60 thoughts on “The Countryside Hotel”

    • In Romania for about $40 I have got a realy good standard with cable tv hotel room for family (with breakfast). For that same standard I’ve paid about $80 in Hungary.

      • With 80 $ you could get breakfast and tv in Romania, but with 40$ you just get a bed for two and a bathroom, and that if you go to a cheaper resort. But I guess its easy to find ok places at ok prices here.

        • Don’t tell me what could I bye and for what price ?
          It was exact price report from summer’2005 – I have good memory. One realy big ‘married’ bed with one child (in that time) between us, and 3 breakfasts. Not exellent quality but realy good quality. I taken Romanien cash from bankomat and remember it was equivalent exactly 105 złoty (now, it is would be $42, 2 years ago it was $36). In town Arad.

          Maybe now price level is little higher there. But in Poland there is higer salary level but it’s not any problem (when you drive often and know routes) to find hotel or motel before cities for $50-$70 for two with realy good standard and with good breakfasts.

          • “Don’t tell me what could I bye and for what price ?” What does that mean ?

            Well that was 2 years ago. Bankomat sounds funny 😀 I bet its in Polish, we here say “bancomat” too. Well yes, when you know where to get such things. Im going away in winter for 360 RON/room (150 $) for 4 nights . Thats means less than 40$ per night. We got TV, a double bed, personal bathroom and a common room where we can party. 😀

  1. Here’s an interesting link, for those of you who like Russian and/or Soviet history, about contemporary Russia using Stalin to promote Russia abroad. It’s from today’s “Der Spiegel” magazine.


  2. The fact that the guy payed $40 for this accommodation proves that he in fact got what he deserves.

    I am willing to bet that he was American 🙂 No offence to John and Visitor.

    • I’m not offended. I also thought it must have been a foreigner–most likely a westerner, and possibly an American.

      I know some Americans don’t do their homework before they travel, and they often act foolish when they are abroad. However, in their defense, some feel so sorry for what they see, and so thankful that they don’t live that way at home, that they just pay the money. Or, in some places where I’ve been, it may have been good “security” to pay more than what the room, product, or service was worth. It’s a balance of respect for the other person, and respect for ourselves.

      It all depends on the circumstances for me. If it’s some guy who’s just trying to take me for a fool, I will get a lower price or walk away (if I can). If it’s an old woman or a kid (without their “hoodlum” manager in the shadows), I will banter a little while and then pay them.

      One of the funniest exchanges I ever saw in this regard was in a bazaar in the Middle East. An American wanted to buy a watch, but when he heard the price, he shrugged and turned to walk away. I was nearby and saw the shocked look on the vendor’s face as he called for the customer to come back. I caught the guy and explained that he only heard the “first” price, and that he should offer about half, and then hear the second and third prices. 🙂

      You know how it works. But, a lot of people don’t know until they experience it. Although, we do have places in the US that operate like that. A common slang term for it is “horse trading.” (automobile dealerships are a good example, as well as places that sell used goods)

      • Thanks for sharing your experiences with us, Visitor.

        I am also glad that you interpreted my comment in its intended context.

        I think the reason why most Americans arn’t that great at bartering or haggling isn’t because they lack intelligence or sharpness, but is more to do with the environment that they have been brought up in.

        Most russians, even from my generation, had to be Street-Smart. They had to know how haggle, negotiate, do favors and even lie in order to have a reasonable standard of living. Most Americans however, (if compered to most russian) had a silver spoon in their mouths from the day they were born. They didn’t acquire those crucial survival traits because they simply didn’t need to or weren’t forced to by the life itself. And who could blame then for that?

        • I agree, and I think that’s a very good explanation of how and why most Americans react the way they do to high prices in cultures where haggling is common.

          I laughed at the rug story because I had the same experience (in Istanbul). The only thing that saved me from the rug seller’s web of tea and smooth talk was when a tour guide brought in a large group of tourists, mostly older ladies. The salesman saw “fresh meat” and dropped me from his “claws.” 🙂 I ran into the street to safety.

          • Do not buy the Turkic rug. Come to Tehran and I will sell you best Persian rug, made by the hand of nice village girl. Persian is best rug. Like my hair, soft and woven in a complex, beautiful pattern.

        • Hello Nish,

          I have several friends who visited Sri Lanka. One is from the Maldives and he goes to Sri Lanka often for business. Everyone who’s been there tells me it is beautiful. I hope to go there someday.

  3. So what?? This is *nothing* for a Russian hotel in the countryside. Many residences in a Russian city are like this. Of course even these pictures would freak out a foreigner.

  4. In Bosnia we stayed in camping site with a lot worse toilet than that hotel, in tents, probably around 10usd/person. And no other place because of minefields. Next night was on a cleaned minefield, nice grassy ground near river.

    If you go to middle-of-nowhere and need a place to stay, then a place for 40$ beats spending the night outside.

    It all depends.

  5. I stayed at a reasonably priced hotel in Cheboksary which was about $50 per day. Here are some photos of Hotel Chuvashia…





    First photo is the hotel. I was told it was completely renovated.

    Second photo are two lovely employees of the hotel who prepared breakfast.

    Third photo is the room I stayed. It was very nice and very clean and even had an outdoor balcony.

    Third photo is an electrical outlet in the bathroom. I have never seen this kind of outlet before so I snapped it. The bathroom is very nice and very clean. It has a toilet , sink and a shower stall. To my disappointment it did not have a bath tub.

    I highly recommend this hotel for anyone visiting Cheboksary:)

  6. The Vostok Hotel in Moscow is also reasonably priced. About $50-60 per day…


    Like Hotel Chuvashia it has very clean rooms and sparkling clean bathrooms. Again, the bathroom did not have a bathtub:(
    I recommend this hotel for anyone visiting Moscow.

  7. Other than a lack of bathtubs one more bane I should mention:
    American Express is not accepted at many hotels and retail outlets:( Visa, Mastercard and Diner’s Club are widely accepted…

  8. I always stay in these motels across Russia when im on touyr driving my truck everywhere, I normaly just pass out in my truck from vodka but when i get a room its never as good as this one. They must of made this one nice for Queen of England to stay in or somthing.

  9. Lets see what could I catch in this bathroom:

    – Tetanus
    – Hepatitis
    – Foot Fungus

    I will be using the bathroom outside, thank you.

  10. Quick question… What is the name of this building?


    It it a luxury condominium complex? 5 star motel? Office building? Mixed use? What is it?

  11. In all my travels in Russia & Ukraine I never saw an such hotels as this. I am a bit surprised. I wonder very much how they stay in business at all? Budget hotels in Russia may not be fancy but they were always very clean, and the people friendly.

  12. There are places like that in New Orleans and Detroit. What they do in Vegas is warn the owner to fix it or the county government will take it away and then auction it off to somebody who will fix it or demolish it.

    An honest man will tell you his honest price. The quickest way to tell an American you are a scumbag is to haggle. That’s what used car salesmen do.

  13. I always carry a small spare roll of toilet paper on me when I travel anywhere in the world…..you never know when you’ll need it.


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