Each year on our world trip, just before Christmas, we take time out of our busy travel schedule to have a few days “family time”, where we relax and have some fun.
This is our third Christmas away from the family I grew up with in Australia, and that alone can be tough emotionally. So recharging, and sharing some love and quality time, is important to both of us.
Our first year we decided to stay at Castaway Bay at Cedar Point – a small child-focused Resort in the Great Lakes region of USA.
Last year, we were in Cancun Mexico, at Sea Adventure Resort and Water Park. We both had a great time, and I was able to pop Explorason in the Kids Club and go Christmas shopping.
So after leaving Plovdiv, we headed with our car to Premier Luxury Mountain Resort, about a three-hour drive away.
As soon as we arrived, I knew we were in for a treat. The staff greeted us so nicely and helped us with our luggage from the car. Geri the Rooms Division Manager spoke to me personally to ensure all our needs were attended to.
Our Junior Suite overlooked the snowy hills and felt spacious and comfortable, and I couldn’t wait to see all they had to offer.
First off, there was a pillow menu which I just loved. Also, a fabulous Lavazza coffee machine; shoe cleaning and laundry kit; safe; decadent toiletries; toweling embossed robes and soft slippers; bottle still water and more.
Explorason had a bit of an accident outside when we arrived jumping about in excitement – he hit his chin and scraped the skin off. Time for a rest for him, and perfect timing with a lovely fruit platter and wine delivered to our room. We felt so special.
While Explorason rested, I unpacked our clothes away into our spacious suite – there was a great amount of storage. There was parking available on the premises, and I felt so safe that our items remaining in the vehicle would be secure for our stay.
Explorason was so thrilled when he found out there was a PS3 available for our suite too. It was just the thing to keep him entertained. It is also one thing he misses out on with our constant travel.
It was time to head downstairs and explore. Being in the lead up to Christmas, the entire property was beautifully decorated. Outside was a huge Santa, and there were so many stunning Christmas lights adorning the plants, buildings, and perimeter of the property. Inside were lovely Christmas trees, and it gave the place a nostalgic feel for this season.
Explorason received a pleasant surprise when we popped around the corner at the back of this fireplace.
There was a Kids Club and activities. He sat straight down and painted a wonderful Christmas Tree Candle Holder. He was so delighted with his efforts, and the assistant was patient, talented and friendly – and had great English.
We finished up with our art time, and went upstairs and enjoyed a great bubble bath. We had little sachets of bath crystals as well as bubble baths, so that soaked away any tiredness I had from the journey. Then it was time to dress up and go to dinner.
The restaurants have won so many awards and these are displayed on the walls. We sat near the window and looked out at all the twinkling Christmas colored lights outside. So enchanting after the lack of Christmas we had in many parts of Turkey.
Our dinner was a real treat. Dimitar, The Service Manager of the restaurants had talked to me earlier and found out I was Australian, so as part of the courses they prepared for us, one was Kangaroo Steak. It was incredible! Eating kangaroo in Bulgaria – who would have imagined? (My Facebook friends were in awe that night when I posted the photographs too).
Everything is made fresh on the premises. My dessert looked more like an art creation than food. There is no doubt why this five-star hotel has an award-winning restaurant. In fact, there are several places to dine – a quick snack at Nectar Lobby Bar, buffet style lunch at Dionyssos Restaurant, or elegant dining at the a la carte Amvrosia Restaurant where we were this night.
Throughout the evening I enjoyed Bulgarian sparkling rose, and Ivan, our lovely Restaurant Manager of Amvrosia Restaurant was wonderful in answering my many questions on Bulgarian culture, food, and wine too.
Explorason was also treated to “Luna Park” on a plate. This is a famous Sydney entertainment park for children, and the chef had designed a dessert just for him. It was a fairy/candy floss created from popcorn. It is the lightest we have ever encountered.
Contented and full, we retired to our suite for the evening. I was glad there was wifi in the room so I could catch up on some of my travel writing – and the suite had two desk areas for me to work away from the noise and fun of the PS3.
Next morning we woke and went downstairs to the lovely buffet breakfast. It had a full selection of European and UK style breakfast dishes – even baked beans! Personally, I like the more traditional local breakfast foods including the fruit selection – nice and healthy.
At breakfast, all the staff greeted us warmly, and Takis, the Hotel Manager spoke to me personally and took the time to converse with us both throughout our stay.
We were pretty excited to get to the snow after breakfast. The staff was so helpful at reception, with giving us all the information on the cost of passes for the gondola and lifts.
We rented a great steerable toboggan on this day from the ski shop attached to the hotel. Here they had the latest ski equipment and accessories for all we needed for fun in the snow. I also rented some trousers, and organized to rent us both all the ski gear we needed – it was perfect. Svetlana, the Ski Shop Manager was so friendly, professional, and nice. We were measured and fitted individually, and she organized in advance to have everything ready for us to ‘hit the slopes’.
The Premier Luxury Mountain Resort also runs a shuttle service right to the base of the snow slopes. Each day it seemed to appear like magic. Never once did we wait.
We spent most of the first day in the lovely white snow with blue skies. I went for a pretty great fly off the back of the toboggan, and my butt took a bruising. But it was a lot of fun, and just what we needed as a Mum and son duo. I need to remember more often that I am not 52 years old, but a big kid at heart.
Coupled with the remaining aches and pains I still felt from a migraine I had suffered in Plovdiv, I needed to relax and soothe away the tensions of travel.
So I was pretty pleased when I rang the Victoria Spa downstairs when we returned, and they were able to fit me in for a Turkish Massage – and more. We donned our fluffy robes and slippers, and I armed Explorason with his iPad. This was going to be my treat.
First off I was given the Oriental Peeling. I enter the Turkish Hamam, and here I lie on a warm marble Turkish table in the soft heated steam for ten minutes, with a cotton overthrow on it. The skilled staff used a special rubbing glove to scrub away the dead skin cells. It was just what my skin needed to open the pores.
Next, I had the Balkan Massage. This was indescribable. I was soaped with this massive foam that felt like velvet. She asked ‘what type of massage strength I desired’, and I requested ‘deep tissue’, but I had no idea of her strength. I have had a lot of massages in my time, but nothing that worked my muscles so deeply as this massage.
As I sat at the end of the relaxing massage all robed, relaxed and refreshed with my feet in a warm bath, I sipped herbal tea and just felt like I had visited another planet. I was too dreamy to move far, so Explorason then went for a swim whilst I lay back and relaxed.
We then both headed outside to the heated jacuzzi. It was just hitting sunset, and the warm water and colored lights were perfect for the early evening.
I could have gone to sleep, but it had been a big day, and we were both hungry. We selected a more casual dining experience this night by the fire overlooking the garden.
Again the food was just a delight to our taste buds. What impressed me was that for every dish we sampled here, Explorason tried and loved most of them. This hotel really knew how to present meals that were both culinary delights, but also great for children to experience five-star dining. This impressed me.
Our last day saw us skiing the slopes. Explorason had a private skiing lesson and within an hour was skiing alone on the slopes.
This was a great achievement for him, and I was pretty proud. By late afternoon we were ready to return our ski gear conveniently to the store attached to the hotel.
We raced upstairs to our Junior Suite for ours swimwear and were down in the jacuzzi in a flash to soak our weary muscles.
I am so glad we stayed here, and wish we had longer.
It is the perfect five-star resort, and I cannot fault our stay – in fact, it excelled all expectations. Premier Luxury Mountain Resort is a hidden treasure of Bulgaria.
Location: 11, Karamanitza str. P.O. Box 73, 2770 Bansko, Bulgaria
Telephone: +359(0) 749 50500
Date stayed: December 2014
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Questions and Comments
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