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“NOT EVEN A 3STAR - RESORT AWFUL - HOTEL AWFUL”
Review of Hotel Riu Helios

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Hotel Riu Helios
Ranked #4 of 221 Hotels in Sunny Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 May 2012

I have stayed at quite a few rui hotels and unfortunately this was not only the worst rui experience, it was the worst hotel i have ever stayed in. We arrived , and from the outside the hotel does look like it is in desperate need of painting. The pool area was shabby, plastic chairs, coffee from plastic carton cups, coffee is dreadful. The pools are terrific but i am a water baby and only dared entered this pool once. Firstly it was too cold, secondly both pools were dirty. The rooms are clean but depending on which cleaner you get, depends on the cleanliness. We had to ask for toilet roll! and toiletries. There is no bar area as such, usually, before a meal on holiday we like to sit on a terrace, or some area where you can enjoy a cocktail, beer or drink. The bar is in the reception area, with marble floors and outdated leather settees. We likened it to sitting at the airport waiting for a flight. I asked for a cocktail, it was served in a cheap small beaker, with chopped up fruit !!! it did provide lots of laughs though. In all my travels i have NEVER experienced such bad service and terrible food in the restaurant. It resembles a school canteen, bright lights, queuing for food, first come, first served. We are not fussy eaters but lived on salad (lettuce , tomatoes, onions, olives) that is about as much variety as you get. Puddings, (same every lunch and night), frozen chips, and cheese (not served at lunch i was told!). I did pluck up the courage to highlight to the maitre de that the tagliatelle was in fact stone cold. There was no apology, he just disappeared into the kitchen with a lady ! The next night the sausages were cold, i complained, again, no apology just a disappearing act. We spoke to the rep, Megan who was lovely but stated that no one else had complained. Yet, we had been informed that lots of people were in fact complaining. Megan then told us towards the end of the week that many customers had complained about the food. However, nothing improved and nothing was done. I made a formal complaint eventually and intend to follow this up. The drinks are another matter, i asked for Malibu and was almost sick with what they delivered. Branded drinks are extra, for a 4Star platinum this was a disgrace. At one rui in costa del sol, champagne was included in the all inclusive. There was a queue every morning for fried eggs, then by the time you had queued for your bacon the eggs were cold, they were also under cooked with slime still on. The bacon changed from being bacon to being ham which had been fried ! the serving areas are tiny for the number of people, hence the reason you have to queue and queue. Oh and the afternoon snacks in the afternoon - such joy!! cold veal burgers, and left over cake from lunch. We only went once. The lamb one night was completely inedible, 6 out of 6 days, the hot water for coffee was broken. I was told to wait until the light came back on, i lost the will to live and ended up with water. The soup is another matter all together, i knew what it said it was, but it did not resemble anything i had tasted, and not in a good way. I have always booked all inclusive, not being a fussy eater i work on the assumption there is always something you can eat ! hot tip to self? never assume. The positive, was the animation team who worked really hard and did entertain, lovely people. However one night the entertainment was what i can only describe as erotic dancers. I was on holiday with mum and aunt, this is supposed to be a family hotel, i felt like i was in an erotic bar. We were not the only ones and many people made comment on this. The staff in the bar salon are also lovely as are the reception. Unfortunately that is the only positive about this hotel and the resort. We were warned about pickpockets, but not advised on which areas NOT to visit as three lone women. We ended up in a frightening situation with a Romanian man, please be aware of this. They are good looking people and try to engage you in conversation, keep walking. They are NOT nice people looking to chat !!! We were then met at a bus stop by a very aggressive man trying to get us in a taxi, one man was pick pocketed whilst we were there and another beaten up !!! there are also "cherry pickers", these people try to sell you cherries or straw berries, once you have them in your hands they demand money, when you refuse, they rob you. All in all 6 people who should have had 2 weeks holiday , paid to return early and came on our flight home, loosing an awful lot of money. I know one poor couple were on their honeymoon and cut this short to return home. We never even received an apology, only off our thompson rep. We will never ever book another Rui hotel and we usually take 3-5 holidays a year. It is only when we stayed here that we realized our loyalty points from other trips had not been added to the loyalty card. We also had to eat out at Mcdonalds and other such places the food was that bad, and again there was no compensation for this. We also had to look at a poor horse with a cart, this is personal preference i know. But to see a horse stood for 12 hours a day in blazing heat, getting stressed, directly at the front of the hotel is NOT my idea of a holiday.

Room Tip: My tip would be not to book a room at this hotel at all, to be fair the room 3184 we had did have a...
  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
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8  Thank NinjaCheshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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647 - 653 of 920 reviews

Reviewed 3 February 2012

My wife and i stayed at this resort for 2weeks in August 2010 and again for 2weeks August 2011,the staff cannot do enough for you and are always smiling,the entertainment staff,lead by Tony are absolutely brilliant with adults and children alike.
The restaurant has just about every different sort of food you could imagine,"champagne on Sunday mornings"a great start to the day,
No need to take your beach towels,there provided
The rooms are spacious and well tended..Just a 5min walk and your in the town.
Lots of good tattooist and less than half uk prices...!!!!

Room Tip: try and get pool facing rooms..these also face the sea..rooms at the back of the hotel overlook the...
  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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20  Thank geoff r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 January 2012

we stayed at the riu helios in may 2011 for 2 weeks all the staff were fantastic... we tried the special restaurants on resort and they were fantastic. the bar was great...recommend the cocktails :) trying too book again this year but not able to find it threw the travel agent, i dont hav kids but if you do the kids club is also fantastic, the familys i met there couldnt say any bad things about it, also the animation team were also great, but if you are going to go on days out ie khans tent book threw the hotel and save yourselfs some pennies as the reps lie saying that you dont get the same service and you do, the family that booked with the hotel shop(attraction shop on way to main eating area) got better seats!!! plus the food at the hotel was great

have fun when you do go :)

Room Tip: the higher the better and sea view is always a nice room :)
  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with family
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6  Thank Julied85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 January 2012

We booked a last minute holiday and stayed in the riu helios in sunny beach. It was one of the best holidays we have had. We were right on the beach and also a 5min walk to local bars and restaurants. The weather in July was boiling hot. For a fully inclusive holiday for a week we paid £500.00 per adult, money well spent. If your looking for a lazy holiday then look no further. The rooms were comfortable and clean and the food amazing. So much choice and very fresh. We had such a good time.
This would also be perfect for families as there was lots of daily entertainment by the pool and organised quizzes and sporting events.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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17  Thank Jennyj41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 October 2011

We stayed at the rui helios and what a brill time we had rooms very good and clean not dated at all the hotel was well clean and up to standard air con good towels clean every day beach just outside the gates food excellent diff every day plenty of drinks even imported spirits happy hubby entertainment a bit cheesy but hey what do you expect i dont know why people moan we had a very good time and will deffo go back we had a high floor which got the sun all day so we could sit on the balcony and chill before dinner, cleaners and bar staff work very hard nothing was to much trouble for them so dont take any notice of the people that moan try it for yourselves it was good looking forward to going back we have stayed in a five star before and not much different

Room Tip: asked for a high floor as these have a balcony, lower floors only have a window and no balconies
  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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14  Thank happiness191
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 October 2011

Well we had an eleven night stay here and although they were preparing to close, it didn't stop the hotel from still looking after us very well.
The rooms were spacious, quiet and had a great view of the pool and the sea (well a bit of it).
The food was all buffet style, but was always hot with a great selection of food, which did largely cater for the Germans (with Pork, Chicken and Fish) but always had plenty of veg and a great salad bar. Also the cheese board allowed you to try different cheeses you probably wouldn't at home. If you get fed up with the buffet you could book into the Asian on a Mon- Weds and the Bulgarian from the Thurs to Sat. I have to say...the food in both was fantastic even though it was a set menu.
The 3 bars were well staffed and the measures were very generous =o) and it helped that you could get soft drinks, water, tea and coffee on tap to save queueing.
The Thomson rep was always there to help if needed, which gives piece of mind, but to be honest wasn't needed.
The hotel is only a couple of minutes from the main Sunny Beach strip so just far enough away to miss any of the nightclub noise but near enough to make the most of the great shopping.
Nessebar is only a 10 minute bus ride and well worth visiting.

Room Tip: We were on the 3rd floor (328) which had a great view although we didn't ask for an upgrade.
  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank MelandJudy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 October 2011

Booked 7 nights all inclusive platinum 4*. Resort good. Although staff are friendly, we found the hotel to be grubby and dated. Beds uncomfortable, air conditioning poor, dirty towels often folded and replaced in bathroom. Pool empty has the water was freezing, saw staff dipping sponges in pool
to wipe loungers. Food cold and often inedible even more so when you see insects crawling out of it. All drinks are watered down to the point of some guest resorting to bringing their own alcohol to the bars.This was strongly denied by the rep who refused to taste it for herself due to the fact she was on duty. Trust me! rep Gemma nobody could of accused you of that. Was also told after standing in a queue of un-happy holiday makers that we were the only couple to complain. However after 3 days we were offered a move to an half board hotel with an additional cost of 900 GBP therefore, making our week holiday a total cost of around two and a half thousand pound. Overall review........ Stayed in better 2* at a fraction of the cost.

Room Tip: Would avoid this hotel and platinum holidays mean " pricey lpoor standard hotels"
  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Jane B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Helios

Address: | on the beachfront, 300 m from centre of Sunny Beach, Sunny Beach 8240, Bulgaria
Region: Bulgaria > Burgas Province > Sunny Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Sunny Beach
#4 Luxury Hotel in Sunny Beach
#4 Spa Hotel in Sunny Beach
#4 Romantic Hotel in Sunny Beach
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Sunny Beach
#7 Family Hotel in Sunny Beach
Price Range: £68 - £188 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Helios 4*
Number of rooms: 395
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* In the Sunny Beach resort area on the Black Sea * 6-story building * Situated on the beach front * 300 m from the center of Sunny Beach * 25 km from Burgas airport * Credit cards accepted: MasterCard, Visa ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Helios Hotel
Riu Helios Sunny Beach
Hotel Riu Helios Bulgaria/Sunny Beach

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