This 4 star hotel offers great customer service, delicious food, lovely bar and lobby area with fireplace, very good spa centre and swimming pool, comfortable room equipped with all you need, regular shuttle to the ski slopes and much more.
We had an enjoyable stay at the hotel and share our experience below.
Why We Chose Hotel Lion Borovets
We searched a lot for the perfect hotel to fit our requirements and budget. In addition to all the amenities and comfort we were looking for, we needed the hotel to offer a great New Year’s Eve gala dinner with entertainment as our stay included NYE.
Before you book your trip, we suggest you research the market and see whether a packaged holiday or booking the trip independently might make more sense for you. On this occasion we booked things independently and planned our own holiday as our trip to Borovets was part of a longer holiday in Bulgaria and Romania.
Here are some of the reasons why we chose Hotel Lion in Borovets:
- We previously stood at Hotel Lion Bansko and were really happy with the facilities
- Half board (HB) option
- Very good reviews on Booking.com and on TripAdvisor
- Fit our budget
- Shuttle to the ski slopes
- New Year’s Eve dinner and entertainment
Overall, we had a great experience and would certainly return to the hotel. To see why, read more about the hotel and our experience below.
Location and How to Get to Hotel Lion Borovets
Hotel Lion Borovets is located in one of the most peaceful places in the resort, surrounded by a centuries-old pine forest. It is around 20 minutes walk to the central area and the gondola or a short taxi ride away.
The resort is accessible by car/coach only. Depending on where you are coming from, you can drive all the way to the hotel. The hotel has a large parking area with plenty of spaces to choose from.
If you are flying to Bulgaria, most likely you will fly to Sofia and then either rent a car or get a private transfer to the hotel. There are also public transport options once you are in Sofia, such as direct or indirect (via Samokov) coaches to Borovets.
We were already in Bulgaria, so we went by train to Sofia and then got a private transfer to the hotel. On the way back, we tried going by coach to Sofia from Borovets and although the cost was about half price when compared to the private transfer, the journey was also doubled in time. Perhaps something to weigh in.
Reception and Lobby
The check-in experience was really nice. We were greeted by the receptionist who provided a great customer service and explained all we needed to know about our stay including breakfast and dinner times, spa opening hours, shuttle service and more.
We were impressed by the spacious lobby area with a fireplace and the interior which was very appropriate for the location. After dinner, we spent a lot of time at the lobby and always tried to get our favourite table by the fireplace.
The hotel offers different types of rooms and apartments to suit the needs of their guests. If you just want a room, you can choose between a standard double room or extended double room which is larger than the standard one and can accommodate a third person. If you prefer an apartment, you can chose between a studio or a two bedroom apartment.
We had a very comfortable stay in a studio apartment with views towards the forest. We could even see one of the ski slopes from our room.
The studio was nice, clean and bright with lots of natural light coming through. Wi-Fi was available in the room and throughout the hotel.
The bedroom area included a large king size bed with bedside tables on each side and full-size mirrors. There was a desk with a mirror and chair which also doubled as a comfortable working space, should you wish to work remotely from the hotel.
We also had a flatscreen TV, luggage rack and a spacious wardrobe with shelves and hangers. Bathrobes and slippers were also provided which was great for the evenings we went to the spa.
The “living room” had a comfortable two-seater sofa, large coffee table and two armchairs. Needless to say that we spent a lot of time in this area. We took some games with us, so having the table and comfortable seating area was excellent!
There was a mini bar and two complimentary bottles of water were provided on the first day. Unfortunately the hotel doesn’t offer tea and coffee making facilities in the rooms, which would have been a nice touch.
The bathroom was a good size with a large mirror and some toiletries including shower gel, shampoo, soap, shower caps and a vanity kit. We even had two bath robes, which we didn’t expect and were a great addition.
We had a bathtub with a shower, which really made us feel at home. A wall-hanged hairdryer was also available. On the downside, the bathroom felt a bit tired and outdated but was clean and towels were changed on a daily basis.
Food and Drinks
Food is really important to us and I must say, the hotel didn’t disappoint us. The food was tasty, well cooked and a good variety of options was available.
In this category we also like to see how the hotel deals with out of the blue customer orders that aren’t on the buffet. We think this is important as in today’s world of booking aggregators like Booking.com, hotels need to stand out with good customer service unless they want to find themselves on page 10 of those aggregators.
The main restaurant is where breakfast is served. If you, like us, choose half board (HB), then this is the place where dinner is also served. If you visit the hotel during the Christmas/ NYE period, then most likely you will have the gala dinner at the main restaurant.
We enjoyed the breakfast and felt there was a good variety of hot and cold food and drinks. Scrambled eggs, sausages, bacon, selection of cold meats and different cheese, vegetables etc. all looked and tasted good.
Yoghurt, muesli and cereals were offered as standard and there was a selection of fruits and jams. French toast was available every day and freshly made pancakes (live cooking) were available most of the days.
Overall, the food was plentiful, however, when we asked the cook on duty for some additional bits like fried eggs (as there were none on the buffet one morning), he simply declined and directed us to the scrambled eggs.
On a separate occasion, Paul asked for mustard and the cook declined again. This gave us a feel that the kitchen staff are fairly rigid when it comes to customer service.
In terms of drinks, coffee machines were available offering freshly ground coffee and a selection of espresso, americano, cappuccino, latte etc.
The coffee was actually really good and definitely better than most hotel coffee we have had. If you prefer tea, a selection of branded teas was also available.
We liked the fact that take away cups were provided, so you could grab a tea/ coffee whilst waiting for the shuttle bus to take you to the ski slopes.
There were soft drinks dispensers from where you can get water and juices of your choice.
Dinner was varied and most importantly the food was delicious. Bulgarians love their salads, so every evening there were at least six different salads to choose from including the popular shopska salad and shepherd’s salad. Soups were also available during the dinner service.
The mains included at least two types of meat (usually chicken, pork or beef), fish, vegetarian options, pizza and pasta. Side dishes such as fries, rice, baked potatoes, steamed vegetables etc. were also available.
I particularly remember the beautifully seasoned and cooked seabass at the live cooking section … I liked it so much that I returned two times for more and even complimented the chef on the great cookery. There was a delicious pork stew and beef bourguignon which were crowd pleasers for sure.
Now let’s talk about desserts. There was a decent selection of desserts and fresh fruits every evening. My favourites include the cheesecake and the carrot cake whilst Paul really enjoyed the cherry tart.
Having ice-cream was a nice surprise. Yes, during the dinner service soft vanilla and chocolate ice-cream was available from the ice-cream machines. I was surprised to see that more adults were eating the frozen dessert than children 🙂
During the dinner service, soft drinks from the dispenser machines were included as well as local beer and wine. You can always order additional drinks from the bar, just ask one of the staff members.
If you only choose breakfast, then you can dine a la carte at the Tavern which offers traditional Bulgarian cuisine in an authentic atmosphere.
As we were on a HB basis, we didn’t try the food at the Tavern but good to know that this is available as an option. If you choose to eat out, check out the food section in the Borovets article here.
The main bar in the hotel is the Lobby bar, although there is a bar in the restaurant as well. The lobby bar is on two levels and has a fireplace and an outdoor area.
As mentioned earlier, the fireplace is a real highlight and we really enjoyed having some drinks after dinner here.
The service was excellent and the bartenders were experienced and knowledgeable. Paul really enjoyed one of his favourite cocktails – Margarita – and was impressed by the bartenders’ skills.
There is plenty of space downstairs and upstairs and we were always able to get a table after dinner. We even brought some games with us including Yahtzee and Monopoly, which we played whilst enjoying a drink at the bar.
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Spa & Wellness at Hotel Lion Borovets
When we go skiing, we always choose a hotel with a spa as we love going to the sauna after a day of winter activities.
This holiday was no different and given that there wasn’t enough snow for skiing, we did spend a lot of time in the spa and wellness centre of the hotel.
By far, the saunas were our favourites. You can choose between a herbal sauna (around 60°C), a Finnish sauna (around 80°C) and a steam sauna. In this area, you will also find the Chromotherapy shower.
We mostly visited the Finnish sauna as this was the warmest one. If you, like us, enjoy a good sauna, then you should certainly pay a visit to Therme Bucharest – the largest wellness centre in Europe.
Towels are provided by the hotel, so you don’t need to worry about bringing your own. Turkish bath (hammam) is available at an extra charge and so are the massages and beauty procedures.
Next to the saunas is the relaxation area. This place is rather unique in design and definitely worth a photo. Relaxation pods are built in the wall and they are so comfortable! They are even equipped with a reading light, should you decide to take a book with you.
In this area you will also find some sunbeds and a watercooler. Having complimentary water at the spa was a really nice touch as it is important to stay hydrated, especially when going to the saunas.
During our stay, we also visited the swimming pool area a few times. The swimming pool is a good size and suitable for adults and for children. There is also a smaller pool with shallow water which could be great for smaller kids.
You can find some more sunbeds here, two showers and a fresh supply of towels for you to use. A lifeguard is also available.
What I really liked about this area is the amount of natural light you can get and the amazing views towards the forest. I didn’t even realise I was swimming for 20 minutes whilst I was admiring the views and enjoying the beautiful scenery.
A small gym is available by the reception desk at the spa area. We didn’t use the gym but passed by every day, so I thought I would make a photo for reference.
Hotel Amenities and Services
In addition to the above-mentioned facilities, the hotel offers a range of amenities and services. The ones worth noting are:
Shuttle to the Ski Slopes
A regular shuttle runs between Hotel Lion Borovets and the ski area. The shuttle stops in front of hotel Samokov offering an easy access to the Gondola and the Borovets ski area.
If you are not skiing, you can still use the shuttle to go to the central area in the resort.
This was a really important service when choosing the hotel as we wouldn’t like to carry our ski after a hard day on the slopes!
Ski Rental/ Bike Rental
The hotel offers a ski (during winter) and bike (during summer) rental service, located by the main entrance of the hotel. Due to the snow situation, we didn’t get the chance to rent ski, so I can’t comment on the service.
Conveniently, a minimarket is available behind the lobby bar and opposite the lifts. You don’t even need to leave the hotel if you want to get some snacks or buy some water for the room.
If you feel like playing some games, a pool table is available by the main entrance, next to reception. You can also play table tennis at the hotel. These are paid activities but not very expensive.
You can also borrow chess or backgammon from reception, which we did a few times during our stay.
If you are going with kids, then you will be pleased to know that there is an outdoors and indoors children’s area for the little ones, so they can still be entertained regardless of the weather.
Most of the services are running throughout the year which makes Hotel Lion Borovets an all-year round hotel and one of the few hotels to stay opened in Borovets during the summer as well.
This could be seen in the customer service we received, which was mostly excellent. Staff were well trained, friendly and knowledgeable.
We could see they care about their jobs and strive to deliver a great customer experience. After speaking with some staff members, I found out that they have been working in the hotel for over ten years.
Overall we really enjoyed our stay here and felt welcomed by staff members. We wished we could stay longer as the hotel was indeed what we were looking for and even exceeded our expectations.
We believe Hotel Lion Borovets is an excellent option for anyone looking to go to Borovets during summer/winter or even for a weekend break. Being an all-year round hotel means that you can enjoy the hotel’s facilities any time of the year.
Its scenic location, excellent food, great customer service and comfortable rooms make it a great contender for your next trip to the Bulgarian mountains.
To see the best deals available, check the prices here for Hotel Lion Borovets.
You can also check out our vlog about this hotel here:
Ready to book? Below are some recommendations to get your trip started:
- Flights – we use flight aggregators such as Skyscanner and Google flights to find the best options. You can find more information about finding cheap flights here.
- Accommodation – would recommend booking your accommodation through an aggregator such as Booking.com or Agoda to get the best rates. We also use TripAdvisor to read reviews.
- Transport – consider Rentalcars.com for car renting or if you rely on public transport, you can use Omio for trains, coaches, ferries, airport transfers and even flights.
- Activities – a great option is GetYourGuide or Viator for tours, excursions, experiences and tickets to many tourist attractions.
- Luggage storage – if you need to store your bags whilst exploring the destination, you can use Radical Storage to find your closest luggage storage and enjoy your journey until the very end.
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