What a surprise Yalta is - & the Bristol Hotel reinforced that sense of surprise!
Yalta, itself, is like an old fashioned English seaside resort - it's got all the old style "fun" of being "beside the sea" with all the old seaside amusements, etc. at a bargain basement price. Sure, it's got a downside - all the flashy ominously scowling Russian "Mafia" guys, the language problems, the rip-off artists, etc, but, bottom line is it's still a good "cheap as chips" holiday destination except the Black Sea is more like the Med. Mind you, it's the only seaside place I've seen so many "over-dressed" women parading along front - many drinking a bottle of beer while "parading" in all their cheap glamour"& one or two actually pushing a pram at the same time!!!
The restaurants are really good, the markets are a veritable "treasure trove" of everything
& you can get two days grog supply for eight bucks (including superb vodka/excellent local beer/wine/etc) & smokes for a song!!! And some of the locals were quite plesant & helpful. We did also had dinner at the Oreanda Hotel one night - it's a really "swanky" place with a really beautiful diningroom
As for the Bristol Hotel, we had a "seaview" view with a spacious balcony overlooking an ugly "soviet'" style concrete monstrosity but,, at least , you could see the sea.The room was very nice, the staff were as helpful as they could be with the language problem. The trip down from Simferopol "Airport" was an experience that I'll never forget, the Hotel organised a limousine for the return trip for far less than I'd pay for a cab fare within my home town so it wasn't worth trying the longest trolley bus ride in the world. We had a very pleasant driver who, fortunately, spoke good German & I, subsequently, realised that we should have taken him up on his offer to drive us around during our stay.The "Airport" I must say was, positively "quaint" with cattle grazing beside the runway, & the flight down from Kiev was positively hilarious, etc!
The Hotel's breakfast in the restaurant down the street was superb & that same restaurant at night was also really great (& cheap, of course) - we had a lovely waitress who spoke passable English. Warning - don't try changing money at the currency exchange booth just outside the Hotel foyer because it's impossible - I had to walk halfway along the seafront to find one where I could manage to get some money changed. And sending a postcard was nearwell impossible - that's if you can find somewhere to buy one. Also don't go up to "The Swallows Nest " unless you're prepared to pay the local "Mafia" thugs their ( pretty modest) "tribute"!
Despite all the tribulations, we had a great, unforgettable, holiday & the Hotel was really "charming" in an old fashioned sort of way so I would strongly recommend that if you do want a "different" holiday in a somewhat "difficult" place like Yalta then stay at the Hotel Bristol - you will surely find it a really delightful experience.
- Also Known As:
- Bristol Hotel Yalta