Client reviews on Homestay in Russia
Some comments from a recent traveller..
This first comment is from some budget 'backpacker' travellers who realised the value, experience and security that comes from a homestay. Homestay can suit all levels. On a recent visit in October 2014 this writer stayed at the Metropol Hotel in Moscow and then this same homestay in St Peters following, two contrasting styles of accommodation, but each offering their distinctive benefits.
We're back from our Russia trip, and really enjoyed it. Thanks for your organising! Arrangements went well, and we're happy with the services provided by Andrei's company.
The balance of stay times was good (though we could easily have stayed longer at all places!). We even had a touch of snow on our final Moscow day! (we didn't go to the Vasnetsov House Museum then, but instead lashed out and had lunch at Pushkin Cafe, which was as you predicted pricey but very tasty).
We had excellent Russian food already, of course, at the Petersburg homestay - Tatyana is a terrific cook, and an excellent hostess, and we enjoyed our stay at her place - so convenient and comfortable. She charged us 20 euros each for her evening meals. However, that compared ok to good quality restaurant meals and we thought it was still acceptable value. The overall stay there was excellent and we'd certainly use her services again.
The Moscow homestay also was good, though very different. Natasha, the hostess there, isn't a guide, and she and her brother kept largely to their own rooms, so there wasn't very much interaction. (This was a bit ironic, as in a way, we were much more in someone's home there, with access to the kitchen and living room - the Peterburg apartment is constructed such that the living space including kitchen is the host's domain, and you go there for meals and not otherwise). Natasha was pleasant and helpful - she did a load of washing for us, no fee asked, and even gave us a jar of her mother's (delicious!) home-made jam, and the apartment was conveniently located. We'd be happy to stay there again too
The Pskov hotel was terrific. Clean and comfortable and beautifully located with nice service. We had some really wonderful experiences in Pskov, with great hospitality being shown by local people. And we were lucky with the weather there - fine the whole time (in Moscow and even more in Peterburg, we had a fair bit of drizzle and some rain, which was a pity as we couldn't enjoy the really wonderful parks and gardens as much)
Again, thanks for your efficient and friendly help in organising the trip.
best wishes George
Simon and I are now back in Australia after an amazing holiday - Trans Siberia & Europe.
I want to thank you for arranging all the homestays and train tickets in Russia. Everything went like clockwork. The drivers and staff that met us at the stations were very efficient and helpful. We really enjoyed Russia and I would like to come back some day. And a special thanks to Anya (Moscow) and Tatyana (St Petersburg) for being the perfect hosts. They were both very helpful with explaining the Metro and places to eat and things to see. Tatyana was especially helpful when Simon (my son) had a bad stomach. She helped him and showed a lot of concern.
Thankyou again and I hope to be back in Russia one day.
Kind regards Tony Webster.
Just a short note to say we have returned safe and sound and to thank you for your efforts in organising our itinerary.
We had a wonderful time and things went very, very smoothly. The highlight was clearly the Trans Siberian trip (or trans sib as we seasoned travellers call it). This was an absolute hoot in spite of taking 10 hrs to cross from Russia to Mongolia and almost as long to get back.
We also participated in a carriage revolt against a pair of provodnitsas who refused to open one of the toilets. The just and righteous prevailed, however, and the toilet was eventually unlocked. All the guides, with the possible exception of the young man at Kazan, were good and in many cases excellent.
The home stays were excellent and I would recommend this form of accommodation to anyone. It really gets you into the real world.
One minor disappointment was experienced in our travel arrangements between Warsaw and Gadansk. I have written to LOT Air about this and enclose a copy of my letter for your information. Once again Helen, Alison and I both thank you and your company for your efforts.
Cheers Dick Wellard
Sent: Thursday, 22 September 2005 1:14 PM
To: Helen Fuge
Subject: Re Russia
Arrived back from my trip on the weekend – spent a few days in Germany with Amanda which was rather special as she is going to stay for another year at least.
We had the very best trip to Russia – thanks so much for the organizing.
Your office were very good – though we did wonder when we arrived at Moscow and had not seen our driver for an hour or so – good practice for me as I had to use my Russian language skills – and he had been in a traffic jam so eventually arrived. We had an excellent location just about 3 metro stops from the centre of Moscow. It was rather fun as our homestay host was in hospital readying for an operation so her neighbour let us in and helped us – and our homestay host or I should say hostess (Olga) rang us from the hospital and told us that her son Nik would come in and stay nights and arrange our breakfast – which he did. He turned out to be a journalist (not good with English) – a little shy of us – but very nice – even ended up giving us his magazine where he was an editor – so pretty much we had the use of the apartment and could come and go. Olga rang us quite a few times and was very lovely – we were sorry we did not meet her.
Our guide was excellent too, as was the one in St Petersburg.
I could not believe for a day or two that I was really in Russia and loved Moscow – we walked and rode the metro’s so much and really felt we were part of the scene, rather than tourists. Had a trip to Sergiyev Posad, about 40kms out which was great.
We will keep in touch with the ladies in Russia – just want to say a huge thanks – it was the trip of a lifetime.
Amanda still had an English map of Moscow city which she said you gave her a couple of years ago – if you do still have one that you can spare, would you mind sending me one please.
On behalf of Luke, Lina, Justin and myself I'm saying a huge thankyou for organising our trans-Mongolian trip. It was a fantastic journey. Everything went really smoothly. The only miniscule hiccup was when we got off the train in Ulaan Batar and couldn't find the person that was supposed to collect us. But after roving the platform for a while we hooked up with the only man left holding a placard and discovered that he was our driver (the name on his placcard was Briaskase, work that one out!).
The homestays were all good, with the outstanding one being at Listvyanka. The lady looking after us was really wonderful, warm and trusting and her cooking delicious. The train ride was surprisingly comfortable. Particularly the long trip from Irkutsk to Moscow. The train was quite new and kept immaculately clean. All the stops along the way gave us a chance to stretch our legs and fend off cabin-fever. Travelling in a group of four realy turned out well with sleeping arrangement on the train (we met a few people along the way who felt a little envious of our "private" cabin). All the info you provided for us was very accurate and therefore invaluable to our smooth journey. When we first considered this trip we were doubtful as to the economy of pre-arranging all our accomodation, train tickets etc. but as we were travelling and comparing notes with other travellers we realise that we got a fantastic deal and that knowing exactly where we were going to be staying and for how long eased a lot of potential stress. So thanks again for all your help, advice and professional service. We've been recommending you to anyone interested.