Planning a ski vacation in Bulgaria? Pamporovo is one of the best ski destinations in Bulgaria, perfect for people who want a quieter vibe than either Borovets or Bansko, which can be quite crowded and expensive in the winter.
Pamporovo ski resorts are generally more popular with Bulgarians, as it’s a little more budget-friendly and therefore suited to those earning in the local currency, whereas Bansko caters more to international tourists (and their wallets).
However, despite the lower price tag and smaller crowds, there are plenty of worthwhile ski resorts in Pamporovo that would be a magical place to stay during your ski holidays in Bulgaria.
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We’ve also sourced a few chalets and villas in Pamporovo in case you are traveling with a large group or family on your Bulgaria ski trip.
So, here are our top recommendations for where to stay in Pamporovo – on a budget, in a group, as a family, or in luxury!
Budget Ski Resorts & Hotels in Pamporovo
MPM Hotel Merryan
With a total of 20 rooms, MPM Hotel Merryan is one of the cutest budget hotels in the Pamporovo ski area. The exterior of the hotel is made out of wood, and you can really feel the Christmas vibe here. At night, there are beautiful lights around the roof. It is also very easy to find in the heart of the city, perfect for exploring Pamporovo restaurants and enjoying the apres-ski scene.
Going up the stairs to the second floor, you will love how intricately detailed the rails are. The décor of the hotel focuses on modern touches with a natural vibe, mostly made out of wood.
You will find the rooms spacious due to its use of light colors for the walls and carpeted floors. The rooms are clean and there is a small desk with a chair in case you need to work for a bit during your ski trip. You can choose from a double room or a suite. All have private bathrooms with free toiletries. Cribs are also available for families with infants.
Merryan Restaurant serves a breakfast buffet, plus local and international cuisine. You can get your complimentary breakfast here (which is served from 7:30 AM to 10 AM). Most guests loved their a la carte menu choices and you can also get something for those with special diets and also something for kids who are picky eaters! There is also an on-site café where you can have some snacks or just relax after a long day of skiing, with a cute rustic ambiance.
You can also coordinate with them if you wish to try their ski school or to hire some winter sports equipment. Skiers can store their equipment for free in the storages. Other amenities include a spa with free Turkish bath, steam room, sauna, and hot tubs. Relaxing massages and treatments are for an additional charge.
Keep in mind that their front desk is not available 24 hours, so it is best to consider checking in within their operating hours.
Sunny Hills Ski & Wellness
This hotel has a very modern contemporary style with a great view of the snow-covered pine trees. Although its name (Sunny Hills) may seem an ironic response to the cold and snowy weather during ski season, it is true inside because it’s very warm and cozy, especially in the rooms.
Most of the soundproof rooms have a balcony showcasing the breathtaking view of the white slopes. There are also private bathrooms that include a free towel, though note that you need to bring your toiletries. If you want to safely store some items, then you can request a safety deposit box for an additional fee.
A free indoor playground will keep the kids entertained, or you can also leave them to enjoy some fun and exciting kid-friendly activities at the Kids’ Club for an additional fee. Free parking is available, though a reservation is required. BBQ facilities can be used for an additional charge.
Someone who wants to feel relaxed and rejuvenated should try their spa packages like a sauna, hot tub, or massages. There’s also a 24-hour service desk where you can request taxis, ask for advice, or schedule an airport shuttle service if this the last stop of your trip.
Mountain Lodge Winter Half-Board
This is an apartment-type hotel that has four stories full of rooms. Even from afar, you can see images of skiers on its exterior walls, which makes the hotel quite hard to miss!
The rooms are fully-furnished and the colors are warm due to notes of orange, peach, purple, and yellow lighting. All furniture is made out of wood. What you will love the most is the electric socket near the beds where you can charge your phone so you can check it while you are laying down. The private bathrooms are clean, albeit the decor a little dated. Handrails are also near the toilet to help disabled guests. Families who want to get two rooms can instead avail their interconnected rooms.
The entire lobby and hallways are carpeted, and the sofa and seating area are very comfortable. You can also play board and puzzle games here. There are optional ski facilities like a ski school for those who need a bit of training and a ski storage room for those who rented or brought their ski equipment.
There is an on-site restaurant where you can have breakfast, lunch, and dinner. However, note that some guests were not happy with the food choices and said that most choices were not very healthy or fried. Street parking is also free and there are no reservations needed (however, it’s still best to check for availability).
Guests think that this hotel has a perfect location for the best views of the mountains that’s why they keep returning (and the price isn’t bad, either!)
Mid-Range Ski Resorts & Hotels in Pamporovo
Hotel Iva & Elena
This is a beautiful boutique hotel that has beautifully executed interiors. It also looks good from the outside with its wooden balconies and windows plus the brick and white walls.
The 39 rooms look so stylish, making use of gold accents for the blankets and curtains. A small table with some chairs is provided inside each room, where you can eat or have coffee. Each room also has a mini-fridge where guests can store some drinks or food. Someone staying during the peak winter season can even choose a room with a fireplace — how cozy!
Restaurant Zlato Eelen inside serves international and local dishes – a must-try are their fish dishes, their specialty. Don’t worry because there are also pizzas and other popular food. Note that breakfast is free with your stay and starts at 8 AM.
Indulge your senses in their spa where you can use the steam room, Jacuzzi, and sauna for free. It is a bit small, but it has most of the things you need, and with only 39 rooms in the hotel, you likely won’t find it crowded.
A ton of activities can be arranged by the hotel for you, like a bike tour, local culture tour, walking tour, bike rentals, hiking, and of course skiing! Ski storage is free, and it has a ski-to-door access, as well as equipment for hire.
There is also a children’s playground and kids’ club to keep the kids in safe hands while parents enjoy sliding down the slopes. If you or your kids insist on bringing your beloved pets, you can, as long as you inform the hotel and pay necessary fees.
You can also rent cars with the front desk, and it is very convenient and free to park on-site. Optionally, you can also have your laundry washed and pressed for a fee, if you are enjoying a longer stay in Pamporovo and require some laundering. Everything is very quick and easy when you stay at this hotel.
The warmth of the hotel is something that guests loved the most – the entire property is so cozy during winter!
This is a 4-star apartment hotel with elegant interiors and superb services that are comparable to luxury hotels — at a mid-range price! You will be served your free breakfast in your room — now that’s a 5-star touch!
The rooms have a classic design and make use of synthetic leather for the couches and headboards. Hardwood floors match the beige colored curtains and bed covers. The fireplace in each room (a wonderful wintery touch) will keep everyone warm and cozy during the winter.
Aside from the free WiFi in the entire property, the rooms also have wired internet connections (no excuses for network interruptions!). Ski storage is free, and guests can also rent ski equipment or attend the ski school inside.
There are sports activities you can do outdoors, like soccer (football), volleyball, and tennis, while indoors, you can play billiards and table tennis.
There is also an indoor swimming pool which has a huge window (showing either the snowy background during winter or the lush green trees during summer), hot tub, steam room, Turkish hammam, and fitness center that you can use for free. You can put the ‘pamper’ in Pamporovo by visiting their spa center for some treatments and massages!
Special occasions and business meetings are also possible at their conference and function hall, which can fit 100 guests. Newlyweds or those who are about to get married can book their bridal suites. Even though there is a 24-hour grocery store nearby, if you do not wish to go outside because it’s too cold (or you’re too tired after a day of skiing), then you can just get some snacks on their vending machines.
Most guests could not find any reason not to stay in this apartment hotel because it is complete with most of the things you can think of!
Hotel Orpheus – Casino and Spa
This is a huge 4-star hotel that is complete with everything you need. There’s a total of 260 spacious and very clean rooms. The rooms have contemporary and comfortable styles and you can choose from a single, double or triple room.
Breakfast is free and most of the guests said it was rather good. The windows are big, so natural light streams in. They also have two types of curtains (a see-through one and a curtain that can block sunlight), so you can sleep in as late as you want or wake up early should you be an early bird.
The lobby and reception area look very modern and you will find the candy-colored seating here adorable! The hotel has very convenient features like a 24-hour service desk where you can arrange different activities aside from skiing (rope park, paintball, horseback riding, fishing, ATV rides, tennis and football) plus a currency exchange center. Children will love their optional activities like human foosball and the children mountaineering course.
A free indoor heated swimming pool and two hot tubs can help reduce your stress as you dip inside. The water is kept at 28 degrees – not too hot, just right! A small swimming pool is available for kids as well. Just beside the pool area is their Vitamin Bar (for some healthy refreshments) and spa where you can try their Turkish Hammam, steam bath and sauna. You can also try your luck in their casino and see if you can double up some of your cash!
They have two restaurants, a bar, and a café on their premises. The Main Classic Restaurant and the Theme Restaurant serve both an a la carte menu and a buffet. You will love the chill vibe of their Lobby Bar, where you can order cocktails and other alcoholic drinks. If you want to get the best views of the mountains while having a nice cold drink, then you should check their Sky Bar on the 7th floor!
Elit Pamporovo Apartments
Elit Pamporovo is one of the best ski resorts in Pamporovo, with apartments with rooms that have multiple configurations. All have a balcony except for the Penthouse (there’s no need since it already has the best view!).
They have private bathrooms with free towels minus the toiletries (so make sure to include your own when you pack — check out our Bulgaria packing list for suggestions). Some guests also find the lighting here a bit dark, but it is perfectly fine for many. The rooms are all simple, with a seating area and tables. Some rooms may have a mini kitchen with a microwave and a small fridge.
The morning breakfast buffet is continental, and you will enjoy the different kinds of deli meats and cheeses and bread. Those who have different needs for their diet can request a special menu. Just in case you want to dine in some of the nearby restaurants, the hosts can arrange it for you, and you can ride their shuttle free-of-charge.
Kids will be busy playing at their indoor and outdoor playground. It is also one of the few pet-friendly accommodations in Pamporovo. Wellness facilities are also available like a hot tub, sauna, steam room, and Turkish bath.
A thing to note is that the entire property does not have an elevator despite having five floors, but a lot of guests have returned to this property because the hosts are wonderful (they put in hard work to ensure their guests’ trip are as perfect as a vacation should be). Skiers also liked how close the apartments are to the ski lifts, plus they have free ski storages and free shuttle services to get to the slopes!
Unique wooden “tents” that can withstand the heavy snow is a magical experience, and one that Malina Village wants their guests to experience!
It is a very creative approach and very different than any other ski resort in Pamporovo, as each “room” is actually a private mini chalets that have triangular interiors and exteriors.
There are a total of 30 chalets which usually get fully booked due to its magical location and style. There’s also a deck for each villa, and each has its own bedroom, kitchenette, and a mini living room. The outdoor furniture can be enjoyed during the spring and summer, though it may be a bit cold for it in the winter.
Private bathrooms are quite small (given the unique triangular footprint of each chalet), but it has a separate shower and toilet area so it doesn’t feel too cramped. A free continental breakfast buffet is served daily beside the fireplace – a cozy feeling with a full tummy!
One handy and cool feature is that a mini-market in the “village” – which really makes people feel they are in a remote village, plus it’s convenient!
The kid’s playground has a see-saw, slides, and swing set where they can have fun, aside from picking up some pine cones that have fallen from the trees. The on-site Malina Restaurant is where you can order traditional Rhodope Mountain dishes, hearty and perfect for winter, and different kind of drinks as well as alcoholic beverages. It looks like a huge wooden tent with simple and elegant wooden chairs and tables.
However, a note for families: the second floor of the chalets is quite dangerous for young kids to climb (as the stairs are quite steep), so it is best that parents supervise them.
Best Ski Villas in Pamporovo
Holiday Village Kochorite
If you are looking for a villa that will give you and your family some privacy, then Holiday Village Kochorite is a fantastic choice. It has eight guest rooms where you can choose either a 2-bedroom villa, 2-bedroom villa with sauna, or a 3-bedroom villa (good for 6 guests).
The bedrooms are simple and make use of folk-style printed curtains, duvet cover, and carpets. It also adds color and life to the rooms, since most of the colors used for the walls and ceilings are neutral like beiges and white. The blankets are made from wool and it will surely give you a warm and cozy night’s sleep on their comfortable beds. There is also a balcony with a view of the mountain or the garden during spring/summer. Bathrooms also come complete with free toiletries.
The living area has loveseats and a sofa, plus hardwood floors and a fireplace as well as a radiator, so you’ll be warm and toasty during your stay. The dining area is not that big, but it has dinnerware and a sink where you can wash the dishes after. Aside from these, there are also BBQ facilities for an additional charge, plus kitchen equipment and utensils.
What’s good about the villas is that they are separated by a concrete fence so that even if you leave your kids to play in the snow, they are within the property. They can also have fun at the nearby kids’ outdoor playground. For guests who have rented a car, you can park on the property for free.
Note the cancellation policy before booking. If in case you cancel within seven days, you will be refunded half of the amount you’re supposed to pay, but just in case you cancel after, you will be charged the full amount. There is actually no need to think twice as it is a very nice private property!
Villa O Sole Mio
This villa is set on the slope of the hill where you can easily get a good view of the green forest and nearby town during summer and the snow-covered houses and trees during winter.
The entire villa makes use of a nice floral wallpaper and hardwood floors and has 4 bedrooms. The entire property accommodates up to 8 guests — great for large groups of friends as well as families.
The bedrooms have nice windows where you can also see the views of the white forest (unfortunately there are no curtains, so bring an eye mask if you like to sleep in). If in case the beds aren’t enough, there is a folding bed available that you can use.
The ensuite bathrooms (not one, but two!) look lovely because it makes use of brick red tiles and there is both a tub and shower. The toilet sits beside the tub, so just try and not make a mess because it can get wet — true to the Bulgarian bathroom style, which makes use of ‘wet bathrooms’, which can take some getting used to (after nearly two years living in Bulgaria full time, I’m just getting used to it!)
The living area has a fireplace and the dining area is just beside it, making it a wonderfully cozy place to enjoy a meal. There are dinnerware and kitchenware available – this makes planning a feast or celebration easier!
However, the property has no WiFi connection (which makes my heart palpitate, but some people may love being disconnected if they’re looking for a digital detox!). You could bring a Bulgarian local SIM card and hotspot it, as data is rather cheap in Bulgaria. However, they do have other entertainment facilities like TV with cable and a DVD player. You can also grill some burgers on their terrace that has BBQ facilities.
This guest house has tons of nice views of the white mountains and the lush evergreen pine trees in the woods during winter. The house looks very warm inside because of the wooden exterior (which reminds me of a sauna) and the stone features. The early ski season is best to book this property, because you can get it for around $110 a night for the entire villa!
The three bedrooms are very simple with white walls, wooden furniture, and carpeted floors. They make use of Persian carpet-inspired bed covers and some are framed and hung on the walls. TVs are also in each bedroom (though not flat-screened).
The living area has its own fireplace (optional to use and there’s an extra charge) to keep everyone warm while seated on the comfortable fleece-covered sofa. You will also notice some animal prints and synthetic leather on their table covers (no animals were harmed!) Most of the common areas have tiled floors.
There is a washer and dryer on the property that you can also use, great for washing up your sweaty ski clothes! Pet owners will be thrilled that this property allows dogs or cats. However, fees may apply so it is best that you inform them should you plan to let them join in on all the fun. If you want to pamper yourself, then they can coordinate you with a nearby spa for a total wellness regimen.
What to Pack for Winter in Bulgaria
We have a full Bulgaria packing list, but in case you just want the quick version, here are a few essentials you shouldn’t forget to pack!
A good guidebook: While travel blogs are great, we still think a good guidebook is always handy. We own and strongly recommend the Lonely Planet Bulgaria & Romania for travel in Pamporovo and beyond!
One or two swimsuits: While swimsuits may not come to mind for ski season, if you’re staying in a ski resort with a sauna, indoor pool, or steam room, you’ll likely want one! We suggest bringing two so you never have to put a cold wet one back on. We love this one.
Plenty of winter clothing: You can check our packing list above for our full winter packing suggestions for men and women. At a minimum, you’ll want to bring a warm winter jacket (I love this North Face parka), cozy snow boots, warm wool socks, touch-screen friendly gloves, a scarf, and a winter hat.
Any ski equipment and clothing: We’re not skiers ourselves, so we don’t have specific ski gear equipment, but special ski clothes — waterproof pants and jackets, goggles, etc. — and ski gear obviously should be on your packing list, unless you have decided to rent it all when you arrive at your Bulgaria ski resort.
Moisturizer: Travel will beat your skin up in the best of times — and winter travel in addition to skiing will really do a number on it! If you use a moisturizer at home, bring it. If you’ve never used a moisturizer before, you really should start. You’ll be happy to give your face a boost before heading outside in the cold all day.
Sunscreen: We strongly suggest wearing sunscreen when you spend time outdoors, no matter the weather outside. The higher altitudes combined with the reflection of the sun off the snow can lead to unexpected sunburns. I love this solid Neutrogena sunscreen – it’s mess-free, works well in carry-ons, is ultra-protective, and blends in well.
More Bulgaria Travel Resources
For more winter travel inspiration, check out what to do in Bulgaria in winter!
We want you to have the best trip to Bulgaria possible! If this will be your first time in Bulgaria, check out our Bulgaria trip planning guide as well as our packing list for Bulgaria (which includes a winter section).
To help you, we’ve created a number of resources that will be helpful. If you’re visiting Sofia, this 101 things to do in Sofia should be a nice start! Also read our Sofia travel tips post and where to stay in Sofia.
Planning a Trip to Bulgaria in Winter? Don’t Forget Travel Insurance!
We strongly suggest that you travel to Bulgaria with a valid travel insurance policy. While the country is safe, accidents can happen anywhere. If you experience an accident or theft, travel insurance will help you recover your costs and enjoy the rest of your trip.
This is especially important in winter, since winter activities carry a certain amount of risk with them. We recommend the Explorer upgraded insurance plan if you plan to do any skiing or snowboarding so that you can be fully covered.
For travel insurance, I use World Nomads. I’ve been a happy customer of theirs for almost three years, and I’ve never had an issue when making a claim. I’m happy to refer them to anyone I meet.
Originally from California, Allison has been living in Bulgaria for the last two years and is obsessed with traveling around the Balkans. She has been published in National Geographic, CNN Arabic, Matador Network, and the Huffington Post. She loves befriending dogs, drinking coffee, geeking out about wine, and cooking food from around the world.