Collage Renaissance and Shahbazian, photos by
- A place to stay, Explore Bulgaria, Guest house

The advantages of staying in a guest house in Plovdiv, European Capital of Culture for 2019

Hotels compete to offer luxury, impressive design, a variety of services- from SPA and pool, through animation for children, to cooking classes, ikebana courses, spirits tasting, sports, walks and sightseeing, games and all kinds of activities. 

However, when you are in an old and colorful city like Plovdiv one of the options, which in no case should be ignored is staying in a guest house. Whenever you are in such an interesting place, with many sights, with an old spirit, ancient history and a unique atmosphere, you sense better all these things in a traditional style guest house.

In this review I compare two such options- Family Hotel Renaissance, which is not exactly a hotel, but rather a guest house and House Shahbazyan, which is closer to the hotel definition.

When I talk about a guest house, luxury is not what I’m looking for. The accents are on the spirit and the mood of the place, the comfort, the hospitality of the hosts. You cannot sense such personal approach in most of the hotels like in a guest house, managed directly by its owner.

Family Hotel Renaissance has a very key location, just below the ancient theatre. House Shahbazyan is also located at the foot of Nebet Tepe, but on the other side. Both are close to the old town, on walking distance from all central places and attractions. Tepe in Turkish means hill, and Nebet Tepe means-guarding/observant hill. The oldest and most significant prehistoric settlement on the territory of Plovdiv arose precisely on this hill. There are numerous remains, there is also the ancient theatre, which is from Roman times. You should see a concert there or opera- very cool!

Seen ….

Family Hotel Renaissance:    5 сърца от 5D Сензографа на / 5 hearts by the 5D Sensograph of

…. Renaissance has the design of an old Plovdiv house– romantic, retro, with wooden furniture, with great murals on the ceilings- mastery and beauty;

…. Don’t worry, the floors and furniture may be wooden, but the bathroom is contemporary with 😊 tiles.

Shahbazyan House:               5 сърца от 5D Сензографа на / 5 hearts by the 5D Sensograph of

…. Large and comfortable two-room apartment, with a big corridor between the rooms, with a more modern interior, but again- wooden furniture, wooden floor, rug, neat curtains, wrought iron- all elements of the feeling of coziness;

…. Very nice view from the big terrace to Nebet Tepe;

…. A small nuke with a sofa, coffee table and large windows to the crossroad, with a small balcony- very cute, especially with this accent red color of the sofa.


Felt ….

Family Hotel Renaissance:    5 сърца от 5D Сензографа на / 5 hearts by the 5D Sensograph of

…. A very friendly owner, who personally books the rooms, accommodates, talks with the clients. His smile is everywhere and whenever you need something;

…. Friendly attitude of the staff, as if you were their guest and not one of the many customers, passing through Plovdiv. For example, we were discussing the recipe for Banitsa and Mekitsi  (local pastries for breakfast, you should try them) with the lady who served breakfast in the restaurant at the hotel -very cool people!

…. We rented two adjoining double rooms on the first floor, so we enjoyed the full comfort of larger space and two bathrooms at a decent cost, not as expensive as in the big hotels. There is not direct connection between the two rooms, though.


Shahbazyan House:              5 сърца от 5D Сензографа на / 5 hearts by the 5D Sensograph of

…. Here the owner was also very welcoming, only that, as we wanted to pay him by card, he deviated gracefully our desire;

…. It was nice and cozy in the apartment and very comfortable. Well, the bathroom with the toilet was only one, but it happens very rarely to have them double, as it was in hotel Ruskovets in Dobrinishte.

Heard ….

Family Hotel Renaissance:    5 сърца от 5D Сензографа на / 5 hearts by the 5D Sensograph of

…. There is a square in front of the hotel but it is still in the old part of the city, so we did not hear noise from the street. If there are guests who come back late there is a big risk of enduring uncomfortable midnight noise. However, we did not encounter such issue.

 Shahbazyan House:              4.5 сърца от 5D Сензографа на / 4.5 Big Hearts by the 5D Sensogrpah of

…. Although we had a room facing the boulevards, we did not hear any street noise. However, if there’s a concert at the top of the hill, you will hear the music and if you’re not a fan and your bedroom window is open- you won’t enjoy it.

Smelled …

Family Hotel Renaissance:    5 сърца от 5D Сензографа на / 5 hearts by the 5D Sensograph of

…. Sunday aroma – it smells like Sundays, when grandmas and mummies in Bulgaria get up earlier than everybody in the house to make breakfast!

Shahbazyan House:              5 сърца от 5D Сензографа на / 5 hearts by the 5D Sensograph of

…. A good coffee machine and nice coffee, included in the accommodation charges. You can start the day with its pleasant scent on the terrace overlooking the hills.


Tasted ….

Family Hotel Renaissance:    5 сърца от 5D Сензографа на / 5 hearts by the 5D Sensograph of

…. A great pastry at breakfast home made, exactly as the one grandmas and mummies in Bulgaria prepare on Sundays!


Shahbazyan House:              4.5 сърца от 5D Сензографа на / 4.5 Big Hearts by the 5D Sensogrpah of

…. The owners provide muffins, nice coffee, some other small things. You can also go out to the center of Plovdiv and find a nice bakery. There are many options- banitsa several types, pizza, muffins, etc. Here Hotel Renaissance wins half heart more because of the home-made breakfast.

However, if you have chosen Shahbazyan, I recommend some morning to go to the Turkish café in the center, next to the mosque. You can enjoy there Turkish delight, baklava and so many other veeery delicious and non-guilt-free pastries, as well as Turkish style boiled coffee.

Overall score by the  5D Sensograph:

Family Hotel Renaissance: 5 our of 5 hearts, however, it is a bit more expensive when you take two neighbouring rooms for a 4-member family.

Shahbazyan House: 4.7 out of 5 hearts

I would definitely repeat my stay at both places and they shall be in my shortlist for my next visits to Plovdiv.

If you’re looking for a nice place to eat tasty meal with prevailing traditional Bulgarian flair, see if there are vacant tables at Pavaj in Kapana district or Hemingway, close to the central pedestrian street.

I would go back to Hemingway because I have the feeling that they take seriously the customers’ feedback. Except for this meat ball, everything else was delicious.

If you are planning already a trip to the beautiful town of Plovdiv, which is European Culture Capital for 2019, you can book your stay right here. For your convenience, I added a 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. Just enter the dates of your trip, then hit the Search button and voila. In addition, are doing their best to make sure that your expectations as a customer are fulfilled. I’ve described an example about the latter in  my story about our stay in Shangri-La hotel in Singapore .

Don’t worry about getting to Family Hotel Renaissance and Shahbazyan House  in Plovdiv. Just use the Google map here by clicking on the red pin of its location and then select directions:

Family Hotel Renaissance

А: 1 Vazrazhdane sq. 4000, Plovdiv

T: + +359 898 502 590

Shahbazyan House

А: 178 6-th September blvd., 4000, Plovdiv

T: +359 898 615 759

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Are you looking for info on good restaurants, hotels and any nice places around the world and in our country? Then dig into the categories of to find something just for you.

Do you ever wonder how some places are so very different from others in service, environment, as a general experience? This means you are also interested like me in the topic of The Experience Economy by Pine and Gilmore. I’ve tried to recognize those places which apply it in practice its principles, whether deliberately or accidentally, and I think it is worth to consider them. Right click on category The Experience Economy

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