The Kempinski Hotel Grand Arena is the ultimate in five star luxury accommodation. It's located just opposite the high-speed gondola, and when the snow permits, it's possible to ski all the way back from the top of the mountain, so convenience is a definite tick. But that's not the best thing about staying here!
The facilities are excellent and the service is first class. It's impossible to go hungry, as besides your half board meals, there are two stand alone restaurants as well as a sushi bar and teppanyaki grill. Spend an evening sipping wine and tapping your feet at the piano bar, or visit the Bella Vista lounge for a cup of hot chocolate while taking in the panoramic views on the terrace.
And we haven't even gotten to the spa features yet! The Kempinski Spa is free to all guests and includes indoor and outdoor heated pools as well as indoor and outdoor hot tubs, two saunas, two steam rooms, a fitness room and a very sumptuous range of treatments.
Families will love the free children's club and large rooms too. There' also a playroom that's free to use when the clubs aren't running so your little ones will always be kept entertained!
From the hotel to …
Nearest slopes: You're on the slopes
Nearest lift: 50m
Tuition meeting point: 50m
Resort centre: 1 km
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
You will be absolutely spoilt for choice at the Kempinski Hotel Grand Arena. The half board means you'll have a hot and cold buffet breakfast each morning and a four-course buffet style evening meal each night.
The evening meal also features a carving station. However, if you want even more options, you'll have to check out the incredible in-house sushi bar and teppanyaki grill for the finest in Japanese cuisine.
The rooms are just as luxurious as you would expect. Every room is very spacious and comes with satellite TV, a minibar, a mini-safe, Wi-Fi, a bath and separate shower, bathrobes, slippers and hairdryer and a coveted balcony - no missing out on the stunning vistas here. Deluxe rooms with mountain and gondola views are also available if you'd like a change in scenery.
Families and kids
Families are very well taken care of here. The hotel runs a free children's club for everyone between 2 and 12 years old. It's open from 9am until 6pm daily which means parents can get in a full day of skiing while the kids have a wonderful time of their own doing loads of different supervised activities. A babysitting service is also available on request at an extra charge.