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“impressive on arrival but not 5 star service”

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Melia Grand Hermitage
Ranked #4 of 110 Hotels in Golden Sands
portsmouth
1 review
“impressive on arrival but not 5 star service”
Reviewed July 20, 2007

Facilities appeared to be 5 star. My husband and I were there for a week with my 2 kids (6 & 3). Had to wait in the reception area on arrival for at least an hour without an offer of water, or hot drinks. They had to re-arrange a room to accomodate us all as they seemed to only have rooms for 2 adults one child??? eventually we were given a fabulous room with a huge bed, and a sofa bed for the girls to share. Breakfast was chaotic, some days we were offered table service for hot drinks and then other days we were told by staff to get our own hot drinks due to staff shortages. One day there were no clean towels to use by the pool as the washing machine broke? Another time we asked for a taxi and waited in the blistering heat for 20 minutes before giving up and making our own way to our destination. Again no apologies from reception staff. Severall trips were made to reception with our key cards for our rooms as they failed to work & had to be re-programmed. A good friends was getting married in Bulgaria so I asked where I could get a wedding card or any type of card, and was basically told it's not possible anywhere in Varna!! Ended up using a complimentary Kempinski Hotel card..hmm..the worst thing was the newly opened kids club. One room with no air conditioning or water facility. One member of staff. I asked my daughters if they enjoyed it they did, but when I asked what happened when they needed the toilet, my eldest said she didn't need it so she was left in the room by herself and locked in, whilst the teacher & all the other kids went off to the toilet. I mean locked a 6 year old girl in the room alone?!! I later confirmed this with another memeber of staff who agreed that this had happened but would not happen again and apologised. Surely this is illegal. Fortunately we were in Bulgaria for a wedding and 2 birthday celebrations, so had lots of friends at the hotel making the stay more pleasurable.

  • Liked — the pool area
  • Disliked — breakfast and kids club
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank naylaPortsmouth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (194)
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Croatia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed July 19, 2007

I went to Grand Hermitage last September, together with my wife, HB basis. It was our first visit to Bulgaria and it was a sort of last minute decision. We got a package deal very cheap, so we thought, hey, let’s try something new. We landed in Burgas, so first of all we had to endure a long drive to Varna, actually to Golden sands, where the Grand Hermitage is situated. Note an exciting drive…nothing much to see…unexciting landscape and poorly looking villages. It is obvious that although Bulgaria has entered European Union, it is still decades behind “western” standards of living. We passed through Varna on our way to Golden Sands – the looks of it didn’t inspire us to pay it a visit again.

Golden Sands is a tourist zone consisting mostly of mid- an lower standard hotels. There are a few 4+ establishments, and besides Kempinski, I believe that only Admiral is a 5* hotel.

Grand Hermitage is a brand new hotel and during the time we were there, some areas were still under construction (casino, a la carte restaurant…) but it didn’t bother us at all.

Hotel staff is averagely very young and it was obvious that they lack a bit of experience. There were several misunderstandings with our voucher, bill for extras, etc… but they were courteous and at the end, everything was settled in our favor, so, only a small minus on that part.

There are several types of rooms…ours was very nice and spacious, although it was overlooking the garden (we could see the sea on our left side). Large bathroom, separate shower box + bath tub…we were satisfied.

Hotel is cleaned very well and rooms are being serviced early, so no problem on that part if you wish to have a rest in the afternoon (although the hotel was 40-50% occupied, so I’m not sure how it goes when it is fully booked).

Breakfast was good, up to 5*standard, service efficient. Dinners were fine, although they varied in quality…I was under impression that they have two chefs, one better than the other. They organize theme dinners 2 or 3 times a week…the one by the outer pool was especially pleasant.

There are two pools – one inner and one outer pool. The outer one was very nice to look at, but the major problem with it was that the water was too cold. We have used it once and never again (actually, almost nobody has used during the time we were there). It is probably warmer during June and August, but beginning of September is still a prime vacation time, so they should probably take that into consideration. The inner pool was warmer, heated obviously, but it was not cleaned properly. I swim a lot, usually with my goggles on and franky, I was not impressed with what I’ve seen at the bottom of the pool.

Massages are the thing I would really recommend. Therapists are doing a really good job (try Thai massage - brilliant) and prices are more than affordable – 30-60% lower than usual 5* rates.

The hotel doesn’t have its own beach…the beach is public and it is not something to talk about. My major complaint is that they do not care at all about cleaning and grooming the beach – with a little effort on that part, it could be much better. There are concessionaires for renting sun beds, umbrellas and watersports gear all the way, but besides that (renting equipment) they do not care a bit about the beach. It’s the fault of local government, if you ask me, if they give concessions, they should make concessionaires responsible for the cleanliness of the area they operate in – it would raise the overall resort quality.

The good thing about resort is that you can take walk by the see – there is a promenade with lots of shops, restaurants, bars etc. There are some nice restaurants, but the majority of them caters for mass market segment of tourists, so it is nothing to write home about. On the other side, prices are relatively low. Shops (stand in fact) offer plenty of fake designer goods, again, aimed for mass market segment. There are husslers along the way, offering you something, but it is not unbearable.

There is a lot of evening entertainment, ranging from pubs, bars, discos to casinos – again, everything is cheap, but the overall GS resort standard is a sort of cheapish.

Overall judgment: If you travel to Golden Sands, be sure to stay in Grand Hermitage. It is a good 5* hotel (not the top, but a good one) with a potential to be great, if managed well. Other than that, Golden sands is not a place to recommend, unless you aim for a cheap holiday. I have rated the overall experience "above average", exclusively based on the fact that the hotel was pleasant ...if we stayed in a "typical" GS hotel, I would probaly be less happy.

  • Stayed September 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank Sathariel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
30 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed July 15, 2007

Just returned from a fabulous week at the Kempinski Hotel in Golden Sands. The hotel is very impressive and both pools are exceptional. Staff are lovely although at the poolside bar it sometimes seems to many cooks etc. and orders get mixed up a lot or you are left waiting over an hour for a burger (only minor problem though). The hotel has very little night entertainment, however a five minute walk away and you will be spoilt for choice, bars, restaurants, shops, casinos be aware that going to these places is down hill, but on the way back, well lets just say many a night my partner had to push me up that hill. It is well worth upgrading to a leisure club room for approx £18 per room per night you get central sea view room with fresh fruit every day and a designated pool area with all local beers, fruit juices, soft drinks thrown in along with a buffet lunch. If you are going to this hotel only a truly picky person would have a problem.........ENJOY!

  • Liked — Cleanliness and size
  • Disliked — Entertainment
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Amelia-Louise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ploiesti, Romania
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed July 8, 2007

Awesome hotel ! If you`ve got a good price for the accommodation at this hotel, just don`t hesitate ! It is worth every penny. It is the first hotel that I have rated with 5 stars and it deserves is . Pentru romani - mergeti si nu veti regreta !

  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank bmcdro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Essex
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed May 5, 2007

The hotel itself is a very good facility run poorly. Throughout our two weeks there was constant drilling taking place by at least four hammer-drills on the building facade - Health and Safety was non-existent with workmen working directly above and adjacent to the pool area including exits and entrances!

Noise, dust and danger are not conducive to a relaxing time around the pool!

The staff smiled a lot and were polite but utterly ineffective at correcting this. It was simply very dangerous and as it was flagged up on several occasions there can be no excuses.

First Choice staff at resort were pathetic and sadly so was the general level of service from First Choice. I could not recommend this firm to you - find another - one that is genuinely helpful and effective.

Avoid going on the excursion to the Forest Fiesta - the food was dreadful.

There were good points to the hotel - the bar-b-q were excellent and generally the food was good - however service at breakfast time was dire with my group taking it turns to locate the coffee and tea waiters...when tea was available that is!

Save your money and try Croatia, Turkey or Greece - but not with First Choice.

patok

Stayed August 2006
Helpful?
3 Thank patok
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bucharest
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 12, 2007

hi!we were 5 families with children for easter 3 nights half board .the hotel looks beatiful with large rooms and huge bathrooms very well equipped.but the food was not tasty at all and not many choices,not salad bar,for easter breakfast lines for food totally empty!they sad not enough personnel because the hotel closes anyway in 2 days.lobby bar extremely slow 20 min. waiting for coffee.inside pool temperature cold,water ok.management in the restaurant needs more training.overall very poor service in restaurant,rooms and cleanliness excellent!

  • Liked — rooms,lobby
  • Disliked — restaurant
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank bolitaBucharest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bucharest
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2007

We went there for a week-end relaxation. The timing was terrible, because the resort was deserted, nothing opened. The hotel had only the main restaurant open, and the variety og food was very poor. the buffet breakfast was quite OK, but in the evening and lunch we had to choose between a few courses. Not to say that the restaurant closes at 10 p.m.!!!
The indoor pool was ok, only the temperature in the air a bit low. It also closes very early, at 8 p.m. The sauna as well. Not to say that at the pool reception there was nobody most of the times, so you couldn't get a towel.
The rooms were tidy and very nice. Nothing to say about this, only maybe a bit of dampness of walls in some corners.
Overall, this hotel doesn't deserve 5 stars...in my opinion.

  • Liked — The enormous rooms
  • Disliked — the dampness of walls
  • Tips/Secrets — They dont't accept Euro, only Leva.
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank gogoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Melia Grand Hermitage

Property: Melia Grand Hermitage
Address: 1 Grand Hermitage Alley, Golden Sands 9007, Bulgaria
Phone Number:
Location: Bulgaria > Varna Province > Golden Sands
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Spa Hotel in Golden Sands
#4 Luxury Hotel in Golden Sands
#5 Romantic Hotel in Golden Sands
#7 Family Hotel in Golden Sands
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — Melia Grand Hermitage 5*
Number of rooms: 727
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Imagine a place with a unique atmosphere and service where you can relax and enjoy the serenity, the sun and the sea... Imagine a place that will exceed your expectations... Located on a quiet hill and surrounded by a green park, this exquisite luxury hotel offers the tranquility you are longing for. The 5-star resort welcomes you with stylish atmosphere, quality service and refined cuisine. Lounge on the sunniest balconies, relax in the SPA centre or have fun on the beach with the water sports available. Indulge your senses in the 5-star YHI SPA Centre: exclusive high quality massages, therapies and procedures offer a chance to get away from the stress and enjoy the serenity of your vacations. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Melia Grand Hermitage Hotel Golden Sands
Melia Golden Sands
Melia Hotel Grand Hermitage
Melia Grand Hermitage Golden Sands, Bulgaria - Varna Province

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