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“Has the potential to be great, but "not in winter season"!”
Review of Tiara Resort

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Tiara Resort
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
97 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 121 helpful votes
“Has the potential to be great, but "not in winter season"!”
Reviewed March 23, 2012

All started well, as upon arriving on the TransSiberian we got met by the Hotel owner and he drove us to the hotel in the national park. It was -33 when we arrived, but it didn’t feel as cold as Moscow had a few weeks before, something to do with this area having a dry cold. The park was breathtakingly beautiful with possibly the best scenery I have ever seen, and pictures don’t do it justice.

However, the hotel let itself down in many ways and didn't at all reflect what we'd seen on their internet (the owner later conceded that it hadn't been updated for a couple of years), and we were disappointed with the amount of things that were not available despite being advertised:

No swimming pool, no Jacuzzi, no sauna - all are on the website but apparently it’s “too expensive” in electricity to run them during winter, but judging by the amount of old furniture and thick layer of dust in the pool, it looks like it’s not been available for years (see photo)

No internet - despite website saying they have a fast satellite connection

No wine by the glass or numerous other drinks from the menu eg. Baileys – again, “not available in winter season”

No steak - even though it’s on the menu, again, “not available in winter season”

No desserts - I'm sure you’re following the trend here.

No hot water available on two of the three days we stayed – as there was only a total of four guests (inc. ourselves), this was not due to the water running out, they simply didn’t bother switching it on!

If the hotel had been upfront and set this expectation then fine, we'd made clear that we'd found them from their website but they continued to allude to these facilities being available and in hindsight it just seems like false advertising.

In all, the stay cost us 233 pounds for two nights. This included 100,000TUR (50 pounds) for the return lifts to UB, and 200,000TUR (100 pounds) for the room. Upon checkout we had to haggle to bring down the price of the room they tried to charge us for a "superior" room, despite not this not being what we'd asked for or booked, and again we were told internet prices were out of date. These prices may be more that acceptable for the UK, but Mongolia is a cheap country and the cost was disproportional to the other costs we’ve found in the area. If the hotel had all the facilities available then it would have been worth the money, but not in the state it was in at the time of our visit.

All in all we enjoyed a good stay thanks to the amazing location, but we got the feeling we taken advantage of and overcharged during our stay considering the facilities that were (or weren't!) available, and I’m not sure if in hindsight I’d have done it another way. The hotel was supposed to be a luxury break after all of the time spent on the train, but it ended up being a big disappointment, due to the story of “no”s:

Room Tip: I’ve since read that you can hire a driver for a day from UB for 40,000TUR and in hindsight we could...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Angry_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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11 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Singapore, Singapore
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed September 11, 2011

We found this resort on the internet. The facilities and service and of course the price attracted us and we booked the ger for 4 nights. However when we arrived, what we read on their website differs greatly from what we experienced.

Things we liked:
1) I arranged for pickup service from the UB train station to the resort. A sweet old couple picked us up promptly and drove us to the resort. Apparently they're the owner's parents. We paid US$40 for the pickup service.
2) Their food was fantastic, we enjoyed the food more than what we had from China (we took a train from Beijing to UB). However, bread in Mongolia is always hard and cold.
3) Rooms seem to be readily available - they didn't ask us for any form of deposit or confirmation on the number of days we would like to stay.
4) The gers and rooms are well-kept and clean.
5) The communal bathroom had some water supply issue. The owner opened one of the hotel rooms for ger guests to shower.
6) The staff were very helpful, despite not being able to communicate in English at all.

Things that put us off:
1) None of the staff can speak proper English - only very basic English. Thus a lot of our requests were not properly understood.
2) Many facilities in the resort are not completed - the pool is still under construction, the heaters in the room are not installed, the bungalow resorts looked undone and abandoned, the bar is not functioning.
3) The website says there's internet access and NO! There is none and we're greatly disappointed. We had actually wanted to book our return flight tickets from UB to BJ over there, and thank God, we decided did it before hand.
4) It was freezing during the night and no one came to help us with re-lighting the fire. We were freeeeezzzzzinggggggg!
5) After the first night in the ger, we moved to a proper hotel room within the resort. At 10.30pm, just when we were about to sleep, someone knocked on our door and tried to open it. We called the hotel owner's sister (who can speak proper English). Apparently, some workers arrived during the day for some renovation work and they were the ones who knocked on our door and had wanted to install the heater in our room, at 10.30pm!
6) There is no TV in the hotel room, we saw TVs still packed in the boxes in the lobby area, which are not installed in the rooms yet. Another room they showed us has a TV which is not working.
7) The toilet flushing system do not allow you to throw toilet paper in. You have to throw the used toilet paper in a trash bin. Otherwise, it clogs the toilet.
8) The shower area is not totally clean, there're algae and some yellow stuff growing.
9) We wanted to try horse riding and visit the Normadic family, however due to miscommunication with the guide, none of these were arranged and we ended up waiting the whole day in vain.
10) In our initial email communication with the hotel, we requested to have BBQ dinner and they replied to say it's doable. However when we tried to order that on our first night, the hotel staff said it's not available. Another great disappointment.
11) The overall ambience of the resort is very basic and simple. As I read that the resort is partly owned by a Dutch company, I'd expected that the resort will look at least classy and well-maintained. But what I saw is on the contrary.
12) The overall management of the hotel was terrible, and in no way professional. We moved out of Terelj 2 days in advance back to UB.

Anyway, we found nearby another resort which was beautiful and clean and conducive with English speaking staff, thou they are more expensive but all of us (us and other guests we got to know during our trip) agreed that it's well worth the price.

Room Tip: There's really no way you can know if what you read on their website will be what you get unless...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank paulineyoong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
341 reviews
124 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 329 helpful votes
Reviewed November 1, 2009

This hotel was discovered online while looking for places to stay in Ulaanbaatar. We hadn't even considered going out to the Terelj National Park during our two nights in Mongolia but then found the website and thought we'd give it a shot. It was one of the best nights on the trip.

A warning first: Getting to the resort wasn't particularly easy. We arrived at the UB train station early in the morning when many places were still closed. Our guide book and government website both advised that we not take local cabs at the train station due to theft, threat of violence or robbery. Instead, we were to try and find a place that would call a 'safe taxi' for us or attempt to get on the public bus. Needless to say, the city was very quiet and the safe taxi location was not yet open. We decided to gamble with a local taxi and bargain for a price to take us to the park. In the end, we ended up there safely however it was a bit stressful leaving the station. Once we selected a driver, verbal arguments among everyone else broke out about who was going to take us and we were followed by our drivers friend for a few minutes before we were left alone. I felt slightly unsafe for the first 10 minutes of the 45 minute drive, but evantually felt alright. In the end, whether it was a communication error or we were ripped off, or $15US ride ended up being $50US but at least we arrived safely.

The resort itself is gorgeous. We booked a traditional Mongolian yurt for the 4 of us, and we all took great delight when we were shown our tent for the night. It was exactly like the picture - cozy, yet somehow spacious feeling. The bathrooms were located in a building about 50 steps away and all the yurts were grouped together.

The rest of the resort appeared to be undergoing renovation. The actual cabins on the grounds were being torn up and the main building was in a bit of disrepair. We couldn't tell if the pool was open, no one ever used it and it was dark inside the area. There was a VIP room with karaoke that was used by a group later in the evening and we made good use of the ping pong tables. Internet was able for a reasonable price, though the connection was spotty at times.

The main building also contained a restaurant but there was no menu. Every meal was a set price and they fed you what they wanted. My friends remarked that they enjoyed the 'show up and eat' aspect, though I did not like having no control over my food choices. The prices were ok, lunch was 3 courses, 2 was dinner and breakfast was the best value with the largest portions.

The highlight of the entire resort is the surrounding area. Terelj National Park is stunning - absolutely gorgeous. It was completely quiet save from the odd car or animal noise and the mountains provide for good hiking. The hill immediately behind the Tiara Resort is a nice walk up to an amazing view. You can also rent bikes or horses to go riding around the park if you'd like. Pictures honestly do not do the park justice - you have to see it to understand how gorgeous it is. Great for people that like the outdoors. The temperature at the end of August when we went was cool, close to freezing at night, and the fall season had clearly begun.

When it came to sleeping in the yurt, the novelty soon wore off. The intention is to keep the wood burning fireplace going all night, otherwise you will freeze in your tent (like we did). It got very hot in the tent when the fireplace was on, but cooled down quite quickly when it went out. Our tent was also home to a few mice that tried to get into our food throughtout the evening so we were occasionally woken up to the sound of scratching at our bags. It wasn't the best sleep I've ever had, but it made for good stories.

Overall, if you are looking for peace and quiet you cannot go wrong with this place. The scenery is incredible and sleeping in a yurt is fun. Be prepared to eat what they serve you and if you do not like the quiet, you may get bored quite quickly. There are also many other 'resorts' in the park, all separated by large distances, so you have a choice out there when it comes to accomodations.

Lastly - we took the city bus back to UB. It stops 100 metres from the Tiara property, was very cheap and easy to get into the city.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Ryjones
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rotterdam
Level 5 Contributor
19 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2009

This is a standard tourist trap in Mongolia. You can opt to stay in the Ger tents or inside in the hotel, or in the villas. I went for the Ger Tents, so that is all I can comment on.

There is a communal shower and toilet for people in the tents, which is private enough, but please remember, it is still a camp ground of sorts.

The tents have several beds, so I expect that when it is a busy season, you could end up sharing the tent with others.

There is not much to say about the tents, except that if you let the fire go out, it is COLD. With the fire on, the tent is perfectly warm.
There is also a small wooden door, which will be knocked on at various moments during the night and very early in the morning by the helper staff who come to stoke the fire and keep you from freezing to death.

They offer a set lunch/breakfast/dinner which you can have. I have a photo of the lunch which was "Buuz". This was pretty much 50% mutton and 50% garlic... bring a tooth brush and tic-tacs.

The place is also owned by a Dutch person which is seen in the dining area. There is a Dutch flag up along with the Mongolian flag and there are several Dutch books and games which you can attempt to read or play.

For what it's worth, I think the place is OK, the beds are not very comfortable as they are simply a mattress on some wooden crates, but what more do you expect? The tents are not very authentic as far as a traditional Ger tent goes, but like I mentioned earlier, it is a tourist trap and is great for the cheesy photos afterward. The views are great and the sky at night is fantastic.

There is no TV in the tent, so bring a book.

  • Liked — The views were great and the night sky was amazing
  • Disliked — The walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank bilvertsz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tiara Resort

Property: Tiara Resort
Address: | Terelj National Park, Gorkhi Terelj National Park, Mongolia
Location: Mongolia > Tov Province > Gorkhi Terelj National Park
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Gorkhi Terelj National Park
Number of rooms: 11
Also Known As:
Tiara Resort Mongolia/Gorkhi Terelj National Park

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