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“Rila is good hotel and great value skiing holiday”

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Hotel Rila Borovets
Ranked #6 of 29 Hotels in Borovets
Cowbridge
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Rila is good hotel and great value skiing holiday”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 March 2011

Do not take on board all the moaning reviews on this hotel and resort as it is a really nice hotel , great location and the people very friendly.
Rila - large pool with free jacuzzis ( 2 very large jacuzzis to take about 10 people so no problem getting in one) . extra 10L for sauna and steam rooms but even that only a fiver. Rooms on back are very quiet and people said rooms to front overlooking slopes quiet too so take no notice of the odd moaner about noise as you can always move to the rear and it is so QUIET you cannot hear anything at night.It was lovely to have a bath ensuite to soak in after skiing as some places you only get a shower. Food was absolutely fine - salads were lovely and plentiful,pasta dish,pizza every night and pork ,chicken and veggie dishes every night so what is the problem there! Breakfast was plentiful and fresh pancakes every day - ok you had to queue but my kids loved them!
Resort has been short of snow but it snowed most days and the "Masala" blue run from the top to base of gondola opened towards end of week to give plenty of skiing for begin/interm . Bulgarians are extremely friendly and welcome tourists as they are not an affluent country (I hate to see the waste of food at buffet meals!!) We bought new ski gear too as it is very cheap over there esp towards end of season.
The only problem was CRYSTAL - busy half term week and they booked everyone into the same ski hire shop to get fitted so 1 1/2 hr wait to ski first morning and 1 hr next - our ski instructor then advised to store skis in hotel room which most people did and plenty of space in room to do this anyway. CRYSTAL then try and flog you every trip and night out going which is a pain as you waste so much time sitting thro their chat.
RECCOMMEND the HUNTERS steak restaurant opposite Gondola as our ski instructor's family owns this and the meals were fab - garlic bread to die for !!!
SO GO TO RILA AND BULGARIA AS YOU WILL HAVE A FAB TIME

Stayed February 2011, travelled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank holidaysramust
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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Cambridge
Level Contributor
22 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 February 2011

Borovetz is not St Moritz, but makes a good value location for skiing. Hotel Rila is right next to the lifts, which is saves a lot of effort carrying skis & boots around town. Some of the clubs are a bit noisy on one side of the hotel, but if you ask for a room on the carpark side it will be quiet. Take your swimming costume as it has a large indoor pool & decent jacuzzis.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Rohug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 February 2011

I went snowboarding from the 12th - 19th February and had a fantastic holiday. I read some bad reviews for the hotel before going but I don't agree with a lot of them. The rooms were big for a ski resort, they were cleaned every day and fine for the amount of time you spend in them. The food was basic but edible. You don't really go for the food but even if you didn't like it there are plenty of places near by to go and eat and it’s fairly cheap.
The location couldn't have been any better. You walk out of the hotel and you are at the bottom of the slopes. Everyone we came in to contact with was so friendly and couldn't do enough for you. The nightlife was great and all the bars were near each other so you didn't have to walk far to get your next drink. The snow wasn't great but there is nothing they could have done about that.
This was the first time that I went to Borovets and it won’t be the last. I would recommended it to anyone thinking of going.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ewing1985
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 February 2011

After reading some of the reviews on here I was a little worried about this hotel and holiday, however Im glad we went as we had a great time and the hotel was lovely.

We had a studio room on the 3rd floor with an amazing view over the slopes. The room was large with plenty of space and a balcony. It was always warm and the hot water was never ending which was perfect for having a bath after skiing all day. We did not have any problems with noise at night despite being so close to the resort, only thing we ever heard was the TV from next door one evening and didnt hear other guests or bars and clubs.

The hotel pool is large and warm, the jacuzzis are great and so is the spa which was only 10 lev (about £4) lovely big steam bath and saunas which all looked pretty new, as did the gym which we didnt actually use. The massage Centre was great value for money too. We did not find the hotel smokey, I did pop into the casino one afternoon for a look around and this was smokey but the large lobby/bar in reception was not smokey and smoking was not allowed.

The food in the restaurant was good in that there was always plenty of choice and it was all fresh. I am vegetarian and there was always food I could eat. Usually a couple of vegetarian options in the evening, one fish and 2-3 meat options as well as freshly made pizza, lots of fresh salads, fruit, cheese and biscuits, yogurt and cakes for pudding as well as a couple of home made soups. In the mornings there were pancakes, pastries, fruit, continental and full english style breakfasts as well as yogurt, cereal and home made cakes. You could eat as much as you liked so it was good value for money too. We did not find the food too cold as some reviews have said but if you did there was a microwave that you could heat food up in if you wanted to.

The resort itself is quite small but everything is within easy reach of the hotel, location could not have been better and you can literally ski into the lobby its so close to the slopes. This was great for us as my husband is much fitter than me and ski's longer so I could pop back to the hotel for a drink and a rest! and then meet him easily afterwards back on the slopes. The lifts open at half 8 so he went out skiing before breakfast every morning too. there was also night skiing every night, you do need to buy another lift pass for this but it didnt cost much and the slopes are well lit up and quiet.

There are plenty of bars and shops in the hotel and around borovets. We had lunch one day at the mexican mamacitas which was really nice and had drinks and lunches in the black tiger, francos, snow inn and a few other places. There was lots of bars and restaurants and all really cheap compared to the UK. Wine was really cheap and the bulgarian wine was nice, beer was about £1.50 a pint. It was nice to go somewhere and not worry about what you were spending during the day. We did not find touts a problem and the people we met were all friendly. Some reviews have mentioned sex shops-we took a walk round the village and spotted a couple but they are discreet and you really dont see much more than the name from the outside.

We had a skidoo ride which was really good, lasted an hour and you went round some tracks up the mountain which were all really snowy and pretty. We were quite lucky with the weather as we had quite a bit of snow most nights we were there and they still had the snow cannons on most of the time as well so it was lovely and powdery snow but it was pretty cold (-6ish most days) although you did warm up skiing and it was lovely in the afternoons when the sun came out. We went up the gondola a few times, beautiful views and even if you are not a skiier I would recommend a trip up for the view. If you are not a confident skiier like myself you can always get the gondola back down again or use the blue run down which is easy. Although I did not have any lessons out there, there were plenty of nursery slopes and the lessons looked good value and fun. I would say this is a good resort for most levels of skiing as there was plenty of nice blues and greens as well as reds and blacks so something for everyone. even at the top of the gondola there was a nice green and blue that beginners could do with plenty of reds down for more advanced skiiers.

On the last day we had the check out tour of Sophia that was offered as out flight wasn't untill the evening. Sophis is a small capital city so the afternoon there was long enough to walk around and see the sights and go for lunch.

Overall we had a great time here and would definately go back and stay at the Rila again.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank igl_07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Beverley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
146 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 February 2011

Went to Borovets for the first time this year with my 12yr old son and some friends who also had a similar aged daughter - a budget holiday booked as wife and daughter didn't want to ski this year.. Having read the reviews on the Rila prior to going I was a little unsure as to what to expect but I have to say I was more than pleasantly surprised with this hotel.
Our twin room was on the 4th floor, above the swimming pool, with a balcony overlooking the slopes. The room was very clean, acceptably furnished with a decent bathroom/shower over bath and always comfortably warm. The maid attended every day and coped admirably with the mess left by a 12yr old boy (and his father!). Whilst we did hear some of the noise from the bars below this was never too loud to disturb our sleep, even with my son going to bed as early as 10pm some evenings.
Having heard of thefts from the rooms (from previous reviews) I hired a safe box in reception which cost 10 Lev per day - a bit steep but worth it for the piece of mind and was big enough to keep a small lap top in.
Having read so much about the poor food (and our friends experience from previous visits) we didn't use the hotel restaurant in the evening. We did, however, eat in the hotel for breakfast and this was more than adequate - plenty of choice of the usual continental suspects and a passable attempt at British breakfast staples and lots of fruit - certainly enough to keep us going until lunch time. If I did have a complaint it would be with the quality of the tea and coffee, if you want a decent drink I'd bring your own teabags and/or coffee.
Lots of comments on other reviews about the unfriendly nature of the staff in the hotel and I've got to say I didn't experience this at all.. The staff were certainly no more dour than anyone working in any hotel I've stayed in and a smile and little patience was always rewarded with courteous and efficient service.
The hotel bar area was always clean with loads of room to sit with friends/family and if you looked you would see security keeping an eye on things. It was a little pricey compared to other places but no more than one would expect to pay in a hotel bar anywhere. It was also the only no smoking bar I think in the whole resort... The hotel nightclub did allow smoking; the drinks there were also considerably cheaper than the lobby bar.
The kids used the swimming pool almost every day and in the words of my son it was, 'good, warm but slippy round the sides and the jacuzzi was nice and hot (not warm!)'

The ski hire we used was in the hotel and this made it really easy to collect and deposit equipment at the start and end of each day - have to say though that it was chaotic on the first day when equipment was being sorted - get there early!!. (I brought own boots and skis and payed for storage as part of the carriage charges and they were stored in the hire shop which was very handy.

In terms of location, the Rila could not be better situated. It leads out right onto the foot of the slopes and the shops and bars that radiate from there. The ski school also operates from right outside the hotel - again good for sorting the kids out but chaotic on the first day and it took a day or two for our groups to settle into a good banding of ski ability...
I've stayed in 6 or 7 hotels and a few chalets across European ski resorts and the Rila, from my experience of it, is as good if not better than most places I've stayed in and paid a lot more for the privilege.
As a resort, Borovets is like nowhere else I've skied, it's certainly not quaint Alpine nor is it as sterile as La Plagne and if it's culture you're after you're in the wrong place!!. Yes, there are people outside a lot of the bars and restaurants trying to entice you in but all the ones we saw were good natured and often quite funny. They could actually be a help - if you wanted to go in a particular bar just make out you wouldn't go in unless you got a discount on food or free drinks and they were always happy to oblige!!
We ate in quite a few places: the mexican which was good with reasonable portions; the Titanic which did a great steak; the Green King which was ok; the Red Dragon chinese, which was very good with huge portions; and all over at lunch times with the best mountain restaurant being the one by the side of the reservoir. Generally speaking, all the food was reasonable priced and a bargain compared to what you'd pay in any other European ski area.
We went in plenty of the bars, the Derby being our favorite apres ski haunt - large beer costing 3 Lev and a free welcome shot of Rakia (no idea how to spell it but it's local spirit mixed with honey and served hot or flaming and its gorgeous). Kate's on the way back into the resort centre from the Gondola also seemed to be a favorite with lots of other skiers after a day on the slopes.
Later on Franco's was lively and with the flyers from the chaps outside you could always get free drinks or 3 cocktails for the price of 1 - made for very cheap nights out.... Yes, there were some seedy looking places and a couple of sex shops but even to our kids they were more an amusement than an annoyance.

And the skiing.....well, we didn't have the best snow but I don't think we were alone in Europe in that regard. The piste bashers did a great job though in keeping the majority of runs open despite the conditions. I've seen that some people in the resort the same week as us have complained about the icy conditions on some of the slopes and whilst this is true, I don't think I've ever skied anywhere that hasn't had icy slopes at some point and that's just got to be accepted when staying in a resort with limited runs - if you want 300 kms of runs to pick and choose from pay twice as much for your holiday!! The lifts and gondola are a bit dated but they worked just as well as anywhere else I've been and certainly there weren't the crowds and queues I've experienced in France....
Our experience of the instructors from Borosports was excellent and I'd definitely recommend them for beginners or intermediate skiers looking to improve. 6 x 4 hrs a day tuition with a break for lunch and further drink break too in the child groups. (Although one of our party was snowboarding for the first time and unfortunately, I don't think the same could be said of the snowboarding instruction which was only for 3 days and a couple of hours a day)

So, would I recommend the Rila and the resort. Yes, without a doubt, if you want a good holiday at a great price this is the place to go. If you want luxury and miles of piste, pay a lot more and go somewhere else.....
.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Brian K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 February 2011

Unfortunately the snow was a bit rubbish the week we were there but as for the hotel, if the snow had been right, we would have had a spot-on skiing holiday. The hotel is right at the ski hire, ski school and ski lifts in Borovets which, when you have children is just what you need. Our room was on the first floor which meant our 8 yr old children could nip to and from it easily and we had twin beds & a bunk for them with a shower over bath en-suite. Very clean and also cleaned every day (& tidied!). The food was absolutely fine - we have a very fussy eater in the family & even she found something to eat every day - also plenty of fruit available so good to top up. The reception/bar area is great for evenings as the children made friends with all the others there any there was a great gang of them playing in the games room and around so we could always see them whatever they were up to! We really enjoyed our stay there and, if the snow was a defo, we'd go back no question. Oh yeah, great pool & fab jacuzzi if you sneak in before the crowds;)

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JoeCBrown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Southampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 February 2011

We went for a weeks skiing holiday which was the first time our teenage sons had been skiing.
The hotel was exactly what we needed for this purpose with good food ( I don't want to eat British food when abroad), a great bar area, superb location to the ski slopes and 99% of the staff were very friendly and helpful. There was plenty to entertain my teenage boys after skiing had completed for the day without them having to leave the hotel.
This really was an excellent place to stay and the resort was typical of any commercial resort in the world with no difference.
I have found more ssedy literature and beggars in any street of London in one walk than I found in a whole week at this resort. It was fabulous for us as a family and we met great people there who also had a fantastic time.
I can highly recommend the Borovets ski school staff who took great care of every student from 10 am to 3pm when the school finished, including joining them for lunch.
We are heading back there next year to continue our ski education of our boys it was so good and excellent value for money.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Berin1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Rila Borovets

Property: Hotel Rila Borovets
Address: Borovets 2010, Bulgaria
Region: Bulgaria > Sofia Region > Borovets
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Luxury Hotel in Borovets
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Rila Borovets 4*
Number of rooms: 490
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The four-star Rila Hotel is the most impressive hotel in Borovets. Built in 1986 by the French company Les Arcs it is one of the largest ski lodges on the Balkan Peninsula. The hotel has an excellent location as a ski-in / ski-out hotel at the very bottom of the ski runs and 200 m from the Gondola lift; 50 m from Sitnyakovo Express and 50 m from Quad chair Martinovi Baraki.Rila Hotel provides holidays perfect for any age and during any season and offers ideal leisure opportunities – sports; spa; various restaurants and entertainments; sightseeing tours and cultural programs. For nature lovers Rila Hotel provides qualified mountain guides and selected hiking trips.Rila Hotel was completely renovated in 2001 and today it offer 256 double rooms and 266 standard studios. All rooms and studios have balconies overlooking the mountain with table and chairs. All are equipped with telephone; radio and satellite TV; bath with bathtub and hair-dryer. The studios have also small kitchenette and refrigerator.The hotel spa centre is the place where guests can pamper themselves with aromatherapy massages. At your disposal are heated indoor swimming pool with Jacuzzi; sauna; steam bath and solarium. The Pool Bar is a perfect place for relaxation after the exhausting day on the slopes. Sports lovers will be pleasantly surprised with the modern fitness centre and tennis court.Hotel Rila has 2 restaurants – Rila and Iskar with 300 and 200 seats. Qualitative European cuisine and delicious Bulgarian dishes prepared with love and genuine care are served in cozy ambiance.The Lobby Bar and the Pool Bar are the ideal choice for family and friends. With care dedicated to kids; the hotel provides a hall for games and entertainment, as well as ski kindergarten; where children between 4 and 8 years of age will get their first ski lessons.The hotel offers five conference halls with a capacity to accommodate from 30 to 200 attendees and with modern equipment for presentations and seminars. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rila Hotel Borovets

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