Art, gourmet and wine – the experience of staying at Villa Yana, Zmeyovo village, Stara Zagora.
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I don’t remember who recommended it to me, but I got some crazy luck when I called just 4 days before a long holiday weekend because someone had canceled their reservation and I was able to book rooms right away. I am extremely happy that I was able to stay at Villa Yana, of Yana Yugova and Nikolay Dalakovs, to enjoy with all my senses this wonderful house and their wonderful wines from the Better Half cellar.
Villa Jana is a classic example of a memorable place in the sense of the Experience Economy, a theory by Joseph Pine and James Gilmore.
See Villa Yana ….
… Paintings, sculptures, statuettes everywhere;
…. Beautiful rooms in different styles – there are only a few and only children over 15 can accompany their parents – the place is not designed for family vacations, rather for wine and art lovers;
… Many orchids – all kinds and all in bloom;
… A wonderful tiny and very neat Japanese garden, with bamboo, which leads from the sauna to the steam room;
… Very beautiful and delicious food;
… A huge library of multi-volume classics – simply wonderful!!!
Feel Villa Yana ….
… Feeling that we were Yana’s guests not customers – she paid attention to us, just as if we were old friends, we talked long and wide about all kinds of topics, but mostly about two of my favorite things – art and wine;
… Super comfortable beds, pillows, great sheet material;
… The villa also offers spa treatments – masseur-rehabilitator, who pays special attention to problem areas. She drives from Stara Zagora, so you have to make an appointment in advance, and also, if you want to use the steam bath and sauna, say an hour earlier so that they can be activated.
One tip for the massage, you can play on your own phone or speaker some soft SPA music and it’s good to have appropriate underwear for the massage.
Hear Villa Yana….
… Light jazzy music in the common room that resonates perfectly with the artistic setting;
… Absolute silence at night – after all, it is a village and there is no city hubbub.
Movie watching time: 13:10 min.
Smell Villa Yana ….
… The exceptional aromas of Better Half and Dalakov wine – natural, not masked by oak, because the wine is mainly aged in clay vessels – kvevri and amphorae;
By the way, Better Half Dalakov Kvevri Rosé 2021 won a Best Rosé award at the 2022 DiVino Top 50 Wine Awards.
… The aromas of homemade raspberry, strawberry and fig jam.
Taste Villa Yana….
The food is exceptional, prepared especially for the guests and different every time. A 5- or 6-course tasting menu is available, which is paired with the wines.
Outside visitors are not allowed in the restaurant, but you can try the wine in the tasting room of the winery.
A young and very talented boy, the Chef of Villa Yana, Martin Georgiev, is Yana’s partner in these magical concepts. I can only say one thing – great kitchen and a very bright future for Martin.
If you order a glass or bottle of wine at lunch or in the afternoon, you can order also a cheese plate with it. A large part of them are from farm producers in the village, from United Farmers, who also supply the beef.
The breakfast is very good – it includes my favorite traditional Bulgarian bread, mekitsi, homemade yogurt and jam, but also the more modern oatmeal, raw nuts and fruits, honey pie, exotic fruits, which is rarely seen in Bulgarian hotels- mango, pineapple, kiwi.
I don’t recommend you to go there, I just want when I call them that there are rooms for me and my friends. But please go ahead and enjoy the Villa Yana experience as I did, but be warned that they do get booked up quite a lot, so plan early.
What else can you do around here?
First of all, in Villa Yana you can have a wonderful rest, read books, drink good wine, sit in the sauna and then soak in the contrasting big wooden tanks of cold water in the Japanese garden. However, if this is not enough for you, you have other options.
The town Kazanlak is very close, and there are many opportunities there:
- Outstanding Art gallery
- The History Museum is also housed in the same gallery building. There you will see a replica of the mask of Sevtus and learn a lot about Seutopolis.
- Rose Museum
- Museum of essential oils
- Museum of the Bulgarian master of satire writer Chudomir
- Church of St. Prophet Elijah
- If you’re hungry or want a cup of coffee, stop by Giorgio’s Bakery and Confectionery. This one is my favorite in all of Bulgaria.
- Last but not least, you can tour the Thracian tombs around Kazanlak.
Nearby is also the village of Shipka, where you can visit the Russian Church with its glittering gilded domes.
You can also jump to Muglizhki Monastery. There you will see where the great Bulgarian revolutionary for the freedom from Turkish Yoke, Vasil Levski, hid and what the cell school looked like. It is full of cats that watch over the shrine. 😊
If the sauna at Villa Yana isn’t enough for you, you can pop over to the Kings’ Valley Hotel for a SPA and pools, indoor and warm outdoor.
You can see more details about these and other places around in the publication A short guide for the modern visitor in Kazanlak, the capital of the Valley of Roses, Bulgaria – Part 1 and Part 2. In them you will also find maps with their locations.
How to get to Villa Yana?
A: Zmeevo, 6059 Stara Zagora
T: + 359 888 678 811
Check-in: 14:00 Check-out: 11:00
If you need to rent a car, you can book it here in the box of the largest booking platform further at the end of the current post.
How to book your stay?
You can book your stay right here. For your convenience, I have added a booking.com box, which refers directly to their site. I guarantee you’re going to use all your genius discounts and privileges they would offer to you and I will get a modest commission. Just enter the dates of your trip, the place, then hit the Search button and voila.
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Are you looking for information about good restaurants, hotels and all kinds of nice places around the world and in Bulgaria? Then dig into the categories of the one-of-its-kind blog for reviews and evaluation of interesting places, refracted through the 5D Sensograph of the 5 human senses – placescases.com. You may find something just for you.
Do you ever wonder how some places differ so much from others in service, environment, as an overall experience? This means you are also interested like me in the topic of The Experience Economy by Joseph Pine and James Gilmore. I constantly add to my collection reviews about those of them, which practice its principles, regardless of intentionally or accidentally. If you are curious to understand which they are, explore category The Experience Economy.