While we were still planning for our vacation in Bulgaria, at first we doubted whether or not to stay in a hotel. Since we personally prefer cheaper hotels, we found only a too few choices. After much research, reflection and some debate, we decided to choose on a family hotel named “Vanini.”
It is located almost in the center of the new part of the ancient town of Nessebar on Preslav street, 1. Nearby you can find a variety of restaurants, souvenir shops, a bus stop. During the afternoons the hotel is a peaceful paradise and during the evenings you can hear pleasant music from a nearby bar. The street children outside the hotel played and did their antics rather loudly, but that didn’t bother vacationers.
But one thing that really bothered us no end — seagulls! They were very noisy and very annoying. They were settling on the roof as if waiting for a showdown. Initially they scared us, but just in a couple of days we became accustomed to them.
The location of the hotel is quite accessible to the beaches. All of them are within reach: to the beach behind rocks for about 15 minutes along the shady streets of Nessebar, to the beach “Sand Dunes” – for about 20 minutes, but in the opposite direction. If you want to swim in the old part of town, you’ll have to go a little longer – about 30 minutes, but you may as well as go to the nearest beach in Sunny Beach.
Rooms in Vanini
We were quite lucky to find a decent room in Vanini. We were trying to book a room through a travel agency, and by a happy coincidence we found out that the price of a standard room for two was almost the same to the price of a double room. So of course, we wanted to settle for a double room.
When we first checked in, we were pleasantly surprised by what we saw. In the first room there was a large sofa, a chair, a table a TV set, a telephone, a closet, a bedside table and a good air conditioning. There was also an entrance to the balcony, and nearby there was a bathroom and toilet.
The sliding door led us to the second room. A bed greeted us — it was so big that it occupied almost all of this room. There was also a smaller TV set, a closet, a dressing table, bedside tables and lamps on both sides of the bed. It was quite a comfortable room with all the basic amenities.
During our stay in the hotel, we did not use the air conditioner. We switched on the TV set to make sure it was working. The programs are mostly local although there were also a couple of Russian ones as well. We were quite pleased by the huge mirrors in the bath right on the door — inside and out.
And also during our stay in the hotel, the maids changed the bedding once. But there was a room cleaning every day during the time we were away, and sometimes they delivered new toiletries.
It was on the last day of our stay did we learn that booking a hotel room is better done through a tour operator, as the daily rates of our rooms were almost equal to our entire stay!
It is possible to book a rooms in Vanini that will be able to match your taste and budget. There are single rooms (good for two people), a double room and a suite.
Before we actually got to stay in Vanini, we had read lots of negative reviews regarding its breakfast. You will not see a buffet breakfast (as in Turkey or in Egypt), but the price differs significantly.
Breakfast is served at 8 am (this was very convenient time for us) — right in the hotel building on the ground floor. It usually consisted of a few pieces of tomatoes, cucumbers, sausages (sometimes ham), a piece of cheese or a processed cheese, a small one-off box with butter and jam or honey. There were also two pieces of bread with tea and coffee by tourists’ choice. There was also hot chocolate though we did not like it.
Once we were given a large portion of the omelet and a few slices of tomatoes, and one time we were given a portion of pasta with sauce of sausage and cheese. Of course, for an adult male such breakfast is small, so if you like to have a solid meal, we recommend to take expenses for meals in the morning into account.
On the first floor of the hotel there is a restaurant. But the food and drinks are not for free; you have to pay for them, even as a hotel customer.
The hotel staff
The hotel staff were generally very friendly. They served with smiles on their faces. They were attuned to the customers’ needs and were always ready to offer assistance upon request.
One of the hotel staff members, Jana, was really nice and we learned a from communicating with her. Every morning she worked as a waitress at the hotel’s restaurant, and towards midday she went to work to a neighboring clothing shop. From her we also learned a lot about Nessebar, the nearest and the best shops, the beaches and the daily lives of the locals.
On the day of our arrival we got acquainted with the owner of the hotel, Dofina. She told us a lot about all comforts of the hotel and even offered a safe in case of need. She also helped us on the last day of our stay.
Every day we would encounter a chambermaid along the way and say “hello” to her. But it seemed she was embarrassed by the attention. Hotel customers usually ignore the cleaning staff so our greeting may have surprised her.
How to stay in hotel Vanini?
If you like to stay in the hotel, you can try to look for package tours there.To do this, you must specify your check-in and check-out dates. Holiday prices may be different to ordinary day rates, so yo must be informed about them.
Overall, the Vanini hotel is a good and comfortable enough place to stay. Comfortable rooms, friendly staff and a close proximity to the old part of Nessebar create a unique feeling of relaxation.
There are scales which are quite convenient (and you will agree with me on this). You can weigh yourself using those scales during your stale in the hotel. There is also a safe downstairs, but we did not dare to leave any of our valuables there because the its key is stuck in the lock, and someone from the staff is not always there to look it over. On each floor there are ironing boards and you will be provided one upon request.
The hotel also places importance on child nutrition. If you are staying in the hotel with your children and they have specific nutritional needs, a meal will be prepared separately for your little ones.
There are also meal recommendations for adults. If you must leave the hotel before breakfast (for example, you must leave for an early tour), you will be encouraged to take snacks with you. But if you do not leave not so early, you can have your breakfast. If you opt to take the snacks with you, then do not expect for more than two pieces of bread with butter and several pieces of sausage.
There may be some problems with the hotel’s router. At the reception on the ground floor, the Wi-Fi signal was the strongest. But the higher you go up the floor, the signal became weaker. You will find the hotel’s Wi-Fi password near the unit. You will get the best and the fastest connection from the hotel’s restaurant, so if you want to send something important to your family and friends back home or to find a very important and useful information, it is best to go to the restaurant and do your messaging/calling or browsing there.
At the reception you will find several magazine containing tours and excursions from the company Go2Holiday and order your favorite in the agency. In our own opinion, independent excursions to the cities of Bulgaria are much cheaper (by 2-3 times), but the significant disadvantage is the lack of a guide in this travel option.
And finally: we advise you not to pay attention to the negative online comments about the Vanini, as long as you do not see them and live here for at least a couple of days.
Useful links and interesting information:
- Is the rest in Bulgaria expensive?
- Important attractions of Nessebar – a city-museum.
- Souvenirs from Bulgaria: what to bring a keepsake?
- Choosing a place for swimming: pros and cons of Bulgarian beaches.
- Where you can have a tasty meal in Bulgaria?
- Reviews and advices of real tourists about vacation in Bulgaria.
- Opinions of tourists about self-guided tours: all the “pros” and “cons.”