Hotel Orzu has certainly seen better days but it's still a clean and central option for the budget traveller. We found it difficult to find accommodation in Tashkent mid September – Hotel Orzu was one of the few places that had a room available. There are a lot of other budget options in the near area although some are popular with tour groups so they may book out in advance. We wanted to stay at Gulnara Guesthouse but they were booked out solid until October. As a bonus, Hotel Orzu was the only hotel we stayed at in Central Asia that cost significantly less than the price quoted in the latest Lonely Planet edition (it looks like they've recently put their price down). We paid 87,000SOM for a twin room per night, which at the black market rate worked out to be about USD35.
The room we stayed in was a small twin bedroom with en-suite bathroom on the ground floor. It was normally very quiet at night, except on Saturday night when some some local teenagers decided to drink outside our window. Double beds are also available. The carpet was pretty stain ridden from age but clean enough. Likewise the bathroom was a bit stained but the shower had good pressure and there was plenty of hot water. The room was a bit on the small side and barely fit our two packs and other bits and pieces. Buffet breakfast was included in the room rate and was OK - typically gruel, toast, cucumber, tomato, egg, fruit. The hotel has no internet or wi-fi but there was a good internet cafe just around the corner There was also a fridge and air-con in the room, although we didn't need it because it was quite cool in the evenings. Mirobod Bazaar is only about 15 minutes walk away where there are plenty of money changers, as well as cheap local cafes, restaurants and bars.
The hotel reception staff were a bit funny about doing our registration slip for the whole three nights we stayed there – they wanted to give us a new slip every morning after we'd paid for the previous night. It was a bit strange because every other place we stayed at gave us the registration slip for our entire stay within the first day we arrived and we just paid the full balance when we left. It was no problem though – we were stopped at the metro stations but the police were happy enough to see a photocopy of our passport page and visa and never asked to see our registration slips.
If the hotel offers to help with a taxi it's probably best you hail your own. From the airport they charge USD10 for a taxi. You can catch an official airport taxi for USD4 or take the bus for a matter of cents. We were catching the 7AM Registan Express to Samarkand and wanted to catch a taxi to the station at around 6AM. The hotel reception and security guard said they'd help us hail one down outside the hotel. At least three taxis stopped but once the hotel staff talked to them they took off – the receptionist said it was because they were pre-booked (which begs the question of why they stopped in the first place). The security guard said he'd call a taxi for us, which we presumed would be his mate and cost several times the amount it should. We said no thanks and ended up hailing one by ourselves straight away.
All in all not a bad option if you're on a budget.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel is operated by a tourism agency "Dolores tours" recognized by the Lonely Planet Guide and referred to as one of the best budget places in Tashkent. ... more less