The Stereotype Hotel

When I booked this hotel a couple of years ago I didn’t know I was in for a surprise (or two). I was in a hurry and I needed an affordable accommodation close to Domodedovo airport with an airport shuttle to catch an early morning flight out of Moscow. The hotel above met all my needed criteria and, believe it or not, was the cheapest in the area, by a good margin.

A non-descriptive sedan picked my wife and me up in front of the Domodedovskaya metro station (there is a shopping mall with a few fast-food and coffee option if you arrive early) and we started our journey to the hotel.  For a while we stayed on the main road/highway leading to the airport, but then suddenly we left it at an intersection with no sign whatsoever and we found ourselves on a dirt-road. A few minutes later we are crossing a village of wooden houses in poor shape and garages, with no sign of any building that could be our accommodation for the night. “Almost there” the driver says. I suddenly remember that part of the reason for the good price was that the hotel was brand new and it was trying to promote itself, but that also meant there were no picture on the website I booked from. I am starting to really wonder if I made the right choice.

We leave the shabby village behind, turn a curve and suddenly a boxy looking villa appears around a corner.  The first thing I notice is that there is a big statue of a stag on the roof, very much reminiscent of that in the hunting palace of Stupinigi, close to my hometown in Italy. The second thing is that the park-to-be in front of the villa is still very much a construction site. All in all, a bit unusual, mostly because it is in the middle of nowhere (even though you can see it from the airport highway), but at least definitely new.

The real surprise came once we walked in: the hotel positively looks like a stereotypical Russian oligarch house. There is as much bling as one can possibly imagine and pretty much everything is either gold plated, led illuminated or polished to shine! The rooms are just a tad less gleaming, but they are actually large, incredibly well sound-proofed and with plush comfortable beds. Luckily I was able to keep a straight face when I told the lady at the front desk that I really liked the decor and I wanted to take a few pictures of it, a statement to which she reacted with absolute delight, definitely showing pride for how fancy everything looked!

The hotel is pretty much isolated, so we decided to eat at the in-house restaurant that night. As it is often the case in Russia, in spite of offering a large number of dishes, the menu didn’t provide very many options at all for my vegetarian wife. So she ended up ordering a pizza Margherita (which was even spelled correctly on the menu). There came the second surprise of the day: the chef decided that only tomato, mozzarella cheese and basil on the pizza was definitely too boring, so he added chicken and some sort of salsa to it!

Note: as this “trip report slash review” makes a bit of fun at the hotel expenses, I will not write its name nor provide a link, but if you want to experience the thrill of spending a night in an oligarch house replica leave a comment or send me a message and I will give you direction! 🙂

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