Firstly, ignore all bad reviews. We cannot speak highly enough of this hotel. we did not have any issues with the hotel. The staff were all helpful and most speak a little english. Of those that did not speak any english, we didn't take this as them being grumpy It's not their fault for the language barrier. I guess that's what some reviewers have put down to grumpyness.
On arrival (arrived at 10pm ish) we had a plate of salad, bread and cheese and meat on a plate with an apple as well, in our room. Which was very welcome, at the end of a long day. The room was nice and warm when we arrived. Although we did turn the heating off, as it was a little too warm. But this was no problem. We turned the heating off pretty much each day, as the room could get quite warm. This was because the cleaners used to switch it back on each day. I guess they wanted to make sure the room was warm for our arrival back from the slopes. But no problem with us. We just turned it off when we got back in.
The room was cleaned daily. We had no issues with stuff going missing kept all valuables in the safe daily. The safe cost 30 lev for the week. We had the first day for free, which was nice of the guy on reception.
You get a card per guest upon arival for a robe, so you can use the spa area. The staff don't mind you walking through the reception area in your robe. And the roman baths are to die for at the end of a busy day. Although the pool is a little chilly, but that's probably because i'm a bit of a woose. LOL. You can also pay for treatments,but we didn't have any, so not sure of prices. I guess you could email them for the info.
Free wifi in the reception area. You can pay for it in your room if you like. Not sure of cost though.
The breakfast was really good, with plenty of choice from salad to hot cooked food and cereal with plenty of dried fruits to add to your cereal. There was also bread for your toast and tea/coffee making facilities. We filled or water bottles each morning with the water from the water fountain. The staff didn't say anything. I also took some fruit each day, as the prices on the piste are a little on the pricey side. ^ lev for a pint (which is about £3). Some may think that is ok. A slice of pizze was 5 lev, which i think was a rip off to be honest. If you walk 100 yards or so down into the town, you'd be paying a couple of Lev for 2 bottles of beer. So it's worth the walk of 50 yds or so. Plus the shops get cheaper, the further you walk down Pirin Street. So again shop around.
Evening meal in the hotel was also really good, again with plenty of choice from cold to hot. Don't want to harp on about the choice of food, but there was a good choice each day.As someone has mentioned in a previous review, the staff don't push the selling of drinks to the guests. So if you want a beer or bottle of wine, then you have to ask the staff for it. There is wa water fountain the the restaurant at all times. Not used to this as when we were in andorra, even the water was turned off at evening meal.
The hotel was in a great position, as we were just across from the ski rental shop and gondola. You could if you wanted, ski to the gondola. but we left the ski's and poles in the rental shop every day. You get a card on the first day, on which ou fill in your height/weight and ability. The rental staff rip the bottom portion off and give it to you. This bar coded ticket is for your ski's and poles. You then present this each day and get the same ski's and poles each day of your stay. The hotel has a room to keep your stuff, but it isn't secure enough fo rmy liking as there was no-one in their looking after the stuff. I've read on tripadvisor of someon having their ski things nicked. So the rental shop is best for keeping you things, or you could keep them in your room. The ski and boot room is accesses from either the spa area or from the rear of the hotel at the back of the irish bar.
The irish bar (under the hotel) made us laugh, as the only thing irish about it is they have a green wall and they sell guinnessand the other walls are clad in wood. But it was ok and the food was reasonable.
if you have lessons booked, you can use the VIP queue every day, as you need to be on the slopes for 10am each day. We were told that some of the other skiers having lessons were told they could only do this on day one, but we did it every day. Just show your ski lift pass to the attendant/security guy at thebottom of the stairs. To gain access to the VIP queue, you go through the rear of the gondola building and not through the main door.
I had my ski's re-waxed after a few days, as they were not performing too well. To get your rental ski's waxed or serviced, simply go through the rear entrance to the gondola, as if going to the VIP queue. And the first room on your right id the ski rental's service room. 60 seconds later and the're eaxed and ready to go. A really quick service.
The lessons are from 10am until 12, and 1pm until 3pm each day. That's if you have booked lessons.
If you haven't booked lessons, you mayhave to queue with the masses. You could try the VIP queue, but it may not work.
The rooms are of a good size and clean and warm. We asked for a piste view upon arrival and got one. We stayed in room 110, which was across reception and up one floor. I think that we did not have any neighbours as we never herd ny noise even at night. A good night sleep evey night.
Overall the resort is quite pleasant and has a nice feel to it. Will definitely go back. The pistes are varied and challenging and there was plenty of for all abilities. We had really good weather while there. It snowed for most days and was sunny on 2 days. Although the mist made skiing a little tricky on most days at the top of the mountain. Further down it was good.
As for night life, ther are quite a few bars within a couple of minutes walk from the hotel. But not too close.
Do not bother going to the curry night at mr Singhs. It was awful. You get a half pin of beer or spirit or glass of wine, and the curry is a choice of 2. Jalfrezi or tikka massala, but they were uncannily the same. No naan bread. Popadoms for starter and 3 massive onion baggi's. You have been warned....
If you have any questions, then please email me and i'll try to get back to you as soon as i can. We had a brilliant week there and will definitely go back. A little gem of a place, which will only get bigger.
While we were there we heard that they have permission for a second gondola, but there are some issues with the Pirin national park, which is adjacent to the resort. They aren't keen on the resort cutting down their trees to makeway for expansion of the resort. I think they could do with adding some more runs, to make the resort even better. While we were there, they had the european free skiing championships and the alpine skiing championships, which was good to watch on eurosport. Shame we didn't go and watch them and get on tv.
The staff are always willing to help, just be patient as some struggle with english. We were impressed by how nice the bulgarian people are.
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