Last time visited in February 2016 with family
Read the Bulgarian language version (under category BG), as well as more reviews in English and Bulgarian at placescases.com
See… the sun shining on the ski slope in front of the hotel; wonderful view from 2300m Yastrebets peak to Samokov town, Vitosha mountain, Iskar dam lake and the mountain Stara planina.
Smell… herbs and eucalyptus aroma in the SPA; unpleasant smell from the drains in the bathrooms, with which the personnel was trying to manage.
Taste… always fresh and tasty products at breakfast- variety of fruit, tomatoes and cucumbers, several types of charcuterie, honey with the beeswax, several types of jam, 2 types of eggs, pancakes, fried bread slices, mekitsi, banitsa, toast or freshly baked bread; foie gras with caramel sauce, French salad with goat cheese, avocado stuffed with salmon tartar and many others nice dishes from the restaurant dinner menu at high level prices for the Bulgarian standard.
Feel and Experience… very courteous attitude from the personnel- reception, SPA, waiters, house-keeping, ski-instructors.
Hear… quiet jazz music or evergreen in the restaurants, upbeat music at the terrace and the ski run in front of the hotel, Eastern chill-out at the SPA; the birds singing in the wood while you pass by with the lift.
Average score 4.4 out of 5.
One of my thoughts when creating this blog was to follow, when possible, the development of the places I have visited and to check them second, third time or periodically.
With this respect, Yastrebets Wellness and Spa is one of those places in Bulgaria, which I visit on a regular basis for my winter vacation. I had already a ski vacation in Italy but I was looking forward to my stay in Borovets and specifically in this hotel. Actually I visit the resort just because of Yastrebets hotel.
The company that is responsible for the maintenance of the ski lifts and runs, Borosport, does not support the level desired, according to me. Not to mention the failures of electricity supply and water which happens occasionally in the resort. However, all those setbacks are surmounted by Yastrebets Wellness and Spa. Own electricity generator saves them every time the electricity supply in the resort stops. The water supply is from another source different from the one of the majority of hotels in Borovets and it makes a major difference between the service of this hotel and the other ones when the water supply fails too.
During our vacation the ski lifts stopped due to strong wind. We, being guests of Yastrebets had the pleasure to ski on a wonderful, empty ski run just in front of our hotel, since it has own ground lift, free of charge for its guests. And this is another big difference is between Yastrebets and the rest.
I must mention also, that the level of service does not fall of at all. Every single person from the personnel is greeting you with a smile. Responsible employees keep record of the regular guests’ preferences and strive to meet them in the most adequate way. The management puts effort to improve both quality of food in the restaurant and the service everywhere in the complex.
On the last but one day of our stay, a house-keeping employee knocked on our door to ask if we are satisfied by the service of her department. And I was- twice a day the ladies were putting our suite in order: one time for cleaning, towels changing, etc. and second for preparing the room for sleep and leaving a weather forecast for the next time with personal addressing. Being interested in the opinion means the management wants to improve further the service or at least to stay on the same high level.
We had problem with a smell from the drain in the bathrooms. I suppose the problem refers to the sewerage system either of the hotel or the resort. The moment I complained at the reception, they sent a person to fix it. The next day I reminded the house-keeping lady about it and she took measures immediately. The SPA personnel also urged to help me, giving me two sandal wood sticks. Unfortunately the smell remained but the personnel put every effort to eliminate it. However, I expected that they will deal with the problem daily, without reminding them. So that is why my rating is 3 out of 5.
This year I liked very much the changes in the salads and the starters. All leaf salads were delicious and crispy. My favorite were the French salad with leafs, dried fig, pear, pomegranate and baked with honey goat cheese. Wonderful! They have brought back in the menu a starter with avocado stuffed with salmon tartar. I liked it very much. I explored also the foie gras with caramel sauce and peaches, which was very good but I wished it could have some leaf salad added too.
The wines are very good. This year we enjoyed by glass both white and red wine with the brand STURM from Northern Italy with rating 4.2 out of 5 in Vivino.
Mentioning wine, I cannot help sharing with you that the hotel welcomed us at our arrival with a card addressed personally to me and a bottle of red Merlo Buchal from Villa Shanka, a private selection, very good, as a compliment from the hotel. These small details make a guest feel special and at the right place.
I would like to spend some more attention to the restaurant. Last time I announced it as very expensive but not demonstrating the respective level of quality of food. It is still expensive but improving. I have to mention that it is obvious that the products are selected carefully and they were delicious and of good quality. I have no remarks to the salads at all. The potatoes as a garnish or a meal were of a very good variety- a little sweet, very tasty- favorite of the children. The kids menu offers enough options but our kids remembered some meal from the previous year and asked for it. They order was dully accepted and the meal prepared as many times my kids ordered it during our stay.
I wish the restaurant to keep on the good trend of improving quality both in food and service, and the variety in menu. It means a lot to the customers and we appreciate it.
Regarding the breakfast, it was again on a high level. The last year they had introduced salmon on a cracker as a new variety in it. It had been a very good hit but now it was missing.
As usual, you can enjoy several types of fruit, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, several types of charcuterie honey with the beeswax, several types of jam,2 types of eggs, pancakes, fried bread slices, mekitsi, banitsa, toast or freshly baked bread, cereals and more.
You can enjoy good tea at the lobby bar but the espresso did not improve much from the last time. It is either the coffee machine or the blend that they use which doesn’t meet my expectations.
If you get tired of skiing or snowboarding and you need some rest, have it on the terrace of Yastrebets. It is very sunny with nice music, a view to the ski run, delicious food- soups, stew cooked for the day, BBQ and good draft beer. The hot chocolate was favourite not only to the kids but also to the adults. A simple hot-dog was made classic and delicious and consists of two lavish pieces- large sausages, with crispy inside baguette, mustard, ketchup and carrot- cabbage salad.
The SPA therapies are world level. Except that in other countries they are in dollars and euro and here are in Bulgarian lev, which is two times cheaper than the euro. Not cheap for Bulgarian standards but definitely matching the world level of quality. Being a SPA hotel, Yastrebets offers in every room slippers and bathrobes of soft and thick cloth.
There are small bathrobes at the SPA reception for the little fans of the pool.
The bathroom cosmetics are very good or at least the one in the suites, so if you are not using some very special ointments for your skin, you may skip taking them with you. There is quite strong hair dryer, so you can leave yours at home and save space for another pair of shoes, for example. 🙂
I shouldn’t miss to mention again our ski teachers- Mitko and Goritsa. In general all the staff in the ski depot in the hotel was very kind to our children. I had the confidence that if any of them two is tired of skiing and needing to stop for a rest will be taken care of and dully sent to the kids club. In the latter the children spent wonderful time- they create things, draw, play cards and other games. In the evenings they watch animated movies.
For the fans of billiards, you will find a table in a very good condition on -1 level.
Taking into consideration all the above and adding the wonderful weather, kindly offering us sun and natural snow, as well as the good snow processing by Borosport because of the European ski competition, we had everything, one can wish for a perfect ski vacation.
I would like to thank once again to the staff of Yastrebets Wellness and Spa for their efforts to make us feel good there and keep on holding the awards from Tripadvisor, high rating at Booking.com and all other badges.
Address: Borovets resort, Samokov, Bulgaria
Tel: +359 750 32 900, +359 750 32 212
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