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“Terrible hotel, bad destination...”

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Victoria Palace Hotel & Spa
Ranked #188 of 221 Hotels in Sunny Beach
Reviewed September 16, 2007

First things first, this is the worst hotel I have ever stayed in. My partner and I stayed here recently for 2 weeks and regretted it almost immediately. First impressions of the hotel were good, the building itself was quite impressive, but thats where the good points end. Our first week in the hotel was relatively without incident apart from the terrible food. Most nights we avoided the free for all buffet by going to the local retaurants where the food was also somewhat disapointing but better than the slop served in the hotel! MacDonalds became our staple diet before long as at least you know what you're getting.

Forget about getting a sun lounger beside the pool unless you're prepared to get up at 6.30 in the morning. There are about 100 loungers for a hotel catering for thousands! Most days we just went to the beach. There was no entertainment at night in the hotel except a piano player who wasn't very good. Staff were all moody and extremely rude on every occasion we had to deal with them, and the lobby always had a number of large men in suits hanging around the place (have a guess who they were!), who stared at everyone who passed by which was somewhat intimidating.

The room was below average. The "double bed" was 2 single beds pushed together and not even dressed as a double. Fresh towels were sporadically provided every couple of days and the shower was barely functioning.

At the end of the first week, a shower of rain somehow leaked into our room from cracks on the balcony (on the fourth floor!) and soaked our room. This didn't really get to us at first as it is a large hotel and these things happen, but when we reported it to staff at reception we were promptly ignored! On numerous occasions over the next 2 days we were lied to and blatently dismissed by staff and forced to stay in a wet and disgustingly smelly room (the stink of damp at this stage would make you gag!). When we repeatedly asked to speak to a manager we were just told no! After a nightmare 2 days we were eventually moved to a new room (without even a simple apology for our trouble!). When we complained of this to our reps we were eventually given a bottle of sparkling wine and a bowl of fruit as a meagre apology. This new room was even worse than the first, smaller, totally broken shower and with a view from the balcony of a concrete wall! At this stage we had given up complaining to staff as we were obviously being ignored. To round off this disaster of a stay, when we were checking out, we were charged for drinks in the restaurant that we never ordered or recieved!

Sunny Beach itself is a below average resort, the exception being the beach which I thought was really nice. Everyone working in shops, restaurants and even the banks where you change money are extremely rude and just looking for tips (why they don't realise that being rude = no tip, I don't know!). When paying for anything you have to specifically ask for change as it will be taken as a tip otherwise. I also made the mistake of buying a number of games for the nintendo ds only to find they don't work when I arrived back home and tried them out!

My advice is to avoid Sunny Beach as a destination altogether but if you do go there, don't be fooled by the impressive photos of the victoria palace. This hotel claims to be 4/5 star but I'd be hard pushed to give it a 2. Back to sunny Spain for me in future!

Stayed: August 2007
4  Thank Dazza_Hick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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853 - 859 of 1,223 reviews

Reviewed September 15, 2007

I just thought I should put a few comments on here to put your mind at ease if you are planning to go to the VP...

Before I went, I read many reviews and posts on the net and got quite worried that we'd have a rubbish time. Actually, I have to admit that we got what we expected.

The hotel is just how it looks in the photos online or in brochures - big, glam (if you like leopard print) and the rooms were really lovely. It has lovely pools, but I would say that although we had 26 degrees one day, the pool was still freezing cold. The beach was nice though we did spot some jelly fish on the shore, making us avoid the sea.

A lot of the reviews I read complained about the meal situation. My answer is this: you know it's a buffet set-up when booking, so why moan? Personally, we loved it. As much as you wanted, a variety of meals available (altho not really for kiddies) and if we didn't fancy it we just went to one of the many bars/cafes/restaurants on the strip. We had a 2 course mexican meal for 40 leva (£14). You can't go wrong really. Yes, the food can get cold in a buffet, but if you use your common sense - get there at the start OR wait until the waiters fill up the dishes again!

If you get the chance, go on one of the excursions - we went on the jeep safari and it opened up our eyes to Bulgaria - lovely scenery and great local people. Sunny Beach can get a bit annoying, what with all the people pestering you to go in their bar.

Bottom line is, we only paid £600 for the two of us for half board, so we got what we paid for. A 4 star hotel, a week in the sunshine relaxing, and some very cheap alcohol!

If you're looking for luxury and silver service you would obviously choose a classier price tag. So please don't read all these reviews and think that you're in for a stinker of a holiday. Go with an open mind, go with the flow and see what happens. If you don't like it, at least you know not to go back!

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank vicky503
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 7, 2007

We are 4 young adults from ireland that decided to try bulgaria out....we have been to all the mad nightlife touristy places like ayia napa..ibiza ...greece etc...and bulgaria was 1 big let down....all because of the rudeness..arrogance and greediness of the bulgarian people!! we go away to have a laugh..soak up the sun and drink plenty...so we dnt go out of our way to complain or try to notice tings wrong wit a place...but it is very hard not to notice that bulgarian people do not realise that tourists play a big part in their wage packet!!!
we were always polite to people ...what I mean by this is always have a bit of a smile on no matter how hungover & always a please or thank you in our sentence but by the end of the week if we heard a bulgarian sayin these words we were a little shocked and always tipped them coz it really did make a difference when day in day out from morning to night you constantly had to deal with their rudeness.
Anyone we met had been scammed from young people to middle age..to elderly couples..which wasnt nice to see..

Victoria Palace Hotel: even better looking than in the brochures...exactly like a palace..just a pity it's in bulgaria..although it leads right onto the beach which is great!:)
entertainment is not good at all in hotel though just a woman playing a piano...good if your into this!
Food wasnt the worst...we had it every day...and breakfast but we had mackers everyday too.
Our room was brill...we loved it...really big wit leopardskin carpet...big bathroom...and like a little sittingroom attached to the bedroom...rooms were kept spotless.
Majority of staff very rude in the hotel...moneygrabbers & scammers is the only way to describe them..they havent a clue how to work or deal with the public!
male on reception very friendly....and one r 2 restaurant staff out of hundreds!!!
Spa treatment area in hotel: got 2 treatments there which were brill...but they use creams on you and then tell you afterwards you have to pay for them...with around 10 'spa' staff surrounding you...pretty intimidating and then expect a tip...heard this from a few people also.
At pool area: pool lovely...but we got really burned one day and wanted to sit under the canape seats to cover up but we were told we couldnt sit there if we didnt buy a drink at the bar...even though we were residents...a disgrace! I was then charged 5leves for a botle of 7up at poolside bar and inside the hotel they are only 2.50levs...when i said this to the barman he just laughed.

in the hotel if you want to use the indoor pool it is 20levs per go...the sauna is 20lvs per go or the gym is 20levs per go...again a disgrace when you pay so dear to stay there in the first place...also there is no casino in the hotel as it says in some brochures...there is one down the road.

one of the girls wit us got threatened in the hotel toilet off a toilet attendant...evertime you go to a toilet in bulgaria you have to pay 50cent....after a night out we went back to hotel and she went down to the toilet by herself....a while later an irishman brought her up to us at the bar and explained to us what had happened as she was shaking wit fear...he saw everting ..she gave the toilet attendant 20levs to take 50cent out of for toilet but she wouldnt give it back to her and started shouting and threatening her....we went and told security and reception straight away and they were helpful ..they got it straight back for her.
there are loads more stories but ours are mild compared to other holidaymakers we met:)
all's i know is we definitley appreciated walking into dublin airport with a smile and thank you off staff...i really hope the bulgarian people cop on to how they are acting as it is them that is stoppin people from going back!

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled with friends
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4  Thank steamywindows
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 5, 2007

This for intent purposes is to warn fellow travellers of this accomodation that my travel agent assured me they recommend to all their customers who wish to stay in Sunny Beach.
Please, please, please, do not be swayed by the picture in the brochure or website!!!! What you see is certainly not what you get. On arrival to Bulgaria, I was shocked to find how desolate the countryside was, on this note, the expectation of our hotel was keeping me going. I for one missed the signs for it as one minute the bus was at traffic lights, the next, it was in the hotel complex. We drove up to what on the outside is unbelievably impressive, the oohhs and ahhs from fellow bus companions pleased me as I jumped off the bus, dying to see more. The interior is impressive, huge chandelier, leopard prints everywhere so was looking forward to seeing our room. We found ourselves on the 8th floor, wasn't too bothered about that but on opening the door to room, my excitement faded completely, the room could only be described as basic, very little storage space, black marks on the wall, very little decor and the bathroom had seen better days. The tiles looked as if they were grouted that day!!!??? The food was horrific in the hotel, for the love of God, go anywhere else barr the buffet style muck they give you for half board!!! I was emotional at the thought of having to go down there so agreed with my friend that we would just buy fruit instead as to our horror, all the food in Sunny beach was brutal. I have never been more happy to leave a place at 3 in the morning and will, and I mean this, never return to this place. I suffered a stomach bug towards the end of my so called holiday and lost a considerable amount off weight from this illness. People have no idea what they are letting themselves in for............

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled with family
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5  Thank busiesaily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 5, 2007

Bulgaria: Sunny Beach, the Victoria Palace.
On the 6th of August 07 My new wife and I headed out to sunny beach for our 2 week stay in the 5star Victoria palace, top hotel of the Victoria croup @ Sunny beach. In the Broacher they gave the hotel a 4plus and on our entry into the hotel we saw a lovely chandelier, that would take up my front living room and on either side there 2 lovely marble staircases. (What a magnificent site)
We were very excited until we went to check in and the girl behind the check in desk said that we had rang earlier and cancelled our room, after 40 to 45 minutes trying to get through to them that we are on our honeymoon and that they had made a mistake she rang her manager, that we never seen and we got a room overlooking the rubbish pile.
The Room was very basic not even a kettle to make tea, we then realized that the Victoria's group perception of a 5star was the equivalent of a motel or a 2star.
It got worse the towels in the bathroom weren't sufficient to dry a baby never mind a newly married couple.
No slippers, no dressing gowns .not even a shower cap or sewing kit what a big pink elephant we had booked.
Next morning we went for breakfast and then had a carvary style but the food was half cooked and that was the start of my problems. After Breakfast I explained to the woman at the reception of our expectations as we were on our honeymoon and she said she would see what she could do.
while talking to that woman I became more annoyed as members of staff would just push in front of you as if you weren't having a conversation and weren't there and she would break away from our talk to sort their needs out, this was a regular occurrence from what i seen daily and from what other guests we met there like Paul and his family.
So that evening we went for food in the hotel expecting a sit down all frills but weren’t holding out too much hope and got another carvary with loads of food , pity they didn't know how to cook.
Chicken on a skewer after eating 3 and not paying attention my wife said that the chicken was pin inside, on taking a closer look I found that the chicken was raw in the middle and was i sorry later for that .
Well any way we just used the hotel for a sleeping area , we had our meals in different restaurants in Sunny Beach .
Bad Points= (1) Accommodation, was very basic
(2)Staff. Rude especially at the front desk
(3)Food = Very dodgy. Stay away or you will see a lot more of your bathroom.
(4) Bathroom = didn’t change towels but found out from a lovely cleaner that there wasn't enough towels for all the rooms
Also no extra's like Dressing Gowns
(5) Rooms = maintenance of the rooms were poor.
(6)Entertainment= none except a lady playing the piano.
and I am being very generous saying the word playing as it sounded like she was on starting to learn how to play.
(7) The manager never got back to us and on speaking to our lovely holiday rep , she said” that the Russian business man that owned the hotel didn't care much for the people, once he got you in that’s it and ,it shows through the staff."
Folks the Hotel are very badly run and the Victoria Group and has a couple of other hotels there swell. Be careful.
Good points. (1) Lovely Swimming Pool
(2) close to beach
(3)????

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank cavanr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2007

Bulgarian staff behind reception had very poor english. I rented an iron from one of the receptiontionists, she failed to tell me that I could only keep it for one hour. I got a rude phonecall from one of the receptionists the next day demanding the iron back immediately! I tried to explain to her that she never told me this and she still wouldnt listen. I promptly told her that she could come and get it helself! The restaurant is like a cattle market with so many people there and the food is simply not that great at night time. The staff again dont understand what you say, well either that or they dont care ! No entertainment at night time except a woman playing a piano in the reception area. Pool is lovely but you would have to leave your towel out at six in the morning to get a sunbed. I wondered were other people using the hotel pool from other hotels! The location was beautiful, just a few metres from the sea. If your Irish there is NO decent good pub to go to at night time in the resort either, well we couldnt find one. Yes its back to Lanzarote for me !

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled with friends
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2  Thank mattmanireland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 2, 2007

We have just returned from a week at the Victoria Palace. I had read all the reviews on TA and was quite apprehensive. While some of the reviews of this hotel were, in my opinion, too negative, I can't feel too optimistic about the VP ever getting it quite right either. We actually only stayed at the VP for 5 nights out of seven because we were attending an Irish-Bulgarian wedding in Kazanlak in central Bulgaria (Hotel Zornitza was a nice, unpretentious place with lovely staff who couldn't do enough for all the wedding guests). Sunny Beach is without doubt the tackiest place I have ever been to but that is the subject of another review. Victoria Palace markets itself as a five star hotel, our tour operator rates it as four star but I would just about give it 3 stars.
Décor: I have to agree with other posters that Victoria Palace looks quite impressive at first sight, however, even after just one day the atmosphere wears thin and when you scratch the surface you begin to notice the "nothingness" underneath. The hotel is a mishmash of Oriental, African, Egyptian style and LOTS of fake fur.
Check-in: this was in the early hours of the morning and was quick enough. One female receptionist scowled at everybody, the male receptionist was nice. The room safes cost 7 Leva per day, 49 Leva for the week. Reception didn't have any change (seems to be a general problem in Bulgaria...) so all of us in our group paid 50 Leva and didn't bother to get back the one Lev. Within a few minutes reception had made quite a nice profit.
Room: very nice (although more fake fur carpet and upholstery in evidence), spacious and clean and the beds were comfortable. The bathroom is lit by only one light which makes it impossible to apply make-up and I managed to drown the floor because of the pressure of the shower. The water bounces off the wall and drips to the floor. When using the shower reduce the power! We had four little bottles of shampoo (how much shampoo can you get through in one week?) but no shower gel. Another couple in our party had shampoo, shower gel, conditioner and a large piece of soap. We had two tiny pieces of soap which were not replaced during the week. The hairdryer has such little power that it is virtually useless. My sister-in-law's room on the third floor was marginally smaller than ours on the seventh floor and when you sat on the loo you had the washing basin jutting into your shoulder/neck (sorry for being graphic).
Breakfast/dinner: some reviews mention a shortage of cutlery at breakfast and dinner. We didn't really have any problems finding cutlery but there was a definite shortage of plates. Plates tended to be wet when available. Some tables had condiments, some tables had napkins, some tables had sugar. Not ALL tables had EVERYTHING. The breakfast/dinner buffet is spread out over two rooms which makes it a bit difficult to find what you want. The butter is kept under a hot light so tends to get liquid. The food in general was nice, the coffee terrible. The salads at dinner were really good, there is a good variety of dishes on offer and one evening we had a really delicious goulash. The description of the dishes (the notes telling you what each dish is) can be a bit erratic. One evening pork was described as chicken, let's hope no muslim made the mistake of partaking of this dish...
Cleaning staff: I had read the glowing remarks about the cleaning staff on each floor, unfortunately I cannot say the same. While the rooms were cleaned every day, this seemed to be done in a slapdash manner. One day our towels were taken but not replaced, another day we did not receive any toilet paper. As I mentioned the soap wasn't replaced. I could have asked for more soap but why should I have to? Surely it should have been replaced without asking? There was a bit of fluff on the bathroom floor which appeared in a different corner every day, so it was obvious that the floor was not cleaned at all. The balcony did not get swept and over the last two days we had ants crawling all over (on the 7th floor).
Service: everything seems to be done in slow motion, nobody hurries to serve or get you anything. One of the waitresses in the bar looked right through me when I politely ordered a drink and then just walked away. At breakfast I watched one of the waitresses who had dirty dishes and cutlery on her tray. She picked up more cutlery and then seemed to be completely lost as what to do with this. Then she spent some minutes scraping leftovers from one plate to another and back again to the first plate... Most of the staff were rude but there were some really nice exceptions, too. The attitude seems to be "Give us your money but don't expect any service for it".
Pool: very nice and we had no problems getting loungers. The lilos in the storage area are free to use. Only on the last night while waiting for our bus transfer to Bourgas did we notice bits of food at the bottom in one of the corners of the pool which really turned us off.
Bar: some lovely waitresses but mostly sullen service. Do the waitresses really have to wear those skimpy outfits? There is a couch arrangement close to the bar with a sign "Reserve" on the table. Don't even attempt to sit on this, you will be shifted. It seems this is reserved for the owners and their guests, whether they bother to grace the bar with their presence or not. I have never come across this anywhere else on my travels.
I have travelled to many countries in my life and love to experience the local atmosphere, people and food. I don't want Irish food, Irish pubs, I want local stuff and service with a smile. I usually find that if I smile at people and am polite to them they smile back at me and are polite to me. Not a chance in Victoria Palace (with, as mentioned, the odd exception).
Summary: okay on the surface, rotten at the core. I realise that Bulgaria is only fairly recently out of Communism but attitudes will have to change quickly if the country wants to keep up the influx of tourists.
Just another note: some of the persons in our group had their suitcases rifled through after check-in at Bourgas airport. I was lucky not to have anything stolen although my suitcase had certainly been "done over" but others in our party did have pieces of jewellery stolen. Even if you have a lock on your case this will not prevent thieves at the airport. Keep valuables in your hand luggage. But you might still come home to find that your personal things have been gone through and touched by someone.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled on business
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5  Thank Clauds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Victoria Palace Hotel & Spa

Address: Sunny Beach 8240, Bulgaria
Location: Bulgaria > Burgas Province > Sunny Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#28 Spa Hotel in Sunny Beach
#59 Luxury Hotel in Sunny Beach
Price Range: $41 - $139 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Victoria Palace Hotel & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 545
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Victoria Palace Hotel & Spa has been under renovation after listening to customers reviews. Two of our panorama lifts have been completely changed for season 2014 and number of rooms have been renovated. We are under a new management and efforts have been made to improve the product and the services. We are very excited to welcome our guests for season 2014. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Victoria Palace Hotel Sunny Beach
Victoria Palace Hotel And Spa
Victoria Palace Bulgaria
Victoria Palace Sunny Beach
Victoria Palace Hotel Bulgaria
Hotel Victoria Palace Bulgaria
Victoria Palace Hotel & Spa Sunny Beach, Burgas Province, Bulgaria

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