Guest houses are by far the most preferred accommodation for my family when we travel. They offer more privacy than major hotels and very often are a better fit when it comes to the price/quality ratio. This is why we try to stay in a guest house every time we travel in Bulgaria. We came across Balkan Guest House in the small village of Valevtsi in Sevlievo region for one of our trips last year. And today I decided to share with you all about our stay. This post is no way sponsored by the guest house – these is our honest review as paying customers.
We visited Balkan Guest House in August 2021, as part of our summer trip to north-central Bulgaria. Before that we visited Veliko Tarnovo for one night – you can read a travel guide from this Bulgarian city here. And after spending two days in the fast-paced regional city, we definitely needed some peace and solitude which only nature could give us.
We found Balkan Guest House on Booking by accident while looking for a suitable accommodation in the area. One of the most important criterion for us was the location because we wanted to travel in the area as much as possible. Still, we wanted a rather remote location so that we can relax to the fullest. We stayed in Balkan Guest House for three nights and this was enough of a time to gain impressions for the place.
The village of Valevtsi is located at the foot of Stara Planina and it falls precisely in the Central Balkan region. It is only 30 km from Sevlievo and 40 km from Gabrovo, and Rositsa river passes through the small village. Its central location makes it easily accesible from all sides.
Exactly the good location was the thing that convinced us to look for a place to stay in the village. One of our main goals for this trip was to find a place where we could enjoy comfort, good food, and tranquility and escape from the everyday issues in busy Sofia. And since the village is far way from any big cities, nestled in the Sevlievo Balkan, it seemed like a great option for our trip.
Balkan Guest House
Balkan Guest House is actually a complex of several detached buildings and large green spaces. Thanks to this, guests can coexist completely apart from each other and not interfere in any way.
Houses 1 and 2 are located by the pool and are slightly separated from the main building. They offer the best opportunity to observe fallow deer and roe deer, which live in their natural environment very close by. Every night, when most of the guests have already returned to their rooms, the animals approach the fence of both houses. We were lucky enough to watch them one of the evenings and this was definitely one of the most beautiful moments of our stay.
House 3 is the main building where we stayed. Here you will find the reception, the restaurant and the spa (which we could not visit). The rooms are luxuriously furnished and the whole interior is inspired by the surrounding nature.
The last building is a small building with only three rooms. It is located closest to the forest and is suitable for people looking for true solitude and tranquility.
Wherever you stay, you will be surrounded by a well-kept garden, which offers: multifunctional sports field, swimming pool, the chapel of St. George, campfire (for an extra charge). The owners displayed the Bulgarian flag proudly and high above the complex. And you can see it from a far due to its massive size.
Pros and Cons
To be completely honest, Balkan Guest House impressed us with its interior, location, clean and maintained spaces. Unfortunately, there is much more to be desired in terms of food in the restaurant and overall service. Here are all the pros and cons that we found after our stay.
- The biggest pro for us was definitely the tranquility and closeness to nature. Nowhere else in Bulgaria have we had the opportunity to observe fallow deer and roe deer in the immediate vicinity in their natural environment.
- Wide choice of different rooms – double rooms, studios and apartments, distributed in several buildings.
- The room we stayed in was clean and cozy. The surrounding nature inspired the while interior and it is clear that the owners have put a lot of effort and diligence into it.
- The pool was well maintained and was a great option for a relaxing afternoon.
- It was obvious that the owners were making efforts to maintain the yard, as it looked in perfect condition.
- The location of the guest house is great as you can visit many tourist attractions in the region.
- The price / quality ratio was justified.
- The menu in the restaurant was rather sparse. Prices did not fully match the quality and service was often slow.
- Last year the complex definitely suffered from a shortage of staff – the receptionist also served in the restaurant, the waiters answered questions at the reception. In general, the management was not up to standard and this affected the overall service.
- There is no elevator in any of the buildings, which would be a problem for people with limited mobility and families with small children.
- The breakfast, included in the price, does not offer variety. You can choose from homemade traditional Bulgarian pastries (like mekitsi and banitsa) along with homemade jams, as well as basic sausages and cheese for sandwiches. There was no fruit at all.
What else to visit in the region?
The location of Balkan Guest House is great if you have decided to explore the Central Balkan region in more detail. Here are some suggestions on what else to visit in the area:
- Mountain hikes – Pleven hut, Botev peak, Vidimsko Praskalo waterfall
- Bedouin Residence as pictured above
- Batoshevski monastery (male monastery)
- Batoshevski monastery “Introduction to the Mother of God” (female monastery)
- Troyan Monastery
- Dryanovo Monastery
- Architectural and ethnographic complex “Etar”
I have already shared a detailed guide to the Central Balkan National Park, where you can find more suggestions. And here you will find my suggestions for accommodation and restaurants.
Balkan Guest House definitely has its pros and cons. In general, however, we would come back again, because of its good location, tranquility and proximity to nature.
Would you like to visit Balkan Guest House?