Hotel Kuban Resort & Aquapark – Sunny Beach, Bulgaria

Sitting on the Black Sea, Sunny Beach is the most popular tourist destination in Bulgaria, attracting holiday-makers from across Europe including the UK, Russia, Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic, as well as from Israel. The holiday resort is well-known for its non-stop parties, cheap prices and, as it’s title would suggest, it’s sunny climate. 

As we were only going to Sunny Beach for a week, we wanted to be right at the heart of the action, with all our food and drinks covered as part of an all-inclusive package. 

We stayed at the 4* Hotel Kuban Resort and Aquapark because it was reasonably priced in comparison to other resorts and it offered an all-inclusive package for a small premium. Furthermore, being such a big kid, I couldn’t resist the sound of the on-site aquapark. We paid around £314 each on Booking.com to stay at the hotel for seven nights including full-board catering, all house soft drinks and alcoholic beverages (imported products were chargeable), and free WiFi (which was actually more reliable and faster than any I’ve experienced elsewhere).  This wasn’t exactly cheap, but we booked last minute and we knew we wanted to travel during a specific week of June, so it was one of the best deals we could find. You could also try looking for Booking.com promotional codes  which can enable you to save even more on hotel stays. 

At first impressions, the tall tower block that loomed before me when our shuttle transfer arrived at the resort looked nothing like either the luxurious 5-star resorts, or the budget hostels that I’ve stayed in previously.

Hotel Kuban Resort and Aquapark, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria

Check-in

We wheeled our suitcases in to the hotel reception area, where we were able to check-in immediately. The check-in process was relatively quick and hassle-free – they simply checked our booking, confirmed that we had already paid, and put our passports in a safe to act as a security deposit. We were then escorted to our room by the friendly porter, George.

We had to wait a few minutes for the lift, because there were only three small lifts servicing the entire hotel. This was frustrating during busy periods, such as meal times, when we would sometimes have to wait up to five minutes for the lift to arrive. 

Our room

When we entered our room, I wasn’t exactly blown away. It was pretty basic, the beige-brown colour scheme was dull and old-fashioned, and I suspect the bedding hadn’t been ironed. 

Hotel room at Hotel Kuban Resort and Aquapark, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria
Hotel room at Kuban Resort and Aquapark, Bulgaria

The bathroom wasn’t too bad. Consisting of a toilet, sink, mirror and a bath with an overhead shower, it was somewhat cramped but it was spotless. As is often the case in hotels, the hairdryer in the bathroom was useless – good job I brought my own with me!

Bathroom at the Hotel Kuban Resort and Aquapark in Sunny Beach, Bulgaria 
Bathroom at the Hotel Kuban Resort and Aquapark in Sunny Beach, Bulgaria

On the whole, despite being a little out-dated and basic for a 4* hotel, our room was clean and tidy, there was plenty of storage space and we had everything we needed – including a fantastic view over Sunny Beach from our balcony. 

Panoramic view of Sunny Beach, Bulgaria
Aquapark/swimming pool

After getting settled into our room, we went to explore what else Hotel Kuban had to offer. I headed straight for the aquapark, keen to size up the slides that I would be throwing myself down over the next week or so. It was more of a swimming pool with slides than an aquapark, but it was the coolest hotel pool I’ve ever seen.

Swimming pool and slides at Hotel Kuban Resort and Aquapark
I can only imagine how much fun you could have here as a kid – I had a pretty good time myself! However, it’s worth bearing in mind that there are no lifeguards at the top of the slides – just one lifeguard next to the pool – so you may need to supervise your children on the slides. 

Steep slides at Hotel Kuban Resort and Aquapark
Besides swimming, you can keep fit and ensure you’re looking and feeling your best during your stay at Hotel Kuban by visiting the spa and fitness centre, located on the ground floor next to the pool. This consists of a fully-equipped gym, sauna, Turkish bath and treatment room offering peeling, facials and massages; each available at an additional cost. 

On the ground floor, you’ll also find a games room full of arcade and slot machines, and pool/snooker tables, not to mention the lobby bar!

Lobby bar

The lobby bar is decked out in crisp white and black tones, with a large, wire-framed wall-clock and thoughtful quotes printed onto the wall creating an eclectic vibe. 

Bar at Hotel Kuban Resort and Aqua Park in Sunny Beach, Bulgaria
Open from 10am – 2am, the bar served a range of house beers, spirits, wines and ciders, alongside imported varieties. 

Bar at Hotel Kuban Resort and Aqua Park in Sunny Beach, Bulgaria

Restaurant

Feeling peckish, we took the lift to the first floor; where the restaurant is located. It has a buffet-style set up, with a number of different options available for breakfast 7.30-10am), lunch (12.30-2.30pm) and dinner (6-9pm)

That evening, we had a choice of meatballs, fish, chicken and veg dishes. I tried a bit of everything and, unfortunately, I was really unimpressed with the quality of the food. The chicken was so dry, it seemed like it’d been kept hot for ages, whilst the meat content in the meatballs was so low that they were unpleasantly soft and mushy. The breaded burger in the below picture was actually labelled up as chicken nuggets but the meat inside was so dark, I’m not 100% sure that it was even chicken.

Dinner at Hotel Kuban Resort and Aquapark

The cheesy veg bake wasn’t too bad, but the rest of the food was enough to put me off dining in the restaurant for lunch and dinner throughout the rest of the holiday. Once we realised how cheap it was to eat out in Sunny Beach, we dined out most of the time. 

Breakfast was a slight improvement, but still didn’t do much to improve my perceptions. The most appealing option was the continental breakfast, which included a range of salamis, cured meats and cheeses on display in a chilled cabinet, with a selection of bread rolls available.


The made-to-order pancakes and fried eggs were a big hit too; although it meant queuing for around ten minutes, as there was only one staff member cooking and serving. The French toast and pastries were delicious, too. One word of advice: if you sit on the terrace outside, don’t turn your back on your food for one minute – we waited ages for fried eggs, only for a seagull to swoop down onto our table and gobble them all up when we weren’t looking!

Pancakes and pastries at Hotel Kuban Resort and Aquapark in Sunny Beach, Bulgaria
Eggs cooked to order at Hotel Kuban Resort and Aquapark in Sunny Beach, Bulgaria
The rest of the breakfast dishes were best left alone. Dry, shrivelled up sausages, rubbery scrambled egg, burnt, wafer-thin turkey bacon, runny baked beans… I could go on, but you get the picture.

Breakfast at Hotel Kuban Resort and Aquapark in Sunny Beach, Bulgaria
Snack bar and poolside bar

The snack bar next to the pool served food from 10.30am – 5pm when the restaurant was closed. Upon booking, we were told there would be a range of sandwiches and hot snacks available. In actual fact, the choice consisted of just one kind of pizza each day, French fries, pâté on sliced bread topped with cucumber and, sometimes, some leftover French toast from breakfast. From 3-5pm, the snack bar also served ice cream, cookies and cakes. 

Food from the snack bar at Hotel Kuban Resort and Aqua Park

The snack bar also served as a poolside bar, offering a limited selection of soft drinks, spirits and beer. 

Entertainment

Throughout the day and in the early evening, Hotel Kuban ran a children’s club next to the pool. Kids could take part in dancing, crafts and games, supervised by trained staff. 

Later on in the evening, the entertainment was more targeted at adults, but it still had quite a childish nature. The ‘Mr. Hotel Kuban’ game, for example, involved grown men volunteering themselves to dress up as famous female pop icons (think Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Britney Spears) and perform dance routines to some of their most well-known songs. It was actually pretty amusing, although we would’ve tired of this cabaret-style entertainment pretty quickly, so we tended to visit bars and clubs on the main strip as opposed to staying in the hotel. 

Casino

Casinos are pretty popular in Sunny Beach and Hotel Kuban had it’s own one on the first floor of the hotel, which could also be accessed from the street. 

Hotel Kuban Resort and Aquapark Casino
Location

Hotel Kuban Resort and Aquapark is probably the most conveniently located hotel in the whole of Sunny Beach. The best beach is only around 150m away, whilst the nearest shops, bars and restaurants are just yards from the hotel. It’s also based right next to a taxi rank and the pick-up point for the blue tourist bus/train. Be warned that the taxi drivers will try to rip you off by charging you excessive prices, so either get your hotel to place the booking and confirm the cost for you in advance, or get prices from three different taxi drivers and go with the cheapest one. 

Overall…

On the whole, we enjoyed our stay at Hotel Kuban Resort and Aquapark. We were located right in the heart of Sunny Beach, with excellent views over the whole strip, and the customer service was really good, although some staff couldn’t speak basic English.

However, the basic appearance of our room and the poor quality of the food were not consistent with the standards I would expect from a 4* hotel, I was somewhat letdown by the aquapark because it was basically a swimming pool with a few slides, and we got fed up of waiting for the lifts. It definitely wasn’t worth going all-inclusive either, because it cost us around £100 extra each and we barely ate in the hotel, while drinks were so cheap to buy elsewhere. 

This hotel would be best-suited to a family with children, who can make the most of the on-site aquapark/swimming pool, children’s club, night-time entertainment, and food and drink.  

Kuban Resort and Aquapark
Sunny Beach Resort,
Sunny Beach, 8240,
Bulgaria
Tel: 00359 5542 2309
www.hotel-kuban.com

What qualities do you look for when choosing a hotel to stay in?

This post contains an affiliate link and if you place a booking through this link, I will receive a small commission payment. 

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28 Comments

  1. July 28, 2017 / 7:15 pm

    It is such a shame some aspects of your holiday let it down, food is a big thing when your away so you need it to be of a decent quality. It does sound like a really nice area to be in though.

    • July 29, 2017 / 11:04 pm

      On the whole, we did have a good time – it’s just a shame not everything was up to scratch!

  2. July 28, 2017 / 7:37 pm

    The food and the rooms are a little too much on the beige side, but Oh My Goodness – that waterpark! It looks like a blast! Definitely the coolest hotel pool I’ve ever seen.

    • July 29, 2017 / 11:04 pm

      Yeah, the room was a little dull sadly, not to mention the food. The aquapark was great fun!

  3. July 28, 2017 / 7:41 pm

    I tend to stay away from “all-inclusive”, which for the Americans is typically at mexican or tropical destinations. I always wondered how it is in other parts of the world. Now I know 😉 I would love to visit Sunny Beach though!

    • July 29, 2017 / 11:03 pm

      Sunny Beach is perfect for a summer getaway – like the name says 😀

  4. July 28, 2017 / 8:17 pm

    I really hope one day to have a holiday by the Black Sea…but yeah it is very much like resorts in Cuba. At least is was clean and the rest OK.

    • July 29, 2017 / 11:02 pm

      I’d love to visit Cuba. I’ve been to Jamaica, but I’d actually love to work my way around all of the Caribbean islands.

  5. @50Roads.com
    July 28, 2017 / 8:24 pm

    Oh my goodness! This hotel looks fabulous. I usually choose hotel by shopping around the big review sites and then looking for a couple of “real bloggers” reviews. We’ve stayed at some remarkable big and little hideaway boutiquey type hotels based on blog reviews that have been some of the best memories we’ve made.

    • July 29, 2017 / 11:02 pm

      I stayed at a gorgeous boutique hotel in Portugal in December; they really can be the best kinds of hotels!

  6. July 28, 2017 / 8:53 pm

    I’ve never heard of Sunny Beach but this looks like a fun hotel to stay and explore the area from.

    • July 29, 2017 / 11:01 pm

      I hadn’t heard of it before going there either. It’s a good place for a holiday though.

  7. July 29, 2017 / 7:49 am

    That’s a shame that being all inclusive wasn’t worth it. I’ve never gone full board over the worry That the food wouldn’t be worth it x

    • July 29, 2017 / 11:01 pm

      Yeah, I’d be really wary of going all-inclusive again in future. I should have done more research before going as if I knew it was going to be so cheap, I wouldn’t have bothered.

  8. July 29, 2017 / 2:04 pm

    It’s a shame about the food. Sunny beach is a great place to go on holiday!

    • July 29, 2017 / 11:00 pm

      Luckily, we had some delicious food when we ate out in restaurants – more on that coming soon!

  9. July 29, 2017 / 2:43 pm

    Ah, this looks beautiful! I’ve never considered Bulgaria for a holiday before.

    • July 29, 2017 / 10:59 pm

      It was much prettier than I had imagined it to be.

  10. Shaz
    July 30, 2017 / 7:33 am

    I really love Bulgaria, but you definitely have to make a mental adjustment about standards. What you experienced is par for the course of what is described as 4 star, but would be 2 star in other countries. I have really fond memories of the much smaller Albena, Kranavo and Sveti Konstanin resorts, but most British-aimed holiday packages seem to push only Sunny Beach since the 2008 recession.

    • July 30, 2017 / 10:50 pm

      I honestly don’t know how they could class it as a 4* hotel – the food really was terrible. I fully appreciate that hotel star ratings vary between countries, but it was pretty shocking for us.

  11. fussfreejen
    July 30, 2017 / 9:51 am

    It is a shame when your expectations, albeit, basic standards, aren’t met. It is something that I dread, booking online, and finding that it isn’t what I expected. Reviews like yours help so much, giving us a true guide to the real deal. Not just the suagr coated version. I can see the hotel and pool being absolutely fine for some, but the food does look rather dire.
    All things considered, sorry, this doesn’t sell for me. If I’m staying in a hotel, I am really picky. Which is why it takes me so long to find one to suit. I’m terrible.

    • July 30, 2017 / 10:48 pm

      I’m like you, too. We spent a good while looking through different hotels to find one we felt 100% comfortable with, so it was frustrating that we were let down where the food was concerned.

  12. July 30, 2017 / 10:06 am

    We went to Sunny Beach a few years ago and went self catering as we had been told how cheap it was when there. We had mixed feelings on the holiday too, I don’t think the star ratings match up to other countries

    • July 30, 2017 / 10:48 pm

      I know what you mean. I appreciate that 5* doesn’t mean the same in all countries, but I honestly don’t know how they could even class it as 4*!

  13. August 2, 2017 / 2:02 pm

    Quite a shame that the food was so disappointing. The rooms also seem to be quite bare. The pools and waterpark look like the best part!

    • August 4, 2017 / 11:50 am

      Yeah, the food was a letdown unfortunately. Good job we were so pleased with the slides, hehe

  14. David Hamilton
    February 10, 2018 / 9:00 pm

    stayed at this hotel a few years ago 2010 we went self catering and eat at the central bar just up towards the beach about 20 yards from the hotel but i see no body mentioned the brothel on the third floor accessed through the casino dint anyone wonder why the lift did not have a third floor button and no i did not visit but did talk to a couple of the ladys who told me all about them and i am only looking to book this hotel but would advise self catering

    • February 12, 2018 / 2:54 pm

      Oh, wow. I did not know about the brothel! We were on the 16th floor and I didn’t notice that there was no third floor. That’s shocking! Were the lifts still as slow in 2010 as they are now?!

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