18 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Just returned from this hotel and can sa...
"Just returned from this hotel and can say that the hotel is very good and the rooms are superb and the reception areas are also very good. The food is another thing, if you like everything in gravy and only luke warm then you are fine as this is all you get. The mention of 4 resturants is all false as there is only the al a carte (crap) which you can visit once a week and then the main resturant which has the grill bar, the pizza bar and the roast and that is the 4 resturants. The hotel is very clean and the maids are great and the waiters will take your plate as soon as you go to put your knife and fork down so beware. Also take plenty of Immodion with you everyone had the runs. Not a place for children and not much to do in the resort. All in all not a bad place the weather was terrible only 13 degrees and rain and wind the 2nd week so that did't help. I would not class the whole hotel as 4 star but the rooms were. I certainley would not return"
- Travel date: 30th September 2008
Fantastic animation team, great hotel for families with small children
"It is a great hotel, close to the beach, fantastic animation team, very good AI. One minor inconvenience is that you have to get up early to get a sunbed, but the beach is close. There are not many places for children, but the animation team is great and you have great shows for children each evening. There is also the kindergarten during the day. The service is ok, parking zone is rather small. Generally, it is a great place for a vacation."
- Travel date: 31st May 2008
Excellent Family Resort
"This hotel is set right in the resort so access to the town is easy but there is about a 10-15 minute walk to the beach (which is huge!). The hotel itself has everything situated in one big block which means that if your at the top you have a lot of travelling to get to any of the facilities. There is a main restaurant and an outside restaurant (which you need to book in advance to use). The main restaurant's layout is pretty good so your not bumping into people to get food, which is varied and very nice. There are two bars, one by the pool and one downstairs in a lounge area. There are also beer pumps and soft drinks machines by the pool which are used in a self-service manner - so no waiting for the bar to open! The kids facilities are excellent with daily activities to keep them occupied. Even though there are mainly Russians or other Eastern Bloc tourists there, all information and announcements are made in different languages so you know exactly what is going on. The evening entertainment is held in the lounge downstairs and includes traditional dancing, magic shows etc followed by a disco. I would highly recommend this to anyone."
- Travel date: 26th May 2008
Three of us went last year, and we enjoy...
"Three of us went last year, and we enjoyed it so much we are going back. the hotel is excellent, the food is varied and well done, the staff are lovely, our maid even arranged our pajamas into butterfly shapes and things on the beds, which added a lovely and quite funny something to our mornings. there is a mix of people, and its right next to all the main places, from the bars to the beach. best hotel i have ever stayed in and i look forward to going again in two months time"
- Travel date: 18th May 2008
"I never considered spending the 1st of May at the seaside, much less in Bulgaria, but this year I did, as all my friends were going, and I am glad I joined them. I enjoyed our stay at this hotel; great conditions, very clean, quiet, fit for families with children as well as for young people, excelent food - fresh and very tasty. Very welcoming personnel, real professionists, well organized and very preocuppied to make us feel welcome and well treated. I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone who wants to have a nice holiday at the seaside, and I would also recommend the Romanians to learn a lesson from them because in terms of services quality and prices, Bulgaria is very far in front of Romania. Thanx to everyone at Arabella and keep up the good work!"
- Travel date: 7th May 2008
Bit dissapointed, but still good valua
"After reading reviews we expected at least a four star qualility hotel but we were a bit disapointed with our holiday, rooms up to standard and as good as any 4 star hotel we have been to, the all inclusive , the drinks we feel were not up to four star standard, we spoke to a few English people who felt the same, the food, i feel was below 4 star quality ( are in Bulgaria )but acceptable, we always found things to eat, breakfast ok, lunch ok we only found but staff 100%, never had to wait to be served with a drink. the main bar has a smoking and a no smoking section, but being a closed in area we found it too smokey to sit in in the evening for a drink, never had a problem with sunbeds even after 9am, overall view, we think its more of a 3 star plus hotel but considering the cost, it is worth consideration, the staff cant do enough for you ."
- Travel date: 21st September 2007
A perfect holiday
"The hotel kindly surprised us. The food was super-delicious. The room very clean and the description about the hotel in the catalog was extremely correct. We were very satisfied with all performances and all members of staff are very friendly and helpful. We can definitely further recommend it. An overall beautiful vacation."
- Travel date: 2nd September 2007
"just returned from a 2 week stay at the arabella. I had read the reviews so felt confident. After all, it had been a riu hotel and had only fairly recently been taken over - having spent a week in may at another riu, i had high hopes. Wrong!!! All photos and videos promoting the hotel must have been taken from very careful angles! On arrival, the coach cant get to the front of the hotel due to cars that could never pass an mot blocking the entrance ,so you trail down to a very bland, tired and uninspiring reception area with your case. No complaints about the room but, having arrived at about 11pm, we went downstairs to get a drink to find all the outside area in total darkness, no balcony lights on outside any of the rooms, and the barman telling us the bar would shut shortly. Not a good start. The following day we began to exlore the hotel and found it to be very tired looking, in desperate need of maintenance, tiles missing etc and, to our horror, found that the nightly ritual of plunging you into darkness any time between 11pm and 11.30 was the norm. I complained to the Manager who told me that all the balcony lights were turned off at that time so families could get their children to sleep! What about the rest of us? You were unable to even sit and read a book or play cards because "lights out" occured like a school dorm or prison!! I haven't mentioned the banging continual music from a bar on the beach which started every morning about 7.30 am and was still going long after we got sent to bed! How about that keeping kids awake? More likely than an inoffensive balcony light. After complaining about this, the Manager agreed to keep some of the downstairs lights on until midnight but this didnt happen until well into the second week of our holiday. Anyway, food is perfectly fine, staff pleasant and weather great but dont expect too much from the surroundings and the entertainment is, on the whole, dire with the exeption of 2 of the 14 nights. The maintenance problem reared its head week 2 when BOTH sets of steps in and out of the smaller of the 2 pools broke and were not replaced until the end of the week. The resort is loud, overcrowded and the beach is packed with hardly any space between people. Ok for youngsters maybe but my husband and i went with our 16 year old son and there is NOTHING for teenagers to do at night. I managed to persuade the management to move the table tennis table inside at night for them to use, which they obliged with, but that is all there was. If you have very young children and enjoy the nightly mini disco rammed down your throat with obligatory photos with Mickey Mouse or Spiderman then fine; or having the "Good Morning, good morning to you" song played at full volume EVERY morning at 10am along with the manic hotel theme song, and the day's animation events programme in at least 5 different languages, then great. If you are an older couple with teenage kids, steer clear. Most certainly would never return."
- Travel date: 26th August 2007
I have just returned from a 2 wk holiday...
"I have just returned from a 2 wk holiday with my family and my parents. I would firstly say that this is the best hotel I have ever stayed in - for room comfort, food and cleanliness. The flight was only 2 hrs 45 mins which with 3 children is just long enough, then the hotel transfer which took about 40 mins which went quite quickly. When we got to the hotel the bellboy met us at the coach and helped with the cases which he then took straight to our room. The room we had was absolutely fantastic. We had an entrance lobby and two bedrooms which were massive as we had an end room. We a large TV in each room which saved on the arguments between the kids. The linen was changed regularly and towels changed every day - couldnât fault the chamber maid an absolute diamond considering she had to walk into our room every day. The food was fantastic something different every day and always something for even the fussiest eater - although the other guests didnât believe in queuing up so be prepared to be pushed in front of. There was also a snack bar by the smaller pool which had a selection of burgers, pizza, chicken, pork, chips and pasta with salad (they had other food as well as cakes). There were fizzy drink machines along with coffee, tea and drinking water machines which you helped yourself to if you didnât want to go to the bar. The pools were well kept, the pool attendant was extremely efficient if the children were doing something that they shouldnât he would spot it and sort it straight away without being horrible. The pool attendants were always sweeping the water away so people didnât slip up and generally tidying all the time. You could also get pool towels which you changed daily. The pool toilets were also spotlessly clean. The staff at the hotel were extremely efficient and pleasant. We had a taxi into Varna one day and used the hotel taxi who I must say were more like tour guides and again very pleasant. The entertainment at night wasnât really up to much they do need to get in more professional acts in. Saying that they animation team worked extremely hard and kept the children entertained for most of the day with shuffle board, darts, volleyball and waterpolo. My two boys were always disappearing saying they were taking part in something. Sunbeds were bit of an issue; my hubby was getting up at 6.30 to get a sunbed. You could go to the beach which was just across the road but you have to pay for the sunbeds and umbrellas. There is also plenty of watersports on the beach which is quite reasonable in price - they do have a man taking 'professional' photos of you in action if you haggle with him you can get the price right down. All in all I would go back to this hotel maybe in a couple of years and I have recommended it."
- Travel date: 19th July 2007
Hotel Arabella, lovely holiday.
"Bad start to holiday, arrived 5 minutes after midnight and the bars were closed, refused a drink and complained to the reception, they said they should have served us but by then the bar staff had gone!! checked in to find only 2 beds made up for 3 of us and the air con.was not working, managed to mend it and my Son slept in my parents room. Please beware, if you order a large beer at the bar at the top of the drive you will get a LARGE beer phew. After the poor start everything was great, the food is lovely, the beer is nice, and rooms are kept spotless, this was our first trip to Bulgaria and on the whole they are very friendly, around the resort the prices are higher than we were led to believe but with our party being all inclusive we only had to buy the bucket of beer mentioned above. All in all I would recommend the Arabella but please don't splash any of the older people around the smaller of the 2 pools as you may be locked in an iron maiden for the remander of your holiday, just joking!! The water park is a great day out for around a tenner, the food prices there are around what you would expect at your local macdonalds."
- Travel date: 11th July 2007
"spent a week there sept 6th to sept 13th and was well impressed with the hotel in general and the resort . only downside was the food which was repetitive, most of them are, its not a problem though as its so cheap to eat out. weather was excellent. sept 06 bapas. tyne wear"
- Travel date: 17th September 2006
"I stayed at the Riu Arabella on 9th August through to 23rd August 2006. The hotel was absolutley fantastic. The staff were extremly friendly and exeptionally helpful. The animation team were very entertaining with their excellent selection of shows every night and my 1 year old really enjoyed the 'mini disco' . The food was also really good, a different theme every night and also lots of different foods to choose from. Aqua gym was a great experience especially as 'sexy Styko' (one of the animation team) was the instructor. The housekeepers were extremly thorougher and although didn't spead a lot of English were very polite. Overall i had a brilliant holiday in one of the best hotels i have stayed in. I will be returning to Bulgaria in the near future and i would most definatly stay in the Riu Arabella. Anon Swansea"
- Travel date: 9th September 2006
Grifid Hotel Arabella is also called
- Arabella Hotel
- grifid hotel golden sands
- grifid resort all inclusive arabella