28 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"Don't be put off by any old reviews, the Hotel is spotlessly clean, the staff are really helpful, friendly and do their best to make your stay memorable. The room was extremely spacious, and the bed was at least 7ft across. The food was good, (somewhat repetative, but we've found that with all-inclusive elsewhere). The pool area could get crowded, but we either went to the beach or waited for sunbeds to come available. If you were into spa treatments these were all available at the Helena Sands, I have never seen such an extensive list. Obviously these did not come within the AI, but we could use the indoor pool, with the weather being so good we didn't need to As for Sunny Beach itself, we didn't find it in the least bit "dirty", whether this was because we went at the beginning of the season, and everything was new, I can't comment. We walked to Nessebar a couple of times, but it was only 1 lev each on the bus if you weren't feeling energetic. Our only regret was that we only booked 1 week! "
- Travel date: 30th May 2011
blackpool by the sea
"just had 2 weeks in sunny beach and although the hotel was ok the resort itself was dirty, run down and full of stalls overcharging for everything they sold. hotel pool was too cold to use but the sea was nice. We have renamed it sunny rip off! "
- Travel date: 3rd October 2010
Brilliant holiday, bad hotel
"This was our first holiday in Bulgaria, we were looking for exciting nightlife and a friendly, vibrant hotel. We were not disappointed with the nighlife, being 19 and 21 it was certainly aimed at our generation. However, the hotel was something else. We booked half board, and didn't even eat at the hotel most days. We arrived at 5am, obviously grouchy and ready for bed, the reception staff were less than friendly, not even offering us a smile. A whole family were seen to before us, although they were waiting behind us, once checked in, we were told we had been upgraded to a "pool view" (which we had already requested on booking), on arrival at our room, after 20 minutes of wandering around the hotel as we wern't given directions or shown; our "pool view" was actually a ping pong table and a road. Breakfast was interesting, the food was barely warm (which leaves you to wander how long it had been sat at room temperature), the fried eggs were not cooked, and the staff acted as if we hadn't paid, asking us to sit outside because they wanted to set the tables for lunch, it took 10 minutes for them to bring us cutlery. The welcome meeting was helpful, reccommending restaurants, bars, excursions etc, although the trips (as was expected) were very expensive. The actual resort of Sunny Beach was lovely, the bars and clubs were brilliant, although quite quiet because it was the end of the season. Not many places to get a sandwich, all fast food (wouldn't reccomend the pizza, it sits in the sun all day). The hotel beach, which is free for the loungers, is quite shelly and stony, but far too quiet and out of the way (better for the older generation) we preffered to walk 10 minutes down the beach and pay, just to be with other people. There was 2 sittings for dinner, 6pm and 8pm; which you have to choose, and stay at the same table. The food was AWFUL. Grey pork, chicken soaked in oil, beef that had been in storage for at least 2 weeks, the chips were OK, but we both had an upset stomach while we were there, and I am still suffering a week later. Most days we didn't even bother with dinner, we went to Raffaelo's 10 minutes down from the hotel, beautiful and very cheap. There is no way the hotel food could be described at 4*, and neither could the service. Our waitress at dinner couldn't manage as much as a smile on greeting us, we sat down with our plates and ordered 2 drinks, she then had a chat with the German couple sat on the table next to us, took their orders, then had a few photos took with another German family, she served both of those tables first before us; it took 25 minutes for her to bring 2 bottles of water! We arrived at the hotel willing to tip, not one staff member earned it. One morning, I had just gotten out of the shower, my partner was ready to get in, when our room door opened (we had the "do not disturb" sign on the door) and TOLD me she had come to check the mini-bar. I asked her to come back in 10 minutes, she declined and walked past me to continue her check with no apology, despite me being soaking wet in a towel; embarrassing to say the least! The Helena Park pool looks lovely, however it is always shaded by the Sands building and trees, so it always very cold. When we were there, nobody got in the pool, the average age of guests being 65. We spent as little time as possible in the resort, as we were treated VERY disrespectfully by staff and guests alike. The staff definately treated the German guests with priority, and the German guests were incredibly rude, pushing in front of the queue at breakfast. The nightlife in Sunny Beach was brilliant, the most vibrant being at Flower Street, we became friends with the staff at the Bacardi Bar, and regulars at Next Level club. Revolution, Viking and Iceberg also on reccomendation. For 7 lev p/p, the pub crawl was amazing, lots of free shots/free entry and BOGOF on drinks. When walking down the strip, the promo guys do pull you in but aren't aggressive with it. They are worth bargaining with, we got free entry, 2 free shots each on entry, BOGOF on any first drink and free shots all night at Next Level. One night, we returned to the hotel at 2am, to find all 3 gates locked! We had to climb into our 4* hotel like criminals! I was appauled!! All in all, the Sunny Beach Resort is brilliant and we would definately go back, though in peak season when there would be more people our age; but would NOT recommend this hotel to anyone unless you are of the older generation and German!"
- Travel date: 26th September 2010
"I stayed at Helena Park hotel with 3 friends so we booked two rooms. the rooms wewe very big' comfotable beds and all the rooms have a porch. there are two pools which are very big and the poll ares is very pleasant. the food was very good. the location of the hotel is in sunny beach area and it also has a private beach - but in order to go to the center of Sunny beach you have to walk approximatly 10 - 15 minutes - which is close enough to the center and fae rnough from all the niuse and the mess. I recommend to bring with you a towel because - they stuff w'ont give you an extra towel. we had a great time spending there, it is absoulutly a 5 star hotel and after I talked with several people from other hotels it is definitely a great choice!!"
- Travel date: 18th August 2010
Can't wait to go back
"Just returned from a 10 day holiday at the Helena Park hotel with my parents, my sister and her boyfriend. It was the first time we went to Bulgaria and we were slightly wary of what it would be like. However, from the moment we arrived at the hotel at around 6am we were thurrily impressed. As we pulled up the automatic gates opened and the belle boy was waiting outside for us to take our suitcases in. Walking in, my first impression was that it was extremely grand. We checked in and were escorted to our rooms, which were very spacious and spotless. The cleaners worked around the clock every day and did a great job; towels and sheets in the room were changed regularly. Breakfast was 7:30-10:30 which we thought was reasonable as you were still able to get a decent amount of sleep. There were plenty of sunbeds and we had no problem getting them. In fact, at around 11am every day, we managed to get the same sunbeds throughout the whole holiday. I was curious about previous reviews saying that the pool was too cold, but once you're in there it's lovely and refreshing. Especially as while we were there, there was a heatwave and the temperature was in the 90s. The food was beautiful and there was a different variety every day. I especially loved the pizza and bacon that they did there. The staff were helpful and seemed to generally care about anything you might have to say. The waiters also couldn't do enough for you; having my drink poured for me made me feel like royalty! I would say it's a pity some of the foreign people there don't know how to queue. The hotel was in the quieter area of Sunny Beach, but it was just minutes away from the main strip where everything was going on. In a way it was nice being away from the busy nightlife because it wasn't noisy or rowdy when we were trying to sleep. We visited Nessebar, which I would recommend, as it had lots of lovely souvenir shops that were reasonably cheap to buy presents or keepsakes that were really original. You can catch the bus across the road to Nessebar for 2 lev per person (Â£1). There is also a supermarket just across the road. One bar that we went to several times is Gulliver's Cocktail Bar, which is about a 10 minute walk from the hotel on the beachfront. You get your money's worth within the drinks there, and the music that they played was mostly English charts, much to our amusement. Most nights we went out onto the beach bars which had comfty seating and lovely views. The hotel entertainment was good of what we seen, and with the Helena Sands and Park being linked we had the option of both. The children's entertainment songs (mini disco) were extremely catchy and we found ourselves singing them all night, which was really funny. In fact, we became so attached to the songs that we ended up buying the CD to take home! Overall, this was a brilliant holiday; I didn't want to come home! Would I recommend this hotel? 100% definite yes! We're actually looking to go back next year, and I can't wait!"
- Travel date: 12th August 2010
value for money 10 out 10
"Positives: great food, lavish choice, pleasant waiters; clean rooms, fast change of towels, leave 2 levs on the TV you will have a super made up room; good clay courts, table tennis, fantastic park to hide from heat waves Negatives: bad mannered Israelis accounting for 30% of the guests (you heard me right not Russians), too cold water in the pool for youngsters"
- Travel date: 8th August 2010
first holiday in bulgaria
"My husband and I went to this hotel in september 2009 not knowing what to expect as it was out first time in bulgaria. The hotel is out of this world they are so friendly and would do anything for you. Unfortunately the weather was against us the first week but they still accommodated us with the dinner outside. the wind and rain was awful but they put covers up and done everything they could to help us. After the first the weather improved. I have to say though once you go outside the hotel it is very tatty be prepared to pay for the toilet (old man with no teeth on a white chair) it just waited till i got to the hotel. I would say you would either like or not it is a shame the hotel is brilliant but NO not for me sunny beach they need to clean their act before i will return. "
- Travel date: 4th August 2010
Exceptional Hotel Experience
"We just came back from Bulgaria and we had an amazing time. During our stay in Sunny Beach we are happy that we selected the Helena Park, it is a beautiful hotel with professional and courteous staff. We arrived by rental car, and yes there's free parking in a gated area. We were greeted by very friendly reception staff and were served champagne while waiting for our room. The rooms were nice, we didn't spend much time inside as we were on the beach most of the time. Don't bring beach towels from home as the hotel provides you with fresh towels free of charge. There is also a private beach area just for hotel guests and the chairs and umbrellas are also free of charge. The food was very good, I can't stress enough how good the food was. We stayed for 5 nights and every night the food was different and very tasty. The water was nice and warm and the beach was clean and soft. The night life in sunny beach was also great, very lively and full of people. Overall Bulgaria is an amazing country and is still very affordable."
- Travel date: 2nd August 2010
"My family and I have just returned from Helena Park Hotel in Bulgaria, we had a fantastic time, the staff couldn't have been any friendlier and helpful especially Stella from the saloon bar,she made our wee boy who has learning difficulties feel very special.She even took the time to buy him a card for his bithday and the hotel presented him with a tray of fruit which he was over the moon with.We will definatly be going back. "
- Travel date: 25th July 2010
"we couldnt fault this hotel staff friendly .very clean ,good for old and young .over the road from the beach and about 5 min walk to beach road where you will find lots of bargains and eating places .have to say the food was good in the hotel so didnt eat out a lot .a day out at nessybar is recommended"
- Travel date: 15th July 2010
Helena Park, worth paying the little extra
"Myself, my wife and her parents have just come back from 7 days at the Helena Park Hotel in Sunny Beach, Bulgaria. We checked in at about 4 in the morning due to an overnight plane from Manchester, and straight away we were welcomed with drinks if we wished, and swift friendly service from the reception.Still managed to get up for breakfast, which was between 7.30 and 10.30.This is the first glimpse we had of just how much selection was on offer in the Moby Dick restaurant.There was a wide selection of hot foods,mainly standard British breakfast favourites, but fruits, a great choice of breads, along with a wide choice of spreads, and fruit juices and teas etc. The rooms were cleaned every day unless you specified to the contrary with the door hanger, fresh towels and beds made as well as well stocked complimentary shampoo, shower gel and even a sewing kit just in case. Every Monday to Saturday the amimation staff (entertainments staff), organised games and evening entertainment to keep those "on camp" amused. The pool is spacious, but be warned, cold doesn`t quite cover it!! There is a barbeque grill at poolside, and the downstairs bar is within easy walk for a poolside drink.The towels you could hire with cards provided, and these could also be taken to the beach, which was a mere 200 yards away. But its the little extras that make the difference, while we were there, my father in law celebrated his 61st birthday, and reception left a small gift in his room for when he came back.Two days later, and father and mother in laws Ruby wedding.We did ask the rep there if something could be mentioned, but the staff went much further than we hoped for.At evening meal, the restaurant staff brought a bottle of champers, a specialy set table and then one of the waiters came in with his guitar and serenaded them. Never mind them being gobsmacked, me and my wife were as well. Nothing too much trouble for the staff, who really looked like they wanted your stay to be special, and it most certainly was!!! It might be a few pounds more than other places, but it`s well worth it!"
- Travel date: 2nd October 2009
"First holiday in Bulgaria, was very dubious as to what to expect. Hotel was out of this world, sooms are very spacious and clean, the hotel is beautiful and clean, marble floors through out and fantastic pictures on the walls. The service is outstanding, the people are so polite they will do anything for you. Food is hard to comment for me, I am a very fussy eater so I ate pitze and ommlette salad for a fortnight, however pasta fish chicken lamb veal is plentiful. I would say the wine is very expensive we found a lovely white chardonnay but it cost us 17blv for half a bottle Â£7.50. There again you are paying for the setting and the service, so really we didn't matter once or twice. Unfortunately once you step out of the hotel to the beach, the standards drop dramatically , i would hate to think what it would be like in high season, same tatty shops and fakes.THE beach it beautiful but be aware of the price of the beds and parasols per day,22blv a day Â£10. Reflecting back I would say I would definately go back to the hotel without any hesitation, it is just a shame that sunny beach is not for me."
- Travel date: 27th September 2009
Top traveller tips for Royal Palace Helena Park Hotel
"Yes to the resort, no to the hotel"
"the hotel great but sunny beach very tatty"
"never went on any excursions, but nessibar is close and is worth a trip"
"fabulous hotel but sunny beach ok if you have children"
"go all inclusive as very expensive"
Royal Palace Helena Park Hotel is also called
- Riu Helena Park Hotel