Hotel Riu Helios
42 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
A brilliant hotel
"myself and two friends have just arrived back from Bulgaria and we stayed in RIU Helios hotel for a week all inclusive. The food and staff were absolutely amazing and put up lots of entertainment. Stepping out onto the main streets is a different story though - you start to feel quite vulnerable as you are constantly getting people coming up to you to get you in their shop/bar/club/restaurant and there are certain locals who work on the stalls who try to rip you off and make threats if you don't buy something from their stall. My advise - spend most of the time in the hotel and if you go out on the street, ignore people who try to get you to come over to their stalls, especially if you're English, they tend to pray on British people. Me and a friend were given some fruit in our hands from a man running a fruit stand to try, but we had no money on us and said that we wouldn't like to buy any in which the man then threatened to send 5 men around our hotel if we didn't come back and pay for what we thought was a free sample (they will try and catch you out) we returned to our hotel to get some money and he demanded 40 lev for the single cherry that he had given us, I only had a 10 on me which I payed as felt quite threatened and he demanded we go back to our room to get the rest (which we said we'd do but we didnt and just avoided that area for the rest of the holiday) So watch out for people like that as apparently the police aren't too helpful towards British people either so won't be much use! All in all, the holiday was great but just be weary of the people who live there."
- Travel date: Sat 14th of July 2012
Bit disappointing for a Riu
"We visited this hotel from 6th -17th August 2010. The food was varied and on the whole very good, the air conditioning in the hotel is really not good and this is felt in the dining room in particular.
It was unusually hot for the time of year we were told but the dining experience was spoilt by the lack of air con.
The hotel and pool areas were kept really clean and staff were very freindly and always willing to help. Sunny Beach is a very lively resort and especially popular with young people out for a wild time.
With this in mind bars surrounding the hotel are very noisy into the early hours of the morning and the thump thump of the bars continue throughout the day and can be heard around the smaller pool. Generally though our sleep wasn't desturbed so i wouldnt let this put you off.
The real bonus here is the fake designer clothes, you can get some real bargains but store holders won't barter and can get a bit miffed if pushed to do so.
The hotel entertainment is okay during the day when staff do their best to entertain but the evening entertainment is absolutely terrible! Having said that their is lots to do outside the hotel and families with children of all ages would probably prefer to go out and about in the evening. There is a lack of things to do for teenagers at the hotel but in fairness the staff are trying to address this with activities such as volley ball.
A definite must is the night out to Khans Tent... It was fantastic... great food and entertainment.
All in all we had a great break and felt we got good value for money.
- Travel date: Tue 17th of August 2010
"Stayed here on the 25th september for one week as a family of four, payed about Â£350, it was well worth the money!
Hotels very clean and maintained, room was lovely..the showers are amazing!
Foods good but very repetative.. like most all inclusive.
Would definatly recommend, weather end of sept beginning of oct was great too..came back with a fab tan!
- Travel date: Fri 16th of October 2009
"Like most people in the UK, we can only afford to holiday abroad once a year. This hotel and package ticks all the boxes and more. I could wax lyrical about this hotel for hours, but suffice to say that if you want great value for money, with quality as a basic ingredient, book up and go there,you will not regret it."
- Travel date: Tue 6th of October 2009
"I was not expecting too much from this holiday due to the price. Was pleasantly surprised to find the hotel was clean and friendly. The restaurant catered for all ages serving food that was hot and nicely cooked. Huge variety of dishes at every meal. The entertainment was fairly basic if you needed to be entertained. Perfect location-Excellant holiday. "
- Travel date: Tue 29th of September 2009
"Arrived at the hotel in the early hours as all flight times are rubbish,but was greeted by very helpful reception staff and directed to a lovely clean room. The hotel was outstanding,food was great and a superb entertainment team,the rooms are cleaned every day and the hotel is spotless.I do think that all the bars should remain open until midnight as the one bar that remains open gets very busy at 2300 hrs.
The location is also superb,very hard to spend any money and would definately recommend the waterpark at nearby nessibar,the reps sell tickets to another waterpark but apparently not as good.
Anyone booking a holiday will not be disappointed by going to this hotel."
- Travel date: Wed 19th of August 2009
"Accommodation good, food good, hot and a wide variety, although "chips are a Bulgarian speciality" !!!. Animation team excellent, but the evening entertainment poor unless you make your own or join in when you can. Beat beach ever, sand, sand & more sand. Plenty of shops, bars & night life. Plenty of sun beds, watch for the German over night towel brigade, soon stop once towels found in pool
Definitly worth going there were 6 in our party from 17 to 47 and all had a brilliant time, will go back again hope this helps "
- Travel date: Sat 8th of August 2009
"For the week commencing 13th July 2009, me and a bunch of friends and family went to Bulgaria for 1 week, until the 21st July. We were greeted upon arrival by friendly hotel staff, and the hotel was clean and tidy, and the staff well presented. We were quickly checked in considering there was over 11 passports to check and rooms to sort out! Within half an hour of arrival we were in our rooms unpacking.
The rooms had enough space for 2 people, we had a Balcony which was nice and also a television with over 100 channels to choose from. We had daily cleaning of our room, and fresh shower towels on a daily basis. The hotel staff were always helpful and friendly and did their best to help you, despite their lack of English fluency.
One set of people I'll remember from the Holiday will be the Animation Team. They went out of their way to provide daily activities for everyone on the holiday and tried to get evertyone involved with the activities. The main boss of the Animation team is a nice guy too, always said hello and checked if we needed anything and if we were alright. We even had a sing together! :P
The hotel is large, their are alot of guests staying there at once, which on the odd occastion makes it crowded, but I enjoyed it nevertheless.
The hotel has 2 pools, one for a quick dip and one for activities and there are also many other things you can do near by. There are Watersports on the beach. You can have a go at Banana Boating for 10 levi. or The Big Mable (Best Watersport) for 15 levi. These excursions last about 10 minutes and there are more to choose from. If you go up to the other side of the beach you can rent Jet Skis for 60 levi/10 minutes. The price put me off this, but if you have the money, give it a go.
Overall for my first holiday it was really good and I would like to go back their in the future. The Hotel was one of the best around and I would rate this holiday 10/10. "
- Travel date: Tue 21st of July 2009
First time in Bulgaria will be the last
"Hotel is lovely and could not be cleaner, staff all very nice and helpful. Meals all freshly made but we had the same meals for lunch and dinner every day, Pizza, chicken or Pork. Hotel entertainment 2 out of 10, every evening between 9.30 and 10.30 they gave us a bit of entertainment, terrible. Never been in bed as early during a holiday, you had to be up at 7.30am to get a bed at the pool. The All Inclusive was great the best I have had you could help yourself to drinks, all kinds by the pool bar all day,you could bring the afternoon tea food and drinks to the pool. The weather in Bulgaria is awful, never a day without clouds or rain, first holiday I have had to buy a brolly. Lots of thunderstorms. No entertainment in Sunny Beach at night. You shop during the day as its cloudy so you have nothing to do at night. Been wont be back."
- Travel date: Mon 20th of July 2009
would'nt go again
"My husband and I returned from this hotel on 19th June 09, as we had a night flight going out it was 2am in the morning before we got to the hotel the check in was very slow as there was only one receptionist on duty trying to check everyone in she told us to leave our luggage as the porter would bring it up but there was no porter to be seen so we took our own up to the room, I think there should have been at least a welcome soft drink for us to come to or a snack other RIU hotels we have been to have offered this to you. The hotel itself was ok, clean and most of the staff where friendly some looked very glum. Deonis the tour rep was very good and went out of his way to help you.Our room was clean and we had fresh bath towels every day but it was not cleaned everyday by the end of our two week stay the dust was building up. This is the only RIU hotel we have ever been to that as allowed large single sex group bookings on our second week about 20 young german males turned up and took over the 'quite' pool. The food was ok plenty of it much the same everynight but it was well presented and hot. There did not seem to be many trips for the British people to take and getting around by bus was near impossible, we booked a river trip it states to get back to nature this lasted about 20min then off to walk around a village the resturant we went to for lunch was not upto much the crocery the food was served on was chipped they gave us a bottle of water with lunch with a huge fly in it overall very disapointing trip. The animation team try hard but there was only five of them and I think they where on a very low budget and the dj has only one tape same music everynight. Security was almost non existant everyone can and did take a short cut through the grounds of the hotel no one stopped them. I do think this hotel is very much for german visitors as everything seeemed to be aimed at pleasing them. We where able to pay to keep our room on till 8pm on the departure day needles to say it was not cleaned and no fresh bath towels that day also we where in the room when new guests had been given the key to get, in a shock for them and us. You also have to pay to use the safe in your room which will house your money but not your camera etc, also you are told when you leave your room for safety reasons lock your balcony doors which we did but every time we came back to the room the cleaners had left it wide open try explaining that to a receptionist who does not speak English. Would I go back again......would'nt be in a rush"
- Travel date: Tue 7th of July 2009
Wouldnt go back-nothing exciting!
"I went to Hotel Helios for 2 weeks and returned on the 16th June, When i arrived in Sunny Beach i thought it looked beuatiful and so did the hotel, intill i actually went in. The reseption looked fine and bar, but i went up to my room, first of all they gave us the wrong room, and couldnt get into our room intill the NEXT DAY ! so we had a spear room, also when i had my breackfast there was a fly in my ceral! it was horrible. The pools are nice, could be a bit bigger, and the animation is so boring i was very dispopointed.It came to the evening and we decied to watch the entertainment, BAD DESISION! the entertainment is the same everynight, just differnt 3 minute acts of differnt countrys.RUBBISH!The only up side on the whole holiday was maybe getting on the plane to go back home and some of the towns near by, i wouldnt recomend it for children and maybe not couples to. Bad reviews are trrue becuase i expresenced it.
And im never going back to Bulgeria."
- Travel date: Wed 24th of June 2009
"I stayed at helios in august 2008, and found the experience really worthwhile.
I am 18 years of age and the night life was incredible, plenty of clubs and bars to go to, lots of nice girls and lots of great offers of drinks. The drinks are dirt cheap aswell so yoiu can get hammered for nearly nothing.
The hotel itself was brill, staff were amazing..watch out for tony though..hes a character haha. The food was average i didn't mind that tho i was more interested in the BOOZE.
So as an evaluation i would say..A great way to spend your holiday if your aged between 18-30, cheap and fun..and not so good if your aged 30+ with a family, unless you go on the outskirts of bulgaria were its nice and quiet area.
One downfall of the holiday is that you must beware of crime..i knew of a couple that got mugged 3 times, over a week, whilst staying there..and the police were useless..but dont let that put you off...ITS GREAT !! :):)"
- Travel date: Wed 14th of January 2009