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Comments for Helios Spa Hotel Golden sands
Golden sandsSarah B. | 2 out of 2 found this review helpfulThe Black Sea isn't black, it's crystal-clear. Julie Firth overturns a few prejudices on a family beach break in Bulgaria. Bulgaria's Black Sea coast might not bask in the warm glow of praise from tourist reviews on the travel websites, but it will put more power into your pound than most resorts. Our hotel was the Helios Spa and Resort, a sumptuous modern building set among Golden Sands' coastal forest. We noticed that online moaners have berated the food, the 120 concrete steps down to the town and occasional surliness of the staff. The steps were, indeed, a problem when we returned to the hotel one night with a load of shopping ([+]view more) and a sleeping toddler in the pushchair. Looking for a way round, we walked for nearly two hours, got lost and ended up trying to use the position of the moon to find the quickest way back. Otherwise, we were perfectly happy. Our stay was on all-inclusive terms and the food, though different to our usual fare, was absolutely fine. There was a big choice of dishes, many of them geared towards German visitors, by far and away the biggest group in Golden Sands. Our room was huge, and the view of the Black Sea from the balcony was to die for. Disappointingly, the hotel's noted seafood restaurant was closed during our stay, with no warning beforehand. The advertising pamphlet also doesn't tell you about some of the restrictions imposed on all-inclusive customers. Health and safety regulations are more lax than they are in Britain, so the sight of drinking glasses next to children's swimming pools, and people smoking in restaurants, can be a shock. There's also a huge, now derelict, building right next to the Helios. But the hotel's three swimming pools were clean and tidy and the staff were wonderful, particularly the "animation team" who didn't press us to play volleyball every afternoon. Instead, they bonded very warmly and expertly with our children, who fell head over heels in love with a couple of them. However, some of the furniture in the team's HQ did leave something to be desired. First, my husband's chair collapsed underneath him, and then mine did the same. Little harm done, except to our pride. We had the staff pretty much to ourselves because, although our stay was at the beginning of the high season for Golden Sands, other visitors were fairly thin on the ground. Golden Sands is essentially one seaside street about a mile in length, packed with shops, stalls, restaurants and bars. To one side lies the beautiful, crystal-clear Black Sea. To the other, the resort's hotels are set in idyllic, dense, rising woodland. A beer is typically about three levs, but the quantity of ale you get for your money can vary. You'll always get at least a pint, but on some occasions we were presented with huge, foaming two-pint pots, a la Munich Beer Festival. Cocktails are always two-for-one and you'll usually pay about ?2 for a good quality one. A family of four can eat very well for about 60-70 levs in total including drinks, with all tastes catered for. Pizzas are a speciality, often made right in front of you and costing ?5 for a large one. Varna, 20 minutes away, gives the visitor a refreshing flavour of Bulgaria's history. Varna Archaeological Museum is one of the city's best treasures. It houses the Gold of Varna, jewellery and gifts which were found in a mass grave underneath the city and said to be the oldest gold found in the world. Varna's dolphinarium, the only one in Bulgaria, is a bit run-down but well worth the entrance fee. The jewel in Varna's crown is its sea garden, a vast space containing an open-air theatre, aquarium, museum, zoo and ice-skating rink. Despite the stray dogs and strange men trying to sell you currency, this is a very friendly city, unspoilt and with plenty to interest families. The weather for our stay was hot, with thunderstorms at night, and the sea is easily warm enough to play in. Golden Sands is a first-class resort, pitched perfectly for either a family or a group of younger holidaymakers.Was this review helpful to you? YesNoGolden sandssteven watkins | 2 out of 2 found this review helpfulJust returned from Bulgaria. Helios Spa was clean and the staff were very friendly. On arrival the air conditioning in one of the rooms was not working, however a quick call to reception and a technician was there within the hour and the problem weas soon fixed. My only criticism would be the swimming pools were dirty possibly due to the water not being filtered correctly and also being woken at all hours of the night from other guests returning drunk from the many bars and clubs at the resort. I agree with Mrs Paton the pavements still need money spending on them. Would love toreturn to the hotel but only if it was not in Golden Sands.Was this review helpful to you? YesNoGolden sandsIan Wort | 2 out of 2 found this review helpfulI spent 1 week in the Helios Spa in 2005 and was so good , that when I went to book for 2006 and could get 3* at the Helios Spar I thought Great. So I booked 2 weeks, on arrival I was disappointed to find the 3* accomodation was the Old part of the Helios Spa, which was known as the Crown Plaza Hotel, Old and well tiered. The accomodation was not up to Standard, the staff were Brilliant and that did help with the dissapointment. Had to upgrade to a appartment for just over 800 lev. Still had a brilliant stay and would go again. So beware DO NOT Book any less than 3 * and make sure you are in the New Helios Spar , Becuse that is Excelent. Was this review helpful to you? YesNoGolden sandsjoanne bullimore | 2 out of 2 found this review helpfulI recently went to the helios spa hotel
i went with about 16 of us and i found the hotel quite a nice place the reception area when we arrived were kept clean.
We were given our keys and the bell boy took our cases to our room which was nice of them.
We all had bb in the hotel and i found the meals excellent.
I would recommend the hotel if u are interested in going their in the near future.
thanks for a pleasent stay.Was this review helpful to you? YesNoGolden sandsmrs m paton | 2 out of 2 found this review helpfulwe are just back from golden sands three days ago. The hotel was spotless, the cleaners work day and night. we were all inclusive and we found something we could eat every day. the staff were very friendly, unless you were one of the b/b or half boards who were chancing their arm taking wine, juice and coffee which was meant for all inclusives, wich was clearly marked. the pavements in golden sands badly need money spent on them. all in all we had a lovely time in the helios 4*. the rooms are very comfy.Was this review helpful to you? YesNoGolden sandsMrs Stevens | 2 out of 2 found this review helpfulMy family and I stayed there June 2005. Very nice hotel. Hotel and rooms were thoroughly clean and spacious. We stayed All Inclusive the only down fall to this is that the entertainment is in a closed off area and that was the only bar that was not included in all inclusive and they have people on the door so you do not take drinks in from other bars. Due to this the other bars which is in reception area is full and not much seating area, so you are having to have dinner early to make sure you get seats in reception. Meals are OK, but after 3 days you just crave for other food as there is a lot of variety but a lot is repetative each night. ([+]view more) No choice for children at all, I have a 3 year old and we could struggle for food for the little one. Hotel is situated on a steep hill, there are 140 steps to get from the hotel down towards town, beach. You can avoid this by going through the 3star section of the hotel next door, but the main area you have to go through smells and is damp, but a great shortcut. A little out of the way for things if you have a family. Staff are mostly friendly. Some bar staff were only happy to serve those on half board or B&B as they knew that they would not receive any tips from all inclusive guests. So you could find yourself quieing for 10 minutes to get a drink as they would serve other people first or just ignor that you were waiting to be served. Golden Sands is a fantastic resort, no touts trying to get you to buy time share or major hasslers like you get in spain. Going bak to Golden Sands next week and staying in Hotel Admiral will let you know - but looked fantastic when we visited it last time.Was this review helpful to you? YesNoGolden sandsk seaborne | 2 out of 2 found this review helpfulStayed here in october for 1 week. Beautiful clean hotel. We went half board basis meals buffet style lots of choice. Would visit again. Good value for money.Was this review helpful to you? YesNoGolden sandsMark Yardley | 2 out of 2 found this review helpfulI satyed at the Helios Hotel for 2 weeks between July and August 2004. Like many others we found that, although we were all-inclusive, we had to pay for most of the stuff. The only things we could have were the food and drinks like tea and pop. We had to pay for beer like Stella Artois and John Smiths and other things like ice cream and some shows in the night club. Apart from that though it was the best holiday of my life. There was a show most nights and some included swimmers doing tricks in the pool. Our Bedroom bar was topped up with pop, beer and water nearly every 2-3 days. The food was fantastic and there was a whole range of food ([+]view more) and wide range of fruit and cake for adults and childrens favourites. The hotel staff were very friendly and I made friends with several of the bar staff and restaurant workers. One even helped me get my hair cut because me and the hairdresser couldnt understand each other and it turned out to be a better haircut than I get in England! Another, who we stay intouch with, took my sister out to the shops to get some nappies for my nephew and made sure she got the right amount of change back. On the same occasion, he pulled my nephew out the way of an on-coming taxi! The 3 swimming pools were always clean and there was a film on every night in the night club. Afterwards there was either music or a magic show etc. The rooms were cleaned every morning and there was even satelite TV in our room. The town was always open and there was so much to buy. I bought lots of clothes because they were so much cheaper than England. A Nike T-Shirt that I bought cost me 20 Lev, roughly £7, and would have cost me £30 in England. The beach was only a 5-10 minute walk from the hotel and there was a little train-bus ride every 30 minutes from the front of the hotel. The beach was expensive though because we had to pay to sit down, even on our own towels so we sat at the bars instead and they were very friendly. In our last few days we went and saw a Dolphin Show in Varna which was very good and lasted one hour and then from there another hour around the city centre. To phone home you must buy a credit card, like a mobile phone one, and use the blue phones situated around town, but when I tried to use them I could never get through, but my mom could so I wouldnt know how to advise on them. My final view on the hotel is that it is one of the best hotels in the resort and I will definately return there in the near future. Money well spent for the holiday of a lifetime.Was this review helpful to you? YesNoGolden sandsjane | 2 out of 2 found this review helpfulWe stayed at Helios for a fortnight from the 15th august 2004 after our holiday operator offered helios as a 5* alternative to luna bay which is not ready yet. Because Luna is all-inclusive we were promised helios would offer us the same which we found not to be. The only bar where the service was excellent was the pool side restuarant, all the others didn`t like all-inclusive customers leaving you waiting for about 25 to 30 mins for your drinks and thats even when you`ve ordered from the waitress. The snacks from the pool restuarant were chicken burger and fries or cheese on toast or sandwiches. the pool side bar offered egg beans & ([+]view more) fries, pizza, pancakes, all the things the kids love. But to our disapointment we found that even though we were all-inclusive we had to pay for drink & food from the to pool side bars. The lobby bar we could have drinks from but as for anything else you had to pay. Food in the main restuarant was lovely the only problem was if the kids don`t like veal, pork or hake you will be walking down the 124 steps to golden sands to find mc donalds. And yes we had sickness and stomach cramps. the water park is great if youe kids are 120cm and over they can then go on all the slides. My advice would be if you`ve been offered helios as an alternative for a all-inclusive don`t go have your money back .Was this review helpful to you? YesNoGolden sandsNigel Higginson | 2 out of 2 found this review helpfulWe stayed at Helios Spa for a fortnight from the 6th August 2004 after our holiday operator offered this hotel as a 5 star alternative to the Golden Sands Grand which was not ready. The hotel is not yet 5 star but has applied to the Ministry of Economics to be upgraded. Quality of rooms and location are excellent. The water park is 50m up the road to the right of the hotel. In Hleios Spa itself the pools are good with great water slides for the children and 3 pool side bars.
Food quality on a half board basis in the restaurant was disappointing. Lack of variety and often cold - we got fed up of waiting for a table and many guests elected ([+]view more) to eat out in the end! There were also lots of complaints about sickness and stomach cramps. The a-la-carte restuarant in the hotel is however superb and very reasonably priced at around 12 levs for a main course (£4.00).
The hotel is about a 5 minute walk into Golden Sands but involves many steps. There is a lift in the adjoining Crown Plaza Hotel but this is slow and often not working. Some guests, during our stay, had been trasferred to this hotel on an all-inclusive basis. Poor food in the main restaurant and limited availability of local drinks (only coke for children) resulted in many complaining. My advice is book on bed and breakfast and eat out!
Hotel entertainment when we visited involved only a childrens' show twice a week. The variety show in the Day and Night bar started at 11.30pm and cost 5 levs each (£7 for a family of four) and was a waste of money. The Piano Bar and for that matter the Fish restaurant in the Japanese Gardens (as featured in our tour operator's brochure) do not exist!
In summary, a good 4 star hotel but disappointing if you are sold this hotel on a 5 star basis as we were. There are better 5 star hotels in Golden Sands - try the Marina or Admiral (we looked at both) and these make Helios Spa look very pale in comparison.Was this review helpful to you? YesNoGolden sandsC. Wolf | 2 out of 2 found this review helpfulHave just returned from Golden Sands and stayed at Helios Spa & Resort. The hotel is lovely and everywhere is kept immaculate. The staff are polite and helpful. The food was excellent and was great value for money and lots to choose from. I would definetely stay at this hotel again.
The hotel is about a 10 minute walk to the sea where there are lots of shops, market stalls, bars and restaurants to choose from.Was this review helpful to you? YesNoGolden sandsRadu | 2 out of 2 found this review helpfulHave just returned from a tour of Bulgarian coast and stayed at Helios for a few days. Very nice hotel with good service and food.Was this review helpful to you? YesNoGolden sandsJ.Morgan | 2 out of 2 found this review helpfulI was in this hotel last summer(2003). The hotel and the service were great. also it is near the bus station and this is a big advantage.Was this review helpful to you? YesNo