We are just leaving the Hotel Pirin after a week's stay. We read all the reviews before coming so had a pretty good idea what to expect. The Hotel is good and comfortable but, as with other hotels we've stayed at in Bulgaria and Europe, a 4* rating isn't the same as in the UK. We were actually pleasantly surprised with the PIrin after what we'd read... there is a lovely cosy lounge area where they keep the fire loaded with logs all day. This means the hotel had a lovely aroma from the wood burning which we loved. The seating is really comfy and is right next to the bar which is open during the day up until about 10pm. We had a large room with a King size bed, fridge, hairdryer and towelling robes which we're great. The shower worked well and there was always lots of hot water. The hotel is really warm and even though we turned off all the radiators we needed to open our window during the night but as the hotel is in a nice quiet area this wasn't a problem. The hotel has a lovely pool which was a good warm temperature, a steam room, sauna (all of which are free of charge). There is also a solarium and massage facilities which you can book and pay for separately. The hotel was spotless and the rooms were serviced very well with clean towels every day and a full change of bedding midweek.
The only thing we really felt let the hotel down was the food which was good but basic. As others have said, on arrival (at 11:15pm) you are presented with a little bag with a packed lunch, but it was actually fine, with a piece of grilled chicken, potato salad, cucumber and beans. The breakfast and dinner are a buffet set up and there is a good variety of food each day. The food is basic Bulgarian fare and certainly not fine dining, but we hadn't expected anything more and it has to be said that it was all very filling and wholesome! For breakfast there were always a couple of cereals, some chopped fruit, a selection of salad and hot items (chopped sausages, scrambled egg, beans and eggy bread (french toast!). There was also bread that you could toast. There were two fruit juices (more like squash but OK), a coffee machine, hot water and tea (but it wasn't tea as we know it in the UK!).
For dinner there was always soup and bread, salad, and then a variety of hot items including meatballs, mashed potato, chopped boiled potatoes (which were actually delicious), pork steak in cream & mushroom sauce, spaghetti & bolognaise sauce, breaded pieces of fish, chips, rice, chicken schnitzel amongst other things which varied each night. Dessert was a selection of little cakes, something like the Greek baklava, yoghurt and fruit. Most often the food wasn't as hot as we would have liked but there was a microwave on the side so we just popped things in there to warm them up. That seems to be a general thing in Bulgaria that it's hard to get really hot food for some reason!
The opinion of the guests staying with us varied hugely over the food but we would say so long as you know what to expect (& aren't hoping for anything fancy) it is fine - and for what we paid was good value.
We would say do check prices as we booked with Balkan Holidays and got a much cheaper deal than was being offered by Thomas Cook or Neilson and seemed to get a much better service from our Reps too.
The location of the hotel was perfect for us. It is in the old part of Bansko which is very quaint, with old buildings and cobbled streets and squares. There are lovely Tavernas within 10 mins walk of the hotel, several all of which we tried for lunches. The food was all really tasty and well prepared and they were very friendly and had live traditional music at night. It is 30 mins walk up from the hotel to the gondala and the main centre of Bansko which was a nice walk back to the hotel as it was downhill down the Main Street past all the shops. The ski bus goes up and down during the day which was free and it only cost between £3-£5 for a taxi in the evening. We were glad we stayed in the Old Town as it was away from the hustle and bustle and all the bars, but it depends what you like.
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- Also Known As:
- Pirin Hotel Bansko