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“Horror Hostel - Boy do they get nasty!”

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Nordhostel Hermitage
Reviewed 29 November 2011

Crummy furniture, dark dark common space, and jekel and hyde staff.

Booked a room for two and were bullied into paying in advance for transport from airport to Hotel. Double confirmed in writing that it was a room for two with a bed for 2, to be sure we didn't end up with twins. Flight was very late, we were tired and arrived to find ourselves booked into room with twin beds. After another hour and a half delay, we finally found ourselves at the "private room" place several blocks from the office (ALWAYS a bad sign).

The room had cheap Ikea furniture that fell apart while we were there, and we were given the hairy eyeball for this, without reason.

In a day or two we were told that we had to pay more than 80 euros extra for the time the taxi was kept waiting. When we said that paying in advance for hotel transport, giving all flight info in advance, was only done to avoid exactly this. Before we could barely finish our sentence, to say nothing of being honestly listened to, we were told, in the rudest, most inappropriate, positively vicious way, that if we didn't pay immediately, our things would be locked up, we would be carted away by the police, and "here in Russia our owners have arrangements, and it will be quite unpleasant for you". Who said this? It was Tatiana, affectionately known as "Tati" in other reviews. She is very good at befriending and relating to people, especially women travelers, and practically has a cult of personality about her, some people take to her so much. However, if you are not carefree about paying additional charges that come up (and they definitely will), you will find yourself victim of Russian mafia threats and extortion before you can blink.

When you are faced with such nastiness, such uncalled for, unprovoked (we never raised our voices or became even stern!) nastiness, it really dents your mood and it's just the last thing you want on your vacation. STAY AWAY FROM THIS PLACE. No one should ever, ever, ever, be threatened by hotel staff. Inexcusable, full stop. AVOID THIS PLACE FOR SURE.

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  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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14  Thank brucethepirate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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4 - 10 of 61 reviews

Reviewed 26 July 2011

This was the best hostel I stayed in throughout my trans-mongolian railroad trip! Friendly, enthusiastic, and helpful, clean, as well as the greatest location...

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled solo
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1  Thank rmcc57427
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 July 2011

For my time in St. Petersburg, I stayed in a private room with Nordhostel; this review is not related to the dorms.

The most impressive aspect of my stay was the friendly staff; Tati in particular went out of her way to give us tips, suggestions, and helpful advice about what to do and how to do it in the city. Also, the administration was very accommodating; my friend and I had to make changes to our reservation dates which they accepted without extra payment or even discussion. They also helped us to arrange train tickets (the very tickets that caused us to need to change our original dates).

The property itself is separate from the property housing the dorms, which others on this site seem to be grumbling about, although I don't understand why - true, it is not a thirty second walk from the Hermitage, but unless you are going to ONLY go to the Hermitage your entire stay, and will race someone to get there every day, so what? The private rooms are actually rooms in a real apartment, in an apartment building, so it is a more authentic experience to live as if you were a resident of the city. Also, it is by no stretch of the imagination far - it is, at most, a ten minute walk to the other location (and the Hermitage). It is regularly cleaned and well-stocked with food that is free and available to travelers all day. Again, it felt like a shared apartment - many mornings we sat at the kitchen table and had breakfast with other travelers - it was very nice and relaxed and "homey" feeling.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with friends
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3  Thank thisisjacky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 February 2011

We had a great stay at Nord Hostel. Would highly recommend it. Can't beat the location. The staff were amazing and really went the extra mile for us. The breakfast included and use of the kitchen is a great perk when on a budget.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled with friends
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2  Thank ElusiveLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 December 2010

Like others I was initially very disappointed that we were not at the Nord Hermitage location.

Like others, I had selected the Nord Hermitage site because I liked the idea of being close to the major attractions and I was looking to cut our walking time to a minimum. After all 6 hours in the Hermitage was quite enough walking without the extra journey time. And I confess I enjoyed the thought of swanning in and under and around that fabulous arch that shows on the Hostel’s details.
Tati's explanation for our change was that the other hostel is very noisy. On Nord's actual website under MAP they refer to ‘dorms only’ at the Hermitage address. (I’m sure that was not there when I booked) For clarity, I do think it would be a good idea to give both locations on Trip Advisor.
Fortunately, I had arranged transport from the airport through the Nord website and we ended up at the right address which is the Nord Hostel Kazansky. I think I would have been very cross if I was expected to take my luggage to the other address.

All this aside, the Nord Kazansky location turned out to be great! Tati, the manageress was incredibly helpful, and vivacious - from organizing our taxi pickup when we left to giving us instructions on how to best reach various places via public transport and on foot.
I loved walking beside the Griboedov Canal looking towards Nevesky Prospect with the Church of the Saviour of Spilled Blood on the canal horizon, the feeling of being part local life, the shops and the cafes. The local supermarket was just downstairs, (there is an interesting elevator) out the security gate, and a few doorways along. Shopping here for supplies was very easy

I found the older apartment building and the staircase with its wide steps (I'm sure Marlene Dietrich rode a horse down these very steps in Catherine the Great!) and the old fireplace on the ground floor (presumably to heat the stairwell once upon a time) broodingly charming. I felt like I was living in A Russian Novel (with some creative imagining)
Our room was fairly private as the walls are very thick. Unfortunately we only had single beds but that was ok. There are 4 or 5 rooms here, some with double beds.
The apartment was quiet and clean, although I would have liked to see the bathroom hand towel changed more frequently.
Access to the kitchen was good with breakfast things including eggs provided. I always travel with my coffee plunger and ground coffee. To be able to get up and make an early coffee just the way I like it (strong!) before tackling the day is a small but important ritual that verges into luxury. Just one more reason to stay at hostels.
We obtained our guest invitation directly through Nord. They were very helpful even with the problems at our end due to the Russian Embassy having holidays and further closures for computer upgrades.
We stayed here 6 nights and found it really suited our travel style.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank eyes2c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 October 2010

I spent three months in Russia for an art project. I was out to be inspired learn about the country and myself. I ended up staying in Nord hostel next to the Hermitage, it was a little strange being away for the first couple of days, but the staff became my friends and went out of their way to help me. They were interested and interesting. I needed somewhere a little more private as i was to be spending more time there, I was offered by Nord this adorable room in the other hostel they have, which is actually in a more trendy, fun area than the hermitage one.It was perfect and felt more like a shared flat, there was another long term business tenant staying there and with the staff we became a little family. I was extremely sad to leave but have made friends for life. Without Nord my whole experience would have been different, I would definately stay there again when I return.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled on business
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2  Thank EllaM-W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 September 2010

Nord Hostel has despicable business practices.
Their entire marketing is all about the great location next to the Hermitage.
Just check the "map" link on tripadvisor. That is the only reason I agreed to spend about $100 U.S. a night in a hostel.

There is no mention on Expedia or Hostelworld or Trip Advisor about a second location
In all of my correspondence directly with the Nord Hostel, they never mentioned that I would be placed in a far off location.

I booked a private twin with them, had to pay fully in advance with paypal, and now I see why they require this.

When we showed up, reception was closed between 2 and 5pm, another misrepresentation from their listing, which said "24 hour reception" (they have since changed it).

When it opened, we were told we were NOT in the Nord Hostel, but in another location quite a long walk away. We had to lug all of our bags (my friend has a bad foot too). through the crowded streets of St. Petersburg to get to the other location, which was in a far inferior neighborhood with graffiti, down an alley with cats and beer bottles, up to a crappy apartment that seemed to have Russians living in it for long stretches at a time.

Nord Hostel's response is that there is a mention on their website under the "Map" tab that the private rooms are in another location, and because her e-mails to me included a website link below the signature, I was by "default" responsible to have scoured every tab of the website and read this. That map part was not even there before, they changed it later.
But even if it was, this is a ridiculous cop-out. They had plenty of opportunities to tell me that I would not be staying at the Nord Hostel.

NO MENTION of this far inferior location is made on Expedia (which we booked through), Tripadvisor, or other booking websites. Just because I sent her an e-mail directly (I had to contact them directly to pay them because you could not pay through Expedia), I should not be charged with reading the every inch of the website, even it if had been there.

The girls working at the hostel were friendly, but the Hostel manager, who is in the Netherlands or somewhere, refused to give us our money back. So we were robbed of $400 by this place and had to book with another place that really is in the area close to the Hermitage.

I cannot judge how the dorm rooms are, but I would never recommend giving your business to this type of establishment.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with friends
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5  Thank Glenn S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Nordhostel Hermitage

Address: Bol'shaya Morskaya St., 10, St. Petersburg 191186, Russia
Region: Russia > Northwestern District > St. Petersburg > Admiralteisky , Palace Square
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #458 of 1,798 Speciality Lodging in St. Petersburg
Hotel Class:2 star — Nordhostel Hermitage 2*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nord Hostel one of the most centrally located hostels in Saint-Petersburg. You cannot possibly be closer to the Hermitage, one of the largest and oldest museums in the World, city's main square, the Palace square, and magnificent Winter Palace, residence of the Tsars. Just walk through the Arch and immerse yourself in history and beauty! ... more   less 
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