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.
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Travelocity, Expedia, Orbitz, Priceline and Evoline ltd so you can book your Empire Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.