& B Nevsky Prospect
Street Address: Nevsky Prospect 11, apartment 8
Location: Excellent, but you will probably need ear plugs to sleep at night.
Nearest Metro: Gostiny Dvor (10 to 12 minutes)
Staff Speaks English? Yes
Would I Stay Here? No!
I hate to write a negative review for someone's small business, but I can't recommend it when I think it is not a comfortable place to stay.
The location is excellent and it could be a great place, but to reach this point, substantial capital investment is required.
The facility opened 3 or 4 years ago, depending upon who you ask. I was very unimpressed with the communal entryway. It was quite dark. For the money they want for these rooms, this "B & B" should make efforts to create a more comfortable entryway for their guests.
After I emerged from the darkness, and the many Russians who were walking by at that moment (and use the same stairwell to access their own apartments), I saw a very dirty, old, unattractive stairwell (it's crappy). There is an old elevator, but it didn't work and I'd be afraid to step into it if it did.
Inside the B & B, it looks like someone's home. There is clutter and all the furniture is old. And the place looks lived in.
The B & B has 5 rooms. Some rooms are really big. The rooms do not have private bathrooms. There is one common toilet room with one toilet (looks brand new) and one modern bathroom with one shower and one toilet. (So guests need to share the toilets and shower with everyone else.) There is also a kitchen.
The first thing I noticed about the rooms were the beds. They are old and too short! I'm tall, so I wouldn't fit on those beds.
It is a big negative that the B & B has no air conditioning because it is going to be noisy at this location in the summer. Guests will probably need to wear ear-plugs to be able to get any sleep, since the windows will need to be open and the street noise from traffic will be fairly constant.
I liked the 3 young women who greeted me at this facility. They were perfectly friendly. But having friendly people just doesn't make up for the inadequacies this facility has.
One shower for 5 rooms of people? I can't imagine paying their prices ($60 to $100) and having to wait in a line to use the shower and feeling pressured to hurry. If they cut their prices in half, then I think maybe they would be in the ballpark.
I think the most urgent things they should do to improve their B & B is to:
1. Install lighting inside the communal entryway.
2. Completely clean and paint the stairwell. Currently (January 2004), the communal entryway and stairwell is a ghetto.
3. Add better signage.
4. Get modern beds that won't cramp tall people!
Why stay here when there are so many other, better choices?
Street Address: Kazanskaya 11, 2nd floor
Nearest Metro: Gostiny Dvor
Staff Speaks English? I don't think so.
Would I Stay Here? Hmm... well, probably not. I'd like to have my own bathroom and a tv.
The organization that runs this operation is also an apartment rental service. I found their advertising to be a little bit deceptive because their advertising gave me an incorrect impression. When I visited their first office I was surprised there was no hotel, only an office for apartment rentals. ??? The woman I spoke with there was rude. And afterwards I was certain I would not include them in my reviews.
Later while hunting down more hotels, I was surprised to come across another office of their's which I believed to be a hotel. Again it was an office for apartment rentals >: ( But then I learned they indeed had a real bed and breakfast. Okay, so we went there. It was at Kazanskaya 11.
It turns out the location is quite good. You walk 5 minutes or so down a sidestreet and you are at Kazanski Cathedral and Nevsky Prospect.
The facility at Kazanskaya 11 has 11 rooms with no bathrooms, televisions or phones in the rooms. It is a budget facility. Things look new, but the one room I saw was not decorated with interior design finesse. It's new. It's okay. But the real mini-hotels do a better job of creating a comfortable room environment.
The facility features 4 private toilet rooms, 4 private shower rooms, and 2 combined shower/toilet rooms. There is a very small, tight kitchen. Posters of Saint Petersburg are thumb tacked on to the narrow corridor wall, as well as a large map of the city. A few letters from their previous guests are also thumb tacked to the wall. There are Polaroid photos of the letter writers also, and they all commented on how happy they were and how they will recommend this facility to others.
They told me the cost is $40 to $50 per night. Compared to B & B Nevsky Prospect, Kazanskaya 11 has better value. While the rooms are smaller than B & B Nevsky, Kazanskaya 11 is more modern, has no clutter, normal beds that tall people can fit on, and more toilet and shower facilities, and the location is almost as good, yet the neighborhood is quieter, so you should not be affected as much by the local street noise.
This facility is on a different, lower level compared to the new mini-hotels that have recently opened. Kazanskaya 11 is appropriate for the budget adult traveller who does not mind sharing toilet/shower facilities.
© Copyright 2002, 2004 Russian Guide Network, Inc.