Bulgaria goes bling
Bulgaria goes blingWONKY chairlifts, draughty dormitories and watery beetroot soup? Don’t believe it — Bulgaria (well, certain parts of it) will soon be the chic place to winter, giving the likes of St Moritz a ski run for their money. This month Kempinski, which already operates the Grand Hôtel des Bains in St Moritz, opened the 158-room Grand Hôtel Arena in Bansko, Bulgaria. Rooms are wi-fi-equipped, and there is a cigar lounge, a vitamin bar and a spa. Bansko appeared in the main ski brochures for the first time only a few years ago, so the arrival of Kempinski is adding a touch of style to a country long seen as a bargain destination. The Grand Arena is one of several new hotels opening this winter, helping to boost the resort to a four-star destination. “Bulgaria has realised that today’s traveller is looking for more mod cons, so it is realigning itself with Western Europe,” says a spokeswoman for Neilson, the tour operator offering the hotel this winter.
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