I stayed at the Victoria Palace hotel in Astrakhan in early October 2006 whilst on business in Astrakhan. I was told that this is the only 4 star hotel in town and it wasn't too bad.
It was my first trip to Russia and Astrakhan is a provincial town in the middle of nowhere so I was expecting the worst. The room I was in only had a single bed and was a bit small but it was clean and comfortable. The bathroom was well apppointed but small; especially the shower. The shower also had a funny shower curtain arrangement that meant it was impossible to not spill water all over the floor.
The room had air-conditioning but it also had an intermittent whining sound that appeared to be coming from downstairs. It wasn't really loud enough to keep me awake but was a bit annoying.
Breakfast at the hotel was a buffet and they would cook eggs and omelets for you but that was the only hot food available for breakfast apart from toast.
The location of the hotel was ok - not too far from the kremlin and about a 5-10 minute walk from a good restaurant called 'Cafe Cream'. Taxis (and most other things) are cheap there anyway.
The staff at the hotel were polite.
I think my company was paying about US$195 per night for this place which is inordinately high, but there aren't too many other hotels in town that will deal with non-Russians.
Some of my colleagues, who work in Astrakhan, told me that they have been asked to leave, despite having a booking, if the hotel has any more important guests who need their room. I was only there for 3 nights so it wasn't an issue for me.
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