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Vladivostok is not exactly brimming with modern hotels. There is a brand new Hyatt hotel under construction (but it was not open in May 2015). Since I had just one night, I decided to try out the unaffiliated Astoria Hotel, which is located on top of the hill, just outside the city center.
The grand total on hotels.com was just $47, so I managed my expectations!
Now a hotel will impress with its lobby and this place really does, too. Dark colors and a stylish entrance make it seem a much more expensive hotel than it is. The restaurant/breakfast area could double for a modern and trendy New York restaurant (though the food could not, sadly!)
Check-in was in fluent English (one thing that is rather rare in Russia) and very friendly (holy cow – someone was actually smiling at me). It was 7AM and I was able to check-in without any extra payment – take that, Starwood 100!
However, the room wasn’t as great as the lobby area would make me hope for. It was new and well-equipped, but the room smelled and the bathroom wasn’t in the best shape.
The bed, however, was great and the WiFi was very fast (and needed no password, which made it much easier).
The location proved a bit too far from the city center – while walkable, it’s not a pleasant walk along one of the major roads in town.
Breakfast was just OK – it sounded and looked great, but I did not feel it was high quality ingredients. But since I do not eat eggs, my breakfast options are always a tad limited.
Upon checkout, I asked the front desk agent to call a taxi number I provided (Russia has an informal Uber-type service, which is really cheap). Of course, she did not call the number I gave her, but a hotel taxi that was almost twice the price. By the time I found out, it was too late (and I was not in the mood to argue).
All in all, this was a great value stay in a good, modern hotel that seemed more at home in South Korea than in Vladivostok. With just a few changes, this hotel has the potential to be a really great mid-range hotel, though.
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About the author: Torsten is a serial entrepreneur who started almost a dozen ventures on four continents. Torsten's love for travel has brought him to 130+ countries and travel with most of the world's airlines. You can reach Torsten at [email protected]
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