Clean, beautiful rooms. Good meals, nice pool. Too bad that the pool bar wasn't "functional".
Clean, beautiful rooms. Good meals, nice pool. Too bad that the pool bar wasn't "functional".
Our massive suite was spotless, with sea and pool views. The bathroom, with complimentary skin care products, was immense and had mood lighting. It was beautiful and a relaxing area. Internet access was uninterrupted and fast loading. We enjoyed the meals, which were included in the tarrif.
We had a ball at this resort. The pool area was spotless and the music was great!
The free bus was useful. We caught the bus back to the resort, having walked down.
The staff was so friendly and helpful- nothing was too much trouble.
I loved the spa services that were on offer.
The Orchidea Boutique Hotel & Spa, only opened in 2007, has 4 stars by Bulgarian standards. It is well designed and has some fantastic facilities, but is already looking a little tired in places, mostly due to a seeming lack of basic upkeep.
For example, one of the main reasons we chose this hotel was that it had a fitness room with a treadmill. This was important to us as our 2 week holiday was immediately before the Great North Run, in which we were both participating. However, on our first day we noted that the treadmill was not functioning properly – nor was the cross-trainer, and the multi-gym had worryingly looking frayed cables. We reported the malfunctioning treadmill on a number of occasions to the hotel and our rep, but despite this it remained unusable for the duration of our stay. It was as though the gym was installed in 2007, and the door shut.
The remainder of the spa was great, though, with guests able to use freely the aromatherapy steam room (although we failed to spot any distinctive aromas, so really it was simply a steam room), the jacuzzi (by appointment – accommodates two quite comfortably), the relaxation room, and the indoor and outdoor pools. The indoor one, however, was merely a huge hole in the floor, until our last day, when it was mysteriously suddenly filled with water. This, alongside certain discrete lighting both indoors and out, coincided with the arrival of a few German guests.
The swim up bar was a particular attraction for us, but it was nearly always unstaffed – so to have to go to reception to ask for service at the bar detracted from the experience of having attentive bar staff at the ready. Maybe this – amongst other things – was indicative that the season was coming to an end.
The Balkan Holidays brochure describes the hotel as having an “enviable position at the start of the resort” – or words to that effect. Well, hmm, no – it doesn’t even lie within the confines of Golden Sands itself, which is a good 20 minute walk away down some fairly steep slopes. This was not a problem for us as we are relatively fit, but for others it could be problematic. Hence, the courtesy shuttle bus to and from the centre of Golden Sands is a welcome addition, but it only operates four times a day (and always departed earlier than stated, so be warned if you plan to take it!), the last trip being at 4pm – not much use for an evening dinner! Perhaps that is because the hotel would prefer you to eat in their restaurant, and you can’t blame them for that, so we thought we’d have a go early on in our holiday. Most days feature a special offer – the day we chose was ‘chicken fantasy’ at a reduced price, only to find that when the bill came, there it was at full price. Upon our enquiry, we were advised that the offer only applied at lunchtime – yet the official restaurant opening times don’t include lunch! Not to worry, it was only a fiver difference for the both of us, let’s leave it – so we asked to have the bill charged to our room. “Sorry sir, we can’t do that now we’ve printed the bill.” Well, that’s not four star service, so needless to say there was no tip, and that was our last visit to the restaurant! Upon mentioning this at reception, we were told we’d have to speak to the duty manager in the morning. No thanks, we’ve not come on holiday to spend all our time at the reception desk – we’ll simply vote with our feet and wallet!
In terms of proximity to the beach, 400m is probably accurate, but it is down two steep roads (or short cut round the back of next door’s pool and down some steps, then down further steps between the roads). It took us 8 mins to walk there and 10 to get back – many others may take longer, or even find the descent and/or climb back too demanding. We also noticed that a short cut through the (predominantly German) Kini Park Hotel and rear path would knock 10 mins off the walk into town, but we didn’t have the bottle to do it – let us know if you dared it yourself!!
As for breakfast, it was continental in style, but rather uninspiring, with stale croissants and soft (not crispy) cereals, and only warm (not hot) water for a cup of tea. Very often, the milk and hot water had run-out, and we nearly always had to ask for them to be topped-up. Never a problem for the staff, they were always nice about it, but why didn’t they keep an eye on it in the first place to alleviate the need for our constant asking? Again, is this indicative of four star status?
The air conditioning left a little to be desired. It was as effective as turning on the fan in your car, but not pressing the “AC” button, and that applied throughout the hotel, not just in our room, which to be fair was very spacious with a nice balcony overlooking the pool with a ¾ sea view, and the bed was absolutely huge and VERY comfortable.
The internet access in room was a LAN cable, so unless you had your laptop with you, it was 3 BGN per hour (about £1.40) on the desktop on the ground floor.
Overall, a smart looking hotel with excellent spa facilities (save for the gym), but the lack of attention to detail along with its position means that if we ever visited Golden Sands again, we would probably stay elsewhere, but would pop up every now and them to feed the wild dogs, who all have a lovely temperament, especially “Patch” (you’ll know who that is!) – if you visit, please give them a snack and a pat from us!!
Stayed in June 2008 for 10days
HOTEL... was amazing. Spotlessly clean,Rooms very good size, sheets changed every 2nd day unless otherwise required. Staff very helpful and accomadating. Laundry service top class- everything pressed and ironed on return. Pool cold but got used to it after a while. Pool bar had stools in the water. thumbs up from me!
FOOD... breakfast was lovely. Great selection of hot and cold, lots of fruits and breads and juices etc. Had dinner a few times from al la carte menu. It was nice but got better and cheaper down at the Golden sands strip only a short walk away.
No entertainment in hotel, i found was a bit poor. Music by the poolside during the day. Rooftop bar is lovely at night. Views are amazing.
There was a wedding in the hotel the week we stayed. It was fab watching from our balcony in the evening.
SPA... Out of this world. Had a few treatments done very cheaply and best ever. Well done there guys.
Would go back but not a place for kids(no kids club etc). More of a couple or group hotel.
stayed there for two weeks we had an apartment rather than a room approx mesurments 30ft by 20ft ,very smart,lovely bathroom
We didn,t go on Holiday just to watch tv but I thought it might be of interest BBC news
eurosport,tcm, also a couple of bulgaria channels which are mainly english movies with bulgarian subtitles so there was always something to watch
Everyone knows golden sands which it takes about 15 mins to get to the start of the bars we only went there once.If you head the opposite direction you get to a smaller resort which a lot of bulgarians use,This is call Kacucum beach,or journalist beach,the diffrence beetween this and golden sands is that it is not as commercial,therfore the prices as different for example mixed grill close to the beach in golden sands will cost anything up to 23 lev one the beach at kakacum it was 7.5 lev ie £3 so guess why we went to the other beach ,by the way the drinks where the same ,beer on beach in a cafe/rest. 2.2 lev ie £1 if yoy,So I would recomend the hotel and the area and I would go back again,The hotel itself was a mix of different nationalities,Russian.Bulgarian,Romanian and a few British.,this made it interesting A quiet hotel but if you want noise you can walk to golden sands,
we had one day when it was not sunny so we caught the bus (ten mins walk) £1.5 to Varna which is worth a look.
The excellent reviews of this hotel are spot on. This hotel is lovely. Gorgeous reception area with glass lift, lovely pool area (although the pools were pretty cold!), swim up bar, HUGE family room for my husband and I and our little boy. The spa is beautiful although the indoor pool was empty. Free use of the jacuzzi, steam room and relax room. Reasonable prices for treatments. Bath for two treatment particularly good, with wine and a circular bed provided within the room!!
We stayed half board so breakfast and evening meal were included. The food was not the best but we got by. Lots of mystery meat in unusual sauces! My husband is survived on bread and cheese! Lunch in the hotel restaurant was much better than the buffet dinner. And very reasonably priced.
Bar man at pool area saw himself as an amateur DJ though and pumped the music out all day long. I think most people would prefer it a lot quieter or no music at all as the hotel is perfect for a nice relaxing break. It was not crowded, always a free sun lounger.
Cleaner visited our room every day but did the bear mminimum, fresh towels and beds made. Would have liked to have the bathroom and balcony swept as well but it was ok. Robes and toiletteries provided. Duvet very thick but air conditioning kept the room nice and cool.
Tv channels in the room had limited English language channels, but who goes on holiday to watch tv anyway!
Location - yes it is on the outskirts of the resort but there is a shuttle bus. We walked down to the beach and cut through quite a lot of steps, prob took us ten mins. The roads are terrible, no pavements and lots of pot holes so be careful, plus the drivers are insane! Golden Sands is Rhyl / Blackpool / insert local seaside resort! Not my cup of tea, so I was happy to avoid the walk and stay in the lovely quiet hotel!
For what we paid for the hotel I would say this hotel is exceptionally good value for money and I would definately recommend it.
Beware though, if you are travelling with a small child and pay for an extra bed, if this bed is not provided but a cot is they will charge you extra on check out for the cot. We refused to pay and manager was quite aggressive towards us. Kind of tainted an otherwise perfect holiday.