The Lion makes it really easy to relax. The list of facilities is large and includes an open fireplace in the bar, a large swimming pool accompanied by a sauna, steam room and fitness room in the free wellness area and free shuttle bus to the slopes 500m away.
This hotel is definitely a firm favourite with Neilson guests. The friendly staff will make you feel right at home (a complimentary glass of wine on arrival day helps with that) and their standards are kept incredibly high. There's a welcoming bar with a large open fireplace waiting for you at the end of a busy day on the slopes, so grab a seat and a drink.
For evening entertainment, it's just a short walk to the resort's bars and shops, r if you fancy a night in, the hotel has its own sports and billiards room as well as massage and beauty treatments. A traditional mehana (tavern) is the cherry on top of this great place and has to be tried whilst you're there.
From the hotel to…
Nearest lift: 400m
Tuition meeting point: 250m
Resort centre: 700m
About the resort
Set high up in the Pirin mountains, Bansko is the largest Bulgarian resort and it has a lot to offer. The lift system is one of the most modern in Eastern Europe and it serves the best variety of skiing across skill levels. The runs are mainly tree-lined which not only makes it picturesque, it feels safer for those just starting out on skis or snowboards.
There's plenty of English speaking instructors offering lessons for beginners, but intermediates won't be left out either as there's an great choice of cruisy blue and red runs to keep everyone busy. The lessons, lift pass and kit hire is all at incredibly reasonable prices making it a great choice for those on a budget.
For après-ski, most hotels have wellness facilities to keep you relaxed and limber when you aren't up the mountain. And if you're itching to head into town, you'll find a great choice of restaurants and bars to keep you occupied - don't miss a visit to a traditional 'Mehana' or tavern as the entertainment is unforgettable.
Area size: 70km
Skiing altitude: 930m to 2560m
Number of runs: 20
Range of runs: 20% green, 15% blue, 40% red and 25% black
Lifts: 7 drags, 6 chairs and 1 gondola
Night skiing: No
Cross country trails: 5km
Snowmaking: 50% of runs covered
Resort bus: Yes
Food and drink
The Hotel Lion Bansko is on half board, so you'll find an extensive hot and cold buffet breakfast each morning, plus a buffet style evening meal with plenty of options for refuelling after a busy day on the slopes.
All 193 rooms at the Hotel Lion Bansko are fitted with satellite TV, a minibar, ultra-comfy bathrobes and slippers, a bath and a hairdryer. Rooms for up to three people are equipped with a sofa bed, but if you're just looking for extra space all to yourself, you can ask for a double room for sole use at no extra cost.
Family rooms for slightly bigger groups people are also available, and these come with a microwave and approximately 35m2 more space.
Official rating: ****
24hr lobby bar
Lounge with open fireplace
Indoor pool, sauna, steam and fitness rooms
Free Wi-Fi throughout
Traditional ‘Mehana' tavern
Massage and beauty treatments
Departure airports: Gatwick or Manchester
Departure day: Saturday
Arrival airport: Sofia
Flight duration: 3 hours
Transfer time: approx. 3 hours
Find out more here