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“Highlight of our 2-month Russia trip”

Review of Isba Semken

Isba Semken
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Isba Semken
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Excellent
4 reviews
Isba Semken
Front windows of our house
Lounge
patio
outside patio
terrace
Our banja - downstairs is our sauna, upstairs a room for rent.
Our mongolian yurts
mongolian yurt - private toilet beside
inside a yurt
River Neyva - behind our estate
church of Bingi
At the gold mines
time for fishing
The church and the leaning tower of Newjansk
Border Europe-Asia near Ekaterinburg
Ganina Jama - where the family of the last Zar was buried from 1918 - 2000
Our geese are watching you!
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Overview
Guest house -
6 Bedrooms, 1 Bathroom, Sleeps 18
Nevyansk, Sverdlovsk Oblast, Urals District

Reviews from our community

Excellent - based on 4 reviews
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Reviews from our community

Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Dutch first
English first
German first
Any
English first
Joe S
Palo Alto, California, United States
2 reviews
“Highlight of our 2-month Russia trip”
Reviewed 29 December 2013 for a stay in September 2013

My wife and I traveled the Trans-Siberian railway and wanted to get off the main track and away from the big cities. We found out about Stefan and Olga's place through the Lonely Planet and it turned out to be probably our best experience of the 2 months we spent in Russia.

We stayed for three nights in the bedroom above the banya, which was quite large and comfortable. They also have yurts/gers in their back yard which would probably be more exotic and authentic to sleep in, but we had already done that before in Mongolia so we opted for the bedroom. One night we bathed in the banya at about 60 degrees C / 140 F, then sat outside under the stars in the cool night air, then returned to the banya to warm up again, before going to bed. What a relaxing experience.

The best parts of the stay were Stefan and Olga themselves. Olga's home cooking was truly gourmet, fresh, and creative. We asked her if she'd been trained professionally but she said no, that she just travelled a lot and tried to incorporate flavors from the places she'd been. Stefan acted as tour guide, driving us around the highlights of their tiny hometown Byngi (old church, gold mines, lake) as well as the nearby towns of Nevyansk (leaning tower, toy factory) and Tavolgi. We accompanied Stefan for some of his day-to-day chores like going to the auto shop, the bakery, and visiting his friends building log-cabin houses. The experience is definitely OFF the tourist track and exposes you to real Russian life in a rural town.

It's important to realize that this is a home not a hotel. It is not luxury living by Western standards (apart from the food!). There is no shower -- you instead dump hot water over yourselves in the banya. You don't have a private bathroom. There is a shared flush toilet and an out-house if nature calls in the middle of the night. But it's all very clean and comfortable. And there was even a limited internet connection for checking email.

To get there we had to take the train (actually it was an "electrishka" -- which is a more frequent smaller local train) a couple hours from Yekaterinburg to Nevyansk, and Stefan picked us up from the Nevyansk train station. We spoke no Russian and had no issues getting there. Strongly recommended.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: The hosts
Liked least: Outhouse bathroom
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
Families with young children
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Theo B
Aalten, The Netherlands
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 July 2014 for a stay in June 2014
Google Translation

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: De gastvrijheid van de eigenaren en de kennismaking met het echte Rusland
Liked least: na 3 dagen weer weg
Travelling group: Partner
Your age range 35-49
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
Families with young children
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
highfello...
Bremerhaven, Germany
1 review
Reviewed 16 September 2013 for a stay in July 2013
Google Translation

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: die tolle Gastfreundschaft
Travelling group: Solo Traveller
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
18 Sep 2013
Thank you very much for being here, Highfellow.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2 guests
Adults2
Children0
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