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Reviews & comments on Samokov Hotel in Borovets

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Lisa Borg

Review

18 January 2014, 20:47


Rating
3 3 3 Overall
2 2 Staff
3 3 3 Rooms
4 4 4 4 Food
3 3 3 Fun
Comment: I found the hotel to be comfortable enough. Would have liked to have a kettle in the room and for the staff to be more helpful and speak better English. Also the beds were not comfortable at all especially the sofa bed. Some of the light fittings in the room were broken, not enough lighting in the room and remote didn't work. Also TV was very old. Food in the restaurant was very good although would have liked it to be more varied. Activities offered in the hotel for kids was very good and the table tennis and billiards seemed to be very well kept.

Eirini Gialafou

Review

from Greece, 02 January 2014, 10:33 (submitted from Greece)


Rating
3 3 3 Overall
3 3 3 Staff
2 2 Rooms
3 3 3 Food
3 3 3 Fun
Comment: It needs renovation, definitely..

jim hebert

Review

from england, 20 December 2012, 17:34 (submitted from United Kingdom)


Rating
5 5 5 5 5 Overall
Comment: I have been skiing for 32yrs and first visited borovets in 1986. met people on the first trip who are still there today. Thanks to Kroum Filchev, constantine. lubo and slavjaw I will ski Boroovets as long as I can. I have always found the locals friendly and very helpful.
I now stay at the Samokov hotel and find the reception and bar staff very friendly, the food is acceptable (not brilliant). the ski store is very helpfull thanks to the likes of Constantine and nickolia (sorry about the spelling)

Jim Herbert

Review

from england, 18 December 2012, 19:57 (submitted from United Kingdom)


Rating
5 5 5 5 5 Overall
5 5 5 5 5 Staff
5 5 5 5 5 Rooms
1 Food
2 2 Fun
Comment: I have stayed in the samokov every January since it opened and prior to that at the rila hotel from when it first opened. I feel I am part bulgarian

Don

Review

from UK, 25 January 2010, 16:50 (submitted from United States)


Rating
1 Overall
2 2 Staff
2 2 Rooms
1 Food
1 Fun
Comment: I have just returned from Borovets and sadly am very disappointed. The snow was not great but the resort management did not seem willing or able to piste the slopes at all to make the most of the conditions. This was very frustrating as we had to ski over rock strewn pathways and icy pistes.
The hired skis and boots themselves were old an unserviced rubbish. We had to complain to get the skis at least sharpened. However, this was probably due to the Samokov Hotel, where we stayed.
TERRIBLE HOTEL, well past its sell by date. Rude and bored staff. Do not stay here!
Another major gripe was the poor service and poor quality of the food. The food, generally, is surprisingly awful. It was cheap, but not cheap enough. £4/5 for an inedible burger is not great.
In Summary, its a cheap and not that cheerful resort. Blackpool with snow. I really wanted to love it and prove the Alpine snobs wrong. However, it is not a patch on the traditional Alpine resorts.
Good value does not just mean cheap.

tina marolia

Review

from england, 01 January 2010, 17:46 (submitted from United Kingdom)


Rating
1 Overall
1 Staff
1 Rooms
1 Food
1 Fun
Comment: As a non-smoker my partner and i were very surprised that it was a smoking hotel as soon as you enter the lobby the smoke hits you, we are not against any one smoking but we did feel that the hotel smelt smokey we could smell it on ourselves and our room smelt smokey. Overall the hotel,lobby and bar area was ok, rooms were average splits in sheets, wholes in furniture. The dinning area was in need of refurbishment it wasn't clean there was rips and stains on the tablecloths, food was horrible, cold and they kept running out of chips which seemed to be the only edible food on display, Coffee machines kept breaking down, staff were miserable. I saved very hard for this hoilday and feel very upset and angry thankgoodness for the local resturants which did cost us, food at samokov resturant is digusting.

mr g raybould

Review

from england, 30 December 2009, 22:29 (submitted from United Kingdom)


Rating
1 Overall
1 Staff
2 2 Rooms
1 Food
1 Fun
Comment: Hotel average more like a british 3star hotel, staff miserable, room average, furniture had rips in chairs sheets had rips in too. the biggest let down was the food, it was disgusting, cold , uncooked chips which seemed to be the most popular food on show they couldn\'t get them out quick enough thats why they were\'nt cooked, coffee was horrible some machines didn\'t even work, they ran out of food very quickly, there was no organisation staff were rude and unhelpful. as for the dinning room it was dirty and tablecloths were ripped and stained, i felt the hygiene side of things did slip. I would not reckomend this hotel to anyone.

Nadine

Review

from UK, 23 December 2009, 01:06 (submitted from United Kingdom)


Rating
4 4 4 4 Overall
5 5 5 5 5 Staff
4 4 4 4 Rooms
4 4 4 4 Food
5 5 5 5 5 Fun
Comment: Stayed at Samakov in January 2009 and had a great time (stayed at Rila in Feb 2008 and not much between the two hotels) Samakov Ski school was a little better organised and our instructor (Miro) was great. Hotel room comfortable and warm with the added advatage of a bath to relax in after a day on the slopes. I can thouroughly recommend having a massage in the spa to ease aching muscles, very reasonable under £20 for 1 hour. The food was adequate and we are quite fussy eaters and didn't feel the need to eat out. Enjoy Borovets so much that we can hardly wait the five weeks until we fly out for our third visit and are even considering booking a week in March. Can't get enough of the place. It may not be the Alps but it sure is value for money fun!!

Mr.Collin&Catherine

Review

from Ireland, 12 April 2009, 09:13


Rating
4 4 4 4 Overall
4 4 4 4 Staff
4 4 4 4 Rooms
3 3 3 Food
4 4 4 4 Fun
Comment: We have stayed at the hotel for 4 days of skiing. The location is perfect for getting to the Gondola lift and you can pick up your ski hire quite cheaply if you go to the White Magic bar across from the hotel entrance and speak to the owner. The rooms are clean and tidy. The maids are always friendly and happy to help out, as well as the receiptionist. Overall, wonderful winter holiday at mid-range ski hotel in Borovets.

Sue

Review

from UK, 06 March 2009, 15:38 (submitted from UNITED KINGDOM)


Rating
1 Overall
1 Staff
3 3 3 Rooms
1 Food
3 3 3 Fun
Comment: Rude Staff
Awful Food
Dirty Restaurant
Do Not Go

Anthony Bishop

Review

from UK, 15 February 2009, 19:09 (submitted from UNITED KINGDOM)


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: I have read most of the comment on this site , and was very concerned about my holiday, as it was the first skiing Holiday i have been on.
I arrived there on Saturday 7th Feb 2009. And had a week there, coming home yesterday.I had the time of my life, and the best holiday i had ever had.
The staff were very helpful, the food was very good, and the ski school was great.
There are a lot of bars and restaurants in Borovets for the evenings so you do not have to stay in. But if you want a great night in ,its one the Wednesday night when the ski instructors put on a show.
May i take this opportunity to thank the staff at the Samokov Hotel from a great week , THANK YOU......
You only get what you pay for. But this was great value.

Pete Neale

Review

from UK, 06 January 2009, 01:03 (submitted from UNITED KINGDOM)


Rating
2 2 Overall
3 3 3 Staff
2 2 Rooms
1 Food
3 3 3 Fun
Comment: This Hotel was built in the great days of Communism! rather like a Mausoleum, lots of different things going on in the hotel but it is so dated. To be absolutely fair the rooms were clean, but again dated in furnishings and fixtures and fittings a little flimsy. The food is an absolute joke they actually manage to spoil basic good ingredients and turn out unappetising 'food'. You are fed in a Soviet food hall which harks back to the 1970's....if you like food you will be very very disappointed. The Ski School was excellent value for money, although the equipment was a little tired. Most of the Cafes/Bars sell substandard food, so if you are looking to be well fed Borovets is not exactly the place for you......If you want to be fed to a decent standard go to Katys Wine and Steak Bar across the road from the Samakov, excellent value and good breakfasts and meals without getting ripped off. I made a few enquiries with other hotels and there is a common thread..the food is dreadful and cold in all of them.

kostas

Review

from greece, 30 December 2008, 10:27 (submitted from GREECE)


Rating
4 4 4 4 Overall
4 4 4 4 Staff
3 3 3 Rooms
5 5 5 5 5 Food
5 5 5 5 5 Fun
Comment: just is perfect.......

brewer

Review

from uk, 30 December 2008, 09:59 (submitted from UNITED KINGDOM)


Rating
2 2 Overall
1 Staff
1 Rooms
1 Food
3 3 3 Fun
Comment: we stayed there over christmasso only just got back.
the ski school was very good so if you wany ski school then a good place to start. how ever the rest of the hotel was a mess run down a lot of noise in fact had to be moved due to noise the reception staff are so well you ask them and they just say talk to your rep a night mare

JThomas

Review

from UK, 09 March 2008, 20:14


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: We stayed in this hotel last month. Having not been to Bulgaria before we weren't sure what to expect.

Due to a flight delay we arrived at the hotel at 1am. A porter was there to take our bags from the coach and patiently waited while we checked in and rented a safety deposit box . This didn’t take long and as soon as we had our room key the porter showed us to our room, gave us a quick rundown of where to find things within the hotel area.
We left the unpacking and went straight back down to the bar (which was still open) for a quick drink. The waiting staff were very courteous and had a good understanding of English.


We returned to our room to have a look around and get some sleep. It was clean, warm and comfortable and had, satellite television, telephone and balcony. Also we found full instructions for use of telephone, television etc. We woke the next morning after a really comfortable night sleep and went down for breakfast. We used our meal cards (cards which allowed for breakfast, evening meals and swimming pool usage). The breakfast options were comprehensive, offering juice, tea, coffee, fruit, cereal, toast and cooked breakfast.


After a quick trip back upstairs (in the lift) to change we went to the Samokov Hotel own ski school for fitting of boots and allocation of skis. They were helpful patient and made sure we had correctly fitting boots, suitable skis and poles.
It should be said that Samokov ski school was brilliant. The instructors were great - and very patient ! - and felt like part of the family by the end of the week. They had lunch with us on skiing days and gave us an intersting insight into their culture, history and the surrounding area.The days were spent skiing and evenings either eating in the hotel, out in the many restaurants/bars.
There was a variety of evening meals in the hotel restaurant which were great. What is worth remembering is that the Bulgarians don't eat their food hot like we do. The food is very warm but not hot. None the less the Bulgarian cuisine in and out of the hotel was good.
The reception was manned 24hours a day and the staff were always courteous and went out of their way to be helpful.

Lastly, we had a fabulous week and the hotel was everything we expected, so much so that we are returning Samokov Hotel in January!

Maxine Dunn-Cooper

Review

from U.K., 05 February 2008, 17:29


Rating
2 2 Overall
1 Staff
2 2 Rooms
1 Food
4 4 4 4 Fun
Comment: We stayed at this hotel in Feb 2007, and what can I say well!!! the food was awful , the room was small and the sofa bed was a living hell. My wife used the hair dryer supplied in the bath room and every time she used it, the electric would blow, the staff need people training as some can be very rude,still there are some good points the skiing was good for the week we were there. The town was o.k never see any sex shops but was not looking. Our instructor was great (Julian) he was with us all week and we meet some great people in our party. In fact we have meet up in the U.K for a weekend at Milton Keynes skiing at the dome. We are going back and are traveling to this hotel this year, will suffer the room for a week but will eat out in the evening. If you want a cheap week skiing then go, but go with an open mind that this hotel is very old but clean( well sort of ) and enjoy!!!

Liz Pritchard

Review

from England, 02 December 2007, 23:27


Rating
2 2 Overall
2 2 Staff
3 3 3 Rooms
1 Food
2 2 Fun
Comment: We stayed here in Feb 07 the hotel was okay but the food was awful . The resort was very small with lots of sex shops would not recommend a visit here two people in party were ill aswell as many others in the hotel.
Bulgaria is cheap you get what you pay for self catering not an option as no where to buy any food!!

nancy felix

Review

from belgium, 21 January 2007, 16:58


Comment: hello we are from begium 5jars ago we come to bulgaria we mete dare christph selma stephan in hunters bar we looking for his phone nummer you can ask him please we looking at the internet but we foond nothing PLEASE HELP US we schoos you because we now that the bar is next to you hotel thank you

Frank Roberts

Review

from UK, 20 February 2006, 13:56


Rating
4 4 4 4 Overall
3 3 3 Staff
4 4 4 4 Rooms
3 3 3 Food
4 4 4 4 Fun
Comment: Just returned from a second skiing holiday in Borovets. This was over the very busy February half term on both occasions and with my family (including two kids 7 and 5) and 3 other families.

The overall holiday was very good particularly in terms of value for money. If you want western europe 4 star holiday standards then pay up and go to France etc since this is not that!!

Inside the hotel the rooms are spacious though basic. Bathrooms are old but plenty of hot water (last year on occasions it seemed to lack capcity but no problems this year). Room lighting could do with lisghtly higer wattage bulbs. Food is basic but okay. Main Bar is okay but if you want a quiter drink use the bar on the first floor. Swimming Pool entertained the kids as did the bowling and shooting. Didn't visit the gym since had enough exercise skiiing!! Certainly dd not look at internet since on holiday. Staff skills varied with some lacking in customer service skills but the restaurant and skiing staff were very good. THe youngest was in the SkiKindergarten which was improved this year but still basic - but she enjoyed herself with a couple of afternoons taken off to vary her programme - staff excellent.

On the resort - some good restaurants and if you don't have kids and want to hit the drinks it looked as if there was lots to do. However with kids didn't spend much time on the later!

Skiing wise my wife and son (7) got lessons and seemed to enjoy themselves and thought highly of their instructors. From a "free skiers" perspective some of the groups seemed rather large but then the cost of the Samokov lessons is low so again you get what you pay for and you can get individual or more focused instruction either from the hotel or locally.

The slopes are okay though a gap between the easier and harder slopes making the jump daunting for some. The Gondola side of the resort is much better for the more confident skiers and the runs down to and around the Yastrebets Express chair lift were the best.

On the snow side, this year 4 of 6 days was excellent then the tempurature went up (10 degree's outside the Rila Hotel!!) and the runs got very bare lower down and very icy overall. The top slopes were not accessible for the last 3 days due to high winds and this lead to more ski schools on the remaining slopes.

Overall though a very good value holiday! If you want Alps standards for accomodation / food etc then go to the Alps and pay the premium, if you want to take the family skiing at a reasonable price then Borovets does it.

Hope this is helpfull.

Tim

Review

from Hertfordshire, UK, 24 January 2006, 23:55


Rating
3 3 3 Overall
4 4 4 4 Staff
3 3 3 Rooms
3 3 3 Food
3 3 3 Fun
Comment: Recently visited the some what notorious Hotel Samokov this month (Jan 06) with tour company inghams.

First thing to say about this hotel is that it is massive. Many floors, many rooms and loads of facilities.

The rooms weren't particularly great, seemed very dark and old fashioned. Our bath was hanging from the hinges as well. It would have been nice to have the facilty to boil water as well. Also, if you have a third person in the room, make sure you don't get stuck with the soda bed. Not great for a week by any standards - noisy and uncomfortable.

In terms of snowboard hire, we didn't have any problems getting out equipment in the morning, altho the bindings on my board weren't great and ended up not using their board. As for the lessons, they didn't really stack up to much but for some reason, the equipment hire and lift passes are cheaper if you get lessons too (thru inghams before you go) they also claimed before hand that if you had ever done it before they would throw you off the lesson and take away your lift pass. complete rubbish. so just save yourself some money!

Back to the hotel, facilities weren't as great as anticipated. I laughed at another comment posted about the gym - it really is rubbish. nothing works! internet wise, they only had 2 computers and only one worked properly.

In terms of food at the hotel, it wasn't great to be honest but then we didn't expect much really. After 3 meals in there we opted out of it and went and ate out, not expensive and much better. Would recommend you ask the locals in shops to point out any restaurants they go to. we went to one that you would never go in normally but it was excellent, served proper bulgarian food, the owner gave us a free jug of red wine when we came in and it was so cheap you almost felt bad.

This report does sound critical but I had a really good holiday. You are going for the boarding/skiing and a few drinks in the evening, not to sit in a lap of luxury for a week. As the hotel was graded 4 start, I was expecting it to be better but it is ok. Also, the hotel nightclub is if anything, hillarious and very cheap. may as well have a look.

Oh, and 101 cocktails is excellent if you are looking for a rowdy night. Buzz bar is pretty good as well.

In terms of slopes, well worth going up on the gondola, very nice scenery on the way up and less crowded as well. Word of warning, they stop at 4.20, so don't get caught up there if you are an amateur as it is a long way down!!

Hope this helps!!

david

Review

from Hertfordshire, UK, 02 January 2006, 00:32


Rating
4 4 4 4 Overall
3 3 3 Staff
4 4 4 4 Rooms
3 3 3 Food
4 4 4 4 Fun
Comment: just got back from christmas 2005 in samokov hotel. not sure what people expect. found hotel clean, rooms large with balcony overlooking pistes. breakfast continental style with fresh made omelettes, crepes in afternoon 2lev (75p) lovely. wife had best aromatherapy massage for 25 lev (others also rated this 1st class) pool large and clean, bowling. pool, table tennis. ski equipment mostly brand, new excellent fitting. if you want 5 star luxury pay and go to chamonix. for superb value go to borovitz all we spoke to said they would go again

j edwards

Review

from uk, 01 November 2005, 23:56


Rating
5 5 5 5 5 Overall
5 5 5 5 5 Staff
4 4 4 4 Rooms
3 3 3 Food
5 5 5 5 5 Fun
Comment: We stayed here christmas 04 and found everything fine, lots for the children with lovely christmas dinner.Bowls, pool room, games room and disco for children.We will be returning this christmas hopefully.

Sonia

Review

from uk, 19 April 2005, 08:40


Rating
2 2 Overall
1 Staff
1 Rooms
2 2 Food
2 2 Fun
Comment: I was very disappointed by the hotel and the hygiene... when I arrived the first night, I found peanuts inside the bed (sheets not changed!!!) the reception is very cold, bad service in general and be careful with the hotel doctor... he plastered everything which hurts !!! finally : food inside restaurant is average However, I highly recommend la bomba restaurant (near the slopes), the food is exellent and very friendly atmosphere.

jes212

Review

from UK, 21 February 2005, 21:18


Rating
2 2 Overall
2 2 Staff
1 Rooms
1 Food
2 2 Fun
Comment: I have just got back from a week in Borovets, February half term week 2005, and what a disappointment

We stayed in the Samokov Hotel, described 4 star standard.
The Samokov is hard pushed to make a 2 star grade.
It is desperately in need of a face lift.
The rooms are very cramped, dated, poorly lit, there is no T/coffee making facilities, the plumbing is hit and miss, the bedding looks and feels 50 years old.
Our room stank of stale cigarette smoke which permeated every article of clothing we had and the bathroom fittings were loose and poorly maintained. Yes I did complain to the hotel reception and requested a room change but this could not be facilitated. They could not even find some air freshener spray to make the room bearable and with outside temperatures sub zero, airing the room was uncomfortable.

The food was just edible but again definately not of 4 star standard and most of it was served luke warm.

The swimming pool is a toxic chemical soup and the gym is full of broken and poorly maintained equipment.

Borovets resort is full of peep shows and exotic bars offering adult entertainment. Some of the pole dancing was observable from the street. Not the sort of place I had in mind for a family holiday.

Our first day was a nighmare. We had no help what so ever with boot fitting despite lots of people in authority standing around. The limited staff dishing out equipment quickly got frayed tempers.

The Gondola was out of action for the first 3 days making the limited remainder of the slopes very crowded and they quickly turned into ice, mush and bare rock.
When the gondola did open the que was so large it took us all morning to get up to the top of the mountain.

The only good thing I have to say about Borovets is the ski instructor was very patient and competent, however, the average group size was 15 persons making progress very slow.

No I will not be going back to Borovets.

Amy

Review

from UK, 23 January 2005, 20:52


Comment: I have just got back from a great week in Borovets, the snowboarding instructors are a great laugh and you are guaranteed an amazing lesson. The Samokov hotel is brilliant, so much to do, so little time. I recommend visiting the restaurant 'Mama mias' up by the slopes, you will receive great service and great food.

gary

Review

from UK, 16 January 2005, 04:45


Rating
2 2 Overall
3 3 3 Staff
2 2 Rooms
1 Food
3 3 3 Fun
Comment: I don't think that Borovets has a selection of good hotels to choose from but we were told the Samokov was 4 star. We stayed there in Dec 03 and were not impressed.

Negative
The hotel is a large, depressing, grey concrete block.
The rooms are small and very dingy.
The food is awful.
The swimming pool is unsanitary.
Positive
The bowling alley and table tennis is fun though.
The hotel is opposite the gondolas so very good location
And if, you're unlucky like we were, you'll be pleased to know the hotel doctor is very nice.

Doug Human

Review

from UK, 21 February 2003, 20:52


Rating
2 2 Overall
3 3 3 Staff
3 3 3 Rooms
2 2 Food
2 2 Fun
Comment: Went on a skiing holiday for Christmas.

Atmospere is great, skiing brilliant and instructors really good with beginners. Told this is a beginners resort but as we are beginners it was perfect. Value for money it is excellent, best place to eat we found is the Hungry Horse, who cater for all nationalities and are very friendly and eager to please. As my husband went down with pneumomonia after five days we also experienced the hospital system. WHATEVER YOU DO TAKE OUT THE VERY BEST TRAVEL INSURANCE YOU CAN, WE USED THE NFU AND THEY GOT US OUT OF BULGARIA AND THE 1940'S HOSPITAL SYSTEM.

IT WAS HORRENDOUS.

The hotel was OK on the surface but take a travel kettle with you.Our superior room was OK but not the quality of and english 4 star and the food was adequate, but un-exciting, repetitive and frankly boring.But its cheap to eat out so just go and enjoy it.

Would go back again, but probably self catering, and still with a good insurance plan.

jimK

Review

from UK, 21 January 2003, 20:52


Rating
5 5 5 5 5 Overall
5 5 5 5 5 Staff
4 4 4 4 Rooms
4 4 4 4 Food
5 5 5 5 5 Fun
Comment: I have gone to ski resort's all over the world and when I went to Borovet's which is the biggest international ski resort in Bulgaria on January1,2003 frome the U.K I fell in love with the resort. The resort has twice hosted World Cup competitions in Alpine skiing. Its biathlon track is one of the best in Europe. the snow slopes of Borovets have permanent snow cover from December to April. The air in Borovets is clear and free of any pollutants.the night life is all so great best club is clube slide you can hear the best from the world club music: house, garage, tech-house, latin-house, jazz-house and 100 % clubbing, played on vinyl by the top DJ's of Bulgaria and abroad.a great restaurant is Happy Duck is known as one of the best restaurants in Borovets. You can easily find it on the main road going down from the Gondola, near hotel Mura. This restaurant has unique style and great food. The service is very good too. Borovet's is a ski resort that I will recomend to any on I am going to Borovet's on Dec10,2003 for christmas I have bought I 3 story villa over 1,000 sq meter for $60,000 is time I will not be living Bulgaria I will stay there for ever.

chris

Review

from UK, 20 December 2002, 20:52


Comment: BOROVETS IS THE BIGEST INTERNATIONAL MOUNTAIN RESORT IN BULGARIA IT IS LOCATED ABOVE 1,500 METERS ABOVE SEA LEAVEL WITH HIGHEST PISTES AT 2,700 METERS I THINK BOROVETS IS A GREAT MOUNTAIN RESORT I HAVE BEEN TO MANY MOUNTAIN RESORT AND I CAN TELL YOU THISE ONE IS THE BEST I RECOMEND BOROVETS TO ANY ONE!!!!! AM GOING THERE AGIAN IS YEAR FOR MY 5YEAR IN A ROW. GRAET RESORT !!

Alan Fisk

Review

from England, 19 September 2002, 20:52


Rating
4 4 4 4 Overall
4 4 4 4 Staff
3 3 3 Rooms
3 3 3 Food
3 3 3 Fun
Comment: I stayed at the Hotel Samokov, and found it very comfortable. Some have criticised the food, but I thought it quite acceptable for the price of the package, but do beware of undercooked grilled meats.

Borovets has plenty of opportunities for walks, and the cable car ride to the Yastrebets peak is well worth taking. The Bistritsa Palace is also interesting.

I also went on an excursion to Plovdiv and the Bachkovo monastery, which was an enjoyable day.

I would recommend Borovets for a non-beach summer holiday in Bulgaria. Being a ski resort, it is quiet in the summer, and you can often be the only customer in a restaurant for lunch.

A few practical tips:

1) the best exchange rate is at the Bulgarian Post Bank under the Hotel Ela

2) you can get good Bulgarian food at the Bulgarian Dish restaurant, but first you must get past the growling spaniel. I don't think I've ever encountered a vicious spaniel before, but their cat is much more friendly!

3) apparently the only place where you can buy stamps for your postcards is in the post office in the village.

Unlike some other correspondents, I have no complaints against Balkan Holidays, and their reps were consistently friendly and helpful.

John Graham

Review

from England, 25 January 2002, 23:55


Comment: The hotel is being progressively spruced up, certainly the upper floors had been freshly decorated, though I believe some lower down were in a pretty dingy state. We particularly liked the public rooms, which are large and busy and contain a coffee bar, cake shop, pancake bar, to list but a few; other facilities are numerous and good value. Changing cash is no problem if you stick to hotel cash desks or recognised banks but do be carefull if using any on the many street money changing facilities; their advertising boards are meant to deceive you and they do. A reasonable 3.15leva may well turn out to be 2.30 to the ? and there is nothing you can do about it once you realise you have been ripped off. In particular, stay clear of the kiosks alongside the Samakov; Bank Bulgaria National to name but one. Having been ripped off once, we used the bank at the gondolla station which gave a good rate. Also we found the adjacent mini market to be good value, especially for sweets, drinks and toilet gear.

Karin Rigole

Review

from Belgium, 17 March 2001, 20:52


Comment: It's a very big and very impersonal hotel but nevertheless we chose this hotel again for the nice swimming pool. The food was more western than last year, no 'haute cuisine' of course but you can choose from different main courses and only very fussy eaters won't find anything that they like. The rooms are not so comfortable and no repairs have been made since the hotel opened but then all of this depends on your own expectations and high standards.

J.Paterson

Review

from UK, 03 March 2001, 10:05


Comment: The food in this hotel is chronic, (as are the staff). I'd have starved if not for the local snack bars and superb crepe stall facing the Samakov. Otherwise the hotel has good amenities, bars and a good basement club/disco.

David and Sharon

Review

from Manchester, 04 February 2001, 09:33


Comment: The Hotel Samakov is a little basic but nonetheless probably the best place to stay in Borovets. Fantastic hydrojet machine soothes those apres ski aches and pains. Food very poor in hotel (maybe you like Pedigree Chum dog food?) but the restaurants are good value. Try Katy's across the road for good value steaks - 16oz steak for £6! Peter's Bar good for a laugh if you like karaoke.