UK travel blog

A Week at Wave Resort, Bulgaria


[AD: [Our Jet2 flights to Bulgaria and stay at Wave Resort were free of charge ]

I’ll be honest: when it comes to family travel destinations, Bulgaria wasn’t really on my radar – not because I had any negative associations with the country, I hasten to add, but simply because I didn’t really have any associations with it at all.

No, seriously: up until a few weeks ago, I think the only thing I knew about Bulgaria was that Viktor Krum played for their Quidditch team, who were really quite good, by all accounts. So, yeah, nothing at all then, basically.

Actually, I tell a lie: one thing I DID know about Bulgaria is that it’s generally still warm and sunny at this time of year, and as Scotland hasn’t been particularly warm or sunny at any time this year, when Jet2 got in touch recently to ask if Terry, Max and I fancied trying out a brand new hotel on the Black Sea, we were more than happy to say OH HELL YES.

Jet2 flights from EdinburghOur flights

Our flight left Edinburgh on a chilly September morning, and touched down in sunny Bourgas, Bulgaria less than four hours later. This was actually our second time flying with Jet2 (In fact, Max’s first ever flight was a Jet2 flight to Tenerife, last December), and, once again, we were really impressed. Flying with a toddler is never going to be easy, exactly, but we found the airline staff really friendly and helpful, and, as with our last trip, everything ran like clockwork, so, before long we were boarding the bus (Which Max actually found even more exciting than the plane, tbh. Not quite as exciting as the taxi which took us to the airport, mind you, which he’s still talking about to this day, but even so, he was all, “Sure, we’ve just flown through the sky for almost four hours, but OMG, is that a BUS waiting for us?! SRSLY?!”) and heading to our resort.

(You can find details of other Jet2 flight from Edinburgh here: be warned, though, I almost found myself booking a £35 flight to Venice while I was testing that link, so don’t blame me if you end up feeling similarly tempted…)

balcconies at Wave Resort, Bulgaria

hotel lobby at Wave Resort, Bulgaria
Arriving at Wave Resort, Bulgaria

Wave Resort is a brand new (As in, just opened this summer) all-inclusive 4 star resort, located about 20 minutes from Bourgas airport, near the little town of Pomorie, on the Black Sea. It’s stunningly beautiful to look at, and it’s one of those resorts that’s cunningly designed to make you never want to leave, because it has absolutely everything you could possibly need on site. Things like…

Six outdoor pools

Two indoor pools

A splash pad

A private beach

6 bars

4 restaurants

A spa

A gym

I mean, I could go on here, but it’ll just make you hate me, so I’ll simply refer you to the Jet2 Holidays Wave Resort page, which has a full list of all of the facilities, plus details of other Jet2holidays in Bulgaria. Here’s our room, which was located on the top floor of the hotel, with views over the spectacular pool area:

Standard double room at Wave Resort, Bulgaria

Our room at Wave Resort, PomorieThis is a standard double room, which had everything we needed for our week-long stay, including a travel cot for Max, which we quickly shuffled into the open-plan dressing area (Which I loved…), so he could nap in peace, without constantly being distracted by us. (And also including a phone next to the toilet, for some reason. Well, you never know when you’re going to have to make that urgent call, do you?) There are other room types available, including suites, maisonette rooms, and even swim-up rooms with direct access to one of the pool areas: these are only available to adult guests and children over the age of 8, but they looked absolutely amazing – definitely one to keep in mind if your children are old enough. Our room, meanwhile, was large and modern, with a giant rainfall shower in the bathroom, and a super-kingsized bed, but the real star of the show was the view:

The view from the balcony at Wave Resort, Bulgaria

Max on the balcony at Wave Resort

Dancing fountains at Wave Resort, Pomorie

dancing fountains at Wave Resort: all-inclusive resort in Bulgaria(I really liked the fact that the glass balconies were completely enclosed, with no gaps around the sides or at the bottom. We still didn’t allow Max onto the balcony unsupervised, obviously, but it was reassuring to know that if he ever did manage to slip under our radar and run outside, there was nowhere he could go!)

It was beautiful during the day, but it was also pretty amazing at night, when the pools lit up, and the fountains below us danced to music, complete with a light show: as Max was in bed by this time, Terry and I got to watch the show from our balcony every night, with a glass of champagne from one of the hotel bars – such a nice way to round off our days there.

The Pool Area

Lovely though our room was, however, the main thing that attracted us to this resort was the pool area, which comes complete with splash pad and slides. We knew from our trip to Florida earlier this year that Max is a big fan of a splash pad, and Wave Resort just so happens to be home to THIS:

Splash Pad at Wave Resort, Pomorie, Bulgaria

Which, yes, is a giant yellow bucket, which sends water cascading down on anyone underneath it. It’s also surrounded by kid-friendly slides, water fountains, and other watery fun for little people. (And, well, also for bigger people, let’s be honest…):

children's pool area at Wave Resort, Bulgaria

Children's splash pad at Wave Resort, Bulgaria

Max and Terry on the water slide at Wave Resort

watery fun at Wave Resort

Me and Max on the water slides at Wave Resort

Max at Wave Resort

The water was absolutely freezing, not gonna lie. (Although, to be fair, I don’t think I’ve ever been in a swimming pool that I DIDN’T describe as “absolutely freezing.” so I’m possibly not the best judge of water temperature. I’m … not exactly the hardy sort, let’s put it that way…) Toddlers, however, don’t really care about the cold water, and Max had an absolute ball: to the extent that, on our second night there, he woke us up at 3am, asking us to take him to “the wet car”. Which… just NO, dude: go back to sleep, seriously…

For the adults, meanwhile, there’s the aforementioned indoor pool, which is heated (Tempting though that was, we didn’t actually use it, as we wanted to make the most of the sunshine, and stay outdoors), tons of sunbathing areas (So no need to jostle for space around the pool, thankfully…), even more slides, and a special, adults-only area, with cabana beds, just a short walk from the pool bar:

The pool area at Wave Resort, Pomorie, Bulgaria
Cabana beds at Wave Resort
glass bridge at wave resort
Although the main restaurants were always fairly busy, the pool area never felt crowded: I’m not sure if it was because we were visiting at the very end of the season, or if it was just because the area is so large that there’s plenty of room for everyone to spread out, but it was nice to be able to just rock up whenever we wanted, and not worry about whether we’d be able to find a place to sit. (The hotel also has an animation team who work hard to keep everyone entertained with music, games, etc, around the pool every day, though, so if you’re a bit less antisocial than I am, and want to be in the thick of things, you can be…)

The Food

Want to see the cutest thing ever?
children's buffet area at Wave Resort, Bulgaria
A baby buffet area! (Oh, and Max: I mean, he’s pretty cure too, right?) This was in its own section of the restaurant in the hotel, and I thought it was such a cool idea to give kids their own pint-sized version of the regular buffet next door. It was filled with things like fruit and yogurt, as well as some of the main courses being served each day, and Max felt very important sitting at his own little table, so I’m pretty sure he approved.
As I mentioned, Wave Resort is an all-inclusive hotel, which means that absolutely everything is included in the price of your holiday, and most meals are served buffet-style, in the main restaurant;
The main restauarant at Wave resort, Bulgaria
cake for breakfast at Wave Resort, PomorieI know some people can be quite scathing about buffet-style dining, but we actually really enjoyed the food, and found the informal nature of this restaurant ideal for us, given that we were eating with a toddler, who can get pretty impatient during mealtimes. We particularly liked the Bulgarian dishes, which were very similar to some of the Greek food Terry’s mum used to cook – so lots of stuffed peppers, vine leaves, and the like – but there was always plenty of variety, including an amazing salad bar (“I’m actually eating this salad because I like it, rather than because I feel like I should go for the healthy option,” I said to Terry one night, and it was true: I could have lived off those salads, they were THAT good…) and pretty much every variety of fruit you can imagine. Oh, and cheese! At every single meal, there would be tons of different cheeses dotted around the dining hall: I practically had to be rolled back up to our room every night…
(Oh, and huge thanks here to hall manager Jan: all of the Wave staff were amazing, but Jan went above and beyond, every single day, which explains why Max was calling him, ‘Uncle Jan’ by the end of our stay…)
eating outdoors at Wave Resort, Bulgaria
In addition to the main buffet restaurant, the resort also has three a la carte restaurants – one Bulgarian, one Mediterranean, and one Asian – and you can visit each of them during your stay. (Certain wines and drinks are chargeable in these restaurants, but the food and most drinks are free / included in the price of your holiday.) The Asian restaurant was fully booked on the days we tried to eat there, but we did manage to visit the Bulgarian and Mediterranean restaurants, which gave us the opportunity to try some different dishes. My favourite of these was the Bulgarian shopska salata – a tomato salad absolutely smothered in cheese. I mean, they had me at ‘smothered in cheese’, basically…
A la carte restaurants at Wave Resort
A la carte restaurants at Wave Resort, BulgariaI’m still not done talking about food, though. I know, it’s very unlike me, but, this being an all-inclusive hotel, there was food available around the clock: when the restaurants were closed, you could always find sandwiches, cake, cereal and the like (as well as coffee, wine and beer) in the hotel bistro, and the pool snack bars served up chips, burgers and salads all day long. Oh, and just in case that wasn’t enough for you (And I should add here that there were take-out cartons available in the main restaurant, so you could take food back to your room if you wanted…), there’s also a small shop on site selling sweets, snacks and various other essentials.
the bistro at Wave Resort, Bulgaria
So we didn’t starve, in other words. We definitely didn’t starve…

Children’s Entertainment

Another one of the reasons we were keen to stay at Wave Resort was the fact that it’s a very family-friendly resort, with tons of things for children Max’s age to do. We felt he was still a little too young for the kids club, which had its own huge building in the hotel grounds, but we heard great things about it from some of the other families we got chatting to – most of whom we met here, on a small pirate ship:

at the play park

Max at the parkThe outdoor play park – a.k.a The Place We Spent Most of Our Time on Holiday. As much as he enjoyed the pool and beach, I think the play park was Max’s favourite place at Wave Resort. And, I mean, we have play parks at home, obviously, but the fact that this one was RIGHT THERE as soon as he woke up, and was full of things that were just right for his age/ability level seemed to make it extra-exciting for Max, and he would literally squeal with joy every time we got close to it, and then cry when he had to leave: always a sign that fun has been had. The other children in the park came from all of Europe (although many of them did speak some English), but the language barrier is obviously no problem to a toddler, so he made lots of new friends, who he’d then meet up with again in the evening at the mini disco, which was held in the hotel’s outdoor amphitheatre:

Max at the mini disco

This was also the location of the evening entertainment the animation team would put on every night: unfortunately, we didn’t get to see any of this, because Max was in bed by the time it started, but we did take him along to the mini disco, which …. well, the photos pretty much speak for themselves here, no? I, being a newbie to the world of children’s entertainment, had assumed a mini disco would be much like an adult disco – only without the alcohol and awkward chat-up lines, probably – but it was actually way better than that, and, each night, a member of the animation team would lead the children through the various dance moves on the stage. Much like his mother, Max was pretty awkward to start with, and had no idea what he was supposed to be doing (I guess walking up to people and grabbing their toy car while shouting, “MY NAME’S MAX!” is a bit like a drunken adult disco, really…), but, as you can see, he soon got into the swing of things, and had Terry and I in stitches watching him attempt to dance!


The Beach

Every morning after breakfast, we got into the habit of heading down to Wave Resort’s little private beach, and spending an hour or two letting Max play in the sand, before heading back to our room for naptime. This is probably the thing I’ve been missing most (Well, that and the free prosecco, obviously…) since we’ve been home: the beach wasn’t huge, but it was just a lovely way to start the day – in fact, as we were always up so early (Thanks, Max!), some days we didn’t even bother changing Max out of his pyjamas first – we’d just quickly change his nappy, then throw on some clothes ourselves, before heading down to the sand, where Max could play to his heart’s content, without having to worry about getting his ‘real’ clothes filthy. (Not that Max DOES worry about getting his clothes dirty, obviously: that’s all me…)On the beach at Wave Resort, Bulgaria

On the beach at Wave Resort, Bulgaria

On the beach at Wave Resort, Bulgaria

On the beach at Wave Resort, Bulgaria

On the beach at Wave Resort, Bulgaria

On the beach at Wave Resort, Bulgaria

This is the beauty of a hotel like Wave resort, though. Before we had Max, Terry and I probably wouldn’t have considered the kind of holiday where you don’t really leave the hotel much (We DID actually leave the hotel, as it happens, but the one downside we found to Wave Resort was that it’s pretty much in the middle of nowhere: there’s a free shuttle bus to nearby Pomorie, and you can obviously get taxis, or hire a car, if you want to venture further afield, but there’s nothing outside the hotel itself except salt lakes and road – it really is a bit like a little oasis in that respect, which is worth bearing in mind if you’re hoping to use it as a base to explore Bulgaria…), but becoming parents has forced us to radically re-think our travel style. Right now, Max is still at an age where he needs regular naps, and gets cranky without them, which means that when we go on holiday with him, we generally end up spending much more time in the hotel than would previously have been the case – which can leave us feeling a bit like we’re missing out on some of the other things we’d normally do.

With this holiday, though, the fact that Wave Resort is a destination in itself, really, meant that we were able to just embrace the fact that we’d be sticking mostly to the hotel and its grounds, and just enjoy the opportunity to relax, without feeling like there was something else we should be doing. The simple fact that we didn’t have to so much as think about what to make for mealtimes, or how we were going to entertain Max all day, made life a whole lot simpler than it is at home, and that in itself made it all kinds of amazing for us, really.

All too soon, though, it was time to head back to Bourgas airport, for our flight back to Scotland, where, every day since we got home, Max has solemnly informed us that he “wants to go to Bulgaria”. You and me both, dude: you and me both. Time to hit up the Jet2holidays site to look at flights back to Bourgas, I guess…

You can book your Jet2Holidays stay at Wave Resort by clicking here: I promise I’ll try not to be too jealous. (OK, that’s a lie: I’m dying of jealousy just thinking about it…)

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  • Becky


    So…I may be booking this tonight! With a 22 month old it is so hard to find places that you think they will be entertained and safe, with easy access to food and naps, and this looks ideal! I’ve had a quick look at the prices and I’m amazed at how reasonable they are as well, including flights, transfers and an AI resort. I would never have found it without your review, thanks Amber!

    September 19, 2019
  • Myra


    I’ve enjoyed all your photos and posts on Instagram seeing you all having fun. Great post, very tempting. Was there many activities for older kids?

    September 19, 2019
    • Terry


      Both of the water parks are suitable for older kids and there was things like Magic shows and T-shirt painting that I think older kids would love..

      September 19, 2019
  • Amber DeSadier


    That is an amazing hotel and looks like it would be so great to go there. My husband would be so happy to be on that beach. My kid too.

    September 19, 2019
  • Erik


    Great review.
    That is some serious poolage.
    Is Terry standing next to an artillery battery?

    September 19, 2019
    • Terry


      Not 100% sure what it was! Locals refer to it as the bunker and the only information I could find dated it to WW2. There’s limited space inside for any serious sort of gun so a bunker is probably the best description for it!

      September 19, 2019
  • Looks fab! Loving the little mickey mouse outfit Max has on in the beach picture by the way!

    September 20, 2019
  • J


    This has been SO SO helpful. Me and my little 19month old are going on our first holiday to the Wave resort this May (my first since before covid and getting pregnant). I’m a little anxious (at the moment I’m panicking about the flight and what to bring) but your words have reassured me about when we actually get there and whether my little guy will enjoy it and be entertained. The pictures of the food looked brilliant, then again he will eat anything, but I’m fairly sure he will be begging me for the chocolate muffins any chance he gets. I always loved the pools as a kid and I’m not really much of a beach person so I chose the resort for the pictures of the pool. And I know from what you’ve said to bring beach wear I can keep warm in. X

    April 14, 2024