Visitor reviews for Borovets Ski Resort

Borovets Ratings

Overall: 3.7. Based on 106 votes and 186 reviews. Vote

Snowsure: 3.7

(1) Occasionally gets enough snow for skiing, (2) is often closed due to a lack of snow, (3) occasionally suffers from a lack of snow, (4) rarely suffers from a lack of snow, (5) Borovets is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.

Variety of pistes: 4.0

(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Borovets has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.

Off-piste: 3.1

(1) No off-piste worth mentioning, (2) off piste is out-of-bounds, (3) some varied offpiste that stays fresh for one or two days, (5) a vast array of off-piste routes that can stay untracked for several days.

Scenery: 4.0

(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.

Access: 4.2

(1) At least one overnight stop, (2) requires a whole day, (3) requires more than half a day – you may have time for a few turns (4) arrive by lunchtime and ski all afternoon, (5) there is a main airport within an hour of Borovets.

Public Transport: 3.6

(1) There are no buses or taxis to Borovets, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.

Accommodation: 4.4

(1) No places to stay in/near Borovets, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.

Cheap Rooms: 3.9

(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.

Luxury Hotels: 3.7

(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Borovets.

Ski in/Ski out: 4.3

(1) The ski area is located far from any accommodation, (3) a free ski bus takes you to the ski area in a short trip, (5) Ski-in ski-out accommodation is available.

Childcare: 3.7

(1) There are no child care facilities at Borovets, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.

Snowmaking: 3.6

(1) Borovets relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.

Snow Grooming: 3.9

(1) There are no snow groomers at Borovets, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Borovets are groomed daily.

Shelter: 3.7

(1) there is nowhere to ski when it is windy or visibility is bad and lifts often shut, (3) there are some trees for poor visibility but main lifts sometimes close, (5) Borovets is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.

Nearby options: 2.7

(1) If snow conditions are poor at Borovets, it will be poor everywhere nearby, (3) there are good alternatives within an hours drive, (5) other locations on the same lift pass provide a rich variety of snowsure ski conditions.

Regional rating: 4.0

(1) Borovets usually has poor snow conditions compared to other resorts in region, (3) has average conditions for the region, (5) usually has the best snow conditions in the region.

Lift Staff: 3.6

(1) The staff at Borovets are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Borovets are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.

Crowds/Queues: 3.4

(1) the resort is always busy and there are usually long lift queues, (3) it is quiet apart from occasional weekends and school holidays, (5) it is uncrowded and lift queues are very rare.

Ski Schools: 4.2

(1) No ski schools available, (2) one or two ski schools but local language only, (3) a few ski schools but book early for multi-lingual instructors, (4) plenty of ski schools and multi-lingual instructors available, (5) excellent ski schools with friendly multi-lingual ski instructors.

Hire and Repairs: 4.2

(1) Nothing can be sourced, not even ski-wax or ptex. (3) there are some ski shops but rentals need to be booked in advance, (5) good quality ski equipment can be purchased or hired and overnight repairs are possible.

Beginners: 4.1

(1) Beginners can only watch others ski and snowboard, (3) a few gentle slopes but beginners will get bored in less than a week, (3) Vast areas of gentle terrain.

Intermediates: 4.2

(1) No intermediate terrain at Borovets, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.

Advanced: 3.7

(1) Nothing for advanced skiers and snowboarders, (3) enough steep terrain for a few days with some good offpiste, (5) Enough steep terrain and offpiste areas to entertain advanced skiers for at least a week.

Snow Park: 3.1

(1) Not even a kicker at Borovets, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.

Cross-country: 3.3

(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Borovets, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.

Luge/Toboggan: 2.2

(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Borovets has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.

Mountain Dining: 3.7

(1) Nowhere to buy food by the pistes, (3) some places to eat up on the mountain but they are often busy and expensive, (5) there is a variety of excellent mountain eateries right next to the slopes to suit all budgets.

Eating: 4.2

(1) Bring your own food, there isn't even a shop. (5) A wide variety of places to eat and drink in the resort, from fast food to fancy restaurants.

Apres-Ski: 4.2

(1) Nothing to do, not even a bar, (3) there are a few bars in the resort but nothing special, (5) clubs and bars stay open until very late and have a friendly atmosphere.

Other Sports: 3.6

(1) No sports facilities at all apart from ski lifts, (3) resort has just a small public swimming pool, (5) resort has all kinds of sports facilities, including a full-size swimming pool.

Entertainment: 3.3

(1) Besides the snow and walking there is nothing to do here, (3) the non-skier will find things to do for few days but may become bored after a week, (5) the resort area is a fascinating place to visit, regardless of winter sports.

Winter Walks: 3.5

(1) Very limited walking and no snowshoe trails, (3) a couple of designated scenic walking/snowshoe trails, (5) extensive and diverse winter walking trails for all abilities.

Ski Pass Value: 3.7

(1) A 1 week ski pass is overpriced compared to the number of lifts available, (3) the ski pass is averagely priced and covers a reasonable number of lifts, (5) ski passes are excellent value for money and cover a lot of lifts spanning a big area.

Value (National): 4.0

(1) Overall, Borovets is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the country and not worth the money, (3) overall represents average value for money, (5) overall offers the best value resort in the country.

Value (Global): 4.1

(1) Overall, Borovets is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world, (3) overall it offers pretty average value for money compared to resorts from other countries, (5) internationally the resort offers excellent value for money.

Show all 35 ratings

October 31, 2008
Gemma - UK from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
I went on holiday for a week to Borvets in January this year and it was fantastic, one of the best holidays I have had. I am only a beginner and it was my first time skiing but everything was great. The instructor, Emo, was fantastic, really thorough and supportive. My partner who is an experience skier and has been to various places enjoyed it too, there were plenty of different and challenging slopes. We just wanted a cheap ski hol and we were not disappointed at all. There were some stunning parts to the area and at times it was like being in a winterwonderland. The town centre did have some questionable places which looked a bit seedy, but common sense says to stay away from these places. There were lots of good places to eat and drink. We stayed in the Lion Hotel this year and it was lovely. Big modern clean rooms, nice lobby with the odd nights entertainment, log fires etc. The food as well was good. Plenty of choice, lots of fresh fruits at breakfast and a good mix of pastas, meats , salads etc at tea time. We are going back in Jan 09 as wel liked it so much. Staying at the Rila this time as closer to the town centre and literally at the bottom of the slopes.
October 10, 2008
Steve from Ski Ireland Ireland
Word of warning to anybody considering a holiday here this ski season. If you think that it is a cheap alternative to the Alps it is not. It is miles behind the Alps in terms of the skiing it has to offer, but generally works out at the same price for a package holiday. Therefore you are being tricked into skiing here as it is the same price as the Alps but no where near it in terms of skiing. The only advantage it has is that around the town it works out slightly cheaper for drink and food but this will not make up for the sheer disappointment of this resort. It is tacky and dirty, with hookers and strippers everywhere and people harassing you into their bars and restaurants. If you have experienced proper skiing before i.e. Alps, America, Canada, please do not waste your money and time going here as you will be shocked and so annoyed with your decision to ski here. If this is your first ski holiday you will not be able to compare it to proper ski resorts and find it okay but I can only say look around as the Alps can work out at the same price or cheaper. Again, if you have experienced proper ski resorts please take my warning and do not ski here, the disappointment is not worth it, believe me, I experienced it last year.
August 05, 2008 from Ski Netherlands Netherlands
As you can see the comments are different depending on date/temperature and amount of snow. Of course when there is lack of snow skiing is bad but that’s everywhere and making snow can only be done and be effective with good temperature. When it's too cold none can be made and when too hot none can be made either. Prices can be better, yes, and it seems that they try to rip only UK people. The resort is good but development has been on hold for years and just since 3 years there is new money put in the resort and believe me the future has some great new options to give. If you love the Alps stay there then the people that love the Balkan has smaller waiting time at the lifts. Last, the lifts are good for skiers and yes, little hard for snowboarders but those that are good at snowboarding will have no problems with the lifts. I love Borovets and come back every year.
March 27, 2008
John from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Don't go. There is a website and if you write anything negative about any Bulgarian resort on the threads, your post is deleted and you are prevented from writing anything else on the website in future, it happened to me. It's so they can trick you into coming to Bulgaria and that alone pretty much sums up this place. I could go on a big rant about this resort, how disapointing it is, what a rip off it is, how it is not one bit cheap etc etc but I won't as it has been done so extremely accurately from the previous posts.
March 27, 2008
Paul from Ski Ireland Ireland
Went first week of March 08 and I want a refund from Crystal Ski. It was an absolutely awful experience. Word of warning to anyone who is contemplating a ski trip here, if you have been to the Alps, Canada, US or any PROPER ski resorts, simply do not go. I read a lot of reviews on this website before I went and although a lot were quite negative, I had an open mind and expected to be pleasantly surprised, instead I left vouching never to return, which is sad because I like discovering new places. The lower slopes were in awful condition, probably should have been closed but weren't. Upper slopes had lovely snow, and a lot of it but is simply not developed. The gondola that brings you there was closed 3 out of my 6 skiing days, and the runs are so short: probably would take the average skier about 2 minutes to get down. Then there was the ski to the mid-station gondola, probably the best on offer but the ratio of waiting to ski is so unbalanced. Match that with an extortionate ski pass price, (more expensive than Livigno in Italy) and you are being robbed, simple as that. They haven't changed the web cam for over a month, I wonder why? Maybe its the patches of muck and grass where it points at. Just to clarify one other thing, this is not a 'cheap alternative' to the Alps. Ski pass, more expensive than a lot of Alpine resorts, snow is a lot worse, eating and drinking is cheaper, only just, but balance that against all the negatives and you can only be disappointed. In comparison, while I was there it was 18 degrees and rained. At the same time I was there, resorts in the Alps of the same altitude were getting dumped on and are doing so now as I write this. Some have had two metres in two weeks. I may seem negative but this review is not aimed at those weird people that seem to love this resort but those who have experienced proper skiing and proper facilities. If you are thinking of booking here do not do it, a bit more research than I had done can get you a deal to the Alps for the same price or even cheaper. Believe me, the disappointment is not worth it, I now have to wait until next year for my next ski trip, something I am still so disappointed about.
March 24, 2008
John & Sarah from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Ok, basically the place is a dump. It left us both with a pretty bad impression of the country sadly, which is a shame because surely it can't all be as bad as Borovets? Went 16th-23rd Mar'08. 2 parts to this review, first the resort then our hotel (Zodiac) The Resort: Limited piste and hardly worth the effort unless you are comfortable on fast, long drag lifts (if you are a boarder and you are ok with the lifts then you must be a reasonable standard, and this means you'll cover the whole resort in under a day and get bored anyway). There were a couple of runs from top to bottom of the gondola with a chair lift to get you half way back up again, but the chair lift was closed and so were the pistes (went down it anyway and the snow was knee deep all the way down, they were simply too lazy to piste it). When the gondola closed for high winds (25mph or stronger on the 'mid' 6 day forecast above means it is closed) there are 2 reds and 1 blue to choose from. The blue has a long walk at the end if you are a boarder and for 2 days one of the reds was closed for slalom races. Imagine how busy & icy it got. Plus there were loads of beginners at the bottom of the slopes, bad for them and bad for everyone else. We were lucky to get a reasonable amount of snow: the only good thing on the holiday. As for the resort itself, it isn't cheap, it isn't big, it isn't clean and basically it isn't much fun. If you go in a big group you might find it ok, but personally I got pretty sick of the people trying to get you into the bars. Everyone trying to rip you off (apparently 2 + 2 + 5 = 10 Lev - if you are going to rip me off at least make it worth your while, that's just insulting!). Chilli peppers bar was ok and they have free internet for you to use. Ate out once at what was meant to be a good restaurant (Marmacitas?) - food was good at the time, but suffered for it the next day so didn't dare go back! Best food we did have was some local goulash, at one of the cafes! Hotel Zodiac: Oh dear. To be fair the place was clean, it was just empty. All the resort facilities were closed - no 'disco' or karaoke. The 'leisure' area (2 broken table tennis tables with the lights off & a dodgy looking sauna room) were never used by anyone I don't think. The food varied from ok to awful. It was just as well the free bus ran (but only 3 times in the morning and 3 times at night!) because the 10 Lev (£5) taxis soon mount up. On top of that was annoying little things like how they kept turning all the lights off in the stairs & halls on our floor and it was really difficult to talk to the staff as their English is bad (yes I know, better than my Bulgarian - but I'm not the one setting up a business and taking money off Bulgarians). And to top it off we left at 6.30 am on the Sunday. When we got down to reception there was an old fella down there but no receptionist which made it difficult to get our passports back (they keep them to register you with the police, They promised us they would be kept securely in a safety deposit box). We tried to tell him we needed them, showed him someone elses passports to get through to him and he just looked blankly at us. Our Bulgarian driver turned up and explained to him in Bulgarian that we needed to get our passports to leave and he just looked blankly at us. After about 10 minutes I went behind the desk myself and had a rake round, eventually finding keys to break into the safety deposit box (really secure then!!) and get them back so we could leave 15 minutes late! Then he went and woke the receptionist up from somewhere else and they both looked round to see if I had stolen anything and gave us dirty looks! Home now thank goodness, but I'm off work today and I'm writing this between visits to the loo. I don't miss the food and I won't be back. If you are going “cos it's the cheap option” then I'd say don't – it really isn't as cheap as you'd think. If you are as stubborn as I regretfully was in thinking ‘it cant be that bad’, then stay at the Samakov or the Rila, their facilities were better and were near the slopes.
March 18, 2008
Jon from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
I returned from a week in hell............sorry, Borovets last week and have recently recovered from the experience to explain how unexceptionally bad this resort is!!!! I think the people who have written the previous reviews have summed up the resort exceedingly accurately so I will try and limit what I say (which is hard seeing as I could rant for hours)!! All I want to say is that I normally take reviews on websites with a pinch of salt as people usually set too high standards and you can normally make a fist of the holiday. Unfortunately, even I have to say that Borovets is the worst ski resort regarding accommodation, snow, infrastructure and service that I have ever been to, and I have boarded in the Czech Republic and stayed in a resort that is not even advertised by the holiday companies due to the isolation and lack of tourist like facilities. The only saving grace for me was that I stayed 20kms outside of Borovets in a really nice apartment. However, I did venture in to Borovets for one night and stayed in one of the hotels (which was pleasant enough) but had I been there for the full week, I would have gone home on the second day!! Please listen to the negative reviews - they are all genuine. I shall be returning to Canada next year!!!
March 17, 2008
neil from essex from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Borovets, Feb 2008. Stayed in the hotel Rila, meant to be 4 star but, to be honest, I`d say more of a 3 star hotel. Hotel was pretty clean and the food was ok. The prices of the drinks from the bar were very expensive to say the least and they have the cheek to leave tins on the bar for tips!! This hotel is situated in a prime position, right at the foot of the Rila mountain. Another scam they have is to short change you. I got fleeced twice in the Rila, the second time I noticed it and complained to the person who served me....her answer was 'sorry we don't have no change'. This happens everywhere in Borovets. In one shop the person who served me tried to pass some sweets instead of the correct amount of beware. Snow conditions were not that great on the Rila mountain but the Yastrebets mountain was ok..........but the lift queues are a joke. We queued for 45 mins, and this was just to get to the top of the Yastrebets mountain. When we did eventually get to the top we found the queues for all the lift were quite large (but not as big as the main gondola). Also, another point to add, is most lifts on the Yasterbets mountain are drag lifts, they are also not very user friendly. The drag lifts are very steep and fast and are way too long especially if you snowboard,the lifties are not all that helpful either. Ski school.......avoid Borosports at all costs. The staff are very rude and are only interested in your money. The ski instructors are not much better.............they leave you if you cannot keep up. Clubs/pubs: Plenty of nightlife with strip clubs thrown into the mix as well..............but be warned, it's been said that many of these places spike peoples drinks and also make sure you don't leave any money in your pockets as thieving is rife in some clubs. The prices in pubs vary from 5 Lev to 6 Lev for a pint of local beer and shorts can be around 8 Levs. Mountain food: Don't bother unless you have money to burn. Overall report: Limited piste with outdated lift system. Everything over priced since joining the EU. The place needs a total refurb and the streets are really dirty with beggars pestering you. Would I go again? No. This used to be a cheap option but now the prices are up it's not worth paying that sort of money when you can go elswhere with better pistes and lifts system. If bulgaria keep trying to fleece ppl like they have been they might not have return clients
March 14, 2008
melanie from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Stayed in Borovets 9th Feb for one week. Iglika palace hotel was dangerous on entrance. Rooms very basic. First time skiing. Our first instructor showed us how to stop twice then took us up the gondola. Scary at top for us beginners. I had both my 2 children with me, one is hard of hearing and dyspraxic. We changed instructors on the 3rd day as it became apparent our instructor wasn't interested in those that couldn't keep up. The second instructor was fabulous (thanks Bobi). All in all, Borovets was fun. We were 2 families with 6 kids. The 6 year olds went to the Mura kindergarten where they enjoyed 1 hour skiing in the morning and 1 in the afternoon. Good English speaking nannies and well worth booking the children in there although do ask for a helmet for your child as they don't automatically give one. We all learned to ski by the end of the week (green runs). The snow conditions could be better but I think we just about had the last of the skiing conditions. I think anyone going after this week would struggle. Look at website for an actual webcam set up from Ice Angels hotel. It doesn't show the full range of the slopes but is pretty good and it's live. Another one is to type in Ski dvd borovets webcam on your search engine and it should come up with a local chalet called Iskar which is just up the road from the gondola. It gives an idea of whether it has been snowing as you can see the roads and trees (which were covered in snow when we were there) and we are amazed how quickly the snow has disappeared. The lowest temperature on the lower slopes outside the Rila was -8. Not sure whether we would go back as we would like to see other places but our experience was probably a score of 8 out of 10 but could do better.
March 12, 2008
Col of Stoke from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Went to Borovets for first ski holiday and had no preconceptions. Good job really. The snow conditions weren't that bad and the lifts were open all week, however, the thing that annoyed me the most was the menu prices did not tally up with what they asked for. If drinks came to 7 Levs they would take 10 Levs and that was that. Even in the supermarkets the store assistant would add on a couple of Levs for themselves even on a small purchase of a bar of chocolate, which only cost 2 Levs to start with. Oh well, I hope they spend their bonus tips, that were not given with choice, wisely as that will be the last they see of my money. Enjoyed learning to ski but didn't like the resort much, and disliked the locals even more. By the way, if you are going to snowboard and hire the boots there, just check the size you are given as I was given three sizes to big and was then offered a size too small, when I wouldn't budge on the service they agreed to give me ski equipment instead without any extra cost.......wasn't that nice.