Visitors enjoy earthy rather than sophisticated après-ski in Borovets, with a plethora of British-style pubs located mainly between the Rila and Samakov hotels. Après-ski Bulgarian style is an evening at a mehana (traditional bar) with traditional food, wine and music.
Bobby’s Bar (tel: +359 87 735 8786) is something of an institution, among its many facets is a kid’s club to keep children entertained.
Other good options include Sunnys Bar (tel: +359 876 133 145) which shows major sporting events on TV, White Magic (tel: +359 88 827 3305) run by former Olympic Skier Cristo Angelov, and Titanic Bar (tel: +359 89 860 1666), which is popular for its 2 for 1 cocktail deals.
Most of the resort’s eateries are clustered in a space opposite the Rila Hotel, offering varied menus that include traditional Bulgarian fare, as well as steaks, burgers and pizzas. Many double up as bars and most are modestly priced. A few snack stalls along the roads sell burgers and Bulgarian dishes.
The Alpin Restaurant (tel: +359 889 668 866; www.alpin-hotel.bg) is one of the most popular in Borovets, serving hearty portions of quality international cuisine.
The Golden Chicken (tel: +359 87 735 8786) is an interesting option at the base of the slopes, serving barbecued and grilled organic meats to high praise from its clientele. La Bomba is a cosy and good value venue, with an enormous selection on the menu including fish, pasta and pizzas. Next door, the Black Tiger is more of a traditional mehana serving up a variety of grilled meats.
Beyond the slopes
Within the resort, swimming pools housed within various hotels are available to non-guests, while a bowling alley is also available in the Samokov Hotel. Horse riding can be arranged – with or without a guide.
Visit Tsarska Bistrista, the hunting lodge and former royal palace that is adorned with woodcarvings, 1km (0.6 miles) northwest of the Rila Hotel. It’s the main reminder that Borovets was a royal hunting ground just a century ago.
The nearby town of Samokov (15 minutes via the hourly minibus) was once the woodcarving capital of the region and has well-preserved paintings in its churches. Most major hotels can arrange trips to the 10th-century Rila Monastery and further afield to Sofia and Melnik.
Borovets is a popular destination for families, enticed by the low prices that compare favourably to more famous resorts in Western Europe. The resort has a child-friendly attitude with a plethora of family-oriented facilities and activities.
Children aged seven and older can use the Borosport Ski School at discounted rates until the age of 12. Younger children can learn the ropes in fun surroundings at the Boro Kids area. There is also a crèche for children aged from 10 months to four years, with ski lessons included for children aged two or older.
Fun activities for children include riding across the surrounding hills in a handmade traditional horse-drawn sleigh, which can be organised through the Rila Hotel (tel: +35 975 032 295; www.rilaborovets.com).
Aside from a handful of small supermarkets, most of the shops in Borovets are those dedicated to ski gear, with the best selection in the basement of the Rila Hotel. This all-encompassing hotel also has a couple of souvenir shops, selling, amongst other items, Russian dolls that resemble amusing caricatures of Russian presidents.
For souvenirs with a little more traditional edge, the art Gallery Bissera has a decent collection of locally made ceramics and paintings.
After a hard day carving up the slopes, enjoy a manicure, makeover or spa procedure in the new spa centre at the Rila Hotel (tel: +35 975 032 295; www.rilaborovets.com), followed by cocktails in its sleek terrace lounge bar.
There is a variety of hotels in Borovets to suit all tastes and budgets, as well as apartment complexes for those looking for self-catering facilities. The vast majority of accommodation in Borovets is found in alpine-style lodges, with some newer, more modern additions. There are also chalets to rent.
This boutique hotel is elegant and spacious, with a luxurious spa and treatment centre, Wi-Fi connection in all rooms, and a restaurant serving Bulgarian and European cuisine. The Lodge is located opposite the Samakov Hotel in central Borovets.Address: , Main Street, Borovets, 2010
Telephone: +359 75 033 840
Euphoria Club Hotel & Spa
The Euphoria is a 4-star option with clean, spacious suites and apartments, excellent staff and a large on-site spa. The hotel is located in a peaceful area around 3km (1.8 miles) from the nearest lift, meaning that, unless you're particularly fit, transport is required.Address: , Shiroka Polyana 216, Borovets, 2010
Telephone: +359 750 99 100
The 4-star Hotel Rila is so much of an institution that it’s used as a navigational aide just as much as an actual hotel. Fully renovated in 2015, the hotel is arguably the most impressive and - especially in one of its suite rooms - luxurious. All rooms have balconies overlooking the slopes, and facilities include an excellent restaurant and plethora of arranged activities including horse-riding and sightseeing trips.Address: , , Borovets, 2010
Telephone: +359 322 953 2658
Radina’s Way Hotel
This family-friendly 4-star is situated in a peaceful location that’s still close to the centre of the resort and main amenities. Facilities at the Radina’s Way Hotel include a children’s club, with games room, and a spa.Address: , , Borovets, 2010
Telephone: +359 89 783 0553
The simply furnished double rooms at Breza Hotel are small, but apartments have a decent living area and there is a sauna in the basement. Breza Hotel is located north of the village, opposite the hospital.Address: , , Borovets, 2010
Telephone: +359 750 32 360
Villa Ibar offers modern, affordable accommodation in double rooms and apartments situated in a quiet position 100m (328ft) from the slopes. Facilities include an on-site bar, restaurant and sauna.Address: , , Borovets, 2010
Telephone: +359 88 845 8051