The Pearl of the Black Sea

This time I am going to share with you a place that holds a special place in my heart. A very very special place. I am talking about the Olimp Resort on the Black Sea shore. I cannot express how beautiful this place used to be (and still is).

The resort is not very big, it’s only a few kilometers long, but it has something that I have never seen anywhere else in the world, and I have seen plenty. There we find a 3-hotel complex at the far end of the resort called Amfiteatru-Belvedere-Panoramic Complex. All of these hotels have a spectacular view of the Black Sea, like no other.

But let’s go back in time for a bit, in 1992 to be exact, and take a trip down memory lane. I was only 6 years old back then, but I still remember it as if it was yesterday. My grandparents took me to the Belvedere Hotel for the summer holiday (it was the summer before I would start my first year of school). I have been to the seaside before with my parents but I don’t remember much about that 🙂

I have to tell you that since I was a kid, I was always fascinated with night clubs, or as we used to call them back then, discoteques. This complex had 2 of them, Disco Flamingo and Disco Blue Night; they were placed one in front of the other, with a fountain and a restaurant separating them. When I first saw Disco Flamingo, I was fascinated by the way it looked like. Let me explain: the red entrance door told me that I was going to enter an uncharted territory, something I had never seen before, and I was right. First thing that caught my eye was the mirror ball (you know, the disco ball, that round thing with a lot of glass mirror pieces stuck to it – old school baby :)). Liked it so much that I bought one for my room years later, but that’s another story.

Also, I remember that my grandfather had to hold me over his shoulders so I can see what’s going on inside, especially considering I was 6 so I couldn’t get in. One more thing that I thought was weird was seeing a tree inside the disco…yes, a tree. Why was it there you ask? Well, according to my grandfather, the owners did not want to cut it down, so they made it part of their establishment, basically building the disco around it.

I don’t really remember how the people looked like, what they were wearing, or what they were doing. The only thing I recall was the song that was playing; are you ready for this? It was “The Power of Love” by Jennifer Rush. Since then, whenever I visit Olimp, I remember that song playing. The other disco, Blue Night, was kind of like a lounge bar (as I remember it), where people sat down for a drink. It did not have a mirror ball, but it might have had a tree inside as well, but can’t be sure.

And yes, I cannot stress enough on how beautiful the complex was. The Flamingo restaurant had live music every night (before the discos opened at night), the walkway along the sea was the perfect place to admire the view, especially since the complex was placed a few meters above ground level, and the shops that had all kinds of stuff to lure me in – kind of like an open air shopping mall. I don’t really remember how the rooms looked like.

You might notice I used the terms “used to” and “had” quite a lot. And that’s because that’s how I remembered them. Things happened since then. The hotels were sold, and the owners didn’t really take care of them the way they were supposed to. The Belvedere and Amfiteatru Hotel are still in business today, but only operating with 2 stars, as opposed to 4, as they used to (that’s because they were not renovated entirely). The Panoramic Hotel is closed for renovation. The discos don’t exist anymore (one of them converted into a bar while the other into a cafeteria). And the restaurant reduced its seating capacity.

Back then, in the late 60’s, early 70’s, when they were built, the hotels were flooded by foreign tourists, from all over the world. And you had to be a real big shot to be able to book a room there; it was considered the most luxurious and go-to spot on the Romanian Black Sea. Now, it’s a place that is visited mostly by people that like to reminisce about the good ol’days, people like me. It’s a shame, really. Every year I go there for a visit, to remember how it was and see the changes that occurred. Don’t get me wrong, the resort is still beautiful and unique, and there’s a lot to be told about its history, but something’s missing, something that once made it magical.

Romania has a lot of beautiful places to visit. Don’t take my word for it, just browse through our website and see for yourself. Some of these places were forgotten, they don’t get the attention they deserve anymore – Olimp is one of those places.

Have a look at the photo gallery above to see a comparison on how it used to look like back then, and how it looks like now. Based on their quality, you will quickly realize which photos were taken recently and which were taken in the past.

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