Did these people actually STAY at this hotel?! A review of Dostoevsky Hotel
If you've already booked to stay at the Dostoevsky, don't worry. I'm sure it'll be fine.
If you haven't booked, stay away. While the official rating is three-star, I can't say the place deserves much more than two stars overall. Let's start with the room. The hotel is massive, taking up the top three floors of a newish seven storey building, above a small shopping mall (complete with gun shop as well as a handy supermarket). However, there are only two small lifts up to the rooms, one of which was out of order for much of our stay. While this may be acceptable at three in the morning, it is not at five in the afternoon when a coachload of Italian tourists (the hotel's main occupants) has arrived in reception. The rooms are small by any standards, and many only have views of the inside of the shopping mall or the two indoor "gardens" (large squares of concrete). However the windows in the rest of the rooms barely open anyway so fresh air is hard to come by regardless of where the room is. Ventilation, however, is readily available. Like it or not. 24 hours a day, the cold blast of air conditioning blowing down over your bed. It can of course be turned off, but only by the "engineer" (who, conveniently, wasn't around when we asked after him). It became really unpleasant after a couple of days. The decor of the room is fine, but even after a few months it is showing disturbing signs of wear and tear - poorly fitted skirting and doorframes, furniture falling apart... I'd hate to see what the place will look like this time next year, let alone in ten years' time (if the hotel is still functioning of course). Other annoyances in the room include the way that the shower jumps from boiling hot to freezing cold every few seconds, the cramped bathroom with zero storage space, the toilet which made noises for hours after flushing.
The restaurant. Maybe we've been spoilt, but this was a mess. The choice of food at breakfast is adequate, but they've obviously been searching for ways to cut corners. Revolting sausages, only one jam (of the cheap and sugary type), and far too many waiters hanging around doing nothing when there was plenty to be done.
In fact the staff in general, with some exceptions, have got a lot to learn. When asked for advice or attention, they seemed constantly reluctant to help, and even put the phone down on us when we phoned them to ask for the minibar to be unlocked (so that they could charge us £4 for some fruit juice). The fitness centre is pretty hopeless - they charge guests for using it, and you have to book the sauna over an hour in advance because they don't keep it on all the time.
Maybe I'm not typical of guests at the Dostoevsky, but from what other guests we spoke to said, I don't think I am. If you can afford it, stay somewhere nicer - and closer to the centre, which is quite a walk from the hotel.