42 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog

The Best in Sunny Beach

Reviewed Tue 27th of November 2012

"Just returned from 2 weeks at the Helios Palace. What a place...could not fault the staff, food, service, rooms, pools and anything about this hotel.

The rooms are lovely with carpeted floors, power shower, air con and a large balcony. The maid who came in everyday was wonderful, tidying everything up, putting out fresh towels daily and even made 2 swans out of towels and left it on the bed.

The food is wonderful. Plenty of choice and very fresh. The waiters are very efficient, clearing away plates minutes after you have finished your meal.

We tended to stay by the pool everyday due to unlimited drinks but we went for regular walks on the beach which is right next to the hotel. There are plenty of things to do in the hotel if you do not want to sunbath all day. The entertainments staff organise activities like volleyball, waterpolo, shooting, bingo, french boules etc. In the evening they put on some great shows and they work so hard at making the holiday for you.

The resort itself is very lively with plenty of bars but a limited choice of resaurants.

All in all this holiday was wonderful, especially the hotel and would recommend anyone to go."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Mon 18th of July 2005

This was my first visit to Bulgaria and...

Reviewed Thu 30th of June 2005

"This was my first visit to Bulgaria and was unsure what to expect as I have always been to Spain in the past.

As soon as I arrived, I fell in love with the Hotel. I couldn’t believe how big it was and it was so clean.

All of the staff were so friendly and nothing seemed any bother. The bar staff seemed to work all the hours which were sent and I was always served in less than a minute at the bar, even when it was busy.

The restaurant was nice and was buffet style so you could just help yourself to as much or as little as you wanted. The food was nice but they could have served chicken a bit less, as this was on the menu everyday, cooked in a different way. The entertainment was great with all the entertainment team putting on regular shows in the Bar Salon.

The actual location of the Hotel was right on the beach and had lots of restaurants near, just a short walk. There was lots of great nightlife, including 3 or 4 nightclubs, I personally recommend 'Lazur', which is attached to a Waterpark so half is inside and half is outside.

The cost of entrance is 4LV (about £1.50) and an average round is roughly 10LV (about £4). If you do get bored of the hotel food, it will cost around £7 to eat out, drinks included and at the back of the Hotel is 'La Perla' which is great for meals and drinks.

I really couldn’t fault anything about the resort or the hotel. Myself being 18 found it fantastic and it is also a great resort for families and couples.

All round, me and my friend had a fab time and are going to be booking in the next few weeks to go back to Sunny Beach and Riu Helios Palace.

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 30th of June 2005

Wow.......loved it!!

Reviewed Tue 27th of November 2012

"This hotel is absolutely amazing. My 16 year old daughter and myself were there for a week 27th May, originally booked into the Riu Evrika by Portland Direct, they cancelled and moved us to the Riu Helios Palace instead.
What can I say......wow!! We simply could not fault any aspect of it. As we were all inclusive, our main concern was whether the food would be ok but no worries on that score...there was such an excellent choice for all meals, I would say that even the most fussy eaters would have ample choice, and it was cooked to absolute perfection. It was even cooked on show. There was so much to choose from we were like kids in a sweetie shop, and the deserts were to die for, even kids had plenty to keep them happy., The service in the restaurant was excellent, no sooner you put down your knife and fork the plate was removed for you. We had intended eating out around the resort but the food in the restaurant was too good to miss......lol

We're strangers to this sort of thing, having always gone self catering but we were just stunned by the hotel. It was so spotlessly clean, the cleaners were everywhere, from morning till night. The public area toilets were immaculate and well stocked with paper, cleaned constantly. The settees in the lobby areas were plentiful and really comfortable.An ashtray or dirty glass/cup was left for longer than a minute or two.

Our room was huge, and so comfortable we just loved being in it. Although it overlooked the front of the hotel rather than the pool there's a lovely water feature and the sun is on the balcony from about 4pm, just right for when you've had enough of the pool area, and you can look down into the shops.

The staff were lovely, nothing was too much trouble and the reception staff were great. Please be kind to them, they work hard to make your stay enjoyable.
This was the only holiday we've been on where you didnt have to be up at the crack of dawn to grab a sunbed. There are loads of them with comfy cushions, umbrellas and tables. As with everything else it was exceptionally clean. The internet room is 5lev per hour but if you're online for less you pay for only how long you're on. The pool table by the pool takes a 3lev token which you get from the bar, and kept us amused for hours cos we're hopeless at it.

As we were only there for a week and to just chill out, we had a wonderful time. The hotel is at the start of a really long promenade running along the beach which is lined with market shops selling fake designer gear, and restaurants/cafes, if you like that sort of thing you'll be in heaven. We hired bicycles, 4lev an hour, and also a twin bike for 8lev an hour to get along the prom but most evenings we just strolled along with everyone else quite happily. It seems most people did the same of an evening.

We went to Nessebar one day......well worth a visit, there's a lovely little museum there with traditional costumes in it. All the old houses are wooden, and our taxi driver said the village was 2500 years old.

If you get chance go on the Jeep safari up the mountains.......'Off road Experience'......its wonderful, but you do get shook and rattled around in the back of the jeep. We were ok as we were on the seats behind the driver but the ones sitting either side in the back were tossed around more. It had rained the day before we went up there so there were some lovely mucky puddles to drive through and our young driver was excellent at that. We all tipped him 5lev each when we got back, they only earn a pittance.
The quad bikes were great, and you could try your hand at rifle shooting and archery as well as a horse ride and the whole day was videoed by a guy sat on top of one of the jeeps, who jumped off occasionally to film us from different viewpoints. The dvd is 45 lev, but a nice souvenir, we had to have it.

All in all it was the best holiday we've had and I think it's spoilt us for future choices. We didnt want to leave and will most certainly go back before it becomes like a spanish costa. As for being like Blackpool?....no way. If you like to complain you'll be hard pushed to find anything, except for building work in some parts which is inevitable in an up and coming resort."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sat 11th of June 2005

Very nice

Reviewed Thu 25th of October 2012

"Stayed at the Riu Helios on 27th may 2005, the hotel is very nice, big and clean, 2 lovely pools (although freezing) and the staff are mostly very friendly and helpful. the food is good although it can get a bit repetative after a week but then thats the same in most all inclusive hotels.
The rooms are very spacious and are cleaned spottlessly every day with most rooms overlooking the swimming pools.
The hotel is very central to all the shops and bars and there are lots of them!
The resort itself is very clean and you don't get hassled if you go in a shop to buy something, we came in a group of 24 and we all enjoyed our stay here, would recommend it to everyone."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sun 5th of June 2005

Blackpool by the Black Sea

Reviewed Thu 15th of November 2012

"Very disapointed by the standard of this hotel,especially as it is a Riu & their hotels are usually excellent,there is no way we would rate this as a 4star.Sunny Beach to us was Blackpool by the Balck Sea & as we live there,might as well have stayed at home.Once away from all the "tatt"in resort the countryside & mountains are lovely & had some very good sightseeing trips.If like us you go away to relax and have some peace & quiet this resort is not for you.Families with young children or young people looking for a cheap holiday would be well suited.Will not be returning."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 5th of October 2004

We had heard very bad reports just prior...

Reviewed Mon 31st of May 2004

"We had heard very bad reports just prior to our visit to Sunny Beach so we were very apprehensive. Our party consisted of my husband, son, and daughter her partner and their son (age 21 months)and myself.

We booked as half board but for 15 levs per day each (around £3.60) we could go all inclusive. Which we though was worth it just for the drinks, ice cream etc. around the pool.

The staff were very pleasant and helpful. The rooms were excellent and very clean. There was entertainment and various bars open until midnight and each bar at certain times of the evening had a buy one get one free period.

The resort was very busy but also VERY CHEAP ridiculously so. Something for everyone. Quiet bars, loud bars, bars with entertainment and the same goes for restaurants.

All in all a good time was had by all. We would definitely go back.

One word of warning is pay as much as you can afford for your hotel as some of the hotels were very bad, and some of the apartments we saw were even worse."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Mon 31st of May 2004

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