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“Above and Beyond - A Tale of Hungry Travelers”
Review of Empire Hotel

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Empire Hotel
Ranked #12 of 29 Hotels in Irkutsk
Reviewed July 29, 2012

We arrived in Siberia at the Empire Hotel after 11:00 p.m. Due to a communcation gap between our guide in Mongolia who took us to the airport and waited with us for extra hours due to plane delays, and the driver who picked us up at the airport in Irkutsk (Siberia), we had not eaten at all; each thought the other was providing dinner. After we checked in, we quickly asked if there were any open restaurants. The person at Reception told us to walk down the street and we would find an open restaurant. We do not recall much of the Cyrillic alphabet, but somehow found the restaurant and watched as the chef locked up for the night. We turned back, and just next to the hotel entrance was a stairway leading down to the restaurant beneath. The chef apologized that he, too, was closed. We retuned to the hotel, and immediately after, the chef came in and, in Russian, told the person at reception that he would make us salads and bring them to us. He arrived with the food, and set places for us in the lobby, including two glasses of wine. We were really happy to have this meal of delicious chef salads and very pleased with the hospitality. The chef went above and beyond to help us, a welcome beginning for our visit in Siberia. Five stars to the chef of Lime!!

We had only two nights in the Empire Hotel, but a very nice bedroom (after a mistake where the person at Reception originally gave our room to a solo traveler and gave us the twin bed. She realized the error before we did, and came right away to get us in the correct rooms). Dinners and breakfasts were both simply fine, not elaborate or special. The area was quiet and comfortable to walk around, and we could easily reach the Angara River.

Irkutsk, known long ago as the Paris of Siberia, is well worth visiting, and The Empire Hotel is a very good place to stay.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Wima
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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32 - 38 of 170 reviews

Reviewed July 27, 2012

The hotels at the Empire are clean and well-priced with a most helpful staff. However, note there is an absurd charge for "early check in." And while the restaurant of the hotel is good (excellent breakfasts), make sure the prices charged for lunch and dinner are the same as those appearing on the menu--I was once told, "old menu, new prices" when overcharged.

Also, be certain to visit the fine travel agency in the hotel. Director Olga Karakich is a wonderful and most skilled travel advisor and can book every thing you need from flights to hotels to tour excursions. Her Indigo Agency's e-mail is: info@indigo-irk.ru. Highly recommended!

Stayed: July 2012, traveled solo
1  Thank danguide
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2012

Three star hotels in Asian Russia are different from Western Europe or Japan, but I have to say that Imperia (also known as Empire in some of their literature) hit the sweet spot. A friendly and very helpful desk, clean and spacious rooms, and a swift and responsive staff (to fix a broken light; to help me with the safe). Near the riverwalk, and away from the noise. Quite a few Americans there.

Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
Thank neographite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 4, 2012 via mobile

Far more better than expected. Good location, clean rooms, helpful staff. Breakfast could have been better, but still acceptable.

  • Stayed: July 2012
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Thank uksonal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2011

The hotel is good, the rooms are clean and in order.
It has a good balance price-quality.
The city center (taking the main square as a reference) is at 10 min. walking.

Stayed: August 2011, traveled with friends
Thank Marco_di_Genova
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2011

Well situated close to the park and the city center. the city center is a walking distance. very quiet.
Quick check in after our passports were photocopied.On the reception desk the flag of Israel and other three or four flags.Seeing your country flag so far from home makes your heart pump.We received a room with windows on the ceiling which I found quite interesting and I even liked the ideea.Coffee and tea bags on a little table.You receive them only on the arrival day.Hot and cold mineral water is available from the machine on each floor.English was well spoken at the reception.Reception staff was very very helpful and contributed to a pleasant stay at the hotel.Things were different at the breakfast.No English and quite rude servise.Not too many things to chooose from but we never left hungry.A tv set with a Rushian news channel spoils your calm breakfast mainy because you do not understand enything.
Rooms were cleaned daily and were always clean and neat as were the other public areas.A very small elavator serves the five floors of about 50 rooms altogether.
We stayed for five days and enjoyed it.

Room Tip: They have a few rooms with view to the river.They are a bit more expensive.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank Kertesz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 1, 2010

We spent four nights in Irkutsk at the Hotel Imperia in September 2010 for a break on the Trans Siberian Railroad journey. The hotel is relatively new, opened in 1987, and the rooms are large and comfortable. The front desk staff speak English and are very helpful. We received wake up calls on time, and taxis showed up when we asked for them. A substantial breakfast is included in the price, a generous buffet, if perhaps not to western tastes (meat, fish, vegetables, not bacon and eggs). Located just off Kirov Square, it is very convenient for exploring the town. The train station is a 200-300 ruble cab ride away. Wireless is available and you are charged by the number of megabytes you download. This actually works out to be very cheap. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled with friends
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2  Thank jeffHalifax
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Empire Hotel

Address: Polskikh Povstantsev St.,1, Irkutsk 664011, Russia
Location: Russia > Siberian District > Irkutsk Oblast > Irkutsk
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 29 Hotels in Irkutsk
Price Range: $55 - $83 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Empire Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 49
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