I had arranged two rooms for my self and son and a transfer through Booking.com for an overnight transfer between Petropavlovsk Kamchatka and Tokyo.
We landed on a domestic flight as scheduled at 1930 and found no welcoming transfer. The taxi counter informed us there were no taxis available. I then realised it was 1930 on a Saturday night so it was a plausible possibility. The information desk lady was able to contact the hotel who assured us a car was on its way. After 30 mins at our request they rang again only to be told that they had arrived but we were not around. She assured them that we had not moved from the entrance area and no one had arrived. We were again assured that a car would be there in 10-15 minutes. 20 minutes later Tania arrived and escorted us out to two private cars The first was clearly too small to take us and our two suitcases. The other driver was also complaining that his car was not big enough, however I managed to put our suitcases in the boot along with all his rubbish and my son and I squeezed in the back. The cost? 500 roubles.
At the Hotel a disco was in session. Yes it was Saturday night. We checked in OK and up to our rooms. The room was clean, adequate and with a typically small east European bathroom.
After a hot shower I went to bed expecting that the throbbing music would cease at some time shortly after midnight. It ceased at 0145.
I went down for my included breakfast and was shown to a table and promptly given a large cup of tea. I asked for and was given a coffee in exchange. No menu was presented but I (along with the North Vietnamese group in the room) was given a plain omelette with a slice of plain bread. I asked for a second cup of coffee but was told I would have to ask the Manager. I left.
Checkout went smoothly and the receptionist was friendly and fine although very little English.
Our 500 rouble transfer arrived (a private car again) and delivered us on time to the airport.
That was our experience and having said that I would point out that this is Eastern Russia, with little experience of Western tourists and their expectations. Roubles can only be bought at a Bank unless you want to deal with some person sitting in a SUV on a street corner. Service was not high on the Communist agenda and it is a concept that they are still struggling with.
Western tourists with hard foreign currency are seen as an opportunity to make some money.
Would I stay here again? The hotel itself was fine as far as this part of the world goes. It was just a place close to the airport to have a shower and hopefully grab some sleep. It was just bad luck that this was a Saturday night and there was a disco and a wedding on. Breakfast was an inclusion but next time I would give it a miss and eat at the International Terminal. I would stay again as a quick overnight transfer stay but hopefully not on a Saturday night.
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