Bansko: hotels, restaurants and entertainment
The pick of Bansko hotels, restaurants and off-piste activities.
Bansko is an old town, set on a flat valley floor in the scenic Pirin National Park, that has been catapulted into the 21st century by installation of modern lifts on its slopes and construction of a lot of new lodgings, many near the base of the new access gondola to the slopes. Last season the resort took a further step forward by hosting World Cup women’s downhill and Super-G races.
- There are newish hotels in Bansko around the gondola station, including the swanky new Florimont with its own casino.
- The traditional-style 5-star Kempinski Grand Arena (www.kempinski.com) has ‘excellent facilities’.
- Pirin (www.pirin-golf.com) near the town square and the Strazhite, near the gondola have had good reviews in the past.
- All these have pools and some spa/fitness facilities.
Reporters enthuse about the town’s many mehanas (traditional inns) with roaring fires, real Bulgarian food and good wine.
A fair sprinkling, including some modern ones with outdoor bars (but not enough seating). The char-grills they serve are said to be good value. The Platoto near the top is our reporters’ favourite.
There are lively bars at the gondola base and new ones keep opening. Popular venues are the Lion pub, B4 and Amigos, and the bowling alley at the hotel Strazhite. The hotel Florimont has bars and a nightclub.
OFF THE SLOPES
Excursions to the Rila monastery and trips across the border into Greece are possible. Some hotels have good spa centres and there’s an ice rink.