I just visited the hotel in December 2012 over Christmas with my fiancé. We booked here because of the unique look of the hotel, but were a little weary based on some of the reviews. When we arrived, the design and décor of the hotel was everything we expected. That was about the only positives I had from the hotel itself.
We booked one of the Deluxe Rooms that are on the corner and you can enter one of the turrets. Be careful. We had the room on the top floor and the ceilings were severely sloped making much of the room not useful. I cracked my head on the low ceilings several times.
The bathrooms were quite small as well. You can get around in them, but just a tight space. The bedrooms are very small. The queen bed basically took up the whole room. You couldn't even open the closet because the doors hit the bed. The safe was extremely small and you could hardly access it because it was in the closet out of reach. The beds themselves were quite springy and the pillows were mediocre.
The hotel claims you get breakfast. The first morning we went for breakfast, they told me that it ended an hour before I arrived. The next morning I went for breakfast, it didn't start for another hour. I never ended up eating breakfast there, but I'm guessing it's sometime between 830 -1000.
The restaurant does serve food and drinks. It was quite expensive for the quantity of food you get, but the food was pretty good. We had trouble with service though. It was just my fiancé and I, and then a large group of business men in the restaurant. We sat for about 15 minutes, then had to go to the front desk to ask them to send a server to us. The menu is written in both Russian and English, so that was a help.
The location was pretty good. Right adjacent to the gardens, so a nice walk there. Right across the street was a nice market with plenty of water and snacks if you don't want to eat out all the time. Beyond the market is the beginning of the boardwalk in Sochi. There is also a Circus right there as well. I would suggest a central location that is walkable because traffic is horrendous at all hours in Sochi. Takes forever to get anywhere as there is only one main road in and out of the city. The only drawback is the hotel is situated in an alley. The alley is lit and we never had any issues, it just looks sketchy.
The other complaint I have was the staff. They just weren't very helpful or accommodating. I don't want to fault them for not speaking English well, because I shouldn't expect that, but the staff was very selective on when they could and couldn't speak English. It was a little frustrating when I could hold a conversation with them one day, and the next day the same people didn't speak English all of the sudden. It made it difficult when trying to figure out activities for the day. Then when I checked out, they registered my Visa and gave it to me. However they did not register my fiancé because they claimed I made a reservation for only myself. I had proof the reservation was for two people, but they didn't care. This was a mute point anyways as I did not actually need the form, but its the principle.
So in short, a very scenic hotel but could use some improvement in the operations. I would not choose to stay here again.
Pros: Hotel Atmosphere, Location
Cons: Service, Bathrooms, Beds
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