Crappy Hotel

When we first walked into our hotel room at the Buryatia Hotel in Ulan Ude, we got quite a shock. We have become used to Russian hotels that are generally of a good standard, with some being very good. We were not expecting the poor standard that we found at the Buryatia. It is by far the worst hotel room we have seen in Russia, having stayed in a number of hotels over the past few weeks.

We had intentionally looked for somewhere that was low to mid range on the budget scale but, at $75 per night, we expected much better than this. By comparison, the Szvezda Hotel in Irkutsk was only slightly more expensive but was a very nice hotel. This place is decrepit.

The Buryatia Hotel’s only claim to fame seems to be that it is the ‘tallest hotel in Ulan Ude’ which doesn’t translate to anything of benefit for the occupant. For some hotels, we have asked to see the rooms before putting down the cash but, when we arrived at this place there was a bus-load of Mongolian tourists who had got to the reception before us and would take a while to process. So, we just went online and made the reservation via booking.com and then went to reception to check in.

The only twin room available was the ‘Economy Twin’ at the equivalent of $75. The standard twin costs more than an additional 50%. We have since discovered that the ‘standard’ rooms are the renovated rooms whilst the ‘economy’ rooms look like they haven’t been touched-up since soviet times.

On the positive side – the beds are comfortable, there is private parking and there is free wifi (when it works properly).

On the negative side – appalling bathroom, thin and frayed towels, old and stained carpet with pieces missing along the edges, dirty walls and floors, rusty fridge, a faulty lock on the door, a room heater that doesn’t work, an unknown lump of something on the carpet and, for the two days that we’re here, the hot water is only available for certain hours of the day, as repairs are being conducted.

The photos below should help to paint the picture.

 

The bathtub
The bathtub
The faucet/tap serves both the bath and the wash-basin (it moves sideways)
The faucet/tap serves both the bath and the wash-basin (it moves sideways)

 

Toilet with cracked lid
Toilet with cracked lid
The beds are comfortable
The beds are comfortable
Exterior of the hotel
Exterior of the hotel
Room heater that doesn't work
Room heater that doesn’t work
Off-cut carpet with a lump of something in the corner
Off-cut carpet with a lump of something in the corner

 

The lump of unknown substance
The lump of unknown substance

 

4 Comments

  1. The standard I can relate to having been in Russia for a month back in the 90’s but I can not believe how much the prices have increased. That would have been a few dollars a night then. I suppose they see on the internet what other hotels charge in other parts of the world and follow suit?

  2. Russia’s not so inexpensive anymore. The cheapest place in Ulan Ude was $32 per night, and that was a tiny apartment filled with bunk-beds that the owner is calling a hostel!

  3. I guess the old adage is true that you can’t judge a book by its cover because the hotel looks nice from the outside. The lump in the corner was probably for the vermin to nibble on so that they don’t nibble on you during the night. Be thankful for little gifts. LOL!!!

  4. This post makes me chuckle. This is how most hotels looked when I first arrived in Siberia in 1998. Many still do. This is how most people still live across Russia. Enjoy it, it adds to the flavor. For more life around Lake Baikal:

    Olkhon is the largest island in Lake Baikal.
    http://transformsiberia.com/2013/04/06/a-long-haul-for-olkhon/

    Trek across frozen Baikal.
    http://transformsiberia.com/2013/04/07/baikals-ice-crucible/

    Stop by anytime! Alex

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