[AD: [Our Jet2 flights to Bulgaria and stay at Wave Resort were free of charge ]
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.
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…)
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
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:
This 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:
(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:
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…):
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:
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:
The 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:
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!
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…)
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…