Slumming it at the Slavyanka

‘Twas 1030am on a mid-May, cool Moscow day and I had just arrived by train from Ekanterinburg. All that was left was to make my way to my hotel and lay my head down for a while. Getting into the Metro was not so easy. I could find the exits but not the entrances. Eventually I did, getting a Metro card was easy, the trains were frequent, one change and I was soon a short walk away from the Slavyanka Hotel.

With bags to carry I got off at the closest Metro station to the hotel. I thought I’d look hard enough and long enough at the map to get me to the hotel without confusion but I still needed to orientate myself. It was less than five minutes brisk walk, in a leafy, parky suburb of Moscow. The metro station was Dostoyevskaya, although Prospect Mira was 15 minutes away and connected better to get into town.

I felt like I was a fair way away from the centre here, but actually walked 80% of the way back without realising one day from the centre and it wouldn’t have taken more than half an hour. But as a city Moscow is rather tricky to navigate and to get a firm idea in your head about where you are in the greater scheme of things.

So, bedraggled, tired with little sleep and in desperate need of a warm shower I arrived at reception. It was 1130am. I have stayed at many hotels who have been happy for me to check in early (with no charge) and I would have even been happy to pay something for access, but there was no bending the rules here. Check in was 14:00hrs. I think, maybe 15:00. I could leave my bag in a locker for 100 rubles, which I didn’t think was very welcoming but paid it anyway. There was a nice little bar/restaurant and I was able to have lunch, and then I took myself out into the city.

I walked to Prospect Mira where there are a few restaurants. There are some big roads in the area too and they are not all easy to cross. There’s a magnificent mosque as well I would pass every time I walked to or from the Prospect Mira metro.

So I checked in in the evening. The room was medium-size. A decent size. The wi-fi was good. The building is huge, and still has an air of ‘Sovietness’ about it which actually endeared it to me. The carpets and décor seem to be from another era, but I’m not a huge fan of the ultra modern setups anyways.

And Slavyanka, as I just said, is HUGE. Not so much tall, or deep, but it is long, which you don’t realise from outside. Which by the way was missing (when I was there) a sign which would have been nice so I could be 100% sure I was in the right place before entering the building. The corridors went on forever. Greenish walls, green carpet, I walked and walked to finally get to my room.

The water. Well, the first thing I wanted was a shower. The bathroom was in okay nick, but the hot water came out dark brown initially. I ran it for a while and then called reception who sent up a maintenance dude. He basically ran it for longer. It was, as I thought, just gunk from the pipes. Old building, old pipes. It cleared eventually but took over 10 minutes of running the water, it could have even been more than fifteen minutes. It would recur before most showers but only took a couple of minutes to wash out.

It was overheated, as was every room I had in Russia, and I needed to open the window of an evening to let it cool down before heading to bed. Comfortable bed. TV, all Russian channels as I expected. I had some videos on a USB which I could plug into the side of the TV and watch which was nice.

Breakfast was included and buffet style with loads of choice, hot and cold options, juice, tea, coffee, meats, cheese, I was really happy with the breakfast. I paid around $80AUD a night (so around US$62) so the price was good, the service depended on which receptionist you got but the receptionists all seemed to have good English. I would have liked closer to the centre of town but frankly, it’s Moscow and that would have cost a lot more.

Yes, I had a couple of niggly issues – check in, which really is their prerogative, and the water, but that didn’t spoil my time in Moscow. I wouldn’t say I’d definitely go back there, but I wouldn’t rule it out either if I was to return to Moscow in the future.

Andrew’s Ratings:

Value for Money: 3.5/5

Cleanliness: 2/5 (for the water)

Noise: 3/5

Location: 3/5

Service/Friendliness: 3/5

TOTAL: 14.5/25 (58/100)

Thanks for reading – May the Journey Never End!

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