We stayed here for 2 weeks in July with our 3 kids(ages 10 years, 7 years and 5 months) and had a relaxing time. This is an ideal vacation spot if you just want to get some sun and not do anything much else.
The hotel rooms are very spacious and our request to have two rooms next to each other was accommodated by the reception despite July being a very busy time. Rooms are clean and the housekeeping services were very satisfactory. The rooms are spread over multiple buildings and there are lift services for only some of the main buildings. We were first checked into 2 rooms in a back building which required taking a lot of stairs and then an elevator ride up to our floor, followed by a long walk down several corridors to our rooms. As mentioned above, the reception did move us to rooms in another building given that we had a 5 month old with us and doing stairs with her pram was not exactly what we had planned for the 2 weeks.
There are 2 lovely pools at 2 different levels. The lower pool was more crowded since it was closer to the bar area and animation. The hotel animal team was just average and did not seem as motivated as some of the teams we have had experience with in Greece and Brazil.
There is also a baby pool at the upper level but we (or for that matter anyone else) did not use it.
For the more sporty ones, there is soccer and ping pong available. The entertainment team arranges games everyday - the schedule is put up in the reception area.
Food is good, served buffet-style, and somewhat varied. It was great to have lots of fish on the menu, including the lovely black sea shark. There is also a choice to eat a la carte in their 3 restaurants - Traditional Bulgarian, Japanese and an Argentinian Grill restaurant. There is no limit on how many a la carte meals you can have during your stay. We tried each restaurant once for dinner, and did the buffet for the rest of the 2 weeks.
Drinks are very limited for an all-inc resort and this was a major disappointment. They have a cocktail special of the day that they serve every afternoon at the pool bar, some of which were alright. Others felt incredibly watered down.
There was a gala night with some entertainment and special buffet, and also a special dance/musical night around the pool area. There were a few other theme dinners during the 2 weeks we stayed there, providing for some variation in the food and ambience. The food staff does work very hard and this was definitely appreciated!
There are musical, dance and folklore shows in the indoor bar area every night. There's a nice terrace just outside the bar with a few chairs where we preferred sitting after dinner (to avoid the noisy bar area inside).
The beach is a short 4-5 minute walk from the hotel, down a short paved road. The hotel has it's own beach area cordoned off and free loungers are available. The beach area is clean and not very crowded. There are a number of water sports available for a fee - we jet skied with the kids for a reasonable price (I forget exactly what we paid).
Tip for withdrawing money: Dont use the hotel exchange counter or any currency exchange booths on the promenade. Each one of them, including the one at the hotel, is a rip off! There are a few ATMs on the promenade where you can use your Maestro/Visa/MC to get local currency. Just take a right on to the promenade when you get there from the hotel, and continue until you see the ATM on your left next to the supermarket. About a 5-8 minute walk along the promenade.
If you feel like a change from the routine hotel food or atmosphere, there are plenty of hotels, bars and cafes on the promenade. There is even a foot spa with exotic Japanese fish and a bar set in a mini-Eiffel-tower a short walk down the promenade from the hotel.
We did one day trip from the hotel (arranged through our Flemish tour operator, Sunjets.be) to Nessebar. It's a long day out and with our family of 5, an exhausting day with a long bus ride to get there and back. I do recommend it though. Nessebar is very special and it did give us a welcome change from the same old golden sands promenade walk/beach+pool routine.
One disappointment at this hotel is that they do not provide iron/ironing board and you need to turn your clothes in to housekeeping to have them pressed. Charges were not exorbitant, but nevertheless, way more than I expected to pay at an all-inclusive resort. They even managed to lose quite a few of my childrens' clothes that were sent out for laundry and were not even apologetic about it. I hope the hotel management fixes this issue, because for the rest, the 2 weeks here was a very good and positive experience for us.
To summarize, a great all inclusive resort for a family with young children.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Ultra all-inclusive Grifid Club Hotel Bolero enjoys a great location in a quiet area of Golden Sands just a few yards from the sandy beach, offering plenty of facilities and dining options. The hotel boasts a beautiful garden of 15 000 sq. m, lavish greenery and flower beds. Grifid Hotel Bolero is ideal choice for a successful holiday in terms of both location and facilities, offering a whole world of possibilities for our clients’ leisure and relaxation – excellent 24 hours Ultra all inclusive formula, delightful gastronomy, spacious and comfortable rooms, amusing and engaging entertainment team and attentive staff. The unique for Golden Sands Grifid Aqua Park with total area of 8000 sq m is available free of charge for all Grifid Bolero guests. With its two sections: for adults and children, each one accommodating 3 slides the Grifid Aqua Park offers the fun of over 400 m of thrilling riding experience. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grifid Hotel Golden Sands
- Grifid Hotel Bolero
- Grifid Hotels Club Hotel Bolero Golden Sands, Bulgaria - Varna Province