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“Good Value but don't expect a UK 4* Hotel”
Review of Hotel Pirin

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Hotel Pirin
Ranked #55 of 95 Hotels in Bansko
Reviewed February 9, 2014

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.

  • Stayed: February 2014
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3  Thank GoDiscover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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12 - 18 of 35 reviews

Reviewed January 29, 2014

We called the hotel the 50% because half of the hotel is good; half the hotel was not so good.
50% of the staff were friendly and very helpful, the other 50% were unfriendly and unhelpful. The food was poor but the pool and steam room were lovely. One bedroom was good the other one not so good.
I asked lady on reception "Were is the welcome meeting" she replied "What welcome meeting"
I said we had just arrived the night before and we were told there was a welcome meeting at the Happy End pub the next morning. "across the road" she replied, so we walked up and down the street with ski boots on but could not find it. I then spotted a ski instructor and asked him the same question, he said its about 25 mins walk opposite the gondola?, but you don`t want to be walking that far in ski boots.--- duff information. the skiing was OK but I think i will pay a little more and stick to Europe next year!,

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Geoff W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2014

The transfer from Sofia airport to the Pirin hotel was just short of 3hrs on a coach with broken seating with a 20min stop at some dodgy looking services that sold dodgy looking 'food'. Advice here, stick to pre wrapped foodstuff, i.e. Crisps, chocolate etc. The Neilson rep we had, did not inspire us with much confidence as she did not know much about the resort or could speak the local language. As we would be arriving late, approx. 11:00pm, we asked the question about food and drink on arrival. She told us that the bar would be open and that a 'meal' would be provided on arrival. My wife and I were the last two to be dropped off after the other guests, (and the Neilson rep), had been dispatched to other hotels. The Pirin hotel is situated in the old town of Bansko which required a 25min walk to reach the main town where all the bars & restaurants are. First view of the hotel at drop-off was pleasing to the eye but this was short lived. As we went into the foyer we were met by a solemn looking receptionist who handed us two 'bin-liners', each containing our 'meal'. There was no other staff about, the bar & lobby was closed/deserted and there was a horrible smell of burnt wood coming from the open fire. The interior of the hotel is very dated and in serious need of upgrade. We were given our door card-keys and made our way to the room unescorted. During all the time we spent booking in, going to our room etc. we did not see or hear any other guests. As we entered our room, very hungry and tired, my wife and I looked at each other and both of us made the statement, "is this supposed to be a 4star rating?" The room was smaller than we expected, very dated, and two of the wall lights were not working. The room and the landings smelled of smoke from the open fire in the lobby. This was a major cause of distress as we are both diagnosed asthmatics. As we were so tired etc, we decided to have our 'meals' and go to bed. When we opened the 'bin-liners' we were presented with a polystyrene box, the sort of thing they serve chips in, with some dodgy looking salad, some form of cold manufactured meat that tasted awful, bread and a squishy orange. Needless to say that we decided not to eat them. Breakfast was a culinary insult as the quantity and quality were not what we had come to expect from a four star rating, we were hoping for a sizeable breakfast before we hit the slopes, it didn't happen! Evening mealtime was equally appalling as we were the only two people in the restaurant and the variety and quality of food was very lacking. We were equally disgraced to have to pay 4levs for basic water at the table. We decided to leave the food and head for the lobby/bar at about 8:30pm and have a drink. Again there were no other guests evident so we sat in the lobby for a few minutes prior to obtaining a drink. Just a few minutes later the bar was closed, (8:40pm), all the lights were turned off both in the lobby and the bar and then the only two staff that were available promptly came and sat in the darkened lobby, spun a couple of chairs around and turned the tv sound up to watch some programme. My wife and I were made to feel like a huge inconvenience to them. We decided to go and find a local bar restaurant to have a decent meal and drink. We can't comment on the other facilities as we did not use them. Needless to say the following day we demanded to move hotels and moved immediately to the Hotel Lion. My wife and I have renamed the Pirin aka Fawlty Towers! If you are planning a trip to Bansko, choose the Hotel Lion, exactly what a four star hotel should be and more!!

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Perry H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2014

Me and my partner stayed here the first week in January.
Hotel was lovely, rooms were ok they were clean and tidy.
The swimming pool is lovely, nice and relaxing and sauna and steamroom as well, loved it :)
The food was not the best, breakfast was horrible and dinner there was not a lot of choice so ate out most nights, the only things I would say was good was the soup

About 5/10 minutes walk to the centre with all the bars etc but enjoyed the nice walk up and down. Got a taxi once back to hotel and was cheap

Resort is lovely, has got lovely wee bars and restaurant- best bar was the lion bar and restaurant I would say was BBQ stone flower restaurant-had steaks and were delicious

There is bowling, ice skating, pancake burger stalls etc...plenty

Would return to this hotel

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Lauraeadie J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2014

This hotel looks very nice, is clean and has a superb swimming pool, sauna and steam room. However, the food in the restaurant is as bad as any hotel I have stayed in. Surely it's not that difficult to serve up baked beans that are not lukewarm. The meat was inedible and even the orange squash (not juice) served at breakfast was pitifully dilute. A gastronomic nightmare.

Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
Thank gluttoniac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2014

Below is a general overview of our stay for 7 nights at the beginning of January 2014.
Arrival
Transfer from the airport was punctual and comfortable, the coach rep very friendly and informative. There is a midway stop during the 3 hour journey from the airport which sells luke warm chips and meat in rolls, salads and drinks. There are also hot drinks available. We were the last drop off of 6 hotels and so were tired and hungry to say the least. Check in at Hotel Pirin was swift and very friendly with a late night snack consisting of a chicken breast fillet, potatoes (both cold), a slice of bread and tangerine, no drinks was provided.
Rooms
Basic, dated but clean on arrival and warm – shower cubicle tiny so be warned if you’re of a larger build! Unfortunately the maintenance could and should have been better for ‘4*’.
Food
Breakfast most mornings consisted of food that was luke warm and despite a selection the quality could have been better. Juices, tea, coffee and water are available.
Dinner on most days was a selection of meats and fish in a breaded coating, chips, pasta, rice, salad and a selection of deserts. No drinks are provided at dinner and are paid for in addition.
As best the taste of the food which varied in texture was fair (the luke warm temperature did not help) with the exception of dinner on Wednesday which provided a good selection of food that tasted very good. There is a microwave in the dining room which we made very good use off both morning and evening.
Facilities
The pool, steam room and sauna are AMAZING and you HAVE to use them. Every evening we looked forward to enjoying the facilities after a day on the slopes. The gym is also well equipped.
Overall
Some aspects of the hotel did not live up to what we have come to expect of 4* status. That said the staff are very friendly and helpful. The bar and lounge areas are very warm and inviting with an open fire place. Although the hotel is a brisk 25 minute walk UPHILL to the Gondola there is a shuttle service provided from 8.30 in the morning and until 5pm for the return from the slopes. We paid 5 Lev from hotel to the Gondola the first morning – also confirmed by the hotel. There is no difference in price regardless of the type of taxi. One driver tried to charge us 11 lev only to show us the meter which showed 6 lev when we complained – shot himself in the foot totally - Beware dishonest taxi drivers who state the fair doubles at night; this is a load of cack so have your 5/6 Lev at the ready.
Restaurants are plentiful and there is no end of touts trying to convince you that their Mehana is the best. There is one in particular establishment on Pirin Street that seems to be the most expensive, charging 79 lev for a bottle of house red when all other places charge 40 Lev at worst. Please please make sure you check the cost of what you are ordering before giving the go ahead to order - beware recommendations - and check your bill at the end….. a valuable lesson learned there.
The Tavern, 84 Pirin Street was recommended by a number of people we met and was very good in taste and price.
We plan to visit Bansko again and although would stay at the Pirin it would not be our first or second choice.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Maisey M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 13, 2013

My husband and I stayed her in January as a friend had said it was close to the town , it actually wasn't but the free buses or taxis for less than £5 were quick and frequent. The hotel it's self was lovely very cozy and staff fantastic, except one miserable woman who tried to fob us of providing her friend as an expensive taxi . The decor in the rooms is dated but you pay for what you get. I personally wouldn't stay here again but only because I like to try different places and resorts . The skiing and après ski are fantastic in the town. Oh we didn't eat in the hotel as it was sooo cheap to eat out . We went to a log cabin I think it's actually called that and had a meal and alcoholic drinks for £2.50 each . We also went to mr singhs for a curry , the best I've ever had , can't remember how much that was as I was but still mega cheap . And a must is to go to penguins bar. I had one of the best holidays ever in bansko and I have travelled a lot .we meet single people couples and families there

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank Melanie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Pirin

Address: Tsar Simeon str. 68, Bansko 2770, Bulgaria
Phone Number:
Location: Bulgaria > Blagoevgrad Province > Bansko
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#23 Luxury Hotel in Bansko
Price Range: $72 - $160 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Pirin 4*
Number of rooms: 68
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Pirin Hotel Bansko

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