1. Orchidea Boutique Spa: The hotel is nice and clean. The rooms are spacious and have balconies. The staff is friendly. The food was pretty good. If you are staying with a kid, you may try the Bulgarian yogurt ("kiselo mlyako"); our 14 month old daughter loved it. The hotel has decent pool and SPA facilities, but the children's play room was a joke. The hotel is a bit far from the beach (20-25 min walk). The hotel provides free shuttle service to/from the beach, but the first trip is at 10am, which I think is a bit late.
If we were to travel to Golden Sands again and choose a different hotel, we would probably consider Kini Park (it is closer to the beach of Rivera Complex), or a hotel at Rivera Complex (they are next to the beach and are surrounded by a very nice park).
2. Beach: There is a free public beach, but we haven't used it. If you want a nice, clean and quiet beach, then go to Rivera. If you want a more active beach with lots of different entertainment, bars, music, etc., then go to the central part of the beach (10 min walk from Rivera). The facilities at beach (umbrellas and sunbeds) were not cheap. One umbrella with two sunbeds will cost you some Eur 15/day, which is more expensive than at many beaches in Spain and Italy. The weekly rate is a bit lower.
3. Currency exchange: Be very careful! Some exchange office advertise that they have the best selling rate. Obviously, most tourists will be interested in the best buying rates rather than the selling rates. The buying rate at such currency exchanges is extremely low (some 15-18% lower than the normal rates). Note that the rate at the baggage claim area of the airport is also very low, so if you need to exchange any money upon arrival, do so at the exit, as the rate there is much better. Never change any money in the streets with "private" dealers; you may get local money in banknotes which have been removed from the circulation.
4. Cheating: Cheating is, I guess, a national sport in Bulgaria, so do always count your money. We were cheated everywhere, at the currency exchange offices, in beach bars, and even at the duty free.
5. Taxis: Always bargain for a fixed rate acceptable to you. Note that rates of some taxis may be twice as higher than the rates of other taxis. Overall, the taxi drivers were nice and helpful.
6. Food: We have attended different restaurants at the beach, but the one we have liked most of all was Old Lighthouse St. Nikolas.
7. Weather: We stayed for 2 weeks in mid Aug, and the weather was great in 12 out of 14 days.
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- Also Known As:
- Orchidea Boutique Hotel Golden Sands
- Orchidea Boutique Spa Bulgaria/Golden Sands