Sochi – Staying
Unfortunately hotel prices in Sochi are considerably overestimated, but not all the hotels are able to offer the due service level. The city hotel facilities include, first of all, former Soviet health resorts and resort hotels, new hotels built for the Winter Olympics, and end with the famous “private sector” – mini-hotels founded by entrepreneurial residents. Every option has its pluses and minuses.
The Soviet hotels, as a rule, are located in the city center and have private beaches, but the floor area of rooms and the design leave much to be desired (though many of them have been refurbished before the Winter Olympics). However, this is the right place to understand why Sochi was called the best resort in the USSR.
New hotels cannot boast of their beaches, but the service level is stable and warmed-up swimming pools and SPA-centers attract those who like comfort.
“The private sector” is an indispensable part of the Sochi tourist life. Already at the railway station tourists are surrounded by friendly promoters offering accommodation at prices two times cheaper than at “classical” hotels. As a rule such mini-hotels are located within 15-20 minutes walk from the sea in private cottages of quiet residential areas. The furnishing there is very simple, but the owners try to do their best to please their guests, so for budget tourists this option is a real find. However, be very attentive to the quality of cleaning at such places as often it is below the expectations.
Chic and luxury
Rodina Grand Hotel & SPA
A five-star hotel with large territory (15 hectares of subtropical garden) with a private beach, a fitness center, and a large SPA-zone. The rooms are decorated in modern luxury style: light tones, a lot of pleasant-feeling textiles. Many rooms have sea view. The hotel restaurant “Nebesa” with a terrace and panoramic view over the sea is expensive but deserves attention. The ground floor rooms are too small, it is better to ask for upper floors. Expensive, luxury, private.
From $500 for a double room with breakfast.
Pullman Sochi Centre
A good five-star hotel in two minutes walk from the gravel beach, not far from the best city promenades. The hotel does not have a private beach, but when you leave it you find yourself in the middle of the city life (though it may mean too much noise in the night). The SPA center and the fitness center on the 16th floor with a panoramic view over the sea are impressive. The same view opens from many rooms with terraces. The beds are large, the room design is modern and impersonal. Guests appreciate nourishing breakfasts with fresh juices.
From $200 for a double room with breakfast.
Hyatt Regency Sochi
A bit faded with time, but still one of the closest to the European level five-star Sochi hotels belonging to the famous international chain. The hotel restaurants deserve close attention, especially “The Passage” with its experiments on the theme of the Russian cuisine. The service is attentive but occasional confusions may occur like at all other places on the Russian southern coast. The hotel offers great breakfasts and a fitness center. It is located in the city center near the embankment.
From $180 for a double room with breakfast.
Mercure Sochi Centre
A nice four-star hotel with modern design located in the city center near the embankment, the Sea Port and the Central Park of Culture and Leisure. There are many restaurants and a mini-market nearby. The hotel does its best to keep the standard of the chain: the service is attentive, the buffet breakfasts are abundant, the rooms are clean and well decorated. Some higher-category rooms have a beautiful sea view and a large balcony, but for most of them the higher category means only a coffee maker and an enlarged sitting area, so to avoid misunderstanding it is better to specify during booking which room you need. The hotel has no private fitness center or bath, but hotel guests can use the fitness center of Pullman Hotel located nearby.
From $150 for a double room with breakfast.
A four-star hotel not far from the Sochi River, the railway station, the promenade, and the main shopping streets. It has a well-equipped private beach, but the walk to it takes 20 minutes along the embankment. For those who are unwilling to walk so far there is a swimming pool that is open only in summer season (same as the beach). The design is modern, though a bit ornate, the rooms are spacious and very clean, with large windows. A beautiful view opens from the panoramic terrace on the roof. However breakfasts leave to wish for the better as they are miserable and repetitious. Some guests were discontent with the absence of a kettle in the room.
From $80 for a double room with breakfast.
Dignified and within the pocket
Not very close to the sea (10 minutes on foot) but close to the railway station, which perfectly suits for active sightseeing. The hotel is new, so the rooms pleasantly astonish with cleanliness and nice design and the service are polite and unobtrusive. The buffet breakfast is nourishing and conforms a three-star hotel. Don’t take the rooms facing the railway as they are noisy.
From $80 for a double room with breakfast.
Zhemchuzhina Hotel Complex
A very popular from the Soviet times huge hotel with a private beach. In spite of the abundance of new competitor hotels holidaymakers still love it. This is contributed by its location – in the very heart of the city with all the best restaurants within a walking distance, as well as by the recent renovation of the rooms. It fully conforms to the 4-star hotel status. Beside a large and fully equipped beach, guests also like the large swimming pool with warmed-up sea water.
From $100 for a double room with breakfast.
A charming mini-hotel with a bit gorgeous home design and only 4 rooms. It is located in the pedestrian zone of the city close to many good restaurants. The walk to the sea takes 15 minutes. The hotel is clean, hearty, and newly refurbished. Guests appreciate hospitable and caring administrators. There is a common kitchen with tea and snacks.
From $80 for a double room.
Park Inn by Radisson Sochi Centre
A good three-star hotel near the railway station that perfectly suits for visiting the suburbs. The rooms have everything necessary, the design is modern and thought out to the last detail. Guests appreciate generous buffet breakfasts and cleanliness. The way to the embankment goes along the pedestrian Navaginskaya Street. It is a bit noisy around the hotel, so those who have sensitive sleep are recommended rooms facing the yard.
From $95 for a double room with breakfast.
Sea Galaxy Hotel Congress & Spa
A modern four-star hotel targeted both to business people (there are 5 large conference rooms) and tourists. The hotel does not have a private beach or a swimming pool, but the public beach is located 300 meters away. At a walking distance there are the Summer Theater and Kurortny Prospekt, a walk to the Arboretum takes 10 minutes. Every room has a balcony with a sea or mountain view. Guests appreciate a wide selection of dishes for breakfast. A fly in the ointment is extremely slow lifts with queues. Nevertheless, it is a good value for money.
From $100 for a double room with breakfast.
Cheap and acceptable
Health Resort Svetlana
One of the most famous resorts of the Black Sea coast where you can stay both for having a rest and for general health improvement and treatment (first of all, balneotherapy, but most manipulations must be appointed by a doctor). The resort is located in the cultural city center near the Arboretum, the Winter Theater, and the Art Museum. The rooms are modest but have been renovated before the Olympics, almost all of them have a sea view. The sea is a 5 minute walk, guests can use the public beach or buy a pass to the private beach of the Zhemchuzhina.
From $30 for a double room.
Hidden among the tall expensive hotels of world famous chains, this pretty hotel with great location can offer much more favorable price. Breakfasts are a bit repetitious and heavy (fried eggs, sausages, pancakes, porridge ordered from the waiter) but very nourishing. The staff is sincerely friendly and ready to help the guests. The rooms are not large, but have all the amenities and many offer balconies with a view over the sea and the embankment. At night it can be noisy because there are many popular restaurants around.
From $50 for a double room with breakfast.
A colorful hotel styled to resemble a XVI century Scottish castle located across the fence of the Arboretum. To some people the room adornments may seem excessively luxury and design – a bit outdated, but the place is cosy and private and the staff is attentive and helpful. However breakfasts are modest and rather repetitious – porridge, a cheese or meat platter, and cottage cheese. The hotel has a good bath and a private restaurant “Dobry Merlin” with the old European cuisine. Closeness to the Arboretum creates a special atmosphere – there are peacocks walking nearby, exotic plants bloom, and birds sing.
From $50 for a double room with breakfast.
Guest House Zolotaya Milya
A guest house in a quiet residential area 20 minutes on foot from the sea and 10 minutes from Kurortny Prospect. The room design is performed in warm colors and is a bit outdated, but the rooms look calm and clean and the owners are welcoming and ready to help their guests.
From $40 for a double room.
Imeni Morisa Toreza Health Resort
The rooms of this old hotel have preserved their Soviet design and need renovation, but the hotel has many advantages too: it is only 100 m from the sea, the aqua park is only 3 minutes on foot, the city center and the Sea Port are 5 minutes on foot, and there are many nice beach cafés around. At the same time the rooms are quiet and nothing hinders the night’s sleep. Nearby there is a bus stop where you can take a shuttle bus practically to any attractions of the Greater Sochi. The service is extremely unobtrusive: even a hair-dryer must be asked for the administrator.
From $55 for a double room.
A small hostel located not far from the railway station, the Riviera Park and the sea are 15 minutes walk. It has a bright and nice, though a bit provincial design, the youth audience, and welcoming and very attentive girls at the reception. There is a market and a hypermarket nearby. A small drawback: there is only one bathroom for 22 rooms so it is better to choose not the “prime-time” for taking a shower.
From $8 for a bed in a 4-bed dormitory.
Hostel Cheshire Cat
A charming hostel located in 3 minute walk from the Riviera Park, 5 minute walk from the sea, and 7 minute walk from the city center. The hostel is perfectly clean, the rooms are spacious, the beds have curtains, and the staff is polite and willing to provide a lot of information to individual tourists. Guests appreciate the feeling of safety as the hostel is located in a business center. However the rules are strict: guests must change street shoes for specially provided slippers, after 21:00 everyone must be silent and to enter the hostel after 20:00 the administrator must be called. The shower has a good water head, but the washing time is limited to 15 minutes, otherwise the hostel will run shot of hot water.
From $9 for a bed in a 8-person mixed room.
The hostel has a great location – 5 minutes on foot to the sea, the embankment, and the Sea Port. There are many shops, cafés, and souvenir shops nearby, but the place is quiet at night. The rooms are not large, but clean. Beds are wider than usual at hostels. Laundry service is available at extra charge. It has youth audience and friendly receptionists. The kitchen is small and has no stove, but there is a microwave.
From $9 for a bed in an 8-person mixed room.
A nice hotel in a private house with hospitable owners who cook hot breakfasts for their guests themselves. Usually they offer Gypsy-style eggs, but for an extra charge even kebab can be ordered. The rooms are not very large and the design is outdated, but the place is cosy like home. Guests can have a rest at the large common veranda with a view over the Arboretum and to listen to birds’ singing. At night guests must be quiet.
$9 for a bed in an 8-person mixed room, $26 for a double room with shared bathroom.
A new and shining clean hostel not far from the railway station. The hostel has a good air-conditioning system and a nice view from the window of the shared kitchen. Administrators are very fast and helpful. There is no TV-set in the common room, which is done on purpose in order not to prevent communication among guests. The only inconvenience is that it is impossible to enter the hostel after 23:00 as it is located at a shopping center.
From $12 for a bed in a mixed room, from $28 for a double room with shared bathroom.
Sochi – Dining
The local cuisine in Sochi is considerably different from classical Russian. Proximity of Caucasian countries has made a bright imprint on it.