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Reviews & comments on Helios Spa Hotel in Golden Sands

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freeman

Review

from USA, 21 April 2013, 03:43 (submitted from Russian Federation)


Rating
4 4 4 4 Overall
4 4 4 4 Staff
4 4 4 4 Rooms
4 4 4 4 Food
3 3 3 Fun
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Sara

Review

from USA, 21 March 2013, 10:39 (submitted from Russian Federation)


Rating
3 3 3 Overall
2 2 Staff
2 2 Rooms
2 2 Food
4 4 4 4 Fun
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Logan

Review

from USA, 15 March 2013, 17:33 (submitted from Russian Federation)


Rating
3 3 3 Overall
2 2 Staff
3 3 3 Rooms
4 4 4 4 Food
4 4 4 4 Fun
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Justin

Review

from USA, 12 March 2013, 22:02 (submitted from Russian Federation)


Rating
4 4 4 4 Overall
2 2 Staff
4 4 4 4 Rooms
3 3 3 Food
2 2 Fun
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rob and liz

Review

from USA, 31 August 2007, 22:30


Rating
5 5 5 5 5 Overall
4 4 4 4 Staff
5 5 5 5 5 Rooms
3 3 3 Food
5 5 5 5 5 Fun
Comment: This is a great hotel do stay here
On reading the previous comments I think the author must have stayed in another hotel.The rooms were good ,the staff freindly and helpful.The entertainments manager and his staff were excellent.I believe he really enjoys his work and it shows.
The 3 star is another mattertired old rooms

from USA, 25 August 2007, 23:52


Rating
4 4 4 4 Overall
4 4 4 4 Staff
3 3 3 Rooms
4 4 4 4 Fun
Comment: We stayed in Helios SPA hotel in the beginning of Aug. It was a nice and quiet hotel, everything is close to the hotel. The rooms were nice and spacious. The 4th floor had a seaview. The personnel was unfriendly and didnt speak English very good. The food wasnt good quality. It was a busy season, because we couldnt stay a few days more. Overall, its a good hotel

Elza

Review

from USA, 25 July 2007, 22:45


Rating
4 4 4 4 Overall
1 Staff
1 Rooms
1 Food
1 Fun
Comment: Dirty rooms, bad food, crowded resort. Definitely no no!

Rimma

Review

from Latvia, 06 July 2007, 21:45


Rating
3 3 3 Overall
1 Staff
2 2 Rooms
3 3 3 Food
3 3 3 Fun
Comment: First of all, about the staff : they only pretended to be nice, really - no matter what we asked them to do, nothing was done and always we received refusals (wether we asked to change the room to another room that has a bath in it, or to change the dinner to the lunch, or to stay in the room after 12:00 for an additional payment on the check-out day, as we had a flight at 23:10, or we asked from the reception to bring to the room a shower gel, shampoo and a toilet paper as far as it all has ended - nothing was done about it !!!!!!!!
Secondly, about the rooms : the bathroom is not comfortable at all - there are no shelves and no place to put your clothes and towels in it. Moreover, the air conditioner is not working in the bathroom, only when there is a wind outside - you can hear some kind of whistle...
Thirdly, about the food : the same food every day, just no variance. Moreover, may be there are some people who like eating egg-husk - not me !!!!
In overall - I strongly don't recommend visiting in this hotel !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

vlad

Review

from israel, 11 May 2007, 13:23


Rating
5 5 5 5 5 Overall
5 5 5 5 5 Staff
5 5 5 5 5 Rooms
3 3 3 Food
5 5 5 5 5 Fun
Comment: have great time in the night club (thanks to maria) ;)

Kerry & Steve

Review

from UK, 22 September 2006, 11:57


Rating
5 5 5 5 5 Overall
5 5 5 5 5 Staff
5 5 5 5 5 Rooms
4 4 4 4 Food
3 3 3 Fun
Comment: Our week at Helios Spa...
The rooms are spacious and clean. The daily maid service was very satisfactory and the cleaning staff were very cheerful if you ever saw them.
We were all inclusive - and the food was canteen help-yourself, the seating area was a bit of a muddle but I think they had tried to make it more like a restaurant than a canteen but the eating area was too small for the number of guests - in busy season this would be a big problem! The food was excellent, well cooked and basically you could eat something different every breakfast, lunch and evening.
There are several bars - not all the bars serve the all inclusive drinks but if you read the info. in the folder in your hotel room it explains this for the all inclusive guests. As all inclusive guests (you are given a wrist-band to wear during your stay) we found the bar staff treated us well, the hotel all inclusive rules are that you can only have one alcoholic and one non-alcoholic drink each at a time, once you've drunk these you can re-order, this is not a problem as the alcoholic measures are large! Do not feel as though you are being cheated out of your 'free' drinks - there is plenty of choice available at several bars from early AM to late PM!
Free bottled water daily in your room's mini-bar - a nice touch!
One of the outside swimming pools was a little bit 'dirty' with algae so I think they need to scrub the pool during the season, the indoor pool however was spotless and there was another outside pool but we did not try this out so we cannot comment.
Several types of entertainment were put on every day/night, not our kind of fun but Helios did make an effort, we went at the end of the season and the staff tried very hard to encourage everyone to take part!
The entertainment, bar, restaurant and reception staff were all very friendly and helpful, their English was better than my Bulgarian - sometimes you need to explain yourself more than once if not first understood but I cannot understand other comments on this page that say that staff were rude - I think that if you show them some consideration they are most respectful.
Overall, we had a really good holiday in Golden Sands at Helios Spa - the hotel 5* Spa is a must, very professional & relaxing Spa treatments.
Go to Helios Spa and don't worry about all these poor reviews. We booked in February and read these complaining reviews just before we went and these worried us but we have no hesitation to recommend Helios Spa. Just understand things are done differently in Bulgaria and you should be prepared to accept and embrace a different culture - remember that the Brits are not the only people holidaying in Bulgaria so Helios has to offer services to all nationalities!!

janice

Review

from UK, 18 September 2006, 12:39


Rating
3 3 3 Overall
3 3 3 Staff
1 Rooms
3 3 3 Food
3 3 3 Fun
Comment: Overall we had an ok stay at the Helios hotel. But(!!!), be careful when you book with profi tours. I asked for the totel cost for a room at the Helios SPA hotel by mail. Profi tours asked if I wanted a 3, 4 or 5 star room. We chose a 3 star room because we tought that it would be a good room and it was very cheap in that nice hotel..well, we regret that now. When we came to the Helios spa hotel, they told us that we had not booked at Helios spa hotel, but in Helios PARK hotel..The 2 hotels is joined but Helios Park hotel does not have the same quality in the rooms as Helios spa. When we were looking for hotels we saw the nice pictures from Helios spa and wanted to stay there. Profi tours should be more specific in their communication. I wrote them several times by mail and wanted to confirm that it was the right hotel. Maybe a misunderstanding from their side, but when I ask for the total cost for HELIOS SPA hotel, I dont expect to end up in HELIOS PARK hotel. Well, exept from that it was an ok stay. We could use the pool in Helios spa hotel, and they were clean and nice and cool:) The bf was nothing to be exited about, but ok. Some of the staff was very smiling and nice, but there was also a few who could be a bit ruud sometimes. The location was absolutely perfect for us. The rooms was very very bad.. If we left the toilet door open a few seconds it smelled awful in the room.. But, we dont spend all the time in the room when we are on holiday anyway:)

The www.Bulgaria-Hotels.Com team and Profi Tours staff apologize for the great inconvenience caused during your holiday. We also thank you for sharing your bad experience and have done our best to make clear the difference between the two hotels within the Helios Spa & Park Hotel Complex both on this website and in our further communications with clients.

Orane

Review

from Belgique, 28 August 2006, 15:15


Rating
1 Overall
1 Staff
3 3 3 Rooms
1 Food
1 Fun
Comment: Le personnel est très désagréable.La nourriture est toujors le même (poulet à toutes les sauces et attention le poulet n'est pas cuit!!!), des frites, pâtes et pomme de terre midi et soir), le all in n'est pas un all in; les boissons sont dégueu sauf si vous payez, ils prennent les boissons d une autre machine. Si vous prenez un chambre standard, ils vous mettent dans une chambre promo ( on a mis une semaine avant de s'en apercevoir, le temps de rencontrer d'autre personne). La piscine n'est pas nettoyée ( des plongeurs ont du venir pour enlever les morceaux de verres et faire un prélèvement du PH de l'eau et devinner quoi? il était très mauvais, on a du attendre 2 heures avant de se baigner!!! Bref allez plutot ay Riviera beach, c 'est un 4 étoiles également et un pti peu plus cher (100€ en +)

Mary

Review

from UK, 13 August 2006, 18:49


Rating
2 2 Overall
1 Staff
3 3 3 Rooms
1 Food
1 Fun
Comment: Reading here I see one of our mistakes may have been to go all inclusive.

We had a grim week at the Helios Spa. The poolside was filthy, the food badly prepared and kept warm for hours on warm plates so it was usually cold by the time we got it. One of our party went down with sickness and I'm surprised (though very grateful) that it wasn't more of us. The staff were miserable and terse to the point of rudeness.

On our last morning, at 4.15am, we had to have Room Inspection before they would check us out. They insisted there was a small towel missing from one of the rooms (we knew there wasn't) and we could either go back and see for ourselves or pay 2 Lev for it. Our coach was due and frankly we just wanted to be done with the place so we paid the 2 Lev. But after all the money we'd spent out on the all inclusive package it felt like adding insult to injury.

Richie Naughton

Review

from ireland, 10 August 2006, 01:58


Rating
5 5 5 5 5 Overall
5 5 5 5 5 Staff
4 4 4 4 Rooms
5 5 5 5 5 Food
5 5 5 5 5 Fun
Comment: best hotel in a long time. excellent staff working there. lovely esay going . food was excellent. bar service like no other. helios all the way

hess catherine

Review

from france, 21 February 2006, 23:17


Comment: please i want mamy informatons in french.i'll come tio bulgarie in may the 20th and i'll go to the hotel helios &spar resort but i have got informations.thanck for the informations.
catherine hess

Samantha

Review

from UK, 27 January 2006, 16:39


Rating
5 5 5 5 5 Overall
4 4 4 4 Staff
5 5 5 5 5 Rooms
3 3 3 Food
5 5 5 5 5 Fun
Comment: My boyfriend and I went to Helios in September 2005.
The weather was bad, but after July all the weather in Bulgaria goes downhill.
We were stunned by the value we got on our holiday. We went Bed and Breakfastso that we were not tied to the hotel for our meals.
The standard of clenliness was second to none, and the hospitality of the Bulgarians cannot be surpassed. The room we stayed in was enormous and kept extremely clean by the very friendly cleaner who always said hello and wished us a good day.
The bar staff of the very cheap 24 hour bar were most helpful and spent time with us to teach us some Bulgarian words such as please, hello and thank you.
The price for room service was the same cost as for the a la carte restaurant which works out at being £5 for steak and chips.
The three swimming pools are kept immaculate and as there are three there is always plenty of room.
My verdict is that this hotel is astounding for the price and the staff are very accomodating and friendly, so long as you treat them with the same respect you would wish to recieve. We enjoyed this holiday so much that the day we got back, we booked to go again, this time in June so as to hopefully catch some sunshine

Adam & Gem

Review

from UK, 04 October 2005, 18:23


Rating
2 2 Overall
1 Staff
3 3 3 Rooms
2 2 Food
1 Fun
Comment: Just got back (litterally just walked through the door!) and wanted to tell EVERYONE how our 2 week, AI break to the Hotel Helios was. S***!
Within the first couple of days, me and my partner had fallen ill with up set stomachs which we think was from the food (as did quite a few others we spoke to), the weather was DULL (ok, you cant help the weather but still....) and if the weather is against you, there is nothing to do other than sit in the reception area, which by the way was very smokey, and get drunk. The food was ok, but ill be having nightmares of chips for months to come.
Some off the staff dont seem to understand the concept of good manners ie a thank you or a smile goes a long way.
We ate mostly in the a-la-carte restaurant as this was much nicer. You had to pay though.
The room its self was nice. Clean and spacious. Spent most of the holiday in the room to be honest as we were ill for most of it.
The entertainment was fair/poor. Bingo on Monday, Bulgarian man dressed as Elvis on Tuesday, a film or a live football match on Wednesday, some odd dancing show thing on a Thursday etc etc you get the idea. Some of these nights you had to pay to get in, and as the bar was run by an external company, you had to pay for your drinks. Ok, the drinks were cheap (im just on a roll here, keep up..) about1-2lv (35-70p) for a beer and about 3lv (£1) for a cocktail.
When we did get some good weather we sat by the pool, which wasnt really that clean to be fair. And oh my god, how cold?!!
Pretty good location as its only a 5min walk to the beach but beware of the 'ladys of the night' about town at night (and some arnt ladys!). The beach was very nice. Bit crowded, but hey.
Went on a trip organised by the hotel to the Aladja monastary on Saturday which is an old monastary cut into the rock face. Takes about 45min to walk there and is worth it if thats your thing. Went on a 'Village Hospitality' excursion on the Sunday organised by First Choice and did have a good day. Must do!
All in all, a pretty dissapointing holiday. But hey, each to their own.

=o)

lynda

Review

from scotland, 08 August 2005, 18:34


Comment: This hotel is extremely badly run, staff very unhelpful, lack of entertainment, and repeative food on the all inclusive deal.
No choice for children and very limited to drinks on AI both brands and times.On leaving we missed out on breakfast and believed we would receive breakfast pack we didnt even get offered a cup of tea.

sandra

Review

from wales, 07 August 2005, 22:02


Rating
4 4 4 4 Overall
4 4 4 4 Staff
5 5 5 5 5 Rooms
4 4 4 4 Food
3 3 3 Fun
Comment: We stayed there this year because the hotel we booked wasn't finished. The room - a suite was fantastic, the staff were helpful and polite although some of the guests were rude to them. We could have stayed half board but chose to do b&b because we like to eat at different places but breakfast was great. Only down side on the day we were goinig on a trip to Romania our early breakfast wasn't ready but the staff soon sorted it out for us.

morris

Review

from wales, 24 July 2005, 15:24


Rating
4 4 4 4 Overall
4 4 4 4 Staff
5 5 5 5 5 Rooms
4 4 4 4 Food
4 4 4 4 Fun
Comment: we stayed in this hotel last august, the hotel was fantastic rooms were huge with individual control ac +free use of fridge inroom.the bathroom was also very large with fresh towels daily and complementary toiletries.we stayed b+b and had no complaints re the food the freshly cooked omlets were fantastic, there was always plenty of choice. the only complaint we had was the temperature of the pools they certainly cooled you down! also lack of entertainment in the evenings but the resort centre is only a 2minute walk away.we visited varna via a taxi from the hotel very cheap, the driver arranged a pickup time and place whn we were ready to return to the hotel fantastic service! the water park is literally a stones throw away, not many rides but still good fun! we did the jeep safari highly recommended good day out! over all i would certainly return to this hotel fantastic!

Shirley Brook

Review

from England, 17 July 2005, 21:41


Rating
1 Overall
1 Staff
1 Rooms
1 Food
1 Fun
Comment: The Hotel was a big let down, very rude bar staff who havent grasped the concept of allinclusive means we've paid up fron and it's not free.
Meals were appalling - cold - and I ended up with a visit from sam and ella most of the holiday - just glad to get home

first choice should be paying people to go not the other way round

CATHERINE AND JOHN SMYTH

Review

from IRELAND, 04 July 2005, 20:10


Rating
4 4 4 4 Overall
1 Staff
5 5 5 5 5 Rooms
2 2 Food
4 4 4 4 Fun
Comment: JUST BACK FROM A 2 WEEK HOLIDAY IN HELIOS SPA AND RESORT THE HOTEL WAS JUST FAB IT WAS A PITY THE STAFF WERE SO RUDE AND UNFRENDLEY THE ONLY PERSON THAT SMILED ALL THE TIME WAS THE GIRL IN THE CHANGE BUREAUXAND WAS MOST HELPFULL. THE DINNING ROOM WAS A DISASTER NO MANAGEMENT AT ALL IT WAS NO BETTER THAN A STAFF CANTEEN WE LEFT OUR LUGGAGE AND CHECKED OUT OF ROOM AT 10 OC AND WERE NOT LEAVING UNTILL 6 OC AND WERE TOLD OUR ROOM HAD TO BE CHECKED BEFORE WE LEFT AS WE BOOKED IN JANUARY OUR HOLIDAY AT A COST OF 2000 EURO WE FELT LIKE A COMMON THIEF. WILL RETURN TO BULGARIA BUT NOT TO THE HELIOS

Stephen G

Review

from England, 01 July 2005, 10:10


Rating
3 3 3 Overall
3 3 3 Staff
2 2 Rooms
3 3 3 Food
3 3 3 Fun
Comment: Overall Quite Good, Resort Good. Country Good, 4 Star Rooms Good, Staff Mixed Bag Some Excellent, Some Poor Attitude Towards All Inclusive Guests. Rep Tried Hard To Improve Our Experience. Will Visit Bulgaria Again But Maybe Not This Hotel. I Appreciate Bulgarians Still Learning - Some Try Very Hard.Quite Enjoyable Holiday.

Roy G

Review

from England, 29 June 2005, 16:08


Rating
2 2 Overall
3 3 3 Staff
2 2 Rooms
3 3 3 Food
3 3 3 Fun
Comment: Country and resort fine, and hotel location and rooms of a good standard. Service/attitude of some bar and restaurant staff towards guests needs to be better- I found as an all inclusive british guest that I wasn't made as welcome as some other nationalities, and found out that tipping was helpful in getting a more acceptable level of service.
Restaurant food was often cold when the type of food provided eg soup, fried eggs was expected to be hot.
Entertainment in some areas had to be paid for as did drinks in the night bar,which meant in reality all inclusive was something of a misnomer.

john

Review

from scotland, 04 June 2005, 12:08


Rating
4 4 4 4 Overall
4 4 4 4 Staff
5 5 5 5 5 Rooms
4 4 4 4 Food
5 5 5 5 5 Fun
Comment: good place to relax

burgeon nadine

Review

from belgique, 01 June 2005, 19:39


Rating
3 3 3 Overall
3 3 3 Staff
2 2 Rooms
2 2 Food
Comment: nous sommes très déçus de l'hôtel plazza crown,au point de vue nourriture,personnel
prix en comparaison avec l'hôtel helios qui
proposait . à des meilleurs prix beaucoup plus
de satisfaction à tout point de vue
bien que connaissant la chaine helios cet hotel helios en bulgarie ne correspond en rien à leur renommée, à revoir pour l'avenir

monchaux francis

Review

from belgique, 31 May 2005, 21:02


Rating
4 4 4 4 Overall
5 5 5 5 5 Staff
4 4 4 4 Food
3 3 3 Fun
Comment: la façon dont ou nous a reçu est très décevante la nourriture et le personnel de salle ne sont pas a la hauteur,nous avons payés + cher au crow plaza hotel pour moins de service qu'a l Helios ,et surtout une moins bonne nourriture.des supléments single nous ont étés réclamés 140€ par personne alors que a l'hotel helios c'est gratuit durant cette période,(voir mr Bogomil )c'est décevant .
club action 3 binche belgique

Gary Fitzpatrick

Review

from United Kingdom, 31 May 2005, 19:12


Comment: Having just come back from a 2 week holiday in the Bulgarian resort of golden sands and staying at the Helios spa resort, I would start by saying our holiday in Bulgaria was absolutley faboulous. The only thing that let us down was the staff in the hotel itself, they are very inexperienced and very rude and to be honest make a 4* hotel into a 2* in my opinion. The best option my wife and I found was to go B&B as all the other options are a waste of money especially the all inclusive option as the hotel staff made the guests feel very inferior at all times which made a lot of them feel uncomfortable. The restaurant was badly run as on 10 days out of 14 the tables at breakfast time were always filthy and the staff refused to clean them, here also they were very unhelpfull when you required there help. One guest found a human hair in the food at tea time and the staff just couldn't be bothered to fix the problem. On a whole reataurants and cafes outside your hotel are very very cheap and the food is of the highest quality especially at Mama Mias' steak house, the staff and food here is of the upmost quality and the staff are very fluent in English and can understand you no problem. Our tour operator was First choice and they were not the best at first but they did try in the end. In summary Bulgaria itself is a faboulous place to holiday but you would be advised to avoid the Helios spa resort untill the staff get there customer service act together

Katie

Review

from United Kingdom, 22 May 2005, 23:55


Rating
4 4 4 4 Overall
4 4 4 4 Staff
5 5 5 5 5 Rooms
3 3 3 Food
3 3 3 Fun
Comment: It is a really nice hotel with nice marble decor.The rooms are quite spacious and the mini bar is very cheap.The lobby bar is open 24 hours a day and works out as about 80p for half litre of beer or a vodka and coke!

The barmen take a lot of pride in their work as they like to make a cocktail to perfection. There are 2 outdoor pools and 1 indoor pools with a really good pool bar playing music throughout the day.

Meals are alright as there is a lot of variety so you will probably find something you like. The staff are very helpful and will carry your drinks over to your table for you. The hotel is in just the right spot as it is a nice walk into the centre.

ad 29/29

Review

from United Kingdom, 30 September 2004, 20:52


Rating
4 4 4 4 Overall
5 5 5 5 5 Staff
4 4 4 4 Rooms
3 3 3 Food
3 3 3 Fun
Comment: Just having returned from Golden sands and are thankful to be in one piece the aircrafts are very poor over head lockers opening on take off etc etc strong smell of urine in back seats from the nearby toilets.

The hotel was lovely very spacious room with seperate sitting room and two bathrooms, however we had originally booked into a five star so we think that is why we got a bigger room. the mini bar was very cheap and fairy well stocked, replenished every day. The staff in the lobby & pool bar are also very helpful.

Half board does not work out good value as the evening meal may not suit all tastes, I dont like buffet style food that is only hot when just brought out. Breakfast was good value if you only want a continetal breakfast. Eating out is very cheap and there are many dfferent choices.

The resort is clean and the people are very friendly, everything very cheap a meal for two with drinks less than £15.

The trip to the danube provided by Balkan sounds better than it is with on 45 mins on the boat out of a 12 hour coach trip.

The hotel staff were more than helpful and the services offered were good value for money ( hairdressers and massage etc). We would return to this hotel but not with balkan as an operator I dont think I could risk the flight again!

Karen Collings

Review

from United Kingdom, 20 September 2004, 20:52


Rating
3 3 3 Overall
3 3 3 Staff
4 4 4 4 Rooms
1 Food
1 Fun
Comment: We were sent to this hotel as an equivalent to the Luna Bay hotel as it was not ready for opening yet, we was told that all we had booked for at the Luna Bay would be available at Helios spa but unfortunatly this was not the case.
The hotel is a very average 3*, the rooms are good, but the service is not as good as some but a lot is due to the language barrier, we found it very hard to get them to understand sometimes. Dont expect any organised activities and the main pool could have been a bit cleaner. We felt that as we had booked all inclusive we were considered 2nd class for example - drinks were served in glasses for paying guests at the pool bar but all inclusive people got drinks in plastic cups. The bars within the complex are owned individually and most will expect you to pay. There is only one restaurant (the brochure states at least 3) which is buffet. The food is bland and we all had bad stomachs a couple of days after we got there, the only one who did not have any tummy upsets was my daughter who only ate toast and chips. We also found that the food was only just warm and often reheated for the evening meal, food catering especially for children was non existent. Upon speaking to the tour rep we were told that we english are too fussy and that there was nothing wrong with the food and it must have been something we had eaten elseware but we had only eaten in the hotel until then. We also found many other Balken holidaymakers complaining to the rep about the food and bad stomachs, we spoke to at least 9 couples who were very dissatisfied. there was very little entertainment for the kids in the hotel and the adult entertainment was lacking as well.

Sorry if you have booked this but my advice is dont expect 4* and definatly do not go all inclusive. Also make sure you take plenty of imodium because you may need it.

Carolyn and Kenny McCall

Review

from United Kingdom, 18 September 2004, 20:52


Rating
4 4 4 4 Overall
5 5 5 5 5 Staff
4 4 4 4 Rooms
4 4 4 4 Food
3 3 3 Fun
Comment: Our first visit to Bulgaria will not be our last. As long as you remember that this country has not been out of the control of Communism for that many years and your expectations are not too high - you too should have a great time in Golden Sands.

The resort is not what I would recommend for anyone with walking difficulties or indeed wheelchair users as the pavements and roads are very crooked and uneven and the whole resort is set on a hillside. That said,suffering from asthma, I am not the best of walkers ,but with all the shops and restaurants on the way up to the Hotel to stop and spend time at, I made it up every time with no problem. There is also a mini train which ferries you up and down from the beach, but that stops running at about tea time. I don't think a taxi would cost you much if you really did not feel up to walking up the hill.

Being Vegetarians we wondered if we would be careered for . We need not have worried as both the hotel and every restaurant we ate at had ample options for us to chose from. In particular the Indian restaurants are very good and can be highly recommended. We never ate from the beach stalls although the food did look very inviting , but like EVERYONE we spoke to, we came down with diarrhoea. We did not drink the water, did not eat anything out of the ordinary, so I put it down to handling the money , it's the only thing I could think of that the whole resort would have to use to be "contaminated".

Speaking of which - toilet facilities are not the best and expect to pay 50 "stinkies" for the use - and some toilet paper. At most of the "WC's" you have a woman who takes the money and hands you a bit of loo roll and paper towel. I found it hilarious when I only had 1 Lev and was handed extra paper for the extra money as sort of a good will gesture ! If you go into Varna, be prepared for toilets of a different kind. Still you get the woman with the paper, however, the floor is soaking wet and when you get in a cubicle - you find out why. There is a hole in the floor and a flush - plus a little floor level tap to wash the floor - should you miss the hole ! Not the best of things to face when you have an upset tummy !

The hotel itself was very nice, clean and inviting. The staff on the whole were very good and their language skills were impressive , considering the variety of languages the guests spoke - English, Russian, German, Dutch , Swedish to name just a few. The facilities were excellent although the entertainment did leave scope for improvement - Bingo was a hoot ! The piano bar still had not been opened when we visited and the stairs remained cordoned off, but you could peek down to what looked like a great addition to the hotel.

The JMC rep was hardly ever on site and there were a few complaints made by ourselves and other guests about trying to get an extension (paid) on our rooms as we had such a late check out. Especially as so many of us had been ill with tummy complaints . The rep was supposed to have met with us at the airport but strangely, in such a small airport, could not be spotted. All I can say is, if you do want a late check out - book it well in advance and see if you can pay up front for it .

All in all, tummy troubles aside, we would go again, both to Golden Sands and The Helios Spa, it was a spur of the moment holiday which turned out a lot better than we expected and I would recommend . As an after thought, don't bother going All Inclusive, the food and drink is so cheap, you'll only end up making yourself upset from restricting yourself to the one place to eat and drink. All the people I spoke to who had been AI would not recommend it as Bulgaria is so cheap . A local large beer - about a pint - worked out at 1 lev , that's close to 30p - what more can I say !

julie osborne

Review

from United Kingdom, 14 September 2004, 00:08


Comment: I was amazed at the standard of resort available in Bulgaria since it has only just got going as a destination for Brits.

The architecture was superb, the people warm and friendly, the beaches far better than any other European destination I have visited.
> The nightlife was varied and exciting, but the resort very laid back. No trouble, just all kinds of people on holiday relaxing and having a good time.

The pound goes a VERY long way in Bulgaria, I have never bought money back from a holiday before!

The food was excellent and the service was wonderful.

The hotel was immaculate and it was a privilege to be a guest.

If you’ve never considered Bulgaria before - think again. Everyone I met said they would definitely be returning and so will I.

So forget the usual choices of Spain and Greece and live a little. As they say a change is as good as a rest and you get both here.

T Stock

Review

from United Kingdom, 04 September 2004, 20:13


Rating
5 5 5 5 5 Overall
5 5 5 5 5 Staff
5 5 5 5 5 Rooms
5 5 5 5 5 Food
4 4 4 4 Fun
Comment: We were very impressed with this hotel - it really is a 4 star.

The buffet style breakfast (7.30am-10.30am) is extremely varied - it was self service with fruit, cereal, croissant, pain au chocolat, bread, cheeses, ommeletes cooked to order, cakes, mini biscuits, cooked breakfast, juices, water, coffee, tea etc etc available - so plenty of choice. Only criticism here is trying to find a table when the hotel is busy may take a little while.

It has 3 pools - 2 outdoor (larger one with slides), and a decent sized indoor pool as well - handy when it rained! There are lifeguards round the pools at all times as well.

The newly opened 'a la carte' restaurant at this hotel offers the best food we found in Golden Sands resort - really good quality and nicely presented. We paid less than 60 leva (about 20 english pounds) for a 3 course meal for 2 adults and a child with a bottle of wine.

Rooms were very clean and comfortable, with air conditioning, colour tv with around 20 channels (mostly german - with MTV, Euro news and BBC World), mini bar (prices good) and room service is also available.

They do lay on some entertainment: guided walk through forest to monastry, pool volleyball, pool aerobics, water ballet, showing latest films in 'Day and Night bar' (played Shrek 2 when it rained one afternoon).

Cannot fault this hotel.

James D Willis

Review

from United Kingdom, 30 August 2004, 21:25


Rating
1 Overall
2 2 Staff
2 2 Rooms
1 Food
1 Fun
Comment: We were transferred to the Helios Spa Resort at Golden Sands because the Lunar Bay Resort was not completed by the time our holiday became due.

The hotel was generally clean apart from one pool, which was dirty.

The food was so bad that we all suffered a very bad bout of the runs after the very first meal and had to eat outside of the hotel for all main meals. We only ate toast for breakfast.

The hotel staff had a very poor understanding of English and we found it very hard to make them understand what we wanted.

The entertainment that we saw lasted for an hour one evening and that was it!

This hotel and resort was supposed to be equal or better than the hotel and resort we had chosen; it was not. It was very obvious to us that if you were 'all inclusive' you were treated as second class holiday makers that just did not matter.

If you have booked or are thinking of booking an all inclusive holiday at Helios Spar be prepared for a big dissapointment.

Gunilla & Family

Review

from United Kingdom, 19 August 2004, 12:10


Rating
5 5 5 5 5 Overall
5 5 5 5 5 Staff
4 4 4 4 Rooms
5 5 5 5 5 Food
5 5 5 5 5 Fun
Comment: Now we are back from our holiday in Golden Sands. We had really a great time. Hotel Helios was GREAT!!! The rooms are very clean, large and nice furnished. The staff in the hotel are very, very friendly. When we told them how nice they are, a waiter came to our room ten minutes later with a bottle of champagne. The breakfast was lovely, the best breakfast we ever eaten. The hotel has two pools you can use and the sun chairs and umbrellas are free. Helios is situated on a hill with a wonderful view over the Black Sea. The hotel has their own little train which can take you to the beach and back. The spa activities were very nice and cheap. We can really recommended this hotel!!!

D Wilkinson

Review

from United Kingdom, 18 August 2004, 14:44


Rating
3 3 3 Overall
3 3 3 Staff
4 4 4 4 Rooms
1 Food
1 Fun
Comment: We were offered Helios Spa, as our original choice of Luna Bay Hotel was not ready. We also were promised all that would have been available at Luna Bay to be offered to us at Helios, it was not.

The beach was a good ten minutes walk away, and was very cramped - not very safe for young children. There were no watersports available to us as an all inclusive party, which we would have got at Luna Bay.

The hotel suites were very new and nice, however there were still a few work men completing jobs. Towles and sheets were not changed often enough.

Our main problems were with getting drinks, none of the bars were happy to serve us and made it as difficult as possible, one would only serve us with black Tea and Coffee, so we had to walk a long way round to another bar that would serve us milk. Some would only give a glasss of water others a bottle. None of the waitresses would serve us round the pool like they would other non-inclusive guests.

The pool was unkempt and a glass had been broken which resulted in fragments going into the pool, so fair play, they emptied the pool, cleaned it and refilled in two days.
The problem we had then was using the pool at the Crown Plaza, where no bar would serve us.

The floor around the main pool was extremely dangerous, children and adults slipping on the tiles. Thsi was reported to rep and main desk. Entertainment was very poor, pherhaps a dance show in the eveinig which would last for approx 1 hour.

The food was very poor on some days. Chips with everything, the meat looked re-heated continually and was not always very hot. Very difficult for all 8 of us to sit together at breakfast unless we were there at 7.30, dinner would be at least 8.30 before we could get a table. Not very good with 4 hungry kids. All of our party had diarrhoea for the whole two weeks, and two of the children had sickness, had to see the doctor who gave a prescription for the children.

Bear in mind that if you are all inclusive, you are treated like second class people.

J Leach

Review

from United Kingdom, 29 July 2004, 20:52


Rating
5 5 5 5 5 Overall
5 5 5 5 5 Staff
5 5 5 5 5 Rooms
5 5 5 5 5 Food
4 4 4 4 Fun
Comment: Just returned from 7 nights at The Helios Spa and Resort in Golden Sands, Bulgaria. Our first visit to Bulgaria and can honestly say all the staff we had contact with were excellent. Everyone (and I do mean everyone) at the hotel were very good at their respective jobs and the place is kept spotless. We arrived at 3:00am and were made to feel welcome straight away (bar and change bureaux open 24 hrs! Brilliant). The taxi driver we used a lot (Nikolai - Yellow Mercedes) was a wealth of information and very helpful. The two waitresses in the bar knew our order (large beer and vodka and coke, no ice) after ordering it once, they also were both excellent. Sorry to go on but this Hotel is 6 star, but the brochure says only 3!

S Baldwin

Review

from United Kingdom, 28 July 2004, 23:55


Rating
4 4 4 4 Overall
4 4 4 4 Staff
4 4 4 4 Rooms
3 3 3 Food
3 3 3 Fun
Comment: The hotel food is good value but there is not enough variety for young children. The hotel is kept very, very clean and the maids are very thorough with their cleaning. The location of the hotel is very good because it is set back from the busy resort centre.
The hotel staff were very helpful and welcomeing and if they dont remember you're name they never forget you're face. Entertainment could be better but the variety is good and you have to appreciate that the locals are still learning the tourist trade boom.I would definetaly go back to this hotel.

SUZYPLUM

Review

from United Kingdom, 19 July 2004, 20:52


Rating
2 2 Overall
3 3 3 Staff
4 4 4 4 Rooms
1 Food
1 Fun
Comment: This hotel has a lot to learn and improve upon.

Rooms are lovely and the hotel itself is very nice. However we were supposed to be on an all inclusive 2 week holiday. The times for ordering drinks changed almost daily from stopping at 11 and then midnight and then we had drinks until 5.30 am! They then decided two days before the end of our holiday to stop the ice creams for the children. They changed the goal posts constantly. By the time we had left the all inclusive ''''lepers'''' were not allowed to drink in the main bar after 4pm and had a separate allocated area at the far end of the hotel. All inclusive should mean you can drink at any bar!

There was no atmosphere in the hotel.

The manager was unapproachable and unfriendly and refused to see us when we wanted to talk to her about the ongoing confusion. Ourselves and other families complained to the Rep Dimitri (Balkan Rep) who seemed unconcerned and did absolutely nothing and infact at one stage accused another family member of not telling the truth.

It was a complete farce and the goal posts were changed regularly. It was the waitresses, who I must add where absolute stars and worked so hard for very little money, who were the ones left to tell us of the changes. It really should have been down to our rep to tell us of any new developments.

All inclusive in this hotel does not mean all inclusive and to be honest it is so cheap in Bulgaria I would advise you go bed and breakfast.

This hotel lacks fun, atmosphere, continuity and consistency and I would not stay there again. The food was laid out like a cookhouse style canteen and considering it was a four star hotel I felt this could have been much better.

Hotel was very clean and very close to the shops and stalls.

Entertainment was limited and they tried to charge us admission fee for that on our all inclusive package!

Also a lot of the families had sickness and diahorea including my husband and my son. Not sure what caused it but there was a lot of people who had it.

A letter of complaint will be sent to Balkan holidays and lets hope they are more helpful than the Helios Spa Manager and Rep