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Minsk Hotels

Important information about Minsk hotels:
* Reservation Fee: If you reserve directly with a Minsk hotel (not via an agent) without paying in advance, some hotels will charge a one-time reservation fee equal to 50% of the cost for a night. If you do not want to pay this fee, either pay the hotel in advance, reserve via an agency who will collect the money from you and pay the hotel in advance, or do not reserve and simply take your chances.
* Registration Fee: Some Minsk hotels (mostly the budget hotels) may charge a one-time registration fee under $10 for foreigners staying longer than 3 working days. Be sure to ask if registration is included.
* Registration Receipt: Save the registration receipt that is usually placed inside your passport by the Minsk Hotel as it may be requested at passport control when you leave the country. Failure to prove that you have properly registered (within 3 working days after arrival) may result in a fine.
* Insurance: Most hotels will require local medical insurance before they will register you. If you have arrived by airplane, be sure to buy this insurance at a kiosk just after you get out of the plane and before you go through passport control. It is not expensive (less than $1 per day), and Minsk hotels rarely sell medical insurance. If you have not arrived by plane, you can buy medical insurance at the
Belgosstrakh Insurance offices in the city.

* Standard and business class rooms may be offered by some hotels. The difference is in the age of the furniture and the appearance of the bathroom. Both the furniture and bathrooms in the standard rooms may be very old, while the business class rooms should have modern furniture and bathrooms. Expensive hotels usually have modern furniture and bathrooms in all rooms.
* Budget hotels do not seem to be working with the travel agencies. The only way to book them appears to be directly with the hotel.
* Apartments: Rather than staying at a hotel consider renting an apartment. A centrally located apartment, can make your stay more comfortable, see the link below.

Minsk Hotel Locations:

Budget Minsk Hotels (standard rooms: $20-$50/night)

In the budget hotels, expect limited services from the reception and minimal English, if any. Rooms usually have TV, but probably no English channels. There may be a small, one-time fee for registering foreigners who stay more than 3 working days.

Hotel Zvezda:  If transportation is not an issue (for example, if you have arrived by car or your friend has a car) and you are trying to keep costs down, this might be the place for you. This is possibly the cheapest hotel in Minsk where you will get your own room. Single rooms are under $20 and double rooms around $35. If staying more than 3 working days, you will pay a one-time registration fee (under $10). Our double room was actually a suite with a living room, bedroom, toilet and bathroom. There was a fridge in the room and a portable space heater, in addition to the radiators, which helped to keep the rooms warm on the cold winter evenings. There were even guest-packs in the bathrooms with toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo and soap and they delivered a free small bottle of water everyday. Very unusual for Belarus! But the Zvezda has several disadvantages. It is in a remote location with no restaurants or shops nearby. Transportation is only taxi or bus (bus #81 will take you to the central train station in 15-20 minutes, where you can transfer to the metro). Like many Minsk hotels, the furniture in the standard rooms is quite old. There is TV but no English language channels. Desk clerks reluctantly speak English and we experienced low quality service on several occaisions: our room service dinner arrived cold after 2 hours instead of 40 minutes as promised and in Styrofoam take-away boxes. Our room was not cleaned on the second day. When we asked to leave our suitcase the porter didn’t take our bags but simply showed us to the baggage department. Obviously, service is not international standard. But for the price, this could be the best bargain in Minsk. To see a video of a room, click here . For more photos click here

Express Hotel (no website): This hotel is adjacent to the Minsk main train station and is a two minute walk from a metro station. Express is the closest thing in Minsk to a Hostel. You can pay about $20 for a bed in a double or triple and share it with strangers. This price includes breakfast, but not registration if you stay more than three days (a one-time fee of under $10 for registration).  Standard rooms for 2-3 people do not appear to have showers and you have to pay a small fee to use the shower on the floor. The standard rooms we saw were well furnished, but the toilets seemed very run down. Alternatively you can get a single room for yourself (delux quality) with a shower, TV and fridge for about $50 (all of the TV stations are in Russian), or a double deluxe room for around $75.  The staff does not seem to speak English and they do not seem to be using email. The best way for a foreigner to get a room is to simply drop by. If you are arriving by yourself and want to save money and be in a central location, this is possibly the best option in Minsk. But if there are two or more of you, consider the Hotel Belarus or Yubileiny. The cost will be a little more, but the hotels are more central and it will be easier to communicate with them in English. To find the Express Hotel from the Minsk central train station, simply turn right as you exit the station from the front door. Walk about 20 steps to the end of the building and turn right again (see photo). To see a video of a standard room click here . To see a video of a delux room click here . For more photos click here

Mid-Range Minsk Hotels (standard rooms $50-$100/night):

In the mid-range hotels, expect to be able to get basic services from the reception, who should speak English. All rooms should have TV but they may or may not have English channels. Most should have a restaurant located in the hotel. Though a little more expensive than the budget hotels, many foreigners will feel more comfortable here.

Hotel Yubileiny:  The hotel is centrally located, about 10 minutes walk to the center. Our room was a little drafty, but we requested and received a space heater which super-heated the room all night long. The service was surprisingly good: the staff was helpful, friendly and spoke good English.  What we didn’t like is that the furniture in the standard rooms is (as usual in Belarus standard rooms) quite old, the TV had no English channels and there was no shampoo in the bathroom. Also the breakfast was quite basic though included some nice things like freshly fried eggs and pastries. However, for the price, this is possibly the best hotel in Minsk.  To see a video of a room, click here .
Hotel Belarus:  The Belarus is a large 22 floor high-rise, located directly across from the Hotel Yubileiny, in the Troitska park overlooking the river Svisloch. The area is beautiful, but it is about 10 minutes further than the Yubileiny, or about a 20-minute pleasant walk to the center. The Hotel Belarus has a restaurant on the top floor with a beautiful view of the city. The food is ok and not very expensive. However, it closes frequently due to banquets.  Breakfast is superior to the Yubileiny and television has a few English language channels. Some may prefer the Belarus to the Yubileiny.

Hotel Tourist: It is difficult to understand the reason one would want to stay at the Hotel Tourist. The prices on the website appear to be inexpensive, but when we asked the hotel for room rates, the prices quoted were much higher. The hotel is not centrally located, but it is directly on a metro stop. There is a shopping center next to the hotel, but we did not see restaurants nearby, other than those in the hotel. The standard rooms we saw seemed basic, with the usual old furniture. For the money, we would suggest the Hotel Yubileiny or Belarus as they are much more centrally located. For more photos click here

Hotel Planeta: The Planeta is on the same street as the Yubileiny, but about 10 minutes by foot further out; so expect a 20 minute walk to the center. It is a bit more expensive, but we have heard that they offer good service.

Hotel Orbita: The location is remote, in a dreary part of town, convenient to nothing except McDonalds and the nearby metro. The rooms in business class are recently renovated. There is a restaurant with entertainment in the hotel. For the price, you are probably better off in a more central location.
IBB Hotel
: This is a Joint Venture of companies from Germany and Belarus. The service is the best of all the Hotels that we stayed in Minsk, but the hotel resembles a converted elementary school building. The rooms are very simple and without much style. If service is your priority, this is the place to stay. Even the guards are friendly here. This hotel is not centrally located, reachable only by bus or taxi. 
Expensive Minsk Hotels (over $100/night)

The expensive hotels should have only high quality rooms of a standard similar to international brands. Service from the English speaking staff should be high. TV should have English channels. Hotels may have recreation facitilities. All hotels should have a restaurant with menus in English.

Hotel Juravinka: This hotel is modern and centrally located; however, it has a strange design. This is a hotel without a lobby: only a desk in front of an elevator. You will read that there is a casino, an entertainment complex and two restaurants located at the hotel. This is true; however there is no direct connection between the hotel and these facilities. You exit the hotel and walk around the building through the parking lot to reach them. We like the restaurant and often enjoy a dinner with a show.Service at the hotel during our stay was not what we expected from a hotel of this catagory, but perhaps this has improved.

Hotel Minsk: This is a very modern and luxurious hotel, located very centrally right on Nezavisimosty Street. It has a gym, nice restaurant and a bar with entertainment. A room costs 2-4 times more than what you will pay at other hotels in the city. If you are coming to Minsk on a business account, this is the hotel for you.  
Hotel Victoria / Stalitsa: A new four star hotel, it was supposed to open in December 2006. But when we visited it was not quite finished. It is located on the same street as the Yubileiny and Planeta, but even further from the center, about 30 minutes by foot or five minutes by bus. The fact that it is not a central location nor near a metro, will limit the interest in this hotel.

Hotel Europa: This is planned to open in 2007. It will be an expensive five star Deluxe hotel. The most centrally located hotel in Minsk, located on the intersection of Internationaljnaja und Lenina streets, it will be a beautiful within easy reach of everything and will likely replace the Hotel Minsk as the location of choice for business travelers.