19 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"First time in Bulgaria didn't know what to expect. Like many we read reviews before we went and were a little aprehensive to say the least.So you can imagine our relief when we arrived to a very warm and friendly reception. Our room was enormous with fantastic views,cleaned daily and beds changed every second day with clean towels daily. All staff friendly and helpful and willing to give you ideas of places to visit they are so proud of their country(rightly so). We were told to visit St Vlas a small village about 10 min bus journey from Sunny Beach it was lovely. We were advised to watch out for some of the taxi's as they would try and overcharge you. Again many of the staff would advise you on what bus to get and from where. The food was average but you would not go hungry, if you did, it meant you were very fussy. The beach was right on the hotel doorstep. The only thing i did not like was the fact that there was a man outside our hotel with snakes so people could get their photo done, but i just dont like snakes so it was more a personal thing for me. The beach bars at night were great so relaxing that you could imagine you were on some tropical island. The weather was fantastic very warm but rooms are airconditioned.On two occassions in the fortnight during the night there were thunderstorms,the thunder was deafening and a bit scary,by morning you would never have believed it had occurred. This was our first holiday in Bulgaria and it certainly wont be our last. Would even consider buying in Sunny Beach. Dont always trust what you read in reviews be like us and go and judge for yourself. One last piece of advice never book below 4* lower than this and maybe you would have something to complain about."
- Travel date: Wed 3rd of October 2007
loved the beach
"just returned from bellvue hotel after 2 weeks,what a great holiday.this was my first time in bulgaria and i would thoroughly reccomend it.the hotel looked better once inside,the rooms were huge,the biggest hotel room we have ever stayed in.the beach was just yards away and what a lovely beach.it was very clean and the water very calm(apart from one day).the staff at the hotel were friendly,the room was cleaned every day.the food wasnt always up to scratch from my point of view,even though my partner who is very fussy ate well every day and that says a lot.breakfast was the usual cereal,croissants,fruit and lots of eggs.the evening meals didnt look to appetising but actually tasted better than they looked.i would point out that the coffee urn and hot water urn were not hot,so beware of upset stomachs. in the mornings there is a water dispenser next to the juice machine and i discovered that this housed red hot water as well as cold,just use the red tap,i used my own tea and coffee and just filled up there.nobody else had sussed this.yet.a great hol was had."
- Travel date: Sat 15th of September 2007
very touristy and busy
"HI we went as a family of five (three teenaged boys 13, 15 and 17) to Sunny Beach, Bulgaria. we have just come back today (28th august 2007).
We were situated on the second floor. we asked for our three boys to be put next door to us but it couldnt be done but they were in an okay room on the same floor down the corridor. i disagree with an earlier review - not all rooms have sea views! we did, we had a side room overlooking the pool but if we looked side ways we could see the beach which was a nice view. however my three sons did not have a sea view but saw a great big hotel called the victoria palace (and thats exactly what it does look like, a palace). never mind they were hardly in it so they werent that bothered.
I agree it is a very clean hotel and cannot fault it in that way. i think it deserves its four star status but im soooooooo glad i only went bed and breakfast....the food was yuk for breakfast. on one side it there was a table laid for i would say specifically for the germans (and perhaps the Russians if thats what they eat). with a lot of salad, meats and that sort of thing. then for the hot side there was one toaster, beans, two types of sausages, scrambled eggs and poached eggs. the drinks were watered down (not bottled obvioulsy but tap water). i mostly stuck to the fruits which were in abundance...melons, cut bananas, oranges, green and black grapes etc and loads of types of breads. all in all the food was bearable but as i said i dont recommend you go full board at all. the butter was floating on ice (yuk). and tasted as it looked - horrible. its much better to either do what we did and go b and b but not more than that. eating out is very very cheap. as i say there were five of us - with three teenaged boys it was still cheap - on average our daily night time bill for food was about Â£35 which cant be bad and included drinks. most nights the boys had steaks or pizzas. As for the maids doing there little thing with the sheets....well....all i can say is that they did it for the first two days and then gave up - we were on the second floor - maybe they make a fuss of you on different floors. i have to say though we had two maids (two maids for every floor) one young one old, you always knew when the older one was doing your room cos she did it thoroughly and the younger one didnt even bother to clean the bathroom and do the bins sometimes. we gave the older maid her tip though when we left making sure it was just for her cos she worked the hardest. i agree with the other reviewer, the walls are paper thin. we had an elderly irish couple next door to us - at least just for a week and they were blooming noisy. coming in late and scraping their chairs and talking on the balcony when we were trying to sleep...why do people do that why r they so selfish!!! anyway the next couple were quiter - i cant sleep without earplugs so im glad i took them.
i heard a couple complain to the rep (chloe) saying we have to pay for the sun beds, internet, pool (as in the game pool not swimming pool) and they had a point you had to pay for everything. there are plenty of sun beds but you share with the hotel next door (you can see the hotel from your window it is very close called the slavinsky). obviously the higher you get a room, the less noise there is from the swimming pool etc. chloe i would say was very polite but really didnt know her stuff - she didnt know about local knowledge and we had to tell her about the market.
on the whole i liked the hotel but food was rubbish and it wasnt fair you had to pay for everything. by the way they say there is a free gym - i was looking forward to that but there were only a few things in there and to my mind wasnt even worth the mention.
The beach was very very nice and clean and spotless.
the area would be ideal for youngsters there is so much to do and everything is so cheap.
go to old nessibar on the bus - really nice experience.
TAXIS AND BUSES:
if you can, dont go by taxi - for the five of us to go to nessibar it cost us under Â£2 sooooooo cheap. we got stung by a taxi fare - you have to live and learn i suppose.
they try to pack as many people as they can on buses and you will feel like a sardine but who cares its cheap.
watch out for pick pockets and gypsies. the taxi driver told us that the bulgarians hate gypsies. they have on average about 12 children and they have all been taught to beg. you have to tell them to go away - hard but you will get sick of it when you get there.
on the whole a really nice trip - i would advise going to the following
old nessibar - lovely cheap shops and so much atmosphere
aquapark (there are two)
lazy day cruise (its cheaper if u dont go through the rep but see the people outside)
watch pickpockets and gypsies
beer is about 50pence to one pound depending on the restaurant
lots of coach and horses going up and down the road as a means of travelling
little trains that cost 2 levs each (about Â£1.10) going up and down to take u to your destination
very hot but heat you can take as there is a breeze from the beach.
customs can be quite room - ie bourgas airport - u have to put up with it - (not easy).
beach is just across road and you have to pay for layouts (of course).
internet room for about five levs
gym waste of time
change of towels everyday but they give u a notice saying they dont encourage it cos of the eco situation
dont go full board
i hope you have a good stay in the bellevue - but take a look at the victoria palace two hotels down - god its lovely."
- Travel date: Wed 29th of August 2007
Bellevue is a push at 4 stars. dining buffet is 2 stars and no more!
"The other half and I are just back from fortnight in Bellevue (beach) hotel in sunny beach. july/aug 2007. We had a great time, and the reviews on trip advisor were fairly accurate. You may not think we did from this review mind you. The hotel is situated right on the beach and in the nicer north end on sunny beach. plenty of great restaurants and bars on the doorstep winding all long the 5km promenade.
Don't confuse this with Belleville hotel, although that is nice, it is miles from the centre and a bit of a walk to the beach. and if you really want beach, pay that wee bit more. I nearly booked belleville because cheaper but now i know where it is i'm glad i didnt.
Before i go on with my dissertation on the Bellevue (it may be long winded but it should tell you all uou need to know about my personal opinion). PLEASE let me advise on currency exchange before arriving and when in Bulgaria. This hotel (Bellevue) offers the best rate anywhere in sunny beach, varna, bourgas, nessebar. so take advantage of it. Exchange for 100 levs maximum in britain before going to bulgaria so you have something to start with. Take the rest of your holiday money in sterling travellers cheques. i was in sunny beach in 2006 and happened across the bellevue hotel's money exchange, it was best for exchange last year and is again in 2007. so take note. Never ever ever exchange money on the streets, they give you old worthless or fake money, and the police will NOT intervene.
The hotel is fantastically located right on the beach and has beautiful views from balcony over the black sea to old nessebar.
You get lovely views at night with all the lights and firework displays. It's fairly clean and you can have your towels replaced daily. there is guilt -trip note regarding this and the damage to our eco system through all the excess washing though. lol. the cleaner was however, a stranger to a hoover. They dont replace the guest shower gel or shampoo either. so hassle reception or bring your own.
Reception are friendly enough. pool loungers are shared with another hotel (slavinsky, i think) and u have to pay 5lev for the day (under Â£2). This is strangely a benefit, as you always get a lounger, even though the germans, swedes and east europeans all put their towels down round 8am. i did it once then realised i didnt need to bother. loungers on beach (right next to hotel) are 6lev a day. so u can have your choice.
Now, Hotel Food!.... If u get a cheap deal, do bed and breakfast. otherwise do room only. The hotels food is really naff. usual selections of hams, cheese, fruit, veg, breads, cakes, cereals, hot food and tea coffee and juice. But.... and i'm not that fussy (haha). The hams all had a weird taste that left me gagging, the cheese seriously scunnered me after two mornings. avoid the butter too. its in a large pan of iced water to stop it melting but it tastes rancid anyway. cereal was ridiculously tasteless, the milk is water with chalk in it., occasionally they have bacon but it is just really fatty streaky bacon and not even crispy??? lol. every day however, you are treated to sausges, and yes like a lot of european destinations, they are catering for german/swedes, so u get hot dogs, urghhh. not only one trayful, but three; some whole, some sliced and some cut like pineapples (god knows what goes through that chefs head hahaha). i probably went 7 days outta 14. and was in a really crap mood every time i did, lol. so avoid their food if you are even moderately crabbit. It will send u on a pure downer. Their breakfast sure is to be missed. But if you are half board, lol, be prepared to be served whats left over from breakfast buffet for tea-time buffet. I wisely chose to do b&b but others we met assured us they reheated those hot dogs, and served ham/cheese platters which i did see them prepare with left overs from breakfast. The watermelon and fruits are top notch. The coffee, tea, and egg selection are ok though, be aware the juice ain't fresh, its diluted but drinkable. but we both had dodgy stomachs a few times, which we never had last year when we went self catering.
Now i know i've went one about the food in the hotel but honestly the restaurants outside are so cheap for breakfasts too. a great one called 'friends bar' serves decent breakfasts and pretty good meals too. It is round the corner from bellevue (left on exit) take path up from promenade that lies between the small supermarket and the grand looking victoria palace hotel. you find friends bar 100 yards up. sorry no gunther serving coffee. but they are real friendly.
As are most waiting staff around bulgaria. They only earn the equivalent of a tenner a week so rely on tips. a 10 lev (3.50) will guarantee top service with smiles on future visits to any restaurants, but they are even thankful if you tip one lev. mind you one did laugh when i gave her a tip of about 5 levs made up of all my dross stotinskys, ha ha. If any of them were miserable they got zilch.
The miserable ones are the supermarket staff, seriously watch your money in there. The supermarket at the entrance to bellevue hotel employ one young lady who twice 'made the mistake' of not giving me full change of 50 levs. and both times it was surprisingly short of 10 levs. now thats only Â£3'ish. but just beware not to walk away before checking change. They are a poor nation.
And restaurnts are still dirt cheap. most expensive restaurant i found was arizona steak house. 100 lev between the two of us (around 40 quid) for two courses each and two carafs of house vino which tasted watered down but was pretty good in a weird way. better than any greek vinegar ha, ha.
'la banana' must be the cheapest restaurant we found, Its OK always busy but under no circumstances are you to order T-bone steak. It'll be very cheap alright, but tough as old boots. Oh and that castle/fort restaurant that is pizza/pasta is not all its cracked up to be. remember.. judging books by covers. excellent pizza from raffaellos(dead cheap) directly across from arizona steak house. But just my peronal tastes, go judge yourself.
If you are keen on going to any small towns or city, go by bus. The farthest we went was Varna (Big City, a bit depressing with miserable grey buildings circa cold war) and the return was 16 lev each (around Â£6). Bourgas 8 lev return each, and go to nessebar loads of time for 70 stotinski's one way (25p). Do not bother with taxi's, they are cheaper than at home but they are crazy drivers, and you must agree a price before getting in as they'll rip you off, and dont give them anything till you reach your destination. If you are walking along the road the y will holler at u to go with them, even at the bus stop. I totally ignore them, they have a wee rant about us tourist "not trusting them just because someone got killed by one of them but they aren't all the same you know", but they'll eventually walk away. hahaha. the water parks buses pick you up at most bus stops and are free to the water parks, but the reps that hang around will advise you on which bus to get on too. they are really helpful.
So thats it, you either love or hate bulgaria. Before i went for the first time in 2006, half of the people i talked to who had been really wouldnt go back and advised against it, others loved it. But it is like anywhere, we are individual, and what i hate others may like. so try it and see for yourself. I'd go back, but not for a few years, and by then the euro will be in place and it'll be expensive. So if you gonna go, go '08."
- Travel date: Sun 19th of August 2007
Lovely Hotel-- Go B&B not HB
"Basically this hotel looks better on the inside than the outside. I was pleasently surprised when i saw our room, it was massive.
The hotel was beautyful however the FOOD WAS NOT GOOD, the breakfast was like the expected europeian breakfast consisting of cereals, toast, jams, cheese, hams and fruit. I thought however the evening meal would be international. The hotel was not majority British and i felt that the food was catered mostly for the europeans. Mostly rices and stews however you do have a choice to stick to B&B. I would advise you to eat out as it is so cheap and a better variety to choose from.
The staff in the hotel were average as they were helpful when needed however they seemed to hold back on making conversation.
As a person of the younger generations i often came in late due to a night on the town and therfore did not want to get up at 8 ' oclock like most of the others in our hotels. Our maid seemed to get adgetated by this and repeatedly banged the door with hoover to wake us up. Even when we put 'DO NOT DISTURB' on the door she took no natice. Apart from these minor hick-ups the hotel was lovely. Like i said go B&B as it is very cheap and nicer to eat out.
Also to everyone that likes CHEAP BEER, in bulgaria beer ranged between 1 lev - 4 lev. This is about 35 PENCE to Â£1.50. The restaurants and bars are the cheapest, night clubs being the most expensive.
Thank you... hope you visit sunny beach it's brilliant
especially for young generations as there is much to do!"
- Travel date: Mon 23rd of July 2007
"Went to the Bellvue for one week in Aug (great weather). The hotel was much better than expected. Wonderful view from balcony (3rd floor) of beach/sea and pool (all rooms have a view of the beach). The food was good, plenty of variety so you could mix and match. It was good that u had to pay for sun beds as it meant you did not have to be out at 6am to get one. Worth having a massage by the pool.Good as it was in the quiet end of sunny beach, but a short walk to the main bars. Sunny beach is very cheap, people are friendly and only saw the bear once."
- Travel date: Thu 21st of September 2006
Bellevue is a lovely hotel
"We stayed at the bellevue for two weeks in August this year. The hotel itself is great we were quite impressed with what we got for the money we paid. The hotel is kept spotless and the pool is cleaned every morning. The maids deserve a medal the rooms were cleaned every day and they put your towels and sheets in different patterns each day for example once our towels were made into swans.
The only downside was the food if you go half board, it seemed to be the same every day and was orientated more to the germans than the other cultures.
Sunny Beach itself is lovely but if you are wanting to go out in the evening head more into the main square as there are better shops , bars and resturants and you don't feel like you are walking down the main strip on Blackpool.
My six year old really enjoyed it the only thing is the lack of entertainment in the evenings but if you visit the other hotels some have evening entertainment which you can go along to. Overall had a good relaxing holiday in a lovely hotel."
- Travel date: Wed 6th of September 2006
On the beach, good area.
"This hotel has a great location right on the seafront of Sunny beach, 15 minutes walk along the promenade to the lively centre. It is beside the brand new 4/5 star hotels Victoria Palace and Majestic on the northern end of the resort. The views from the upper floors are outstanding. Most rooms have a side sea view or full sea view. There are many shops bars restaurants in the immediate vicinity, and has a nice pool and poolside bar.
The breakfast buffet selection was ok with the usual cereal, omelettes frankfurters, melon, strawberrys, toast, meats etc. Not everything was to all our tastes, but there was something for everyone. There was also an la carte restaurant. The service was a bit slow, but otherwise of good value. My pepper steak was worth waiting, for at only 18lev (around Â£7). There was a friendly bar, with almost any cocktails for only 4.50 levs (Â£1.80).
There is a small supermarket on site, internet room, luggage storage and money exchange. A minor criticism were the 4 lifts. They only hold 4-5 people at a time and you often had to wait a while for them.
The room I was allocated was more like a one bedroomed suite as it had 2 tvs, and a 3 piece suite. The bathroom was compact but nicely tiled.
Whilst this is a discrete 4 star, it is not as glitzy as its adjacent properties. Never the less for those that like a smaller hotel, the Bellevue is a great choice for those who like a more personal atmosphere.
Would I stay here again, yes, it was great. !"
- Travel date: Fri 9th of June 2006
Loved the Bellevue Beach
"Just had a week in the Bellevue Beach hotel, booked last minute with my sister who was going property hunting. Couldn't have wished for a better hotel there, read a few reviews before we booked and I'm glad we did. The really posh looking ones Victoria Palace and Majestic looked good but everyone said the food and service was awful.
The Bellevue was great. Just the right size hotel, rooms very spacious, cleaned daily, bedding and towels changed daily (beds made up into fancy patterns with bedding, we tried to guess what pattern we'd get each day) No bath but shower fine and red hot water on demand. Hairdryers in room powerful enought to leave your own at home. TV's in room if you want it, we didn't bother. Airconditioning / Heater in room, minibar/fridge in room. You could use beer etc in minibar as the prices were so cheap, we also used it as a fridge to keep our own water and chocolate bars cool.
All the staff very friendly and helpful especially the waiters, the breakfasts were a bit samey but you did have choice and could eat as much as you wanted. We used to take coffee and juice out onto the terrace after breakfast and just sit and people watch. You are so close to the beach you feel like you're on it. Dinner was good, not to everyones taste but I enjoyed it, buffet style and again you could have as many courses as you wanted and eat as much as you wanted.
At the quieter end of Sunny Beach but we liked it better that end, still loads of bars to choose from all along the beach front and you could easily walk to the centre if you
wanted night clubs. The only problem with the beach bars was that they were so comfy with their leather settees and squashy seating that you got carried away and stayed drinking until you couldn't get up.
Anyway would definitely go back to stay in Bellevue Beach Hotel"
- Travel date: Mon 5th of June 2006
FOREIGN PENSIONERS PARADISE!!!!!!!
"This hotel is a joke, full of foreigners, with no entertainment or music whatsoever, my husband and I arrived 17th September for two weeks, after check in discovered we were put into a room with no balcony, I asked reception for change of room, the rep helped a bit and I managed to change to a different room on the 8th floor, but couldn't move till the Friday with a balcony and sea view for 100 levels , which I thought was outrageous.The hotel was ready to close down for the season, so getting a sunbed was no problem, not that the pool was any kind of luxury to sit at, they were crammed together like sardines, and shared with another hotel, goodness knows what like it would be in high season, the food was the same every night. watery soup, chicken, pork in sauces and ice cream and sponge cakes, the corner where the ice cream was has a strong smell of horse manure!!!!!!!!!!!! so I am afraid I steered clear from this corner, Thomas cook should not be sending anyone to this hotel unless they are foreign and over 60, I felt as though we were in an old folks home for a fortnight, the sun was shaded at the pool at 3pm so even getting suntanned was limited, as for evening entertainment it was non existent, the foreigners took over playing cards and domino's!! there was only one pub on the last week still opened, with the same singer every night and karaoke, what a bore... On our last day we had to pay another 80 lev to keep the room, the reception staff make out they don't understand what you are saying, unless you are giving them money, so if you are thinking of booking Bellevue Hotel, I would think again........... "
- Travel date: Tue 2nd of October 2012
Dissapointed on few things!!!
"We arrived at the hotel early hours we was checked in very quickly. The room was nice and clean. The bed was quite uncomfy and we needed extra pillows which wasnt a problem and they were brought to us right away. The next morning when we woke up we attempted to get a sunbed by the pool,this proved difficult as Hotel pool is shared with another hotel and was only allowed to use sunbeds on one side of the pool which was crammed pack even though the beds on the otherside were empty, and to use the ones on the other side was 5lev pppd when your all inc you dont expect to pay for sunbeds. So we went to the part of the beach that bellevue have where there is a beach bar the guy is very friendly!! We got ourself sunbeds to be approached for payment 8 lev pppd so we ended up paying 224levs for 2 of us for 2 weeks for sunbeds when we had already booked an all inclusive holiday!!!!! The food in the restaurant was basic and VERY repetetive, expect to find left overs from breakfast made into something at dinner and dinner into tea! The smell of the restaurant made me feel sick come the last few days! The staff didnt speak any english in the restaurant either and found they didnt reset tables so i was on the hunt all the time for cutlery etc! There is 2 lifts at reception and 2 near lobby bar they fit 4ppl in at a time and we seemed to be forever waiting for them with one breaking down a lot when we was there. The room was cleaned and towels changed everyday and couldnt fault the maids or the cleanliness of the hotel! I wouldnt return to this hotel again thou. As for the resort when we was there it was a lot of Germans who thought they ran the place. The resort is nice and there is lots to do for families, rides etc! The excursion for khans tent is a MUST!!
- Travel date: Thu 21st of June 2012
Great Hotel, Great Resort !!
"I have just returned from the Bellevue. Got back 16th August from a 2 week stay.Me, my wife and 2 children.
Hotel was absolutely brilliant and I can not fault it. Read a few negative reviews on here about it and am gobsmaked.
Room was great, very big with separate main bedroom that my wife and I had. Air con in good working order, maid service was exceptional and a nice sea view.
Food was ok. We went half board which is enough in my opionion, and had lunch out in the many restaurants. Hotel food as said was ok, decent variety.
Location brilliant. It is situated in a relatively quietish spot away from the central part where the clubs and casinos are. All music around the Hotel was switched off at 12pm.In comparison to the much noisier end in central Sunny Beach.
Right on Beach which is good. A short 10min walk gets you in the main central part.Good cheap restaurants and bars.
Hotel Staff I found very polite and friendly.
Pool a bit cold but acceptable.Sunbeds a bit of a nightmare as you had to get up early to get one, but not so different to most Hotels of this price range.
Overall, highly rated Hotel and location.
Cheap Beer,good location and amenities, lovely resort.
Top Tip 1 - go to Nessebar its brilliant.
Top Tip 2 - if you decide to do any day trips, do not book with the travel agency along the road opposite the Windmill Bar.
I think its called Bulgarian investments. Had a bad experience with them, booked trip and they refused to refund when we were promised a refund due to the boat breaking down..was completelty insulted and shouted at by the women in this agency.
- Travel date: Wed 17th of August 2011