First let me get my gripes out of the way:
I wasn't particularly impressed with my "Maisonette" - to me a "Maisonette" implies some sort of self-contained accommodation with its own kitchenette, kettle and etc. Instead it was just like a split-level hotel room with the TV and sofa bed downstairs, along with the bathroom and wardrobe, and the beds themselves upstairs with a sort of dressing table.
Heating, in mid-January, was virtually non-existent - the radiator in the upstairs bedchamber barely warmer than the surrounding air temperature and no heating at all in the downstairs area.
The plumbing and fittings in the bathroom were a total shambles - the enclosed shower looked the part but the sliding doors came off their runners as soon as they were opened. On turning the shower on the water leaked out all over the floor from the badly-fitted foot basin (as well as through the gaps in the shower doors) and so it might as well just have been a wet-room shower. The sink plug was one of these integral things which should have had some means of being opened and closed. But nope there was no little lever and when I pushed it closed it just stayed that way and wouldn't budge - fortunately I'd brushed my teeth before I'd shaved!
The electrics too were definitely dodgy as I discovered on the morning I was due to leave - when I switched on the bathroom light it went "BANG" and all the lights in the "Maisonette" went out. That wasn't a major problem as it was daylight at the time but had it happened in the night there wouldn't have been anyone around to get it sorted, although maybe there was a phone or contact number at the reception desk.
I was impressed by the free WiFi which was fast and perfectly reliable BUT the combination of coffee table and sofa made doing any work a practical impossibility. So instead I decided to flick on the TV and see what that was going to be all about. Not a lot happened there, but then maybe that's me seeing as telling-vision is something I've never gotten to grips with - maybe I was using the hair dryer instead of the remote control?
For a brand-new, purpose-designed, hotel this was all a bit naff - everything looked the part, just nothing worked.
Unique Quality: OK That's the gripes out of the way. The plus points are, in order of appearance:
Location is great, especially if arriving by bus or train as it is literally just across road from both termini, and about 5 minutes walk into the town centre. If you are there for the skiing the Ski Centre is about 15 minutes walk or the owner can sort out transport (or even run you there himself) if you don't fancy the walk.
The standard of housekeeping is excellent, everything is spotlessly clean and fresh smelling.
The advertised view of the Pirin Mountains certainly was spectacular (when the weather cleared).
Breakfast was a little haphazard regarding the whereabouts of the coffee pot but otherwise plenty of choice and the warm banitza especially appreciated as well as the big bowl of fresh fruit.
Boris, the owner, certainly is a charismatic character and we had a pleasant chat as he sorted me out a top-up coffee having rescued the pot from the depths of the cook's kitchen where it seemed to have taken up residence. I mentioned the heating and the electrics, adding that they weren't a major problem for me. He in turn gave me the low-down on Bansko and some pointers on Bulgarian wines which I've since taken up. He also threw in breakfast as a freebie (normally 2.5 Euros extra) but then in true Bulgarian fashion got the best part of 3 leva back by rounding up my Euro bill into Leva at the exchange rate of 2 to 1 as opposed to 1.955 - Ach it wasn't an expensive bill anyway so such is life!
Should I ever go back to Bansko I might consider staying there again but only if it's a summer visit.
Directions: Across the road from the railway and bus stations, about 20 metres on the left.
96 Pirin Street , Bansko
Karamanitza 11, PO Box 73, Bansko
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