The Odugen is a hotel complex consisting of two adjacent buildings –the Odugen itself, and the Kottedj (Cottage), which bears no resemblance to a cottage, but is a rambling three-floor concrete structure that was once the official residence of Salchak Toka, the ruler of Tanna Tuva. I first stayed there 26 years ago, and little has changed. What's different is that residents of the Kottedj are now registered as living in the Odugen, take their breakfast in the Odugen’s 2nd-floor café, and can use the Odugen’s wifi connection, since the Kottedj has no Internet. For anyone who hungers for vestiges of Soviet-era hotel life, the Kottedj is your place. Its best feature is its location—on a quiet street just a few minutes walk from the main square, with the backside of the building abutting the scenic promenade along the Yenisei River. Guest rooms range from spacious apartments to small doubles with the shower at the end of the hall. I stayed in both types of room during a recent weeklong visit. Neither room type seems to come with any services—no one ever changed the towels, made the bed, or removed used teacups (an electric tea kettle can be borrowed from the front desk). There are no phones in the rooms, and during the week of my visit, hot water appeared only once (hot water was not turned off in the city at large at this time). A request to the front desk to look into the situation yielded nothing. Breakfast in the Odugen’s 2nd floor buffet is adequate—typically a choice of porridge and blinis, fried eggs, or a meat dish. The limited breakfast hours (8-10 am) resulted in a line when the café opened. I’m Russian-speaking, and ended up doing a fair amount of translating for guests in the café who spoke neither Tuvan nor Russian. Despite this somewhat dismal picture, I have a soft spot for the Kottedj. Perhaps it’s just nostalgia, but there’s something special about living in a place so unencumbered by contemporary hotel amenities and accoutrements.
Location: Russia > Siberian District > Tuva Republic > Kyzyl
Ranked #2 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Kyzyl
Number of rooms: 28