Hotel Uzbekistan. Look, this hotel is past its prime and that's okay. It has an amazing history, superb location and cheap price so when booking you should consider all those things. And having stayed in other hotels in emerging markets, you have to appreciate standards are different elsewhere- so be thoughtful.
But with that being said, I will tell you why you SHOULD NOT BOOK this hotel.
When I arrived in October for my four night stay, I checked in to a very dark and scary lobby. For a woman travelling by themselves, I felt incredibly unsafe, as the lobby and corridors were very dark and many men were lounging around the lobby. While walking through the hallway to my room it was as though I was walking through a haunted house- lights blinking, curtains falling off the window, cleaning equipment and other things set aside as though the building was abandoned over night.
Upon entering my room, I immediately realised the gravity of my decision. Okay, so the amenities weren't modern, the bathroom was dated- all those things were fine as I've stayed in dated places before, surely the character was what drew me here. What didn't draw me to the Hotel Uzbekistan was finding blood on my sheets, or more curtains falling to the ground, or dirt all over the floors and bed. And oh the hairs, so many hairs of all shapes and sizes every where. Maybe the ghost that was cleaning didn't make it to my room before they gave up.
When I notified the staff about the sheets they kindly moved me down to another floor, and in retrospect they didn't even surprised. The new room was smaller and while there wasn't blood on the sheets, the room was in a similar state of affairs. A cracked toilet seat with years of tear, hairs everywhere and stains on the walls and other fabrics.
Instead of complaining, I put on the hotel slippers and tried my best to pretend I was somewhere else perhaps camping in Patagonia, I could do this! The next morning I woke and in the daylight I noticed even further how bad the cleaning was, or lack therefor entirely. The halls were caked in dust and hair, it was as though no one had bothered to clean in years. But oddly I saw cleaning staff- what were they doing!?!?
The next few days, the matters became worse. Wifi didn't work on numerous occasions and when I called to complain- the front desk hung up on me. When I asked the front desk to have the cleaners go over my room again, I left bit of paper on my floor to see if they did... that little scrap of paper never moved and was there when returned. My bathroom shower flooded and oh yes, for 3 out of the 4 days I didn't even have hot water.
Now you may say, you get what you pay for... surely I didn't expect this would be a five star experience but from other reviews I thought the basics would be met: hot water and cleanliness as good places to start.
On my last night, I arrived later in the evening and my room was locked/ they key was not working. When I asked the front desk to re-set the key, I was told they were holding my luggage and items till I paid for the extra night. After telling them I was booked for that evening they didn't believe me, till I was able to show my hotels.com booking. Insane- this has never happened to me anywhere in the world, ever. I'm guessing this is some type of fraudulent scheme that secures staff extra cash from unsuspecting guests that don't have their papers as handy as I did.
After arriving back home (to the UK), I decided to share my experience with hotels.com and ask for at least a partial refund. Hotels.com was exceptionally helpful but told me they needed to contact hotel management to make a decision (over the years, you appreciate this is standard procedure and while you aren't always successful with your claim management will respond). Hotels.com has contacted management no less than 7x and we still have yet to hear back from the hotel. The manager is always unavailable, is travelling, is at lunch, is gone for the evening etc.- the excuses are numerous.
So let me leave it here, DO NOT STAY AT THIS HOTEL UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE. If you are keen to see it up close, check it out from the park or pop inside and head to the top floor to check out their bar for a drink- BUT DO NOT WASTE YOUR HARD EARNED CASH HERE. Tashkent is a beautiful city and the people of Uzbekistan are charming and lovely, and as the city and tourism grows there are so many other hotel options that would treat you with the respect and care you deserve as a customer.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.