When we told everyone at home that we were going to Sunny Beach, Bulgaria, all said to us with a confused look on their face: “Bloody Beach?” or something like that. They didn’t understand why we wanted to go to a place like that.
We found some cheap flights and booked our nights at Barceló Royale Beach Hotel, a 5-star hotel with an all-inclusive alternative. It didn’t cost that much more all-inclusive, so we wanted to try that option. We’ve only tried it once before, in Mexico, and we loved it there.
Sunny Beach has a bad reputation where we come from; not sure how it is in other countries, but we have heard so much about people being robbed or getting into a fight and that the streets are flooding with garbage. So we didn’t know that much about the place before we booked. So we got sceptical and hesitated a bit and wasn’t sure if we wanted to go. But we knew that families like to travel to Sunny Beach with their young ones too and not only party people, so we wanted to give it a chance. We also like to experience places on our own and disprove rumours (or confirm them).
Barceló Royale Beach: A resort in Sunny Beach
The hotel area was clean and neat, and there were lots of places to sit down both inside and outside. They had several pools, also one inside. Some of the lunches were served in the area behind the outdoor bar. The wifi was good, at least in our building.
We didn’t get the chance to test out the spa, but they told us Barceló Royale Beach has one of the biggest spas in Bulgaria. And they got a good variety of treatments, some cheap and others a bit more expensive.
Barceló Royale Beach: Our room
We have to mention that the hotel staff was really great to us! We arrived at the Barceló Royale Beach late, and since the restaurant had closed for the evening, they arranged some food for us in the room. And when we had an early checkout, they had prepared a food basket for us.
The room looked nice, and we had a balcony with a view of the pool. The bed was comfy, and we also had a seating area in our room with a couch and a table. We had a tv (which we didn’t use), free WIFI, and a safe in the room.
Barceló Royale Beach: The restaurants
At Barceló Royale Beach, you got two restaurants, one of which is A la Carte restaurant. You only have the opportunity to eat there once a week. The other one is a buffet restaurant, and it’s okay to eat there a few times, but after a couple of days, you’re a bit tired of the food. They have rice, pasta, pizza, salad, and different kinds of meat and potatoes, but it gets a bit boring with tomato sauce as the only sauce.
It’s not a good variety of drinks, and you only get bottled soft drinks with your dinner; the rest of the time, it’s a bad dispenser soda. I’m not a beer drinker, but Jon is, and he thought the beer was okay. The prices for buying other drinks/soda on a bottle were pretty low, but somehow it feels wrong to pay extra when you have paid for all-inclusive.
We also tried out the A la Carte Restaurant, and the menu was a bit too fancy, but we wanted to try it since we could. We ate Caesar Salad as starters, beef as the main course and a Chocolate-something for dessert. The food was okay, elegant, but with good flavours. The dessert was a bit too special, and I think if you got it out from your plate (you could get it out in one piece) and thrown it on the wall, it would have bounced right back. It really felt like rubber! But the other chocolate on the plate was tasty.
Our days in Sunny Beach, Bulgaria
The days at Barceló Royale Beach went by in a sun chair by the pool. Since it still was May, we appreciated all the heat we could get in Bulgaria (approx. 20-25 degrees Celsius).
Except for lying by the pool, we took a walk down the main street in Sunny Beach, strolled through some shops and walked down to the Beach. The Beach looked good, although it was a bit cold in the sea that early in the season.
One morning we also took a taxi to the ancient city of Nessebar, listed as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. We didn’t have any problem with the taxi drivers, and they were friendly and did their job. Back from Nessebar, we asked the taxi drivers about the price. Some companies were more expensive than others, so ask around and agree about the price before getting into the cab.
One of the evenings, we also took a walk down the main street in Sunny Beach to understand what the fuzz is about, and we only met kind and polite people. Yes, some are a bit pushy and want you to visit their place, but just ignore them and walk right past or at least be polite back if you’ve started talking to them.
We had a great mini-vacation at Sunny Beach, Bulgaria. And we can’t understand the “problem” people have about this place. Of course, we know that it can become a problem when drunk young foreigners meet the local culture and think they own the city, but it’s all about respect! You are a visitor, so behave and follow the rules.