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“GIVE BULGARIA A BREAK... IT'S WORTH IT”

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Sol Nessebar Palace
Ranked #1 of 35 Hotels in Nessebar
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 15 May 2011

Bulgaria is not the Costa del Balkans. I travelled with people who expected "Spanish sunshine" or "Greek hospitality". It's an immensely historical country with some breathtaking beautiful scenery - especially if you escape the beaches and head for the mountains or do a bit of sightseeing and shopping in the bigger cities. There's a lot of poverty still there, a lot of people living in a timewarp, and it's a newcomer to Europe, in terms of the Union, and all that entails. Pick your resort with care. If you want a Bulgarian Blackpool head for Sunny Beach. If you want something a little more off the beaten tourist track, but handy for a historical Old Town, great seafood restaurants, and some nice shops in the New Town, head for Nessebar and the Palace in particular. It's allegedly five star, more four star, in Euro terms, but the rooms are spacious and well equipped, the TV does feature English speaking channels, the staff are friendly and attentive, and the food is fine - there's fresh fish, chicken, pork, other meats, grilled in front of you so if you dont want cold or tepid (as the Bulgarians prefer on health grounds) food, catch the chef's eye. The range was excellent, the all inclusive deal doesn't stint, and the desserts, for those of sweeter tooth than I have, are to diet for. The local cheese is great too, like feta. There's entertainment nightly, guests don't always seem to know where to go, a pretty good Bulgarian party night was missed by many opting to stay in the bars and swig up the all inclusive offerings there. It's a massive complex with much to commend it. The Bulgarians havent the easy empathy of, say, the Italians, they are by nature more reserved, but they are nice people, and easy to get on with, once the language barrier is overcome by a bit of body language or smiles. And the value is second to none. You've got to understand the nation;s history and realise that the Bulgarians are still on a learning curve when it comes to catering to the demands of mass tourism. Part of the problem is also getting there, with some companies almost air bus hopping airports to collect tourists if flights don't fill from one or the other airport, which adds to the flight time, and irritation. But once there, and once the sun shines (it's hit and miss May but was scorching as I left as luck would have it) it's a good place. Take buses instead of taxis, one lev instead of 15 (the taxi rate to the old Town) but remember two levs equal about £1, and it;s not a pricy place. Visit the city, the archaeological museums, grab a bit of culture, as well as a tan. And make an effort to chat to the locals.

Room Tip: ask for pool view,old military base other side!
See more room tips
  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled on business
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9  Thank Janarchy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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427 - 433 of 788 reviews

Reviewed 6 May 2011

Beutiful hotel with a big pool nice spa and a 5 stars feeling.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled solo
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5  Thank Liiissiie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 October 2010

hotel isnt a 5*-to agree with everyone else!
it is clean and the rooms are big. the food is very poor, not much choice and it isnt very warm. we are here in the last week of the season so its more like the marie celeste than a cattle market. if this is bulgarian 5* i would hate to stay at a 3*. little things remind you its not a 5*-leaking ceiling in the dining room and having to pay a 20lv deposit for a towel for the pool (as if anyone is going to steal a towel!) it is in the middle of nowhere and at this time of the year there is nothing to do.
im sure in the summer its alot better but things like the decor and food will still be the same, it could do with abit of a facelift and a menu change!
the good points are: the hot chocolate and the cakes!
bad points: food and location

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank vemula
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 October 2010

I stayed for 11 days at the Sol Nessebar Palace in June with my boyfriend. We booked the hotel as part of a package (flight + transfer to hotel + hotel with all inclusive formula) with an online touroperator.

Positive points:
- when arriving late at night we were checked in very quickly and efficiently + we were offered a cold buffet.
- room was beautiful and very big with a comfortable bed.
- bathroom was also quite big, had a bathtub and a separate shower and had beautiful fixings.
- rooms were cleaned each day very thoroughly. our cleaning lady made sculptures out of our towels, which was a nice touch.
- in general, it was clear that staff worked very hard, they were there in the morning, during the day and also in the evening. The animation team should be mentionned especially, for their work with the small children in the "mini-club".
- The swimming pool area was very clean and there were plenty of lounging chairs (no need to put your towel there to 'reserve' your place).
- Fitness center available + indoor pool, which was nice because I had some problems with sun allergy at the end of our trip, needing to stay in the shade and because of the indoor pool I could still have a swim.
- Doctor available in the hotel (was given some pills for sun allergy, so this was very convenient) + small shop in the hotel lobby where you can buy some snacks, drinks, and toiletries.
- All-inclusive formula was good: plenty of choice in food (especially breakfast was great as you are able to have your omelet and pancakes made on the spot), lots of fresh fruits and vegetables available. Also snacks and ice-cream available through the day at the pool bar. Beverages also adequate: water, juice, soda, local beers and spirits and a selection of cocktails.
- Location was ok. You can walk to Old Nessebar - a quaint little town on a peninsula - in 20 minutes. There is a bus stop one block from the hotel and taxis are always available. Some might say the hotel is in the middle of nowhere, but if you are travelling with young people you can easily walk or use public transportation. For me the secluded location was an advantage, as it was very quiet and relaxing. I would not want to stay in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Sunny Beach.

Minor disadvantages:
- Although very polite and helpfull, staff seems a bit aloof and not very warm. I think this is because of the fact that they work very hard and their shifts are very long.
- As this is a five star hotel, I would expect people to dress up for diner. We made an effort to do so every night. Other guests were just strolling in on their flip-flops, wearing beach attire; men wearing shorts (on one occasion one gentleman even went to dinner without wearing a shirt). Even though it was clearly stated at the entrance of the dining room that there was a dress code, the hotel allowed this to happen.
- Several people let their children (not only toddlers, but also children which were at least six years old) run around the pool and the otherwise formal lobby stark naked! I think this is again inappropriate for a five star hotel and again the hotel seemed to allow this.
- The hotel was full of Russian / Central-European families, who have a tendency to pilfer the buffet, piling food on several plates, putting them in the middle of their table so the family has a 'personal mini-buffet' available for them (e.g. taking all pastries for dessert from the buffet while still eating the salad) and let huge quantities go to waste while leaving nothing for other guests.

However, these were minor annoyances. I would recommend the hotel, as it is great value for money, although maybe not a five star in the strictest sense of the word.

Overall Bulgaria is a nice and relatively cheap holiday destination. We went to Old Nessebar (lots of little shops, nice buildings, UNESCO World Heritage), took a bus trip to Varna and took a trip on a catamaran combined with a visit of the town of Sozopol.
Sunny Beach is great for nightlife: they have lots of bars (at the time filled with rowdy English football fans as it was the World Cup) and discos. There are a few trendy beach bars, where you can have a cocktail for 6 leva (3 EUR) and it is happy hour 24 hrs a day, meaning you get two cocktails when you order one. That's a nice way to spend an afternoon.
Make sure you negotiated prices when shopping and especially with taxi drivers, otherwise they charge you 15 leva for Old Nessebar and 25 leva for Sunny Beach (one-way trip). We negotiated and usually payed 8 to 10 leva for Old Nessebar and 15 leva for Sunny Beach.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank Lawyergirl007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 October 2010

Lovely hotel in a location on the outskirts of Nessebar with beautiful gardens leading down to a small beach. We visited in Sept/October 2010. The beach was smelly and covered in strands of seaweed. During the 2nd week the sand was raked to the back of the beach by bulldozers, making it nearly impossible to walk on the beach.
The hotel facilities were good, large bedroom with very modern furnishings giving a 5star feel and a large bathroom with corner bath and large shower. The towels were not of good quality and NOT bath size. Everything was cleaned daily and the huge single beds were v comfortable.
There was some confusion on arrival when at Reception we were asked if we wanted a safe and understanding that the deposit was returnable(they usually are) we agreed. The charge was 70lv for 2 weeks. £35, AND IT WASN'T RETURNABLE. We were shocked and dismayed that a 5star would make this charge. The returnable deposit for the pool towels was 40lv, that is £20, so we got through £55 before we'd started.
The dining room was sometimes very crowded and it was difficult to find a table. There was no Restaurant Manager to show you to your table, nor were the tables set with glasses for the evening meal, and sometimes it was difficult to find plates , glasses and dishes. The food was plentiful, but the meat, potatoes, vegetables, scrambled eggs chips etc were barely warm, nor were the plates warm!
There was a very pleasant Lounge Bar, but it was full of cigarette SMOKE and stank. Yuk!! Ash trays were on the tables and in the corridors to the bedrooms. I am not a smoker although my sister was, but she went outside to smoke.
The entertainment was indoors in the Conference room on a makeshift stage, very tatty with tatty costumes. Not 5 star at all. Although the Animacion team tried very hard.
However the staff were friendly and helpful and most of them spoke English.
There were a lot of WASPS and small black flies that stuck to my sun oil.
The sun loungers were plentiful and no one put towels on them to reserve them. The swimming pools were lovely, but a little cold for my taste. The large indoor pool was warmer and most enjoyable.
To sum up........the hotel was nearly 5 star, the Dining room and food were 3star! We had a great time and relaxed.

  • Stayed: September 2010
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5  Thank EAM56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 September 2010

Beautiful hotel but food was average, but then, food does come high on my list of priorities. If you can stand repetitive buffet, salad and reformed chicken youll be fine. Staff were friendly and helpful. Rooms are great and bathrooms plush. If you want plenty of entertainment then this is not for you. A conference hall with rows of school hall chairs and no bar or tables for an hour a night was disappointing, At least haft the guests in the evening were playing cards after dinner. At least the cards were cheap. Entertainment bar should be re-classified as entertainless bore (games room) but then entertainment is relative! Sunny Beach is lively picks up after 10pm worth a visit for all ages. Went for relaxing holiday and got just that.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank squinty72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 September 2010

Certainly not a 5-star experience. The staff didn't make us feel welcome, the beach was awful, the all-inclusive drinks were of poor quality, safes, billiard pool etc had to be paid for, it would be better to have a buffet and a seperate restaurant rather than just a buffet. The TV looked like it was 15 years old. There were positives though. The food was fantastic, big choice and good quality. The pool was good and relaxing, as well as the adjacent little park, the room was spacious, the bed and bathroom very comfortable. There was lots of tv channels available and in different languages. There was entertainment available for guests every night, and some activities during the day. Overall we had a very nice stay as the weather was excellent and Nessebar nearby was exquisite. However, if you are after 5-star stay, look elsewhere.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank zosokam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sol Nessebar Palace

Address: 7B Aurelia Boulevard, Nessebar 8230, Bulgaria
Phone Number:
Region: Bulgaria > Burgas Province > Nessebar
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Nessebar
#1 Luxury Hotel in Nessebar
#1 Family Hotel in Nessebar
Price Range: £72 - £291 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Sol Nessebar Palace 5*
Number of rooms: 333
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
New Management for Sol Nessebar Resort by Sol Hotels as per 2008. Kids pool area and castle refurbished for safety and quality reasons. New and extended food offers and resort entertainment & sports follow Sol Hotels quality standards. Gardens and Park upgraded. Resort Manager for Sol Nessebar Palace,-Mare, - Bay is Mr. Lubo Lipchev. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sol Nessebar Palace Hotel Nessebar
Sol Hotel Nessebar
Sol Melia Nessebar

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