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“Great place, authentic experience, eco friendly”
Review of Nikita's Homestead

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Nikita's Homestead
Reviewed 26 September 2011

In the winter, a stove is used to heat up your room and you have to take your shower in the banya using a cup to pour water over your head. This place was a very different experience than any other place we stayed in in Russia and we really liked the authenticity of it. The banya was great and if you are two people you can have two sessions so one session can be used for taking your shower and the other for sitting in the sauna. The staff is very friendly and even prepared food for us to take with on the bus when we had an early morning departure. The toilets are eco toilets and do not use water. Despite this there was no smell and we were happy to see that Nikita's takes steps to be eco friendly. It was great sitting in the dining room and talking with other travelers at night. Nikita's is a great place to visit even in the winter. Great variety of food.

Room Tip: Something near the dining hall in the winter is good so you don't have to walk far to eat.
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  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank puravidamaesanjose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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86 - 92 of 237 reviews

Reviewed 24 September 2011

Nikitas is quite expensive for what you get, we paid about 80 USD per night. With this we got 3 meals a day (which were good) and a double room, shared toilet and shower. The shower went freezing cold within about 3 or 4 minutes.

It is the extras which are the biggest rip off. We paid $7 for a small bag of washing to be washed- it came back dirty, maybe it had been dipped in water and dried but we had to hand wash it all again. WIFI was $5 for 24 hrs, and you couldnt pay for less- I think this should be included for the price that you pay.

Staff were relatively friendly and helpful. It definitely helps if you speak Russian, they can speak some english but I don't know what it would have been like dealing with issues if you could not communicate in Russian (which we could).

Booked bus tickets thru them back to Irkutsk, but they take a commission (total price 530 RB), so recommend booking in town.

Before we came here people said it was the only place to stay- it definitely isn't so you might be better off looking around for a better price, though Nikitas probably has a monopoly on the non-Russian speakers market.

Nice location, but everything on Olkhon is.

Room Tip: If you pay for a room with shared bathroom with only one other room it sounds much better than other...
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  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank poppyich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 September 2011

We did not travel very much in Russia, but Nikitas seemed expensive for what you got. It has a nice feel to it, and some of the buildings and rooms are really nice, but overall it did not live up to our expectations.

It's a strange layout, and confusing pricing on the rooms - so in one building our downstairs rooms had a toilet on the same floor, but we had to walk through lots of rooms/areas to get to it, and the sink was in a separate place (not good for hand hygiene!) And the shower was outside in the shower block, a few buildings away. Then we moved to a new room, and it was upstairs in the same building, but we had a shared toilet and shower there. Our upstairs room was more expensive, but wasn't really that much better than our downstairs room, but you got the buffet restaurant to eat in.

I'm a vegetarian and was not really that impressed with the food. I paid the same price as other people, but usually did not get as much food - so one course would be fish, but as I couldn't have it, so I just had to miss out. There was not a vegetarian alternative. The buffet style food you get in the more expensive room was easier as you could help yourself, but I must admit that I did get quite hungry whilst I stayed there. Breakfast was good though.

I understand that the plumbing etc is recently installed, and they are trying to be quite green with it, but one of the showers we used we could only ever get any decent pressure out of when it was only 30cm off the floor, and it varied between scalding and cold - this was just down to where they had placed the water tank, so just about planning it properly. I ended up washing my hair in the communal sink as I could not get enough pressure to wash the shampoo out.

For the money you pay, I think it could be easier to rent a tent from Nikitas and camp out the back, and using Nikitas for the restaurant and tours.

Whilst the tour we went on was really interesting and enjoyable, nobody seemed to want to help us to explore the island independantly which was a shame as it is beautiful. The staff are not exactly forthcoming with information (eg we never did find the free banyas mentioned on the website).

Nikitas is in a gorgeous location, so close to the beach and some breathtaking views that we never tired of. With a few tweaks it could be a fabulous place to stay, and I'm not sure what the other options would be.

Room Tip: If you can, ask to see pictures of the rooms and choose before you arrive.
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Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
3  Thank Trurzy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 August 2011

We had a big surprise once we got to Nikita's. We booked rooms for 8 people but there was nothing in their system. They did not enough rooms for us so 4 of us stayed outside with a local family.
The rooms in Nikita's were not a miracle. All the homestead is a bit messy, but toilets are just a disaster - they stay very close to lodges and smell just terribly.
Food in the homestead is of not a very good quality and they don't serve big meals - a normal sized man would be hungry afterwards.
We went on 2 trips with Nikita. One was round the Olkhon Island and it is higly recommendable (we had a local driver who was very nice and cooked for us).
The boat trip was not really fine - they wanted to put 30 people on a fishing boat for 6 people and the crew was rude. 10 people did not decide to go for a trip with them once they saw the boat.
If you want to find a good place in Olkhon, then go to the family that our 4 friends stayed with. There is Russian sauna, decent rooms and veeeery good food. The family is really nice and it really compensates all the inconveniences. Here is the address (it's just 300m from Nikita's):
Puszkin Street 17
The hosts are Valery Shyldenov and Ludmila Izyshkina

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with friends
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4  Thank Yas P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2011

i have just returned from staying at nikita's in khuzhir. i booked quite early - that is four-five months in advance and when the stuff wrote back to me that i am going to stay at their neighbours', i thought that that would be an equivalent quality of stay... however, it did not prove so - the toilet was really stinky and full of flies, and i had to walk a very long way for my shower and meals which was inconvenient. when i asked the stuff why they placed me onto this inconvenient "reserve" location, i got no answer....
however, the food was good, especially breakfast which could be refilled, and marija - the chef was really friendly and made a constant good effort to keep up the services on a very solid level.
on the whole i got an impression that nikitas crew gives an mpression of being a bit unaware of what a great place and location they are in reality running... it felt a little bit like they got too much to do with themselves and not paying enough attention to things that can always go wrong with the visitors... quite self-sufficent crew, not being aware and sensitive enough to the reality of the experiences of the people staying there. such a great place at such a great natural location deserves a different attitude in terms of relating to the travelers who pay a lot of money and invest huge patience to come there at all.

Stayed: August 2011, travelled solo
Thank matjaz3589
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 July 2011

Great location next to spectacular rocks, lots of organised activities but with inconsistent service. Friendly people. Great for bike tours, swimming only if you like extremely cold water. Don't take the holly water tour!!! Check out the French bistro. Do not stay in the yurts if it rains.

  • Stayed: July 2011
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Thank Zhivkod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2011

Olkhon is the biggest and most beautiful island on Lake Baikal, and adventurous Russians have visited it for years. But Nikita's is almost single-handedly responsible for making it a popular spot for international tourists. The homestead is a complex of wooden, traditional-style buildings, which include rooms, yurts, a cafeteria, a bar, a shower block, flushing toilets and banyas (Russian saunas). All of which is pretty impressive on an island which only got mainline electricity a few years ago!
If you're staying at Nikita's, you should not expect 5 star luxury. There are 2 toilets which flush - the rest don't - the hot water in the showers tends to run out, and you won't get room service. But it's a small price to pay for staying in one of the most scenic areas of Baikal. And since Olkhon is 6 hours drive from Irkutsk, the nearest big town, partly on unpaved roads, it would be strange if you came expecting to see a Hilton. What you do get is meals included in the price, an atmospheric bar which serves a great mulled wine, and a lovely hot banya. We booked it to warm ourselves up after a swim in the lake, and it definitely did the job. The relaxed atmosphere also attracts a nice international crowd.
Nikita's Homestead is located in Khuzhir, the main town on Olkhon, near the cliffs and the beach. It's also 10 minutes walk away from Shaman Rock, the most sacred spot for shamanism on Baikal. Watching the sun set over the lake from here was one of the highlights of our trip. Nikita's also runs a great van tour to other scenic parts of the island.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Rockgenie19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Nikita's Homestead

Address: 8 Kirpitchnaya, Olkhon 666137, Russia
Region: Russia > Siberian District > Irkutsk Oblast > Olkhon
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 68 Speciality Lodging in Olkhon
Number of rooms: 12

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