September 2006


Armenian Lodging

This is one of these housekeeping posts where I might babble about boring shit: mini-reviews of each of the places I stayed in Armenia.

In Kapan, I stayed at the Hotel Lernagordz, which generally speaking is in a prime location at the center of town. However, as I noted before, it had water issues—it didn’t always flow. The room cost 6,000 dram a night (10,75€) for the deluxe version, complete with its own private bath and shower. It was a single room, complete with one twin bed. It was comfortable, complete with a balcony overlooking a taxi stand. This hotel is not on the web, so you’ll have to call, get somebody to make a reservation for you, or hope they have free rooms (they probably will).

Further north, in Yerevan, I stayed at the Bass Hotel. Due to a clerical misunderstanding (they thought I was arriving “Later,” so when I arrived at 2:30, my room was not ready), I ended up seeing two rooms. Both rooms were very nice and at 34,200 dram a night (61,25€)—a slightly discounted rate. This hotel was not prepared for the independent traveler who likes to strike out on his or her own. The receptionist didn’t know when the Marshrutkas to Vanadzor left, so she did some research and came up with information that was highly inconsistent with Lonely Planet. The Armenian Tourist Information Center gave me information that was more consistent with the Lonely Planet that proved to be mostly correct. The hotel is located a bit far from the center of town, in an area full of gated houses.

Finally, in Vanadzor, I stayed at the B&B Lori. This was not a B&B as one might find in the west—in my experience B&Bs are full of cozy rooms, scrumptiously decorated, and have a small wooden sign out front. This was not that: it was more of a home-stay, with two really fantastic hosts. They were incredibly helpful and generous—arranging a taxi for me to go explore the monasteries of Debad Canyon. I paid 11,000 dram a night (19,70€) for a room with a balcony. The bathroom was the family bathroom, across the living room, near the front door. I highly recommend staying with this family if your goal is to visit the Sanahin Monastery or the Haghpat Monastery. A taxi ride was arranged for 13,000 dram to drive me to the two Monasteries and to wait up to one hour for free; I tipped an additional 1,000 dram, for a total of 25€. The only caution, as noted before, is that water service is inconsistent.

I wouldn’t change my hotel in Kapan or Vanadzor. However, the Bass Hotel is something I probably not repeat—it was a bit far from town, although by western standards, the price seemed extremely reasonable for what I got–I just prefer to be closer to the center.

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