Russian Hotels - what a joy

Russian hotels from our experience, are on the whole awful places although I am sure there must be exceptions.

The plumbing is constantly a triumph of idiocy over intelligence and I've mended virtually every toilet cistern that we have encountered to stop them flushing constantly or draining all night, hardly a difficult job! Hot water is rarely available although always advertised and in Biysk at the Hotel Centrale they had 200 newly refurbished rooms with ensuite modern bathrooms, two lifts, a restaurant, a glittering reception, advertised Wi-Fi but no hot water. When we hassled the reception we were eventually shown into a dingy room in the basement where two 'Staff showers' could be found...at least they were clean?!?

The beds are at best like hammocks, curving inwards with a foam mattress but much more likely to be a wooden board covered in a sheet. They are rarely over 6 feet long (are Russians really so small) and contain an enormous pillow that once in the bed prevents anybody actually lying down anyway unless they are 5 feet tall with a right angled neck and a fat back.

We have yet to find a hotel with curtains even half as wide as the windows, despite them often being very fancy and decorative.. and the bed sheets are only wide enough if rotated like beach towels. Any external toilet or bathroom is often locked at random times as well.

At the pinnacle of all this, is the all powerful floor lady, an ex-soviet invention who is meant to look after the guests on her floor, but generally has nothing to do but smoke and watch TV in her little office. As there are no restaurants for people who don't want to spend US$50 on a meal we spend every night eating bread, cheese and sausages in our room praying that the floor lady doesn't find out and tell us off for making crumbs. We often end up camping because we can get a more comfortable night's sleep or we can get cleaner in the river?

It's ALL WRONG!!!!


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