Samara suffers from a severe accommodation shortage. Booking in advance, especially during peak season, is an absolute must. One hotel director proudly said, "These people from Moscow, they think Samara's just an unimportant town and they can just come here and find a room without booking. But when they get here they'll find themselves with nowhere to stay." Of course, this is nothing to be proud of. It just makes Samara an inconvenient place with overpriced hotels. Another thing to note is that other than the Renaissance Samara Hotel, no hotels in Samara currently provide registration for guests. Some will offer you a letter that you can take to the police station yourself.
Train Station Executive Waiting Room.
Yes, it sounds derelict, but if you find yourself in Samara with nowhere to stay (and there's a good chance of that happening if you don't book in advance) then this is a good option. In fact, this is possibly the best budget accommodation option in Samara: it's cleaner and looks better than any budget hotel in the city.
There are four leather divans you can sleep on, which are comfortable enough, plus a bunch of reclining chairs and a television for entertainment Usually there will be other people sleeping there as well so it's almost like a hostel. The price to use the waiting room is 350R ($13) for six hours or 600R ($22) for 12 hours. Unfortunately there are no in-between options. You should go to the service desk to pay and you will then be accompanied up to the lounge. In the morning you can store your bag at the left luggage office of the train station for 60R ($2.20) and take a shower at the Tranzit Hotel for 100R ($3.70). Altogether it costs as little as 510R ($19), depending on how long you need to sleep. Bargain.
Address: Komsomolskaya Ploshchad, #1 (inside the train station).
Founded in 1897 the Bristol-Zhiguly is one of Samara's oldest hotels and the building that houses it is considered a landmark. Also offering mid-range rooms, the Bristol-Zhiguli is one of those hotels that has 'economy' and 'business-class' suites, meaning 'non-renovated' and 'renovated'. But unlike most hotels that have this division, the Bristol-Zhiguly is a decent choice for either class. The only drawback for those who opt for business class is the riff-raff that the economy class option brings in. In economy class the price per person is 400R ($15), whether you take a single, double, triple, four-person or even five-person room. These rooms have shared bathrooms. There are three, four and five person rooms that have private bathrooms for 620R ($23) per person. A standard business class room costs 2450R ($91) single and 3185R ($118) double, while a deluxe room costs 2850R ($105) and 3700R ($137) for single and double. Breakfast is included in all prices. The business class rooms feature satellite TV and are clean and comfortable enough although quite dull. Apart from an uninspiring 50-person conference hall the hotel has no other noteworthy facilities, making it better for tourists than businessmen. The Bristol-Zhiguly's best feature is its great location on Samara's main street.
Address: Kuibysheva Ul., #111. Tel: 332-0413. Website: www.bristol-zhiguli.ru.
A terrible hotel, the Kolos is only worth staying at as a last resort or to save money. The staff are rude and generally useless, the hotel is dank, dirty and downright ugly and there is nothing in the way of extra features. There are two room classes, renovated and non-renovated, but the difference between them is minimal. Renovated rooms cost 1530R ($57) for single and 1800R ($67) for double. But it's only worth noting those prices to make the point that there are much better options for that sort of money. The non-renovated rooms cost 730R ($27) single, 1300R ($48) double and 1830R ($68) triple and have shared bathrooms. A supposedly edible breakfast is included in the prices but you have to pay 75R ($2.80) for the privilege of using sheets. The Hotel Kolos accepts cash only, and even that ungratefully.
Address: Samarskaya Ul., #69-71. Tel: 270-4621. Fax: 333.6971.
The Liga-Volga must have been beautiful once. With its brilliant location across the road from the Volga and with Ploshchad Slavy on the hill above you could imagine it as the very pinnacle of Soviet resort hotels forty years ago. The Liga-Volga stands as a relic of the past. It's only a matter of time before it's completely refurbished or even pulled down to make way for a modern resort. All of which almost makes it worth staying here, except that the hotel's so terribly awful. Staff are rude and the rooms are uncomfortable and ugly. A standard room with shared bathroom costs 600R ($22) single and 1000R ($37) double while a standard room with a private bathroom costs 900R ($33) single and 1200R ($44) double. Prices include a breakfast of some description. Then there are some higher room categories that aren't worth noting. For the prices they want for them you're better off staying elsewhere. The Liga-Volga is only worth considering if you're a budget traveler. If you're the barrel bottom scraping type then you might also want to make use of the Liga-Volga's conference facilities for your business meeting. A 20-person room equipped with a computer (with the possibility of dial-up internet) costs 400R ($15) per hour.
Address: Volzhsky Prospekt, #29. Tel: 242-3881. Fax: 242-3881.
The Hotel Rossiya has a similar feel to the Liga-Volga but has managed to change with the times better. Therefore you get the same feeling of nostalgia without the sheer dreadfulness of its competitor. This is a Soviet-era hotel in the classic sense - boasting old non English-speaking women at reception as well as on each floor. Surprisingly, though, they're not bitter and angry. In fact, you could almost call them friendly and helpful. Maybe the perfect location does them good. The Rossiya is actually on the river bank - there's no road between the hotel and the Volga. The rooms show their age but are far more bright and cheerful than you usually find in these sorts of hotels. The cheapest single costs 1690R while the cheapest double is 2380R. Overpriced, definitely, but all hotels in Samara are. While it might be hard to justify dropping 5800R, the two-room suites are very nice. And if you request one on a high floor with a view onto the Volga then that money could just be worthwhile. Breakfast is included in the prices and the hotel also features a souvenir shop, four bars, a gym, business center and conference hall.
Address: Maksima Gorkogo Ul., #82. Tel: 339-0397. Website: www.hotel-rossia.ru.
It's too expensive for what it is but compared to other hotels in Samara, the Korona is probably the best budget-mid-range option. Perhaps its best feature is that all the rooms, except one have great views of the Volga. The rooms themselves are simple
but attractive and have the basics: air-conditioning, television, phone, mini-bar, etc. The cheapest single room (without the view) is quite small, but clean and comfortable enough and costs 1600R ($60). The other rooms are quite spacious and much more appealing to the eye. Prices are 2500R ($93) for single and 2700R ($100) for twin. The four double (studio) rooms are great options for 2700R ($100). Prices include breakfast. A small hotel, there are only 13 rooms in total so booking well in advance is a must. There aren't a lot of features to write about but the staff speak several languages and are quite friendly, if seemingly permanently stressed. Visa, Mastercard and American Express are accepted and there's an ATM on site. There's also an annoying security guard downstairs.
Address: Osipenko Ul., #1. Tel: 242-0391. Fax: 242-0390. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previously called the National, this hotel has recently undergone a transformation to become the Azimut. Whatever the name it's a good place to stay with a perfect location on the corner of Frunze Ulitsa and the pedestrian mall Leningradskaya Ulitsa. Prices are reasonable and facilities are better than you would expect. Standard singles cost 1700R ($63) while standard doubles are 2000R ($74). Business class rooms are 2200R ($81) and 2500R ($93) for single and twin and the Executive room is 2800R ($104) and 3100R ($115) for single and double. The difference between the categories is basically the size of the room and the bed. The rooms are nothing special but do the job nicely. Buffet breakfast is included in the prices. The Azimut also boasts a cafe, restaurant, club, billiard room, sauna and a hairdresser. The business facilities include wireless internet (280R/$10.40 per hour), a 24 hour business center, two conference halls and a meeting room (see Practicalities for details). The Hotel Azimut is the best mid-range choice in Samara for its location, facilities and value.
Address: Frunze Ul., 91/37. Tel: 332-4163. Website: www.azimuthotels.ru.
The amazingly well-equipped Samara train station continues to impress by boasting one of the best value hotels in the city. It's a bare bones sort of place with no added extras, but the rooms are very nice, modern, spacious and great value. A perfectly acceptable standard single room costs 1500R ($55). Higher category singles cost 2300R ($85) while the cheapest double is 2600R ($96) and is a very nice room. No breakfast is included and there are no restaurant or cafe facilities in the hotel. But there is wireless internet for 360R ($13) per hour. The hotel also has a conference hall for 50 people which is very nice but is too expensive at 5000R ($185) per hour.
Address: Komsomolskaya Ploshchad, #1 (inside the train station). Tel: 339-3000. Fax: 339-4187.
Renaissance Samara Hotel.
Samara's only five star hotel, the Renaissance Samara is pretty much what you would expect from a member of the Marriott chain. Opened at the end of 2003, the hotel has plush rooms and great service. There are two restaurants, including a lovely Italian one with Volga views, two cafes, two bars and a summer beer garden.
One of the bars has pool tables and four bowling lanes attached to it. There is also a full fitness center, indoor swimming pool and sauna, which are free for guests to use. And all the other facilities you would expect are here as well, including a business center and the best conference facilities in Samara (see Practicalities for details). There are five room types which range in price from 8460R ($313) for the standard deluxe room (single or double occupancy) to 31150R ($1155) for the Presidential Suite. The buffet breakfast, which is not included in the price of the cheapest room costs 700R ($26). Wireless internet is available throughout the hotel at 390R ($14.50) per hour or 1050R ($39) for 24 hours. On the downside, the location of the Renaissance Samara isn't great - it's a good ten or fifteen minutes by car to the city center. However, the more isolated spot amid plenty of forest and close to the Volga shore is very peaceful. The best (and only) choice if you want the five star treatment in Samara.
Address: Novo-Sadovaya Ulitsa, #162b. Tel: 277-8340. Website: www.renaissancehotels.com/kufbr.
A stylish and cozy hotel in a great location right in the middle of the greater central district. The beautiful building that houses the 20-room Hotel Evropa was built in 1902. Consequently some parts of the hotel look a bit dated but in a charming way. Overall, the renovations have been done in a manner that has made the place very comfortable without detracting from the atmosphere. Rates for single occupancy are 2850R ($105) for a standard room, 3600R ($133) for a two-room suite and studio rooms start at 4200R ($155). Prices increase by 30% for double occupancy. Breakfast is included in the prices and the Hotel Evropa is renowned for its restaurant of the same name. Wireless internet is available throughout the hotel at 10R ($0.37) per MB. Staff supposedly speak foreign languages but there is little evidence of it. Other features include a sauna and overpriced conference facilities.
Address: Galaktionovskaya Ul., #171. Tel: 270-8631. Website: www.hoteleurope.ru.
A completely average hotel that's trying to play above its level. With a total of 13 rooms the suites are quite spacious, but otherwise the Ekvator has very little going for it. One-room suites cost 2650R ($98), two-room suites are 3450R ($128) and three-room suites (including kitchen) cost 3850R ($143). Prices include a continental breakfast. People who like the self-contained apartment style of accommodation might want to consider the three-room suites, but that's the only worthwhile option. The Hotel Ekvator's only additional feature is a small cafe/bar with pool tables. The location, ten minutes walk from the Volga and on the east side of the center is a little inconvenient, although it's not far from Samarskaya Ploshchad. Visa and Mastercard are accepted.
Address: Novo-Sadovaya Ul., #18. Tel: 337-5133. Website: www.equator.samaramail.ru.