I did forget to take proper pictures at the hotel though – those are stock pictures that you see here.
I had initially booked an AirBnB rental for the two nights after my stay at the Courtyard. The host agreed to pick me up at the airport (which is rather close to the city) but failed to show up. Last minute I booked the Hotel Irkutsk which is the former Intourist Hotel in town.
Russia’s former Intourist hotels are threaded for their Soviet era architecture, uber-boring designs and stale interiors. Each former Soviet city had one Intourist hotel.
While I felt the Courtyard Irkutsk was a great hotel I also felt it does not provide enough value for the money and wanted to try the nearby Hotel Irkutsk.
The Hotel Irkutsk however has been going through extensive renovations and emerged as a quality competitor to the Marriott Courtyard in Irkutsk. It is located on one of Irkutsk best spots – near the Riverwalk Angara.
My check-in was friendly and the agent spoke fluent English. The Internet had no password and worked before I even got a room key. It was also much faster than at the Marriott.
The room was small but freshly renovated with a great view over the city. The AC worked well (both heating and cooling was needed in a 24 hour span with Siberia’s crazy weather). The bathroom was small but practical.
The hotel features a self service and a full service bar. The front desk also accepted my laundry and returned it just two hours later for a grand total of $5 – awesome!
The hotel was also helpful getting the cheap pre-negotiated taxis in Irkutsk (most hotels only get the premium taxis) and has a separate tourist desk for tours around Lake Baikal (which I did not use though).
The best part – the hotel only charges $51 when booked through booking.com and does NOT require a credit card as guarantee.
This is awesome value and a great – a competitive though understated product.
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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]