Where do I start?
First the chalet: very clean, professional finish, with all the appearance of a boutique chalet chain in the making. Interiors very well presented with facilities like netflix, bluetooth speakers, hot tub in the garden and a well stocked honesty fridge. Beds very comfortable, ensuite in each room + 2 communal bathrooms and even though Josh and Rachel had squeezed an extra bed into a twin room for us there was enough room for all our gear and to get changed etc. Location was ideal - just off the main strip so not completely noisy and hectic at night, but an easy walk back when we finished early etc. There were 15 people staying in the chalet, including the 5 of us, a family and a group of young professionals, and it was a pleasure to get to know all of them over some local delicacies (and dubious local spirits) nearer the end of the week.
The hosts, Josh and Rachel, were absolutely phenomenal. They were in great humour the whole week, even when our group was ready at different times and needed multiple lifts, and the food was out of this world (I've been experimenting myself with butternut squash curry since their meat-free-Monday). Their advice helped us make it to the main skiing area in good time almost every day (I only say almost because we may have been carried away on at least one occasion with the generous provision of wine in the evenings - a fact which may explain why, in their words, "so far nobody that's stayed here has actually made it out to any of the bars"). Mostly they became great friends throughout the week, and as newcomers to Bulgaria they made us feel very welcome, very safe and like we had people with local knowledge to rely on if anything were to happen. They also sorted us out with a lovely outdoor spa day (including lfits and free drinks) and the girls with "the best massage I've ever had".
Just a quick note about Bansko:
When researching ski holidays for a group ranging from experienced (but out of practice) and complete beginner, Bansko stood out as being a budget option and a springboard for us to consider more expensive "reliable" resorts in future.
In truth we had a fantastic week with powder falling as we arrived, which made for great skiing. In particular there are lots of green and blue runs, but enough reds and blacks to suit the casual skier looking to get back into the hang of it. I would warn that there are LOTS of beginners taking advantage of this - some of the slopes approaching the gondola are like a hazard perception test with all the fallen snowboarders. Red and black runs are much less frequented, and some of the Bulgarian ski team appeared to be doing some last minute training there on the run up to the winter olympics. The resort has very clearly outgrown its capacity - there is 1 gondola and a selection of expensive and infrequent taxis and coaches to take all of the resort up to the skiing area in the morning. This meant that the one time we got there after quarter to 8 in the morning, we ended up queuing for 4 hours. Our fault, too much wine, but worth considering if you have a big family to get ready in the morning.
Mountain bars and restaurants were not alps prices, but approaching what might be best described as airport prices. Further down the mountain on the ski road there are some restaurants not owned by the mountain company (tips from Rachel) which are cheaper and became a stopping point for us. The strip (which has the gondola and most of the big hotels on it) is, to be honest, pretty seedy - some good rock and roll bars with excellent session bands (though full of unfiltered cigarette smoke, I'd forgotten how awful that was), but also a few strip bars and lots of neon flashing signs etc. The old town, 15 minutes walk from the chalet in the other direction, is lovely to walk around and had a good selection of traditional Bulgarian restaurants to choose from on J&R's off day.
All in all, not only have I recommended Snowflake to friends already, but we would certainly consider coming back again (particularly when this second gondola is finished).
What a week! If you are coming to ski in Bansko, I would look no further than this chalet - for the price for the week it really is exceptional!
We thoroughly enjoyed our week here - Josh and Rachel were extremely helpful throughout our whole stay, from answering my many questions before we arrived to recommending the best thermal spas and restaurants!
The chalet is very well situated, right in the middle of both the gondola to the slopes (approx 5-10min stroll), and the Old Town bars and restaurants. The chalet is finished to a high standard - all the rooms are nice with en suites, there is also a good living room area for socialising, and a hot tub out in the back.
Josh and Rachel were brilliant hosts - always available to run us up to the slopes if needed, and were also very flexible with meal times depending on what we were up to that evening. The food was fantastic - prepared to a high standard, with plenty of food (and wine!!) for everyone! Their recommendation of Michaels in the old town for their night off is worth a visit, but beware, portions are huge!
The whole trip, including transfers to and from Sofia airport, ran without a hitch. I can't thank Rachael and Josh enough for their hospitality - they made sure our stay was as easy and relaxed as possible, and are doing a fantastic job at Snowflake. Cant recommend it enough.
Firstly I would like to say thank you to Josh and Rachel for an amazing week of fantastic food, friendship and adventures we will see you next year if not sooner.
This chalet is not only aestheticly pleasing it is also managed my the perfect hosts. On the food side I can honestly say that you will not find any better in bansko, the food is then accompanied by the fact that my wine glass was not dry at any point throughout my meal.
To give you an insight, i work in the fine dining industry and I can whole heartedly say that I was impressed by the service provided especially for the price that we paid to stay there.
This was all topped off by the fact that Josh came up to the top of the mountain with us and acted as our own personal guide showing us all of the ski routes, teaching one of our friends how to do things like skiing backwards and how to control turns at speed.
I can't recommend this chalet enough especially as since our visit we have decided to book the whole chalet out next year, so if you're thinking about picking one do not give this a miss !
Once again, thank you Josh and Rachel.
What can I say? If you are thinking of skiing in Bansko, do not pass Snowflake chalet by. This chalet, Josh and Rachael are amazing. The accommodation is pristine, modern and cosy. It has everything needed. The chalet sits between the old and new towns, a perfect location. The gondola is a 5 minute walk away which was ideal for blowing the cobwebs away each morning. Josh and Rachael recommended a place for ski/boot hire and lessons, all of which worked out brilliantly.
The hospitality shown by Josh and Rachael was excellent and they went over and above what was promised to accommodate our group. For example, they provided vegetarian meals when requested and accommodated food allergies without issue. We had a birthday during the week and they provided a beautiful birthday cake, balloons, banners etc and fizz. The food was brilliant, a combination of traditional and world dishes. This, as well as breakfast, was provided at a time to suit us. On their day off, Josh and Rachael recommended a family restaurant in the old time, which also showed us fantastic hospitality; we were thrilled when they joined us for the evening. Josh and Rachael lived up to their promise of unlimited beer and wine with meals. When we requested savoury snacks instead of a cake each evening, these kept on coming (along with the tonic for our gin!).
Josh and Rachael gave many recommendations for bars, entertainment, spas - they are knowledgeable about Bansko town, the ski resort and surrounding area. They offered to take us to an out of town spa as well as to the gondola every morning.
I cannot speak highly enough of Josh and Rachael's warm welcome and hospitality. They are lovely people who clearly work very hard in the background to provide a wonderful experience for guests.
The chalet is beautiful, the location is great, and our hosts Josh and Rachel were amazing. Everything was well organised and the chalet truly felt like home. We had fantastic homemade food all week. I have some dietary intolerance's but this was no problem to Josh, who made special dishes without a fuss. I would highly recommend and will definitely hope to return next year.