by Kevin McCaughey
Convenience and comfort can be costly in Vladivostok. Complicating matters is the need to be registered as a foreign visitor, and not all hotels can do this. Really though, you only need to register the first night. That means you could move to a cheaper place afterwards, saving your receipts in case some official asks for documentation.
Hotel Moryak. We’re not talking luxury, but the price is a little lower than most hotels in the area. The hotel has no sea view and is almost exclusively used by visiting Chinese. Still, you can walk to Svetlanskaya Street in 30 seconds. There’s also sauna, karaoke, and billiards for fun-lovers. A “lux” room will go for about $90 US. A regular single or double $35 US. There’s a first night “bron,” or reservation fee, for 10-25% of the daily price.
Address: Posyetskaya 38. To get there from the train station, walk up to the statue of Lenin. Behind him runs Ulitsa Posyetskaya. Go right, you immediately cross Pervaya Morskaya, and head upward. When you start heading down again, you’ll probably see Chinese guys smoking cigarettes on your right. That’s Hotel Moryak. Contacts: (4232) 49-94-95
Hotel Primorye. The place seems interested in its casino, but it’s quite decent. Some English spoken. Over a hundred rooms. Try to get one with views of the train station and Golden Horn Bay. Too bad the little branch of “Pizza M” downstairs is undergoing ‘remont.’ That could last literally for years.
Address: Posyetskaya 20. Across from the train station, climb the steps past Lenin, and turn left. Walk for 1 minute and find the Primorye on your left. Contacts: (4232) 411-422
Hotel Vladivostok. On the hill overlooking the Amursky Bay. Economy rooms are 1300R (about $50 US) though these may be booked by package tours from China, and you might have fork out $80 -100 US. I heard someone at the desk speak English here once. A plus is that you can reserve online: http://www.vladhotel.vl.ru/en/price.php. The fourth floor is the Hotel Visit, a separate hotel. They usually put foreigners here, so you can bypass the desk on the main floor if you like.
Address: Ul. Naberezhnaya 10, corner of Naberezhnaya and Tigrovaya. Contact: (4232) 41-28-08, 41-27-97
Hotel Amursky Zaliv. Across the street from the Hotel Vladivostok and down some stairs, you’ll find two concrete edifices shaped like giant armchairs with stain-glass windows. These are the Amursky Zaliv hotel and its brother nightclub Nautilus. They may sometimes be without hot water from May to September, and that’s why singles go for as little as 550 rubles ($20 US). Rooms have little balconies looking over the bay, a great place to lounge at sundown.
Address: Naberezhnaya 9. Don’t let the address fool you—it’s not really on a street. The hotel is built in to the side of the cliff. Contacts: (4232) 22-55-20
Hotel Chaika. Go ahead and try. But the place is always full. A double costs $45 US, the quality is so-so, and they will not register your visa.
Address: Bestyuzheva 29. Contacts: (4232) 41-43-87.
Hotel Versailles. The elegant approach for your dollars (about 140 of them). Very convenient if you need the German Consulate, which is in the same building. Only 42 rooms. The restaurant gets good reviews.
Address: 10 Svetlanskaya St. Contacts: (4232) 26-51-14, 26-94-84
Egersheld is the thin strip of land south of the train station.
Hotel Gavan. The Gavan bills itself as a business hotel, located in a place where you would never do any business, or even end up if you weren’t staying there. It’s a nice location though, out on the peninsula, but you’ll need a vehicle, public transport, or 30 minutes on foot to get to the train station. They have their own water supply, which, as the web site promises, “will prevent you from any negative circumstances.” The advertise Economy rooms for about USD $60/95 single/double. To use the 25-meter pool for free you’ll need to book a Standard room.
Address: 3 Krygina St. Contacts: (4232) 495-363, 512-415. email firstname.lastname@example.org. Web site: http://www.gavan.ru
Near Pokrovsky Park
Now you are out of the tourist area, but still in the city center. Pokrovsky Park is at the intersection of three very central streets, Aleuskaya St., Okeansky Prospekt, and Ulitsa Oktyabryaskaya. Octryabryaskaya heads along the right (or south) side of the park and becomes Partizansky Prospekt. A few minutes walk up Paritzansky you’ll find two cheapie hotels side by side, but neither will do registration.
Hotel Aviso. A small and hidden place, with small beds. But it’s clean and personal. A room with shower and toilet is 900 rubles ($30 US). That’s a good price if there are two of you. You can also just book a bed at 350 rubles ($13) in a room of four beds and hope nobody else shows up.
Address: Partizansky Prospekt 16/18. Bus stop: Partizansky Prospekt. The entrance is behind the building. Ring the bell. Contacts: telephone (4232) 42-63-10 or 42-63-09
Hotel Areal. The Areal is next to the Aviso, right at the Partizansky Bus stop. Singles/doubles: 800/1200 rubles ($30/$45 US).
Address: Partizansky Prospekt 22-19. Contacts: telephone (4232) 42-16-15
Off Okeansky Prospekt
Hyundai Hotel. Strictly for the “it’s-on-the-company” crowd. Standard singles and doubles go for 5400R (nearly two $200). You get the Presidential Suite for USD $2,000. Don’t ignore the Hyundai though—it has attractive services even for non-guests. A two-hour pass to the swimming pool and exercise room costs 180R. Downstairs, you’ll also find a travel agent, hair salon, flowers, souvenirs, and 2 bankomats. On the first floor: video/DVD rental available, and a Korean restaurant. The waitresses and the drink prices are very tall in the Pacific Bar on the 12th floor.
Address: 29 Semyonovskaya St. (uphill from Okeansky Prospekt). Contacts: (4232) 40-22-33. web site: www.hotelhyundai.ru
Hotel Ostrovok. In the midst of some serious outdoor rubble and remont, you’ll find, amazingly, the clean and comfy Hotel Ostrovok. It is in the region of Tikhaya, 30 minutes from the center, but right on the tram line. A 5-ruble ride will get you here from the central square. A taxi ride will 100 rubles ($3.5). The staff here is kind, the place as yet undiscovered by tour hordes. The rooms are Spartan but spotless. The sauna complex downstairs is a deal, starting from 600R ($22) per hour—bring five or six friends. Rooms: 800R ($30) single. 1200R ($45) double. 2000R (70) for “lux.” They don’t do registration.
Address: Brisance St. 35. Tram stop: Borisenko. From the train station or central square take Tram 4 toward Sakhalinskaya. Borisenko is two stops from the end. Look for a tall newish building among the wasteland terrain on your left. Contacts: (4232) 21- 55-15
On the way to/from the airport.
Vlad Motor Inn. The place to be for those who don’t want to know they are in Russia. You’re removed from the hustle of the city, in the suburb-like sanitarium area, and you’re near the water. Everybody speaks English and makes you feel good.
The restaurant is popular with local expats. The steaks and burgers are big and yummy. The Sunday Brunch (11:00-2:00, $13.00) is popular and fun—it’s even wise to reserve--with local guitarist Fyodor singing songs in English, French, and Russian. (Even the author of this Vladivostok guide has been known to bring his ukulele and do a couple numbers).
Lots of prospective adopters of children stay here. Price is around $150: but discounts for Trans-Siberian Express travelers and those adopting kids.
Address: #35, 8th Street, Sanatoraya. Contacts: (4232) 38-88-88. Website: www.vlad-inn.ru
Near the Train Station
This area is accustomed to travelers so foreign registration should not be a problem. Exit the train station, and find the statue of Lenin. That’s the direction to go to find the hotels.