Hotels and Hostels
The Ukrainian hotel infrastructure has developed dramatically over the last few years. It was considerably inspired by Euro-2012 hosting in those destinations which received the Championship guests. To benefit from the scarcity of the beds of all the categories some international hotel brands (InterContinental, Fairmont, Sheraton, Ramada) entered Ukraine on the very eve of the event. Hyatt, Radisson, Ibis have operated here for longer term. Hilton and Marriott are about to open their doors here. A lot of the local hotels undertook either total reconstruction or refurbishment to attract foreign visitors.
Though all big cities can offer a rather wide range of accommodation types, it is worth to keep in mind there is no mandatory hotel verification system in Ukraine. Only the international brands are conscious about alignment with their corporate quality standards. The local hotels are not obliged to prove their category elsewhere. Therefore do not be surprised if the economy-class or non-renovated room at a 4* hotel might be of worse quality and at higher cost than a suite at a 2* establishment.
There are a few useful tips that may help you to make your choice:
* Specify size, condition and the amenities of a particular room before booking it. The rooms of the equal category even in the same hotel may differ. As regards their condition, they may be overhauled, just refurbished or need to be renovated. Diverse issues, described as “comfortable amenities”, can to be either up-to-date or inherited from the Soviet epoch. Wi-Fi is neither widespread in the hotels of Soviet origin nor outside Kiev.
* Some hotels may ask for booking fee: from a few dollars upwards.
* Hot water around the clock (and even just running water) is not certain in many regions of Ukraine. Check it beforehand.
* Generally, a shuttle service to the airport is charged as an extra.
* Local continental breakfast or breakfast buffet may not match the standards enjoyed in Europe.
* To check-in at any hotel in Ukraine you have to surrender your passport.
A huge number of the new private hotels are really conscious about their service quality and try to satisfy their guests. Such places may be considered as the adequate option not merely for an overnight stay but to enjoy the authentic spirit of the place.
Formerly all the local equivalents for the European hostels were closer to the hall of residences than to the cheap hotels. Each city has (till now) several basic, sparsely-furnished hostels that haven’t been renovated since the Soviet era. They were not meant for tourists, but originally created for local students, or guest workers and their families, and so lack the comforts of European hostels. If you travel outside of popular tourist ways, you will have no chance to stay anywhere else. (What an experience though!).
If you are going to visit such destinations as Kiev, Lviv and Western region, Odessa or Crimea peninsula, it is quite possible to find a hostel in line with the European standards. Its staff usually speaks English and – sometimes – the other widely spread European languages. However, be vigilant on the price policy: due to shortage of such accommodation they can overcharge in peak seasons.
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