When we told everyone at home that we were going to Sunny Beach all said to us with a confused look on their face: “Bloody Beach?” or something in the same gate. They didn’t understand why we wanted to go to a place like that.
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. We didn’t know that much about the place before we booked, and after hearing so many bad things and nothing positive at all we got skeptical and hesitated a bit and wasn’t sure if we wanted to go. But on the other hand we did 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 to disprove rumors (or confirming them).
We found some cheap flights with Norwegian and booked our nights at Barceló Royale Beach Hotel; a 5star hotel with the all-inclusive alternative. It didn’t cost that much more with all-inclusive so we wanted to try that option. We’ve only tried it once before, in Mexico, and we loved it there.
On our flight
Jon and Christian, our driver who picked us up at the airport
Barceló Royale Beach
At Barceló Royale Beach you only got two restaurants where one of them is A la Carte restaurant, and 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 days you’re a bit tired of the food. They have rice, pasta, pizza, salad and different kind of meat and potatoes, but with tomato sauce as the only sauce it gets a bit boring.
Some of the desserts were really good!
It’s not a good variety of drinks, and you only get bottle 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 to buy 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 Cesar Salad as starters, beef as main course and a Chocolate-something for dessert. The food was okay, elegant, but with good flavors. 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.
A small appetize
We ordered a bottle of sparkling wine
We didn’t get the chance to test out the Spa, but they told us that it is the biggest spa in Bulgaria. And they got a good variety of treatments, some cheap and other a bit more expensive.
The room looked nice, and we had a balcony with the view of the pool. The bed was comfy, and we also had a seating area in our room with couch and a table. In the room we had a tv (which we didn’t use), free WIFI and a safe. At the bathroom there were both shower and a tub, and a rack for drying towels (handy to use for clothes too if you wash by hand).
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.
The hotel seen from the pool area
The indoor pool
We have to mention that the hotel staff was really great to us! We arrived the hotel 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 check out they had prepared food basket for us.
Food in our room at arrival
Breakfast on departure day
Staying at the hotel with all inclusive we had to use these. We’re not a fan!
Our days in Sunny Beach, Bulgaria
The days at Barceló went by in a sun chair by the pool to get some sun on our bodies. Since it still was May and only 10-15 degrees at home (in Norway) we appreciated all the heat we could get in Bulgaria (approx. 20-25 degrees Celsius).
Updating our followers on social medias
Except from 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 nice and did their job. Back from Nessebar we asked the taxi drivers about the price, and some companies was more expensive than others, so ask around and agree about the price before you get into the cab.
The beach in Sunny Beach
One of the evenings we also took a walk down the main street in Sunny Beach to check out 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.
All in all we had a great mini-vacation at Sunny Beach, Bulgaria. And we can’t understand the “problem” people have about this place. We can understand that it can become a problem when drunken 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.
The old airport