Stayed at the Al Gawaher for 3 nights, and paid 600 Syrian pounds per night for an air-conditioned room with private shower, including towels and toilet paper. It was a fair price for what we got.
However, me and my friends felt that we had been completely ripped off by the manager who sold us 2 tours to visit places around Aleppo. The first tour wasn't so bad, which is why we felt confident to go for the 2nd tour. For the first tour we paid 2000 Syrian pounds, to be in a minivan with a total of 12 people. Now check the labour cost and the gasoline cost in Syria, and if 12 people pay that much for a 6-hour tour, that's a lot of money! This tour had no tour guide and nothing else included, just the transport. But in all fairness, we agreed to the price, and were charged accordingly. I guess in this case its a situation where we knew that it was really expensive, but there was no other choice. After all we did see a lot of historic places that day.
Then the second tour that we took was where we were really cheated. Me and my friends wanted to go from Aleppo to Damascus, by following a dessert route to visit lake al-Assad and Palmyra. So we asked the manager how much it would cost if we could get someone to take us to the lake and then to Palmyra. (from Palmyra we could then continue on our own with a public bus) And the manager told us, it would cost us about 12000 Syrian pounds for the 3 of us. We thought it was a bit too expensive, so we told him we'll think about it. He told us to think about it and that if he found more people to go with us then it will be much cheaper. Me and my friends decided that we'll go for it even though it was expensive, (now or never situation) The next day the manager told us that he'd found another 2 to go with us, so the price will be even cheaper. On the day of out departure, we were asked to pay 3500 each for the tour (just transport), which we paid thinking that there's going to be 5 people in the vehicle. Instead there were 9 travellers. Now here we're already thinking that the price was really really expensive, but we couldnt do much because we had already departed. By the end of the day we found out that the others had paid less for the tour, about 2000-2500. It might be a small amount, but it is enough to make you feel like you've been cheated and played around with!
Conclusion, the hotel might not be so bad after all for the price you pay.. but really do be careful of anything else you purchase if you stay there!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A clean and nice cheap hotel, located in city center, vey close to the old city and the Citadel. Quiet environment. ... more less