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“Great value skiing”
Review of Vihren Palace

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Vihren Palace
Ranked #13 of 95 Hotels in Bansko
Richmond, UK
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Great value skiing”
Reviewed 9 April 2012

I recently stayed with friends at a private apartment in the Vihren Palace Hotel which are available for hire. The apartments were really spacious and comfortable and with all the gear thats comes with skking it was nice to have more than just a hotel room. Access to the pool and spa was great, especially the steam room after a days skiing! The location is perfect and you couldn't get much closer to the gondola. Transfer to the resort was cheap as was eating out. The real bonus to Bansko is the value for money - I hired skis, boots, lift pass and 6 days of lessons for about 200 quid! Its a smallish resort but this is an advantage when meeting up with friends at lunch time who are in different lessons and there was enough variety for a week.
Customer service needs a bit of improvement but there is no shortage of places to eat or shop for really affordable ski gear.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank AliJ3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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149 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Greek first
  • Hebrew first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Serbian first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
London
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 March 2012

I recently stayed in the Vihren Palace hotel and spa in Bansko - Bulgaria's major ski resort and hidden gem. We stayed in an apartment and were delighted with it. The apartment was luxurious and extremely comfortable with all mod cons. The hotel complex itself has a fab spa which we could use for free, a nice bar, a great restaurant which had excellent food and was very cheap, and the hotel itself was only a 3 minute walk from the main gondola - perfect. If that wasn't enough they even offer a bus to whisk you right up the mountain, straight to the skiing, avoiding the gondola. They had a great creche too, so all catered for.
Bansko itself is a real hidden gem. The town has a real feel of traditional Bulgaria - you may well see working horse and carts in the streets, little old ladies dressed in black wander around, the old town is really quaint and cobbled and the restaurants are excellent - a slap up meal with loads of booze weighs in at around fifteen pounds - cheap as chips!
The skiing is much better than expected. Note that it is no St.Anton or Val D'Isere, but then you are not paying anything like the prices. It is still pretty good skiing, personally I will happily ski any slope on any mountain and yet I was still kept entertained for a week. There is some reasonable off piste and enough slopes to keep you busy. For beginners and intermediates it is perfect and at absolutely rock bottom prices - my wife hired skis, boots, had lessons all day every day and a ski pass all for the princely sum of 244 Euros - you'd be hard pushed just to get a ski pass at Courchevel for that price, let alone all the rest of the package.
For families who want to avoid a hugely expensive holiday, for beginners and intermediates who do not need 100's kilometers of piste this place is absolutely ideal. Even the transfer was easy and extremely cheap. This place is an undiscovered gem, ignore the negative press, get there before everyone else realises what they are missing out on...

Room Tip: Get an apartment in the hotel.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
2 Thank AntonyStanton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jerusalem, Israel
Level Contributor
78 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 March 2012

very good hotel nice welcome desk good food very good room service
the only but important drawback of bansko : a queue of one hour each morning to go up with the gondola

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank JEANMICHELDREYFUS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rishon Lezion, Israel
Level Contributor
79 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 August 2011

Me and three friends from work planned a week of snowboarding on a budget at Bansko, via a small tour agent here in Israel. Our requirements were comfortable rooms for two, breakfasts, a spa for our sore muscles and most importantly - to be close to the ski gondola.
By the agent's recommendation we got two double rooms at the Vihren Palace 4 star hotel, and it really fit our needs and expectations!
First and foremost, this is one of the closest hotels to the gondola, you just need to cross the parking lot and you're in the line! That's amazing. If you look at bansko's map, you can see that the main street and most of the shops and bars concentrate around the gondola because that's where everyone goes through at least twice a day, so being in a hotel that's right there on the spot isn't only good for the skiing itself but for apre-ski as well: we could get down from the gondola, shower, change and go to a pub for dinner faster than it took other skiers just to reach their hotel!
Besides that, bansko being a rapidly developing resort, vihren looks and feels really brand new, and mostly stands up to it's 4 star rating. It's a big and nice looking hotel, with an indoor parking, ski room for storing your gear, and a really nice spa where you can get a massage or just enjoy the swimming pool, jacuzzi or sauna. They are small, but satisfactory and really improve your ability to keep on rocking on the slopes the next day!
The breakfast was typical east-europe, same as you would get anywhere in bulgaria, hungaria, romania or the czech republic: bacon, eggs, sausages, a selection of veggies, cheese and salami, museli, and some tasteless pastries. All in all, it's good enough to get you through the week without being repetitive, and gives the energy needed for a day of snowboarding, but not exciting otherwise.
The rooms were really nice, we had a nice big shower, a small kitchen with a half-size fridge and even a stove (but no pans), even a small balcony! Only con to the rooms was they weren't equipped with a safe, and we had to pay a few euros to use one of the safe deposit boxes in the lobby.
Staff were nice and useful and spoke fluent but rather heavily-accented english, like most of the town they are very tourist service oriented and it really feels like they are doing their best to make your vacation pleasant - that's exactly the kind of feel I want to have and that's one of the reasons I'll consider going to bansko again.

Room Tip: Any room should be good as they are all new.
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  • Stayed February 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Moti_Granovsky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Thessaloniki, Greece
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 January 2011

I have stayed in a great number of 4stars hotels and this is definitely not a 4 star hotel. First of all the photos of the hotel are misleading, what you see is far from what you get. For example the size of the lobby and rooms is much smaller from the sense you get by observing the photos. The staff is untrained, impolite and hardly speak english. The quality of breakfast is poor and the swimming pool is very cold. In addition the beds do not promote a good sleep. Last but not least they tried to bill us beverages from the refrigerator that we didn't drink. The prize is extremely high compared to the quality of the hotel. The only positive of this hotel is its very good location.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank akrallis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Bansko hotels

Bucharest
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 10 January 2011

Good evening, Water, please, not to mentioon other requests. In the bathroom, everytime we took a shower, no matter how much attention we paid at the shower curtain, the water would spred to the bathroom floor, so we had to use a lot of towels in order to clean the mess. i guess there was a leak in the bathtub.
the food: Oh, the food... Very, very bad! the breakfast consisted in different types of salami, cheese, vegetables and a louzy omlette - which looked more like a soup than a meal. horror! and you could barely name that coffeeI have spent my winter holiday 2010-2011 (Dec 28 - January 2nd) at Vihren Palace Ski&Spa Resort with my boyfriend and a goup of friends. The experience was terrible. First of all, we went to Bansko for skiing, but there was lack of snow (not their fault) and was very very crowded. The hotel room was pretty large and clean, but i wouldn't rate it at a 4 star hotel, maybe just 3, according to international standard. la hotel lobby was very small, considering we were a group of 8 and we barely had place to chat in the evening. Tha staff is kind, but this is because they don't speak any foreign language. we tried to talk to them in english, but they didn't understand a word! not even Hello, Good Moring,
The Dinner: as bad as the breakfast. the first night, they served among others beef tongue. on the second night, the same beef tongue, put in a salad. the third night, the same beef tongue, in another salad... gross! few dishes of food, with chicken, fish and pork, but pretty modest.
Beware of the tavern Bulgare! we went there in out first day and there was bad food and very very expensive. we also went there for the New Years Party and it costed 97 Euro/ person! The music was horrible - only bad bulgarian folk music, with louzy singers. Awful! And the food... nothing interesting but they left us speachless when they brought plates with salami! ON new years' eve!!!!! What's wrong with these people???
Not to mention: on the road to Bansko, the bulgarian police stopped us for an invented reason and we had to pay them 20 euro to let us go. the same thing as we were driving back. same "fee" of 20 euro. the bulgarian police is the most corrupted of all!
I forgot to mention the spa: so and so, not too clean. better not.
I'll never go to Bansko again, in fact, never Bulgaria again! Not even in transit!

  • Stayed December 2010
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Deeana80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sibiu
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 December 2010

We spent 5 days here and the only think we were sorry is that our stay was too short. The apartment was all new, spotless, spacious, we had more than we needed, the food was excellent, I was on a diet and I found everything I needed, my husband is kind of picky with food but he was more than satisfied, our 4 years old sun, also. Only few dishes but tasty. The prices inside the restaurant were more than reasonable, the pool was not as warm as I like, but, really the water was OK, and we took bath every evening and we loved the fresh bar near the pool. The stuff was polite and kind with us, we had really great time ! I run a travel agency and I intend to recommend this hotel to my clients with no doubt.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank AlinaApostol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Vihren Palace

Property: Vihren Palace
Address: Str. Pere Toshev 2, Bansko 2700, Bulgaria
Region: Bulgaria > Blagoevgrad Province > Bansko
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#7 Spa Hotel in Bansko
#9 Luxury Hotel in Bansko
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Vihren Palace 4*
Number of rooms: 29
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Vihren Palace Ski And Spa Resort
Vihren Palace Ski Hotel Bansko

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