24 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"Hi all I am heading to the hotel for 7nights on the 12th which will be inclusive and ive decided to bring 110 Lev with me as I wanna just relax on the beach and enjoy the resort will this be enough guys ?"
- Travel date: 3rd May 2014
"This is my first review. I am writting it because the reviews I read helped us choose this wonderful hotel, giving us the lovely relaxing holiday that we were looking for. We choose this hotel with the idea of doing nothing for a week, we simply wanted to rest, relax and enjoy some quality time together and thats what we got. I loved the fact that obzor was a small town no hussle and bussle outside the hotel. It was the end of the season so a lot of the shops were closed but in the summer I'm sure there is a lot more to do there. The food was great always a lot of choice and variety, my only grumble as this was my first all inclusive was that I'd have liked snacks available ie: nuts and crisp but you go abroad to try different things, bulgarian night, spanish night etc and we did and we really liked it. The rooms were really lovely, very clean, very spacious, sea view from the balonchy, gorgeous sunrise and it looked beautiful when the moon shoon on the black sea at night. All the service staff worked really hard,but were still smilie and friendly, our rep wasn't all that great, lack of info etc but we managed without him. Bottled water was free from reception each day and they had british newspapers too. Trips were available but we didn't bother we wanted to do as little as possible as we're so busy at home. The entertainment wasn't great but we made the most of it, took a lot of it with a pinch of salt, The animation team tried but it was very cheesy and badly done we just drank a bit more to make it easier to sit through. They did have a magician and bulgarian dancers in for a couple of evenings and we really enjoyed them. my last and final moan will be about the slow lifts we were on the 6 floor so stairs going up really wasn't an option for me (I did go down them a couple of times but come on I'm on holiday) they were very slow, you'd wait for 1 then they'd both arrive at the same time, and they were very sensitive and would over load easily, I didn't get a complex but others might offend easily. Overall I'd say it was a fabulous location and we'd definately go back, the people staying at the hotel were lovely, the staff were really attentive, my partner is notourious for complaining about holidays and even he said we struck gold when we booked it. "
- Travel date: 10th October 2009
Wonderful hotel and beach - shame about the entertainment
"We have just returned from this hotel and resort and had a very relaxing holiday. The Hotel is excellent and very clean and our room was massive with a sea view, the downside was that the sun never reached our balcony and is certainly blows on the Black sea coast. This is the first review I have ever written so I am not a serial moaner but I felt that, as we were all inclusive, it was a rip off to have to pay to get the mini bar stocked in our room and the safety deposit box and the cost to keep the room on, as we had a late flight, were the most expensive we have ever been charged, Â£65 for the two. The food was excellent if a bit repetitive and did not give the same variety and choice that we have had previously in a Riu hotel. The worst part of the hotel is most definitely the evening entertainment. The animation team work hard and try their best but it is not my idea of entertainment watching them mime and dance to records. Once a week professional enertainers were brought in, a juggler and magicians, and they were very good but the rest of the time it was the animation team and I do believe that a chain of hotels like the Riu chain should be able to come up with something a little better. As we were there towards the end of September the village had very little open, most of the shops cleared the goods out and closed, and we walked into the village one evening, to escape the awful entertainment, and try and find a bit of life in one of the bars and saw exactly three people - not exactly throbbing with life ( and we are in our sixties so we weren't expecting Las Vegas). The beach is fabulous although the sea can be quite rough and in the 10 days we were there the green flag for swimming was only out twice. A previous review stated that there was no flag or lifeguard but I can only assume they need glasses as a flag, either green, amber or red flew every day and a lifeguard was on duty every day. The pool in the hotel is abolutely freezing and was rarely used by any guests, which is a shame as it is a lovely pool. This is a lovely hotel adjacent to a fabulous beach but it needs just a few extra touches to make it superb. "
- Travel date: 29th September 2009
Excellent hotel - great vacation
"We just came back from the RIU Helios Bay after two weeks at the beach and in the sun. The hotel is located right at the beach. We have been there with out two children (son 3 years and daughter 8 years) and had a spacious room with ocean view. The rooms were cleaned thoroughly daily. Sometimes we left the balcony door open at night and we fell asleep listening to the waves - just wonderful. We arrived in the afternoon and the receptionists welcomed us with some cold drinks and a warm smile. The service of the hotel is outstanding, the staff very helpful, friendly and seemed eager to make our stay as comfortable as possible. The most of the staff preferred to speak English rather than German, though it did not matter since I am German, my husband is American and we are all bilingual anyway. The pool and its area was kept very clean, the water was a bit chilly though. Although some of the German guests have the habit of reserving the sun beds in the early morning hours (which we find quite funny, because no matter where one goes on holiday, if there is a German and a pool, there will be a sun chair with a towel on it in to morning!). At any rate, there were plenty of sun beds left afterwards. We preferred going to the beach, we figure, 'why would one travel so far to a beach side resort?' The sun beds and sun umbrellas on the beach cost 2.50 Euro a day for each item. We only took a chair, because we had a beach shell that was a fantastic way to keep the wind and sun off, when necessary. Food was very well prepared and kept in proper temperatures in clean areas. Breakfast was designed for all. The variety reflected the common foods of Germans and the English visitors. Even my American was happy with the breakfast meals. Since we did not want to dress up for lunch we went to the restaurant next to the pool. There were hot dogs(we did not like these but the kids did), pizza, spaghetti and a small selection of fruits and vegetables were always ready. For dinner one had a table assigned for the whole stay so there was no rush looking for a vacant table every night. Think about what time you would like since there are two sittings. Some complain about this, but we found that it allows the staff to best serve the guests with ample portions and a relaxing eating environment without too many people cramped into the dining area. You can change, but one must consider the hassle this causes for the staff. We started with the 1830hrs dining time but found that we had to rush, so the kids took a nap after lunch and went at 2030hrs, this worked out very nicely. Our kids just stayed twice with the kids club so we cannot really say too much about it. The hotel offers creative classes and games throughout the day for the older children and adults. Our daughter colored a nice scarf made out of silk and she enjoyed it very much. She also like the children disco very much. Obzor is a small town, so if you don't like a loud and crowded environment , then you will like it. We enjoyed taking a stroll through the little streets of Obzor looking around in the shops, having some freshly made donuts or a cup of coffee. This hotel is perfect for families with children and couples who are looking for a relaxing vacation in the sun. We had a great time there and will definitely go back. "
- Travel date: 16th September 2009
Great place for a holiday!
"Had heard that Bulgaria was a very good value place to go and thought we would give it a try. As we are not disco/club people then we avoided Sunny Beach and gave Obzor a go. We have been in Riu hotels before and they don't usually disappoint and the Helios Bay proved us right. Hotel was clean and the majority of the staff were smiling and helpful. We had a fantastic room right over the beach front and the views were terrific - sunrises magnificent and the night of the full moon was beautiful as it shone over a lovely Black Sea. Food was plentiful and generally good. However, Bulgarian cooking is not 'cordon bleu' but is wholesome and tasty with lots of stews/casseroles of different types. Red wine makes the meal too! All in all we would recommend the hotel, but if you want a quiet couples type holiday then possibly will need to avoid school holidays as it is very geared up for children with a thriving Kids Club - and watch out for all those 'Baddi's' singing Baddingoo.............!! "
- Travel date: 15th July 2009
All i can say is this hotel is not a fiv...
"All i can say is this hotel is not a five star hotel, more like 3!!! Myself and my boyfriend have just returned from a week in the RIU helios bay! The hotel is very clean, if anything the maids work the hardest in this hotel. when arriving at the hotel at around 5am we was given our room keys and told that the bell boy would come for our cases and take them too our room, we are still waiting! When arriving at the hotel the receptionists informed us that there would be light snacks and refreshments in the restaurant! The coke, sprite, fanta etc machine wasnt working, there was no hot drinks; just orange juice which was discusting. as for the sancks, there was none! The food in the hotel is ok, but i've had better! slightly repetative, and the eggs were never cooked properly. the only good thing about the restaurant was that you was gauranteed a table when you went to eat at night due to the arrangements of having your own table at either the first or second serving. however, on our second night, my boyfriend asked the catering supervisor if we was able to sit on the balcony outside as not alot of people sat outside and it was cooler than sat in the restaurant itself. however, we was shouted at by the supervisor, told we had our table and he turned his back on us! however, we discovered that if you was german this wasnt a problem!!!! Our room was great, sea view, very spacious with a lounge area aswel and a nice balcony. however, the lights were very dim and the air-con was rubbish. the air-con switched off every time you took your room card out of the electric supply, so when you went back to your room later in the day it was boiling! however, we managed to get a spare card and decided to leave this one in the electricity supply to see if it cooled the room, it didnt! The pool was freezing and hardly anyone went in because it was that cold! not very ideal for little kids because it was very deep and the same throughtout the pool, however the indoor pool was much warmer and provided a little kids section which the outdoor pool didnt! however, if your anything like me i prefer the beach!! this was the biggest shock of my holiday! the beach was ok however it needed a good cleaning as there was all sorts of things in the sand! discusting! there wasnt enough sunloungers, so if you wasnt up at 5am like the germans you had no chance of getting one. however, it was around our fourth day there at the hotel and this one day inparticular the sea was rather strong. must i say, we was informed about the hotel putting out flags to inform the guests about the condition of the sea, for example: red flag- don't go in the water yellow flag- take care, dont swim out too far green flag- ok however, we NEVER saw one of these flags being displayed, also there was a hut for a life guard, and sods law, there was never a life guard in the hut! however, this didnt seem to huge problem. as i was saying, this one day the sea was rough and me and my boyfriend decided to just go in the shallow bit to cool down a little. the sea started too get stronger and a wave knocked me over. i decided the watrer was too rough for me and i went back too sunbathe! however my boyfrined stayed in the sea. the tide started too take him out and after abit he decided too swim back. as he got back onto the beach we then later decided too go in the indoor pool to get out the sun for a hour or so. we had been in the indoor pool several times and never seen a lifeguard anywere on the hotel complex. after a while, a lifeguard appeared and we were both rather shocked to see one. however after a while we decided to leave the pool and go to the pool bar to be informed by some other english guests that a body of a man that was staying in our hotel had been washed up ashore!!! i was in shock, and later we decided to go back to the room. when we got to the room i was putting clothes out to dry on the balcony, to discover that a red flag was being displayed by the lifeguard to keep people out the sea! i was discusted!!! it took a mans life for the lifeguard to do his job properly, however he didnt stay in his hut he just walked away, regardless of there still being people on the beach!! utterly discusting!!!!!!!! The little town obzor is rubbish and doesnt offer alot to anyone, regardless of your age. So one day we decided to get a taxi to sunny beach. warning, do not get a taxi from the hotel, they are much cheaper in obzor. However, once we got to sunny beach which is about 40 mins away we decided to do some shopping. some of the locals are very rude and arrogant! my boyfriend offered a lady 30 lev for a fake armani wallet and the lady tried to snatch extra money out of his wallet! that was it for me, i wanted to go back to the hotel, i wasnt willing to give these sort of people my time and even more so my money!!! Having been to many RIU's worldwide, including the med and the carribean this RIU puts the RIU chain to shame! therefore if your english i wouldnt advise you to go to bulgaria, you get ignored, but if your german, this is the hotel and country for you!!! "
- Travel date: 2nd October 2008
very enjoyable stay here will be going a...
"very enjoyable stay here will be going again next year best holl so far. very clean&tidy the staff are most pleasent and they actually want to make your stay pleasent. eating is one of the highlites, plenty off it all day, good variety, well organised especialy at night you have dedicated table every night.if you want a nice peacefull & relaxed holiday this is it. hotel is right on the beach,first class."
- Travel date: 24th August 2008
Overall, the hotel was nice - clean, the...
"Overall, the hotel was nice - clean, the food was splendid and the restaurant staff were faultless. The rooms were cleaned very well every day and they were nice rooms with a balcony and although they were not huge they were a reasonable size and the beds were comfortable. However, there was no coffee and tea making facilities in the room and the mini bar had to be paid extra for. The beach had smashing waves which we frequently snuck into- however sunbeds had to be paid extra for which we didn't agree with. It is worth noting that all entertainment, including the bars, was finished at midnight and it seemed that guests were expected to return to their rooms as there were no facilities open ie. nowhere to even get food or drink. The hotel was only a stroll away from the home town and there was a newsagents open all hours which was handy for us to get food after midnight - however the shops were all the same and it was busy in the evenings. We would recommend this hotel for families with babies and small children - but definately not for older teenagers looking for late night entertainment and drinks in the hotel. The receptionists were also very charming and friendly. "
- Travel date: 4th August 2008
My Partner and I (both 21) have just got...
"My Partner and I (both 21) have just got back from Riu Helios Bay in Obzor Beach, Bulgaria and just had to write a review. We read some reviews before we went and they really helped us so we had to return the favour! Anyway, first impressions were that the pictures of this hotel do not do it any justice - it is really beautiful inside and out. This has to be the cleanest hotel we have ever been to. We arrived in the middle of the night to be greeted by very friendly hotel staff with a champagne cocktail, and snacks in the restaurant. We were given our FREE bottled water and headed off to the room for some sleep. The room was carpeted and the bathroom was lovely with a huge shower, but no bath which didn't bother us anyway. The weather on our first day was slightly cloudy, but it soon improved throughout our stay. We attended the welcome meeting and met both Hotel Managers which we thought was really down to earth as they were so friendly. My partner and I soon got into the swing of being All Inclusive, trying all of the cocktails on offer. PLEASE - Try the Bulgarian Blue, but don't have too many like I did! The food was amazing. Breakfast had choices of cereals, fruit, pancakes, salad, yoghurts and of course the good old English Fry Ups. I loved the Bulgarian Yoghurt. There was a choice of the Snack Bar beside the pool or Lunch in the restaurant (which you needed to be dressed for). Both had choices of pizza, chips, salad, different meats, pasta, fruit and ice cream. For dinner there were theme nights such as Spanish Night, Turkish Night etc. One night we even had Yorkshire Puddings and Beef with gravy which tasted really nice. With so much to choose from we just tried everything, I wouldn't be able to list it all, we needed bigger plates! There was also the Bulgarian Restaurant on Saturdays, Mondays and I think it was Wednesdays too, they do awesome goulash type dishes you have to try them. You do have to book for this though. Gents must wear trousers for dinner or three quarter trousers. Also, you book your table and choose which sitting you have when you 1st arrive and keep the table forall of your stay, we switched sittings a couple of times but the staff were more then helpful about it. Not once did we have a bad meal or have complaint about the food. Entertainment we found was more for the children, but we walked around the nearby shops and did our own thing anyway as we're not really showtime people. In the daytime there were beach games and darts, table tennis which seemed popular. We also tried out the Spa which was 10 levs for an hour for the Jacuzzi or Sauna/Steam Room. The gym was free, so was the indoor pool. We played a few pool games - this was 3 levs or 1 euro per game. There was also Internet access which we didn't use so I'm not sure how much that was. We had a bit of a laugh about the sunbed situation, we found that people were reserving say 4 beds for 2 adults and their 2 small children who would be using the pool anyway, one man had 2 of his 4 reserved beds "stolen" by a family of 3 (note they only had 2 beds for three people). Anyway this was soon resolved and we went back to relaxing. My partner got up a few times to put towels on beds around 8am, we didn't use them every day we went on the beautiful beach. The beach has activities too. We hired a Jet Ski - it was 50 levs for 15 minutes, we thought it was worth it as it was really fun. Also we did ParaSailing which was 70levs for both of us to go together. We hired a car to go to the Aquapark in Sunny Beach too. The car was 112 levs for a day - from the guy within the hotel who was really friendly. We then found that on a leaflet on reception we could have had another car for half the price so I'd recommend looking around a bit. We also drove to Varna but at night time so we found that the shops were closed! We were a bit gutted about that but it was lovely all the same. We were flying through the night, and obviously you need to be out of your room by 12pm, we didn't want to pay the 10levs per hour to keep a room we wouldn't be in most of the time so we stored our baggage in the baggage room which was locked - then used the Spa to have a shower and get changed in. The ONLY COMPLAINT we had was that the man in the shop within the hotel was a bit mardy. We think it's because we opened the freezer to get an ice cream and didn't let him get it out like they do over there. So don't think he liked us very much lol!!"
- Travel date: 17th July 2008
The Riu Helios Bay Hotel accommodation i...
"The Riu Helios Bay Hotel accommodation is first class. The food is excellent. It has a large pool with plenty of sun beds plus a pool side bar and a childrenâs pool with lots to do. The Hotel is right on Obzor Beach which is very clean and has life guards on patrol which is a added safety if you like swim in the sea. The entertainment of a night in the hotel could be a lot better and if you like to shop you have to walk about 400 yards to the nearest shops. There are buses which you get to Sunny Beach which run every half a hour but you have to be there early or you wonât get on them. All in all the Helios Bay Hotel is excellent if you just want to relax and chill out."
- Travel date: 29th July 2007
Excellent holiday, perfect resort in gre...
"Excellent holiday, perfect resort in great location. We took our 1.5 year old daughter and she was content with everything there was to do - the older children however didn't seem to be occupied quite as well as the kids club run for a few hours in the morning, and a few hours in the afternoon. The kids evening entertainment was the same every night but the kids all loved it!! The food was lovely - a bit boring towards the end of the second week, but they do try to very it! We went for a couple of meals in the town which was only 10 mins up the road and got a 3 course meal for 2 adults and a child (with drinks) only Â£11! Very cheap in the town - cheaper than sunny beach which is very touristy! The hotel was immaculately clean - the cleaners cleaned our room every day and changed the towels as often as we wanted! The staff were all very helpful and friendly - couldn't fault them! The only thing we thought could be improved was providing some snacks after dinner! Once you've had dinner that's it there's nothing to eat included in the all inclusive - although there is a shop on site selling crisps etc. We went the 1st two weeks in June and the weather was beautiful - it did rain once but an hour later you wouldn't have even known it had rained!! We are looking to go back next year!! Definitely recommend it for couples or families with younger children!"
- Travel date: 27th July 2007
Arrived back yesterday from Riu Helios B...
"Arrived back yesterday from Riu Helios Bay after a wonderful relaxing week in the sun. Not knowing much about Obzor other than it was quieter than Sunny Beach my husband (30) and I (24) were both open minded and we were not disappointed. The hotel was fantastic and welcomed us at a very early 3.00am professionally and politely and this was certainly the shape of things to come. The service remained outstanding yet discreet for our entire holiday. For example when the waiting staff collected used glasses and tableware it was done swiftly and quietly as not to disturb conversation. Our room was of excellent size with two very comfortable beds, TV (unfortunately no movie channel but I think we were wishing for too much!), fridge which could be stocked as mini bar if requested and hanging space was plentiful. Our holiday was very lazy and as a result we appreciated the continental breakfast that was served until midday. The pool was clean with ample sun beds and bar with self service section for soft drinks. As the beach does not belong to the hotel sun beds and parasols are charged locally at just under Â£2each per day. There are watersports available and quad bikes for evening trips up and down the beach at a reasonable cost, tried, tested and recommended. Food is amazing and even though I am a fussy vegetarian I certainly didnât go hungry and the deserts are addictive. Surprisingly for a European holiday destination there is not a Red Lion Pub or a Karaoke Bar in sight (and that is a good thing). There is a night club on the edge of the village but we did not go so canât comment. The village is very peaceful with no âlooky lookyâ men so you can browse stalls and shops leisurely. The bars are small scale and close around midnight. Bar staff are friendly and the beer is cheap and often there are local traditional singers. They have just finished the gardens near the beach and building work is continuing on an outdoor theatre and its surrounds. There are also new hotels and apartments being built but Obzor is certainly not a building sight, just a small village developing into a beautiful seaside retreat with a lush mountainous backdrop."
- Travel date: 8th July 2007
Top traveller tips for Hotel Riu Helios Bay
"Horse and cart rides "
"We visited Nessebar, which is very pretty with lots of character."
"We went to Nessebar which was quite nice."
"Try the Bedrock Cafe which is in the centre of town and is open 24 hours!"
Hotel Riu Helios Bay is also called
- Riu Helios Bay Hotel
- riu helios bay obzor