The Orel tobacco and papyrus factory of Dimitar Stavridis and Dimitar Mardas was built in the early 90s of the 18th century. In 1892, the two produced Bulgarian cigars there for the first time. They were presented to the general public at the First Bulgarian Exhibition in Tsar Simeon's Garden in the same year. After the death of Stavridis in 1901, his half and the Orel company was bought by Carlo Vaccaro, who brought in modern machinery and made it the largest and most modern in equipment in the country.

Photo: Archive Pod tepeto

However, during the First World War, the Italian was forced to sell his factory and leave Bulgaria. That's when the Haskovo manufacturer Petar Diakov appeared in the city. He bought Vaccaro’s company and his first-class machines. He got close to his son Edmundo, who became his partner in Aegean Sea joint-stock company. But later the factory burnt down, and after it was rebuilt it housed a clothing manufacturing company. According to old documents, it was called Vizualiza, and that’s what served as inspiration for the name of the newest boutique hotel under the hills.

Subsequently, the building was abandoned in 1988, and for the next 30 years it was known as the House of the Spirits. The building gradually sank into desolation and ruin until two entrepreneurs from Plovdiv decided to revive it.

The truth is that today's Hotel Vizualiza is like a representation of the Central part of the city - it can be seen from almost every higher point in the city, as well as from the Main Street of Plovdiv, that is why it is so important that the restoration is done with respect for the authenticity of the building, as well as to the whole environment.

The view from the place is impressive, and its location above the city center at the foot of the hill is the perfect combination between a central location and silence among the hustle and bustle of Plovdiv. It has more than 40 rooms for accommodation in different categories, in which every detail is tailored to the specificity of the old factory and carefully selected to preserve the spirit of the building. The beautiful metal railings are made in the likeness of the old ones by experienced master blacksmiths, and some elements of the interior are made directly by hand and on site, so that not a bit of their original vision is lost. The overall feeling, when you enter Vizualiza right from the lobby, is of a refined and unobtrusive style, in which it seems that all noises and worries from the outside disappear, and the eye smoothly absorbs over 50 unique paintings by world and Bulgarian authors, skillfully and discreetly woven into the interior in place.

In absolute sync with the hotel and an inseparable part of the overall experience of staying high above the European Capital of Culture 2019, is the unique Valere restaurant. Besides the owners of Visualiza, Melissa and Todor, well-known on the Plovdiv culinary scene, who created a real gourmet boom 4 years ago with Tams House in Kapana, are also behind it.

In keeping with the overall atmosphere of the venture, Valere promises to take the cuisine in the city under the hills to a new, higher level. The concept includes highlights from around the world in a superior form. Original gourmet dishes and a blissful journey in search of the good taste that will pamper the senses. Nothing here is by chance and nothing is done in a rush. The dishes are multi-component and each ingredient has a certain order of placement not only during preparation, but also during the decoration and serving of the finished dish. For each of the places they manage, the two experienced chefs have created a special recipe book in which even salt cannot be added to taste. All this is done in order to create consistency of quality and to always receive excellent food. The menu has been selected with an eye to fine French and European cuisine and paired with the right wine, from which the choice is very rich: over 300 labels.

Each recipe is a real delight not only for our receptors, but also for the eyes. A perfect presentation and a perfect combination of sweet, salty, sour and bitter - in Valere you can easily close your eyes and transport yourself to the world of haute cuisine.

The next step is the preparation of a special tasting menu upon request and upon prior reservation. In it, you can most accurately feel the character of fine dining, the experience that the restaurant brings with each of its creations, and for lovers of late breakfasts and long lunches, there is the brunch, in which for a certain amount you can eat everything from the offers of the chefs of the day.

Rest and escape from the big city, a step away from all the sights and with a unique view of Old Plovdiv or Sahat Tepe, combined with a wellness center and first-class food - Vizualiza Residence Hotel and Valere Restaurant are a must-stop for all connoisseurs of refined taste with an eye for detail and the special treatment.