ON A LUXURY HOLIDAY IN BULGARIA

by Bozhidara Georgieva

From spa to wine – the options for exclusive relaxation in the country enchant

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Modern luxury is all about subtle comfort, elegant aesthetics and the feeling that all of our needs have been met and catered for even before we have realised their existence. In Bulgaria, we find this in selected hotels and resorts that value their clients and provide them with a wholesome experience, where comfort and pleasure combine in an inimitable way, and nature and its beneficial effects are always nearby.

From the Black Sea coast with its luxury hotels and options for glamping to the mountains where you find intimate resorts among nature that offer clean food – Bulgaria's luxury map is getting richer by the year. The country's diverse geography allows a variety of experiences during the vacation – different outdoor and sports activities, tastings, the chance to join events, festivals and traditional festivities. Thanks to this, luxury vacation in Bulgaria does not present a single, unified face – variety is its "business card."

Spa pleasures make a significant part of Bulgaria's image as a luxury holiday destination – and deservedly so.

With its abundant mineral springs, the Bulgarian lands have been a destination for spa tourism since the times of the ancient Romans. Today, we find some of the best luxury experiences in the country's established spa and balneological resorts.

Mineral springs are not evenly distributed in the Bulgarian lands – about two thirds of them are in the south. On this background Sandanski, in the southwest, stands out with its 80 springs with temperatures between 42 and 81ºС. The combination with the beneficial, almost Mediterranean, climate and the proximity of the Pirin makes the town one of Bulgaria's must visit places.

With its unique resources and professionalism, Park Hotel Pirin (Sandanski, phone: +359 893 300 300; www.parkhotelpirin.com) has deservedly become a symbol of quality spa experience in Bulgaria. The hotel is located by the cool and picturesque park of Sandanski at the foot of the Pirin and uses the waters of hot mineral springs that heal a number of conditions. In its top-class spa and wellness zone you will find a variety of procedures with high quality cosmetic products and typical Bulgarian herbs and aromas. The professionals there will consult you on the best procedures for you, and if you seek something truly special, you can give yourself a ritual at the VIP zone. Everything at Park Hotel Pirin embodies quiet exquisiteness and intelligent comfort – the luxury rooms and apartments, the spacious and comfortable conference rooms with a range of capacities, the elegant restaurants and the cosy lobby bar. During the night, Faces Life Bar offers selected drinks and music – a guarantee for a pleasant end of the day.

To enjoy a wholesome spa vacation among clean mountain nature and air you do not need to go far from Sofia. It is enough to book one of the designer's villas at PinusVillas compound (Zheleznitsa village, Yarema locality, phone: 359 884 78 25 47, www.pinusvillas.com) and you will immerse yourself in an atmosphere of tranquility and relaxation. The luxury experience among the elegant interior of the Alpine chalets is guaranteed, and the fresh greenery boosts your energy levels. The villas are only four and each of them has its own spa facility that is used only by its guests: an outdoor hot tub and a sauna or a phyto barrel. PinusVillas compound is one of the few places in Bulgaria where you can enjoy the beneficial effects of hot steam enriched with herbal mixtures in a phyto barrel. It cleanses the body in depth, brings freshness to the skin, erases stress and stimulates immunity. PinusVillas has taken care of all the needs and whims of the guests with a cosy restaurant, equipped conference room and options for outdoor activities. The special packages for corporate clients are an opportunity to responsible companies to give their employees the most important thing: taking care of their health and wellbeing.

When you book a villa or room at SPA Complex Belchin Spring (Belchin Village, phones: +359 884 025 169, +359 884 025 542, www.belchin-spring.com) you will quickly forget that you are mere 50 kms away from Sofia. The tranquility and clean nature dominate this charming boutique spa complex, and the options to enjoy them in blessed seclusion or with your loved ones is truly seducing. With its outdoor and indoor pools and variety of classic and innovative procedures the spa centre is an oasis of care for one's health and beauty. If you want to enjoy spa experiences in calmness, choose the luxury villas or the chalet as they have en suite saunas and mineral water hot tubs. The ECO villas, for their part, combine comfort with the feeling of being close to nature. The lovers of active recreation will find a variety of options for outdoor sport, and connoisseurs of fine food will fall for the menu of the à la carte restaurant. The creators of Belchin Spring have taken care of everything – outdoor and indoor playgrounds for children and multifunctional rooms equipped with everything needed for a flawless corporate event.

Bulgaria is a place where excellent, intriguing and exciting wines are made. The ways to enjoy the creations of some of the best producers, however, are not that many. This is why the elegant hotels and wineries that offer this type of experience stand out and deservedly win the hearts of people who seek delicate luxury and memorable tastes.

Connoisseurs of good wine have been familiar for years with the quality of the creations of the family winery Château Copsa (phone: +359 882 64 54 52, reservations@copsa.bg, www.copsa.bg). One of the best ways to enjoy them is on their own territory, as guests of the boutique hotel Maison Copsa and the exclusive castle Château Copsa. Located in one of the most picturesque parts of the Valley of Roses, they offer elegant ambiance, exquisite luxury, stylish restaurants with author's cuisine and a diversity of experiences. Participating in the emblematic traditions of rose picking and grape harvesting is an excellent way to experience something new with your family – or to include in the programme for the teambuilding or corporate event that you organise at Château Copsa. Just imagine – how many places in Bulgaria provide you with the opportunity to taste exquisite wines and rakiyas in the cellar of a medieval castle? At Château Copsa this is a charming rule that leaves a lasting memory.

Regardless of the hotel or resort you have chosen for your luxury vacation in Bulgaria, the quality of the experience will be as in any established international destination – but with a pinch of local colour and character that make the vacation truly unique.

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