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  Accommodation in different regions of Russia: state of affairs.

If you're travelling to Russia, it's probably only Moscow and St. Petersburg you will be visiting. In this case, you have the widest range of hotels and rental apartments to choose from. But if you're adopting a child in one of Russian regions, or if you're on a business trip to Russia, or if you're an advanced tourist that wants to see more, then finding a good place to stay may be a problem.

Still, the situation is much better now than it was some ten years ago: with many Western companies investing in new plants and factories in Russia, we can say that there are more and more places in Russia where you can find a good hotel to stay at: Samara, Kaluga, Nizhny Novgorod, Perm, Ekaterinburg, and some others. You just have to be careful and make sure you book a room at a modern, newly-built hotel and not in a Soviet-type hotel that has been slightly renovated and renamed.

There are many Western hotel chains that open new hotels in Russian regions because they see demand for them. Of course, prices get higher too. But it's about having a clean room with no cockroaches and no dubious sauna in the backyard, so it's better to pay the price. We wouldn't recommend renting an apartment in a smaller town, there are no guarantees whatsoever.

 
  Accommodation in Moscow and St.Petersburg: state of affairs.

The situation in Moscow is completely different. You may have heard that Moscow is one of the most expensive cities in the world. This is not accurate, because it's not so expensive to live in Moscow, there are many cities in Europe that are far more budget-consuming to live in. But if you're visiting Moscow as a tourist or as a businessman, you will surely find that a decent hotel in Moscow downtown costs around $350/night! And what you get for this amount is a small room with just a bed and a table. And then a rental apartment comes into consideration. What if you only pay the half of that amount, $175/night, and get a comfortable studio for rent with a kitchen, free Internet and international calls (while at a hotel they will charge you $5/min. for a call to the US!) that is safe and very centrally located?

If you're on a tight budget, you will be happy to use the apartment kitchen and save extra money not having to eat out every day. One normal meal at an inexpensive restaurant will cost you around $20 per person. If you're two people staying together, you'll be saving about $100 every day just because you have a kitchen in your rental apartment. And if you have children travelling with you, you may want to have a separate room for them. Imagine what a two-room suite at a hotel would cost!

A two-room apartment for approximately $200-$220/night will be an ideal solution then. We will provide a crib for your second bedroom, the child will sleep in quiet while you're working on-line, preparing paperwork or watching TV. More people or you just like more room? We have three-room and even four-room apartments for rent.

In St. Petersburg, hotels are usually cheaper, but the short-term rental apartments are cheaper too. One thing is that there are many historical buildings in St. Petersburg that don't have elevators, so it may be a problem for many tourists. If you decide to book a centrally located apartment in St. Petersburg, you may have to double-check if it has an elevator in the building.
 
  Accommodation outside Moscow and St.Petersburg: state of affairs.

If you have to travel to a different region (other than Moscow and St. Petersburg), you have to be very careful with short-term rental apartments. You have to be really sure you know the company that offers you the rental apartment because in most cases they don't have any web site that is informative enough, and we have never seen any site that posts customer reviews in English.

Basically, renting an apartment from an unknown company in a town where you never had been before is a huge risk (or maybe an adventure, some would say). Since our company has a good partner in Novosibirsk, we are able to offer inexpensive rental apartments there and be sure our client is safe in this apartment; but we will never encourage our customer to rent an apartment in a different town from a company that we don't know.

So, if you're travelling to one of the Russian regions, you might want to book a hotel for a start. At least, you have a reception to call if you have problems with your room. You have to be careful with the hotels too, but you can ask us to help you make your choice. There are many hotels in Russian regions that are small and owned by who-knows-who, and even if they announce that their hotel is a 5-star hotel, it may not mean a thing. It is probably better to book a hotel of a Western chain if available. These hotels are usually more expensive, but it's a kind of a guarantee that the room will be safe, comfortable, and the hotel itself is well-located.

But if there are no such hotels in the town where you're going, you'll have to do some research, and if you don't speak Russian, we can do it for you. One just has to visit a couple of web sites that post reviews of people who were there on short business trips and share their impressions to help travelers that will come after them. Sometimes it's the only way to tell what hotel will suit your needs best. The price is usually better than in Moscow, of course, so you can afford booking a relatively expensive hotel in the region so you can feel safe and secure. Making a choice when you don't really know what you're choosing from is a hard task, but that's what we are here for.

 
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