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.