In my experience you usually get what you pay for with hotels, especially city centre ones. Here at Burgas's California Hotel I got what I'd quite happily have paid three times as much for in any other European city.
This self-styled "Boutique Hotel" does what it says on the label - it's smart, arty, individual but at the same time welcoming, friendly and down-to-earth.
Finding the place was simplicity itself - there's a well-lit signpost on the main road which leads direct to the front door (which was especially useful on a dark, snowy January evening when I was spending as much of my time avoiding the icy patches on the pavement as I was in looking where I was going).
Reception was a cheery "Dobar Vecher" and the formalities completed within minutes. It was about 9.00 pm and as I received my key the guy on reception informed me that the restaurant would be open for a while if I wanted to eat there. Good Sale! At 9 pm, having been travelling all day, (including getting stuck at Karnobat railway station for three hours due to the snow) I was definitely disinclined to further practice my blade-free ice-skating pirouettes by going elsewhere.
Room was a dream. I'd booked a cheap single but had been upgraded to a double + one, with balcony, and despite the lights and heating being on one of those put your key-card in the slot affairs one of the staff had had the forethought to slip a "Happy Bar and Grill" business card in it and so ensured that my room was well-heated. Appreciated, but the first thing I had to do was open the balcony door to get some cool air in!
The room itself was designer-chic - functional, uncluttered but with a homely feel (I especially liked the big cherry tomatoes as my headboard). The work surface just needed the TV nudged a little out of the way to be ideal. Bed felt comfortable, the Wi-Fi worked perfectly, the bathroom was gleamiongly spotless with its bidet giving it a touch of the Continentals, so-to-speak. Best of all though was the advertised mini-bar - It had BOOZE in it!!
Yep, I now had everything I could want from a hotel room.
Unique Quality: Pretty much everything about this hotel was unique. OK being on a quiet side street the views weren't anything special - but the peace and tranquility more than made up for that. There's no gym or swimming pool - they do have a sauna for individual guest use tho'. There's free car parking in a basement lot - no good to me as I was on foot but definitely a plus for those who do arrive by car. The restaurant was exceptional - good eclectic menu, stylishly-presented food and decor, superbly professional, yet friendly, service and a nice comfortable atmosphere. More on the restaurant to follow on my Bourgas Restaurant Tips.
This was pretty much a perfect hotel for my trip - all the basics were covered and all with a little added flair here and there.
Best of all were the staff - When I needed some bus times checked - no problem. My laundry needed done - no problem. Always a cheery greeting on my comings and goings and I fell in love with my restaurant waitress - every man will so don't bring your wife LOL.
Directions: On a side street just off the main Hristo Botev Blvd - you'll see a sign on the left just after the Ivan Bazov school. Its about a ten minute walk from the railway station.
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