Sunday, August 31, 2008

10 Tips for renting Bansko accommodation

I've done it myself, you're looking where to stay for you precious vacation, decide on the resort, maybe even found some cheap flights and then you hit the internet looking for the right apartment. Then onto the next task - your Bansko accommodation. Choices: Hotel or apartment - closer to town, cheaper, facilities, quieter, gondola location well you know how it goes. You send send out a few emails, check availability prices etc then book.

The problem here is that if you go for a Bansko apartment direct from the owner you should now be thinking aahh yes, what's the deal? You see, unlike a hotel, there are often quite big differences from what is included from one apartment owner to another or one development to another:

So here are my tips for owners and renters. Do please post your comments at the bottom:

1/ Make sure you sign a contract. If you are either an owner or a renter I will happily send you mine. Just add your name and email on this site and when your email address is confirmed send me your request.

2/ Total rental amount - put it in the contract

3/ Security deposit - put it in the contract

4/ Terms and methods of payment - put it in the contract

5/ Cancellation terms - put it in the contract

6/ House Rules, like no smoking, no pets - put them in the contract

7/ Cleaning. Is it included - if not what are the charges? Is there a light clean during the stay?

8/ Other utilities, electricity, wood for log fire, on site facility charges - e.g ski storage, spa

9/ Instructions for equipment, like the heater, satellite TV

10/ Address, phone numbers of owner, address of property and contact in resort in case of emergency or maintenance.

Finally make sure you understand arrangements for picking up key and have got clear directions... reminds me of a certain TV comedy in Portugal staying in the wrong property.

Do this and your chances of having very satisfied Bansko apartment renter and apartment owner are much improved.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Rent a Bansko apartment direct & save £350+

A lot is written about value of Bansko and Bulgaria compared to other European resorts. But what's the value in renting a Bansko apartment direct from me as opposed to a tour operator online website offering similar accommodation?

The comparison is a typical family of four staying (2 adults and 2 children under 12) in a two bedroom apartment in Narcis apartment in Bansko, but this 20 minutes walk from gondola... so really not in the same league but I don't want to compare with the most expensive Bansko apartments to flatter my savings.

Their online Balkan Holidays price departing 7th March is £1,209.62. There is a supplement for four people in a 2 bedroom apartment (as apposed to four) included. Price includes flight and transfers. no other extras are included

An apartment next to Mountain Residence 3, Vihren Palace is being offered at £1,334. But thought this would be an unfair comparison as this is the first season for this development. (rather than 3rd season for Mountain Residence 3).

Go to Easy Jet and search for flights. Today I got this:

Cost of your selection

Our low airfare
per adult or child

(per person)

Third-party airport operator charges & government taxes
per adult or child

(per person)

Total baggage and sports equipment charge£56.00

(total cost)

Total amount due:

2 adults, 2 children (under 14 years)


(total cost

So £279 plus total transfers £120 (€150) PLUS £366 (£385-5% ) = £765

So the package holiday price was £1,209 - so that is a huge saving of £444!

OK so you need to add breakfast to direct route. Well even if this costs you £2 per day per head that's £56 extra.

On top of this you get an EXTRA DAYS skiing, as I selected a later flight (although check out is by 11:00am but often can be later by arrangement). The earlier flight was same price.

And remember, this is comparing a large 2 bedroom with a smaller two bedroom and one where you have to get the bus to the lift and not have all the close amenity of Mountain Residence 3.

By booking direct you also get our representative, local knowledge, free fact sheet and 10% discount for repeat booking. Register here:

Friday, August 29, 2008

Self Catering in Bansko

Sometimes the best nights are spent at home in your Bansko apartment with the company of family and friends. So you decide to cook... but then of course you have the task of shopping for the ingredients. So here goes, the exciting guide to supermarkets:

There are several solutions to food shopping. The first, and cheapest way, is to ask your transfer driver to stop at Billa supermarket along Bulgaria Boulevard in Sofia, its along one of the main routes out of the city to the south about 9km from Sofia airport. A large Metro along blvd Tzarigradsko Shosse is good for a big shop, about 3km from airport. 

A detour into Blagoevgrad, Metro again, could also be a plan - especially as a day trip. The next and most popular option is to go to the supermarket as you enter Bansko on the left hand side before the traffic lights. This has most things and is perfectly adequate. If you dont have a hire car, and you wish to go there to stock up, its best to order a taxi - about 10 lev (£4) return journey.

You may also want to visit Razlog on a Monday - market day. Good butchers, fruit and vegetables etc await at very low prices. With no car there are also many small supermarkets down Pirin street and just off the main square. Just be careful as some prices have been known to be inflated. On Sunday there is the Bansko market worth checking out - but remember Razlog will be cheaper.

Whatever you decide for a night in, be sure to try the excellent yoghurt which is great with local honey and preserves and the "white cheese" you will see in packs and at the deli counter. Most wine is good, some of the rakiya (local brandy like grappa) is ok and sometimes not - buy the best and you will be ok. 

As for beer, locals like Pirinsko, but my favourites are Shumensko and Zagorka. With fewer additives in Bulgarian beer, or so local folklore goes, your head will be clear in the morning and you'll be ready to say "Nazdrave!" again the following evening.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bansko Apartments Wanted

Bansko apartments to rent wanted! Due to early bookings I now have some weeks unavailable for rent and therefore seek owners with Bansko apartments available for ski season to contact me soon. Even if you use other sites, this is fine just let me know the dates yours is free.

Future plans for site redesign means there will be room to feature more rental property (FREE listing for 08/09 ski season). Manchester Easy Jet flights are enabling travelers to book bargain credit crunch beating breaks to Bansko so ensure your apartment gets maximum exposure.

Register here:

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mountain Residence 3

Still one Mountain Residence 3 and three bedroom Villa Daisy top floor apartment available for New Year
* Extra 5% discount for two week booking.
* Extra 5% off your second visit

Visit Prices 08/09 then visit bansko budget skiing to see how you save.

Go to for special transfer offer

Loads of activities worth visiting Bansko for all year round... check out list in facilities & activities section.

Mountain Residence 3 apartments to rent

* Fully furnished - second apartment fro rent opposite just separated by stair well

* Ideal for large families and friends.

Facilities*: Gym, Jacuzzi, Plunge pool, Sauna, Steam room, Massage room, Reception, ski locker, underground parking

Security: 24 hour security
Reception: 24 hour staffing, information. Serves snacks and drinks.

General: heating, satellite TV (English, Greek, Bulgarian, German, Italian channels) DVD player
Standard: kettle, toaster, iron and ironing board
Utilities: cooker, microwave, fridge/freezer

Rooms: Bedroom 1: one double bed can be separated to two singles
Bedroom 2: two single beds
Sitting Room: large with double sofa bed, sofa
Kitchenette, oven, hob
Dining Room table - seats six
Bathroom - shower, wc
Broadband wired internet in sitting room and bedroom

Furniture: lounge seating for 5
Other: linen and towels provided
Outdoors: balcony / terrace

Apartment sleeps 6 max (£30 pppw supplement for more than 4 persons)

Views of Pirin, Rila and Rhodopi mountains.

Quiet building with separate entrances. The facilities at Mountain Residence 3 include massage, gym, sauna, steam room, jacuzzi, plunge pool, safe, ski locker located in basement down stairs are convenient to use.

Underground parking place owned and available. No smoking. No pets. No skis/snowboards in apartment.
* charge made for lockers, spa centre, safe and parking
Register on bansko accommodation home page or below for news, tips & 5% discount.

Grand Montana: 2 Bedroom apartment with private roof top tower jacuzzi!

The highest jacuzzi in Bansko is part of this apartment!

Apartment is 600 metres from gondola lift.

This two bedroom apartment has all facilities as Mountain Residence 3 plus swimming pool and restaurant.

Situated close to the Perun and Lion Hotels, this apartment is one of the most impressive in Bansko.

for this Grand Montana apartment ADD £95 pw to Mountain Residence 3 prices. Free use of private jacuzzi.

Maximum 4 persons