I doubt that living like a king was quite like this in Medieval Times. So... odor-free. There were towel doves on our bed and a shower/jacuzzi thing smack in the middle of our room. The bathing contraption was so big and shiny that I fully expected Merlin to go in and emerge dressed as Batman. The hotel has a DJ at night, folk dancing on occasion and, by request, can give you a helicopter ride. The interior is the work of an Italian firm and the sound system is American. Their slogan is "Enjoy a Royal Party!" It all reminded us of another thing our Bulgarian-Tennesseean neighbor had told us. "Now, all the buildings here are built by the mafia. Short lives, but rich ones!"
And then there is the truly named Arbanassi Palace, home of Todor Zhivkov who ruled Bulgaria as the head of the Communist Party for 35 years - one of the longest non-royal reigns in history. He had this residence built in 1975, about halfway through his time as leader. I'm sure he would have bristled at the word 'palace,' but that's sure what it is. The location is magnificent, looking out over Veliko Tarnovo and the mountains. Seeing it from afar, it couldn't have looked more perfectly like a Communist Palace - grand, but without ornamentation, big, blocky, but with subtly rounded towers that evoke hilltop castles.
After Zhivkov's forced resignation in 1989 and the subsequent fall of Communism in Bulgaria, the building was turned into a hotel. Once you get up close, it looks more like a hotel than someone's home anyway. So, a no-brainer. If you're wondering why Mr. Gorbachev didn't stay here instead, it's probably because during his 2002 visit they were tearing down some walls. They were renovating. I'm not sure if the solarium, Turkish bath, tennis courts and swimming pool were part of Todor Zhivkov's original floor plan.