The most stylish designer hotel in Velingrad is only a stone’s throw away from the city centre, located in a romantic valley surrounded by pine trees. Views from the hotel room are calming and inspiring. The hotel, just like many others in Velingrad, takes advantage of an incredible natural resource, thermal water. The source of the water is in Velingrad-Kamenitza at a depth of 200 meters. The hotel is also surrounded by teambuilding locations and offers a great starting point for exploring the picturesque Rhodope mountains.
A pleasant hour and a half drive (129km) will get you from the airport in Sofia to Velingrad, most of it being on the motorway. When you get off the main road, the local roads will lead you through a scenic river canyon up to the Velingrad plateau at 700m. Most of the hotel guests arrive with their own cars and there is a large parking lot in front of the hotel, sometimes also used for events. The hotel also offers shuttle service and bicycle rentals.
COLD STARTER - Architecture and aesthetics
The hotel has a modern, Alpine-style design that fits in well with its surroundings. The exterior is a combination of wood and stone, but the interior is where things start to get interesting. Local beekeeping heritage inspired the lobby design with typical Bulgarian apiary’s adorning the entrance. There are tons of stylish wooden details, like the entrance to the restaurant that has become a popular Instagram spot. The wellbeing of guests is taken care of throughout the hotel, with many relaxing lounge areas. The halls, painted in an anthracite colour are part of the experience and the modern, elegant and cosy hotel furniture appears very attractive.
WARM ENTRÉE - The staff and the culinary experience
A sufficient reason to visit the hotel is an excellent culinary offer. The restaurant is based on live cooking and serving traditional dishes with a modern twist. Such a fresh and diverse buffet is hard to find. Excellent Bulgarian wine from a solid wine list completed the experience. The story continued at breakfast, where everything from the warm dishes to the selection of cheese and fresh juice was at a very high level. Bulgarian pies that the chef makes in front of the guests make the breakfast experience feel authentic. The entire hotel experience deserves five stars and we are certain you won’t be disappointed.
MAIN COURSE – The meetings offer
The room is a combination of wood in brighter tones and darker, blue decorations on the wall. The end result is very elegant and pleasant. Rooms with a balcony (deluxe double room) are very spacious and well equipped. The only thing we would have liked is a desk, essential for business guests. The bathroom is quite luxurious, decorated in earth tones, featuring high-quality cosmetics, as you would expect. The comfy bedding, combined with the fresh mountain air will make you fall asleep like a baby.
The conference centre can host 120 participants, offers daylight and a relatively high ceiling. In addition to the conference centre, there is a wide range of spaces that can be used for events around the hotel, like the restaurant, hotel bar or the presidential suite. Outside spaces are even more attractive, especially for teambuilding programmes in gorgeous nature that encourages creativity.
DESSERT – The extras
The Thermal Spa Zone offers a wide range of experience. We were especially intrigued by the herbal sauna and the relaxing pool.
FLOP – NEGATIVE SURPRISES
Only hairsplitters will be able to find some unpleasant detail, as it an all-around great hotel. The only thing that bothered me was having to walk across the lobby bar to get to the spa, something that could be solved with a separate entrance.
TOP – POSITIVE SURPRISES
The staff’s professionalism and kindness can be felt across the hotel, especially in the hotel restaurant.
FINAL IMPRESSION AND CREDIBILITY
Any European incentive destination could do with a hotel like the Arte Spa&Park. We think it is an excellent choice for incentive programme organisers. It seems as if it was designed just for them. The interior design of the lobby indicates that this is not a conventional hotel, but rather one that combines top-notch hotel service with trendy design, making it an instant hit in Bulgaria. We think it’s time that it becomes a hit among European meeting planners as well.
FINAL GRADE: 4.87 GOLD SPA Meeting Hotel
GOLD final score from 4.81 to 5.00
SILVER final score from 4.61 to 4.80
BRONZE final score from 4.41 to 4.60