For first-time visitors to Kabul the Mustafa is the place to head for. The hotel is popular with journalists and NGO workers.
Small and simple rooms with desk and tiny electric heater (shared bathrooms) cost $35 a night ( ! ). Double rooms start at $50.
The hotel has satellite TV, a restaurant which serve western food, and a cybercafe.
Most international organizations will provide their own safehouses.
It is recommended that first time visitors to Kabul stay in the Mustafa Hotel. This location is popular with journalists/foreigners and is close to the popular shopping locals of Chicken and Flower Streets. Good cafe and internet access. 50 rooms. Restaurant, pool table, DVD room, basketball court. $45 per night
The Intercontinental has 200 rooms and is 30 minutes from the city center, in West Kabul. Good internet cafe, Indian restaurant, fitness center, swimming pool, tennis court, sauna, and barber.
Perfect for conferences. +873 761 469690 Choice for journalists, diplomats, and government officials. Currently being rennovated. $80- $230 per night.
The military bases I visited were very rough and in cramped quarters. I know that some relief orginizations have compounds all over the country, but it might be hard securing a place to stay unless you're in that group. There are some large hotel chains in Kabul, but I have not heard good things about them.
No matter where you visit , the first question is where to live, which also applies to my visit to Afghanistan. Actually, when I just came to Kabul last year, I had no idea where I would settle donw even one day before my dapature. Anyway, I fianlly found my room in the Inter-Contenetal Hotel in Kabul with the help of local officals, in which I stayed for more than one month. This hotel, which was built by King Zair Shah in the 1960s', is considered as the best 5-star hotel in Kabul, which naturally costs more that $80 per night for a single room with very shabby and simple furnitures. It now costs a lot in Kabul now for accomomdation because of the influx of foreigners since last October. Take the rent for instance. the general price for a COMPLETE house ranges from $3000-$8000 per month, which is much higher than those of in Beijing. So you cannot find REAL hotel in Kabul, but you still have to pay more than you do in most of countries. That's it !
Though the price is unfair, I still think the Inter-Contenetal Hotel is the best one in Kabul. You can have the best view of the city in your room.
In Kabul, if you don't want to stay at the Intercontinental Hotel ('Continental') which is rumored to cost $55 a night, then fortunately you have some other options.
Also you can stay at Hotel Jamil which is closer to the centre of town. A couple of freelance journalists are staying here. The staff are nice and look after you. I was quoted at first $20 a night (double room), but with little persuasion they agreed for $10 for a single room only, which includes a very warm gasoline stove. There is en-suite bathroom (the French dignifies it a little too much) but you need to heat your hot water on the stove. Power seems to be typical during the evening but not so much in the morning.
The best hotel for women travellers would definately be Hotel Mustafa, which is run by two American-Afghans, who are friendly and hospitable and more American than Afghani in character. It is a very journalist-orientated hotel (some NGO people also) and there are many foreign women staying here. It has something of the feel of school dormitory ('After 10pm we'd like you back in your rooms' so said the manager) but there is BBC World which can be reassuring for those in culture shock. Small and simple rooms with desk and tiny electric heater (shared bathrooms) cost $25 a night. Power most of the time, I think the showers work but I didn't try them. I wouldn't go so far as to recommend this hotel, some things rather annoy me (not least that Afghans, Pakistanis, and Arabs are not allowed to stay there), but it's is where I am staying at the moment until I can find something better and then find the time to move. Also some of the guests (journalists) are rather objectional, including one loud American who one evening declared that 'It would have been easier and cheaper just to nuke this whole country' then proceeded to ignorantly insult the Koran in front of the Afghan staff. I really saw red that time, fortunately my better reason and judgement and cowardice prevailed and I didn't attempt to thrash him. Such comments can somehow be expected and perhaps excused back in deep redneck American, but to say them in front of Afghans in their own country is deeply offensive, especially just because Afghans are really such good and decent-natured people by large.
There is also Kabul Hotel, according to a UN report there are no foreign guests staying there at the moment at it is mostly fully occupied by government staff. There are a couple of guesthouses around too which are also favored by journalists, haven't been able to find them yet. Asking some of the guests at Hotel Mustafa you could get some information about these.
Also you can stay at Hotel Jamil which is closer to the real centre of town. A couple of freelance journalists are staying here. The staff are nice and look after you. I was quoted at first $20 a night (double room), but with little persuasion they agreed for $10 for a single room only, which includes a very warm gasoline stove. There is en-suite bathroom (the French dignifies it a little too much) but you need to heat your hot water on the stove. Power seems to be typical during the evening but not so much in the morning.
My first hotel in Afghanistan. I paid 20 $ for a room with shower and toilet. Good surprise, I found it much cleaner than I expected. I had a TV in my room which would'nt work anyway ( no antenna ). Electricity runs only 3 or 4 hours a day in town ( and in the hotel ). Hot water available most of the time.
There is a restaurant in the hotel but with not a great choice of meals. Drinks are generally warm, due to the shortage of electricty.
There was a swimming pool in the old days. Now it's empty and I doubt that they will restore it soon.
It is the only hotel allowed to visitors, for the time being, in Afghanistan. It is located up in a low hill dominating lovely Kabul and its mountains. The cheapest price for a single room (very small) is 100 US Dollars. If you want to go to the downtown to visit, for instance, Chicken Street Market, better take a taxi.
There is also a restaurant called Bukhara, serving Indian food, plus telephone and internet facilities.
everywhere except in big cities, you find the chaikhana, where you get 1/2 pension for 70 afghanis (1 1/2 dollars). you can also stop during the day for a pot of tea and a bite, but it'll be heardly anthing else than bread, pilau rice, eggs or boiled mutton. small towns have kebab (grilled sticks).
you sleep on the carpet, at the spot you just ate, in a crowded room w little air.
bring a sleeping bag if it's the mountains, cuz their blankets are not enough.
You do not want to stay at this hotel! Once it was really nice, now it is dying. When I stayed there in July 2006 it had only 7 guests in 200 rooms. The service is poort, breakfast the same (a piece of afghani bread and a small amount of jam and cheese). There is only generator power and therefore no refrigeration - you can't get a cool drink; no bar - its closed; and generally not clean.
What a sad end to what was once a nice place - if not THE place - to stay in Kabul.
There are also drug users amongst the staff and often strange behaviour from them.
AVOID AT ALL COSTS.
However there is a Continental Hotel according to the international standard, but for those like me, it is far from thinking. most of hotels are situated at Ameer Taimur Road in southern part of city. i visited few just for my knowlege. the quality is very poor and unclean but are very very expensive, nothing less than 100 US$ for a bed per night.
KABUL: Spinzar Hotel is $20/single, with shared bathroom (hot shower), $40/room with balcony and hot shower. The location is convenient but not too many foreigners staying inside. Highly recommended is the Mustafah Hotel near Chicken Street, there's no sign outside but it's very famous. It's next to "Shoaib Photo Studio" and a pharmancy. Very popular for NGOs. $25-35/single, $40/double, $60/double with attached bath, all rooms have hot shower. Very good communal area for watching satellite TV, playing snookers, and chatting with other NGO guys. Highly recommended for low budget travellers is the Zar Negar Hotel. The price for local and foreigners are listed below (foreigners' price in bracket), the owner said he needs to pay "foreigner tax" for the police (for protection) and that's why foreigners should pay more! Af150 (Af300)/double, Af210 (Af510)/triple, sometimes they will let you to stay in a one-bed room for Af150. All rooms are without toilet and shower, use bucket water only, frequent black out. At night time if there's electricity, you can watch porno (satellite TV) at the reception! The owner said he's going to install TVs in some rooms soon! There's a restaurant inside the hotel compound and they have hot drinking water (usually free, but sometimes they ask for baksheesh). The staff can be very lazy at meal time and will just tell you to "boro, boro" (go! go!), talk to their boss instead, his name is Baryalai. Near Zar Negar Hotel is Jamil Hotel, they charge $5 per bed and the staff seems not as friendly as the Zar Negar folks.
While our accomodations were taken care of, I did see a lot of signs for guesthouses. Don't know the quality of any of them, but certainly, they would be worth checking out. I figure that since the decline of the Taliban, more people will be establishing places for travellers to stay. The following pictures only represent a smattering of what I'm sure is there if one looks.
For good information on places to stay, check out the following website: http://www.afrikamedia.com/afghan-guesthouses.htm
Kabul offers few choice of accomodation. Hotels tend to be overpriced for a very poor quality.
Single rooms at the Spinzar hotel cost $20. with shared toilets (no lock!), shared bathroom.
Double room cost $50.
Two restaurants but a very poor choice of meals.
Afghans4tomorrow's guesthouse is located in west Kabul close to the University of Kabul. The guesthouse is located in a former villa, has a beautiful view of the mountains surrounding the city and a private garden. It is only 15 minutes away from downtown Kabul. We have hosted many guests from all over the US and from Europe as well since its opening in March 2004. We have received excellent praise for our accommodation and good service.
In addition to a solar energy system that provides electricity, there is also high-speed internet service, a computer, a printer and a TV/VCR set for training purposes.
The house can accommodate up to 13 persons; breakfast, dinner and laundry are included in the price. A4T can also arrange for transportation during your visit in Afghanistan.
For your safety the guesthouse has two armed guards and barbered wires surrounding the walls. The police station and shopping stores are just 2 minutes away. We have two full time staff members at the guesthouse.
For reservations please contact:
Najib Sedeque, A4T Country Director
Tape Salam; Sarake Awal
Demazang (Behind the former electric company station)
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