinets for all sorts of procedures and therapies, the total area of the wellness, SPA and medical zones is 3000 sq. m. which is not only the biggest in Velingrad, but one of the biggest in Bulgaria as a whole.
3. We will take particular care to check the dirty areas as described by you, thank you for pointing this out.
4. The train passes rarely, as this is is the only narrow-line train in Bulgaria without much traffic on it. Many of our guests actually enjoy its sight and take lots of pictures of the train.
5. I will pass on your likeness of our food to our chef.

Sincerely,
Boyan
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sofia, Bulgaria
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2014

Great Spa experience - good size pool for swimming,quality mineral water in the pool ( felt difference on my skin and hair within two days), great water temperature - suitable for soaking and swimming. For swimmers it is best to stay at this hotel when there are not too many people there as otherwise there are too many people soaking and playing which makes swimming impossible. I visited low season, in winter and it was just right for swimming. Families with kids seem to enjoy the place a lot. The air temperature throughout the hotel , wellness center and the spa center is perfect and makes it a really relaxing and enjoyable experience. It is comfortably warm and homely. The underground Spa center is very beautifully made and it looks like a 5 star experience. However the rooms are the equivalent of Western standard 3* with a few extras - like a cotton bathrobe( which was very useful) and a hairdryer. The carpet was worn out, not very clean, the walls were scuffed, the hot water kettle not working, there were no teabags, cups, no instant coffee sachets , no sugar and milk, no iron, - which is standard in other countries in 5 star hotels. Expectation is the mother of frustration and we were greatly disappointed with the room standard , we thought we were treating ourselves to a luxury hotel and it was the equivalent of a Western 3*. For a 3* room it was OK. Another negative experience was the coffee machine at breakfast. If i were the manager of this hotel I would immediately dispose of this machine. It produces a cheap, ghastly liquid, we tried all options - coffee, coffee with milk, cappuccino - but the result was awful , insulting to the taste buds. Not acceptable on any level. Eventually we realized that we could order coffee from the waiter and this was a real coffee, we had to pay for it ( 2 lev, 1 euro per cup). The breakfast had some good quality meats , salami, pork fillet, Bulgarian bacon, so it would be suitable for those who want to loose weight or stick to the Atkins diet. Eggs - boiled, scrambled,poached. Cucumber, tomato. The Wellness Center - the pools, sauna, steam room, relaxation room were supposed to open at 8 am , however at 8.30 they were still being cleaned and the sauna was not switched on, which meant that one could not have a morning swim/ sauna and then enjoy breakfast. Breakfast time was till 10 a.m. One has to chose between a morning swim/sauna or breakfast. When it comes to service - the top service we received was from staff at the Reception of Spa center. They know how to talk to people, how to be efficient, and how to smile and make it a pleasant experience. We would recommend that the rest of the staff get the same training of how to relate to hotel clients. They were often polite, but not always efficient and at times very serious ( it looked unfriendly). It is OK to smile when you serve someone's coffee. Had we been told that we were going to stay at a 3* hotel we would have written a great review for this hotel, it is this discrepancy between what is advertised and what is offered that set our expectations and we were disappointed on one hand but on the other it turned out to be overall a positive experience due to the great Wellness Center. We are not sure if we would return as it was too stressful. We travel a lot abroad, for Bulgarian people who have not experienced anything different this hotel is OK.

Room Tip: We asked for a South facing room, facing the hill. (away from the road).
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2014

SUMMARY: This hotel promotes itself as a 5-star luxury hotel. By Bulgarian standards it may be (though in Bulgaria 5 stars are awarded mainly on the basis of physical facilities, e.g. number of light bulbs in the bathroom) but by western standards it would only qualify as a 3- or maybe 4-star business hotel. However, the mineral water swimming pool and the spa facility are good and tip the balance to 4 stars rather than three.

PRO: The hotel is large, clean and warm (we visited in January). General facilities are average for a hotel of this size -- free WiFi throughout, a sizeable conference room (though only one, and no smaller meeting rooms), a lobby bar, kettle+cups in the bedrooms (a rarity in Bulgaria) and free use of the pleasant swimming pool and sauna/steam room. There is also a "Spa", predicated on the hotel's own supply of hot mineral water, which advertises "Balenotherapy" (i.e. water-based) treatments (as does practically everyone in Velingrad, a town with 96 hot mineral-water springs), and the Spa staff were polite, friendly and helpful (that is, pretty well up to Western or even American standards of customer service).

CON: The main part of our bedroom measured 3.5m x 4.5m, which is distinctly average even by 3-star hotel standards, and definitely small for a hotel billing itself as 5-star. There was a small mini-bar and (pleasant surprise) a kettle and cups, but you would expect to have these even in a 3-star hotel. Items you might have expected in a top-rated hotel were missing, such as a desk and chair suitable for working at; a trouser press and/or ironing facility; a small microwave oven; and maybe an ice-making facility (for use in the summer months, at least). Of course, with rooms as small as they are there isn't space for all those things.

However, style and attention to detail are what make a hotel 5-star -- providing little extras, looking out for the small things, noticing problems and putting them right quickly. Unfortunately, St Spas fails in this respect. There were many examples:
- the plaster was cracked and about to fall away in one corner of the room
- the gaps between the tiles on the bathroom floor were dirty
- one of the bedside tables appeared coffee-stained (which turned out to be spilled paint or varnish, but looked bad)
- some parts of the walls were scuffed
- the beds were uncomfortable
- there was no mattress cover on the bed -- a single sheet was laid directly on the mattress
- the kettle didn't work
- neither did the shaver socket in the bathroom
- the coffee and sugar were not replaced when the room was cleaned, so we had cups and saucers but nothing to drink from them
- there was some kind of immovable residue (glue, or caulk) on the counter-top in the bathroom
- there was a constant 50Hz buzz from the electrical fuse box inside the entrance to the room
- throughout the hotel, random light bulbs were out and not replaced
- the breakfast facilities were very disappointing -- no fresh fruit juice (just some undrinkable, sugary, coloured water); undrinkable machine-dispensed coffee; tepid "hot" milk; inedible banitsa (a Bulgarian national pastry); butter and jam in catering pats
- on ordering proper coffee at breakfast (at extra cost), the coffee was accompanied by white sugar in pre-packs and a straw of powdered "creamer" (a genuine 5-star hotel would provide demerara sugar, loose or lump, and a small jug of real cream)
- the dining room opened for breakfast at 8 am, and the pool was supposed to open at the same time, but by 8:45 it was still not operational, meaning that those who enjoy a swim before breakfast had their plans badly disrupted
- in the steam room, the floor did not drain properly, meaning one sat with one's feet in a small lake
- the pool surround presented a highly dangerous slip hazard in a heavy-traffic area (the tiles are smooth and permanently wet, which is a potentially lethal combination)
- the movement detectors in some of the corridors have not been adjusted very well, meaning you sometimes walk into darkness for a few paces before the lights come on, which is very disconcerting
- the operation of the elevators is not coordinated, so (until you realise you have to call each one separately) you can stand waiting for one elevator while the other one is already on your floor
- the gardens were not landscaped, but just expanses of rough, lumpy grass
None of these things is a big problem in itself, but it indicates that the hotel staff and management either don't pay attention to the state of the facilities or don't think it matters. This is not the mark of a 5-star hotel. (I note with surprise the reply of the hotel's sales manager to another commenter, along the lines that the hotel doesn't do things that aren't required by law, e.g. providing mattress covers -- no hotel would ever get 5 stars if it took that attitude. The whole point of being a 5-star hotel is that you absolutely DO do things that aren't the bare minimum. If you don't understand that, you shouldn't be in the hotel business.)

The other characteristic of a 5-star hotel is the attitude and behaviour of the staff. Unfortunately, with the exception of those in the Spa, the staff at St Spas can't be said to come up to 5-star standards. The best way to put it is that in the Spa you feel you are there to be looked after, but in the rest of the hotel you feel you are there to be dealt with. A smile costs nothing, but they were in short supply among the staff; and one's day is not enhanced by being told off crossly for failing to follow the correct check-in/check-out procedure for poolside towels. This is not to say the staff didn't do their jobs efficiently, but it was not a particular pleasure to interact with them. Again, this is not the mark of a 5-star hotel.

Would we come back to St Spas again? Yes, but certainly not at their normal rates. This is not a 5-star hotel, but somewhere between 3½ and 4.

Room Tip: Ask for a south-facing room
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sofia, Bulgaria
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2013

I have spent 3 different vacations in this hotel and finally I feel obliged to write some nice words about the pleasant and relaxing atmosphere there. I should first say I bought special vouchers for discount prices from an Internet site, and second – these were absolutely excellent prices for the offered services.

The rooms:
The double rooms are spacy and nice. But for families with two children I recommend apartment. The apartments are actually as twice as big as the double rooms and consist of a living room and a bedroom. The unfolding sofa in the living room turned out to be really comfortable for sleep. The pillows, as stated in other opinions, were too soft for my own taste. This seemed to be the only negative thing I noticed, which can be easily corrected.

The wellness center:
My family and I spent almost all of our time there. The pools are wonderful and the temperature of the water predisposes to full relax. The children’s pool has two levels of deepness and evolves into jacuzzi in one of its ends. From there you can sit and monitor your children which are practically some 5-6 seconds from your reach. The big pool is OK too, but the keen swimmers could be disappointed - the temperature in it is more suitable for relax than for swimming. The wellness center offers sauna and steam bath too. It is really a marvelous experience to alternate sauna-pool-sauna-pool-steam bath and etc. I loved this type of relaxation!

The SPA:
Nice spa center, the chill-out atmosphere created there fully corresponds to the quality of the massages.

The restaurant:
And here comes the best part. The restaurant is big, the variety of the offered food is enough and these chefs definitely know what they do. Totally professional! Wonderful cuisine for my taste! My advice to the management of the hotel - do not lose the kitchen personnel, they do a fantastic job there!

Definitely my stay (all three of them) was great value for the money. There could be some minor remarks but the overall impression is for a professional attitude and somehow balanced service offered. I am looking forward for my next vacation there!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boyan A, Director of Sales at Balneo Complex Saint Spas, responded to this review, December 2, 2013
Dear Relentless S,

Thank you indeed for your detailed review!

I am absolutely delighted to find out that our guests come again and again and are so satisfied by our services.
We do have harder pillows, but since they are a matter of taste and hence - on request, I will make sure for your next stay that you have them in advance.

Sincerely,
Boyan
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to Balneo Complex Saint Spas? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Balneo Complex Saint Spas

Address: 97 "Nikola Vaptsarov" st., Velingrad 4600, Bulgaria
Location: Bulgaria > Pazardzhik Province > Velingrad
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 23 Hotels in Velingrad
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 230
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Saint Spas Balneocomplex is the newest five-star complex in Bulgaria, fully supplied with mineral water. It is located at a place of the same name, at the end of the town, in the Chapinska river valley, among pine-tree hills, wide velvet meadows, crystal blue sky and south Rhodopean sun…the Orpheus mountain. It is a piece of the Earth that was blessed with a healing gift, known even before the ancient times with its Roman and Turkish baths and described later in the travel notes of Aleko Konstantinov and Ivan Vazov. Here is located the biggest mineral spring in the town - the Radonova bath, as well as one of the wonders of the Bulgarian nature – the Kleptuza Karst spring – the biggest at the Balkan Peninsula. The hotel part of the complex has 105 standard rooms, 4 VIP studios and 115 luxurious apartments – attractive as design and color decision, with heavenly views southwards and northwards towards the awesome Rhodope Mountains. All rooms in the hotel are equipped with LCD TVs, mini-bars, Internet, telephones in the bath, as well as in the room. Outdoor and indoor car park for 120 cars. The following zones have been differentiated in the complex: Entertainment facilities with main Restaurant for 300 people, Restaurant-terrace for 100 people, Cafe-terrace for 50 people, Panorama bar restaurant for 80 people, Lobby-bar for 60 people, Gambling room, Computer room, Kids corner, Fitness, Beauty center, Tourist agency.Business zone with Business center and 2 Conference halls for 30 and 200 people. The halls are equipped with flip charts, white boards and multi players. Wellness zone with big and small (kids) indoor swimming pools with mineral water, Finnish sauna, sauna with chromo-therapy, steam bath, room for relax, Fresh and vitamin bar. SPA zone with 2 rooms for cosmetic treatments, 15 massage rooms and 6 rooms with bath-tubes, Egypt bath, Turkish bath, solarium. Medical zone with rooms for Physiotherapy, Cardiology and Internal medicine, Gynecology, Surgery, Gastroenterology, Urology and Dermatology, laboratory, hall for Kinesitherapy, therapeutic room, rooms for lye treatments, light therapy, ultrasound, inhalations, water therapy. Entertainments Sports tournaments in bridge, chess and backgammon, table tennis, water polo can be organized in the complex. You can visit the sports schools and courses in swimming – individual and group classes, Bulgarian national dances, callanetics, underwater gymnastics in groups. Experienced professionals who work in different animation programs will carry out for your children. For your tourism and recreation outside the complex you may receive more information in the tourist agency of "Sirona Tour". ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Booking.com, TripOnline SA, Despegar.com and Odigeo so you can book your Balneo Complex Saint Spas reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Balneo Complex Saint Spas, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.