The Florian Shkodra Guesthouse was, as all the other reviews have pointed out, a great place to stay.
I stayed there for about two days in late June / early July of 2012, after which I went a little over the border to visit and stay in the Montenegrin beach-resort town of Ulcinj (where most of the people actually are ethnically Albanian) for about 1.5 days. After my thoroughly pleasant jaunt to Ulcinj, I came back to stay at the Guesthouse for another 24 hours or so.
The Guesthouse was great -- the price was reasonable, the food was good and plentiful, the accommodations were decent and the hosts -- Florian and his family -- were really nice and interesting to talk to. Florian deals the most with the tourists, as he is apparently the only one who knows English (though I spoke to him fairly extensively in my intermediate-level Albanian) and, in short, I had a great time there. The other members of his family constantly wanted to feed me :-)
Perhaps my favorite thing about staying there was that included in the price (I think around 18 - 20 USD in local money) was the opportunity to take one of the bicycles in the Guesthouse's very pretty vineyard-style courtyard and go for long afternoon rides into the city, where I did a lot of exploring and took zillions of photos.
The other couple of guests who I encountered there were generally cool (Florian arranged with us the time that we'd have a common and sumptuous dinner) and Florian was genuinely a nice and interesting guy more than willing to offer you his (well-informed) opinions on his city, country and the larger world around us.
On top of all of this, the accommodations were, as I already mentioned, quite good, with an excellent wi-fi connection and nice, spacious rooms with comfortable beds, cable TV and clean bathrooms which had well-functioning modern toilets and showers with lots of hot water.
I lived in Tirana (the capital of Albania) more-or-less continuously from late August of 2011 through early July of 2012, and I can say that I liked Shkoder (and other cities like Berat, Korce, Pogradec and Sarande) more than Tirana. I will probably return to Albania around May of this year and, if I do, I will definitely head off to Shkoder (not more than 2.5 hours away from Tirana) and stay with Florian and his family at their guesthouse again.
This place is not to be missed !
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This guesthouse and hostel is located in amidst orchards and vineyards but only 2km from the centre of Shkoder. Florian and his family will make you welcome during your stay. Lunch and dinner are offered; Albanian cuisine from locally grown produce. On request, we offer tourist walks with horse or we can show tourists the nearby mountains, rivers, lakes, sea and museums, castles, different historical places in the country. ... more less
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