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The Pushkin House Of Cats Hotel LhP First order of business: get rid of the smell. Pavlovskoye Shosse 26 Phone: 7 (812) 465-2291
We actually do not know the real name of this place. It is a dormitory in Pushkin where at least several cats also live. Conditions are basic. I noticed an odor. They will take foreigners.
Saint Petersburg University Dormitory For
Not bad, but...
This has been my home during my two long-term visits here. It's a 5 minute walk north of the Pribaltiyskaya Hotel. There's a 24 hour cafe right outside and an upscale supermarket across the street. The complex has an internet place, a laundry lady, a gym with a boxing ring, and good security. Apartments have two bedrooms with usually two beds each, plus a very small kitchen and separate toilet and shower rooms. Renovated rooms are fine. I hear the unrenovated rooms are not that nice, although I've never seen one.
It's $50 per bed per month. If you want your own room, it's $100 per month. If available, it's possible to have an entire apartment for $200 or $250 per month. The only catch is you must also be a student. Russian language courses currently cost $90 per week.
Other hitches are the dormitory closes at 1am and does not unlock it's doors until 6am. Maybe if you ring the bell the guard will wake up and let you in. That used to work. Giving some rubles for the inconvenience was always appreciated. But now it seems the guards prefer to sleep. Also this dormitory can be a very noisy place. If you decide to stay here, bring ear plugs so you can get some sleep. The place is loaded full of young beer-chugging party animals. Foreigners from around the world stay here, as well as plenty of Russians. Hot water gets shut off in the summer; the beds are too small for tall people, and don't be surprised to see an occasional roach. They regularly change sheets and towels for you. But expect to buy silverware, plates and glasses shortly after your arrival. And also expect to have no toilet paper waiting for you when you arrive. It's a good place though overall.
I think the saying "You get what you pay for" applies in most cases here. At the elite hotels where you spend a fortune, they'll do back flips for you. For the hotels at the lower end of the cost scale, you should adjust your expectations accordingly. However I did find that excellent values do exist in this hotel market.
I believe tourism to Saint Petersburg is going to be one of this city's major growth areas. With all the improvements and preparations being made for the 300 year anniversary of its founding (2003), along with improving relations between east and west, I think it is reasonable to expect strong tourism growth in Russia's most beautiful major city. It is also possible Saint Petersburg will again become the capital of Russia. Off and on it is a matter of debate among politicians.
The demand for hotel rooms in the summer, by far the best time to visit, will continue to exceed supply. Besides the migration of tourists here during the summer, political conferences are also scheduled here which makes the hotel situation worse. President Putin also frequently entertains foreign dignitaries here during the warmer months, which further depletes the availability of high-end rooms. If you want to visit Saint Petersburg during the warmer months, be smart and book your room early. According to the U.S. Commerce Department, Saint Petersburg's hotels can only meet 45% of demand during peak season.
As for winter visits, it is still interesting to visit here. The winters are not as bad as you might think. Being situated along the Gulf Of Finland keeps the winter temperatures mild, with occasional really cold days. Life goes on in this large, dynamic city. But it is a bit hazardous. Icy sidewalks are everywhere and on warmer days the streets and sidewalks are a slushy mess. Be careful not to walk too close to buildings because of the potential to get hit by a falling icicle. Look up and make sure it's safe. A winter visit has the advantages of no huge crowds at the major attractions and no shortage of hotel rooms. You can also get better room rates in the winter. With the exception of the Pulkovskaya Hotel and a couple odd hotels, every hotel we visited in January 2002 was dying for customers.
After you make your travel arrangements, be sure
to get a guide. I believe in the importance of guides because they have given me
such positive experiences here and made huge differences in the enjoyment of my
visits. You will probably feel the same.
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