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When I arrived at the Pristina bus station with my big backpack, I found myself surrounded by taxi drivers hollering, "Velania? Professors? Velania? Professors?" Known as THE place for backpackers and budget travelers in Pristina, taxi drivers knew just by looking at me that it was my destination. And of course, they charged me accordingly!
Located at the top of a hill near the city center, Velania Guesthouse can be hard to find. I took a wrong turn when I first departed the guesthouse for the city center and it turned into an hour-long walk; fortunately along the way I met a helpful local who then showed me how to get back in only twenty minutes! The map they provide isn't particularly helpful, nor is the Lonely Planet, so don't be afraid to ask a local for help! Nearly everyone in town knows how to get to "The Professor's".
Which brings me to The Professor. I didn't get to know him very well, although he is the owner of the guesthouse. Most of the time he was sleeping in his chair in reception, belly hanging out of his stained t-shirt and snoring loudly over the sound of his old TV. Sometimes there were middle-aged female staff around to help me (like when I checked in) but other times I simply had to sneak behind his desk and get things like keys myself, hoping not to wake him. Don't worry- he never woke up! I heard from other travelers that he is an enthusiastic barrel of laughs and a wealth of local knowledge (who knows how to mark up a map really well!), but I guess they encountered him during his brief waking hours.
My single room with shared bath was located in a building down the street from the main guesthouse. The room was very small but completely clean, and dark curtains kept the hot summer air out. I never had a problem accessing the clean shared bath, either. There were two old computers with internet access in my building (I think there was wifi too), and in the basement there was a shared kitchen that unfortunately was not as clean as the rest of the guesthouse (flies everywhere). I believe that all of the pictures in the "gallery" on the website show the main building (or possibly the family home), as the building I stayed in was in no way similar to the photos. I felt safe and comfortable sleeping here, and reassured to know there were lots of other travelers around, but be aware that this guesthouse doesn't lend itself to meeting other people as there really isn't a common space. A hostel it is not.
I stayed for one night with my teenage daughter on the way from Macedonia to Albania.
The room was nice and clean with a new bathroom, very good shower and the service was good.
Walking distance to the city center. Plenty of shops around. A 3-4 euro ride with taxi to the bus station. €50 for a double including breakfast. Breakfast also came with omelette.
Very friendly service.
I've been in Kosovo for a week and have stayed in hotel Aldi. i would prefer to people that are traveling for any reason in Pristina, to choose Aldi hotel as a best buy for them.
Clean, very clean. Taxi to the city central for only 2 euros. Very friendly stuff etc.
I rented a house for around 800 euros per month. It is a fully furnished house with more than three bed rooms and hall with attached kitchen and dining. I think it is very good for me, and rent is high too.
could not recomend this hotel highly enough. First rate. Very helpful English speaking staff. Come out of hotel, turn right, top of the road one of the best bars i have ben in for a long time. I forget the name but has big garden out front.
New clean hotel with nice service in the heart of town.
There is a decent restaurant downstairs, although you can find more exciting options around.
As far as I know, this is the only budget place to stay in Prishtina. Set above the city in a quiet street on Velania Hill, a fairly well-off area of town, the Velania guesthouse is a great place to stay. Run by the "professor" who speaks excellent English, the guesthouse is spread over two buildings in the same street.
Free internet access, use of kitchen, free laundry if you stay three days, use of the Professor's In Your Pocket Guide to Prishtina, constant hot water, television in rooms.
A twin room en suite cost us 20 Euro a night (at 10 Euro each, that's the same as hostels in Macedonia and Bulgaria). Once my travelling companion had left, I stayed in a single room for 13 Euro...the shared bathroom was tiny, and involved some acrobatics to use the shower...go for en suite if you can, as it is worth the extra couple of Euros
I own the Manor Guest House in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Our website is www.manorguesthouse.com.
Velania Guest House in Pristina has stolen the photo of our house from our website and put it on theirs. When you see their website you think that beautiful house is Velania Guest House, but it is ours in Vancouver. They have also stolen our format. Go to our website and see for yourselves.
Would you want to stay in a place that represents itself so dishonestly?
Manor Guest House
Travelors to Pristina quickly realize that there is a dearth of good hotels in this city. Hotel Royal, a new Pristina hotel, located conveniently near the center of the city, is an exception. It's friendly staff and clean rooms are quite comfortable for both business travelors and tourists.
I was also pleasantly surprised by the quality of the hotel's restaurant.
Definately consider the Hotel Royal the next time you are in Pristina.
All rooms include a FREE mini-bar (yes, included in the price, but limited) and FREE wireless internet that actually works. Room rate also includes breakfast, which is decent.
The actress Michelle Phfifer stayed at the hotel once several years ago - a fact that the hotel will not soon forget.
Hotel Victory while located on the outskirts of town is one of the nicest hotels in Pristina. Most visiting dignitaries stay at the hotel which gives everyone an idea of the quality.
Room prices are a little more expensive that some of the hotels downtown but then you do get what you pay for! A single room starts at 100E/night but normally you can negotiate a discount especially if you are coming to work for an international organization.
Wireless internet is available free of charge and there is a router on every floor for full-coverage access.
Taxi service is easily arranged by the hotel to downtown.
The staff are very helpful and friendly.
As one of the newer hotels in Pristina, you can be assured that you will be staying in modern luxury at Hotel Victory.
Plus there is a the cool Statue of Liberty on the top of the hotel :) It's actually rumored to be the second-largest replica in the world!
Hotel Begolli is a small boutique hotel in the heart of Pristina, tucked away in the meandering lanes around the Bazaar and a few meters back from Rr. per Podujeve which runs into Mother Thereza street. I have found that the Begolli hotel provides the best value for money in accommodation in Pristina and compared to the bigger and better known hotels in the city - the apartments, the rooms and the willingness of management to cater for request means it is definitely heading in the right direction.
The hotel is only small with five apartments and 11 rooms, but the price of the apartments which are fully furnished with a kitchen, lounge and satellite TV is less than half of what you would pay at any of the mid-range or top end hotels like the Prishtina or the Grand.
Given the above glowing recommendation the apartments and the rooms furnishings may not be everyone's cup of tea and there are a couple of short comings that I feel need to be pointed out. The apartments do not have any clothes storage or hanging facilities, two small drawers on the bedside tables are about the extend of it. Furthermore, the kitchens do not have sufficient cooking utensils or pots and pans. I asked management for some and received a pot and frying pan from the hotel kitchen as well as some cutlery from the restaurant. I have gathered that if I needed anything esle I would have to buy them. However, compared with the competition, I still highly recommend this hotel and as one of the best available in Pristina.
Check out their webpage for the pictures of their rooms, and sure they don't have the budget for a flash webpage but as they say, a picture says a thousand words and in this case, you can check out each and every one of their rooms online and see if you agree. ps. check out the jacuzzi spas.. :-) and no, we don't have one in our apartment!
The most outstanding characteristic I have to admit is the price - Hotel Begolli leaves the competition behind in pricing itself in the budget market, but with room amenities that rivals the more expensive hotels here in Pristina. Location also is a great plus, as it is walking distance to everything in town including Government departments around Skenderbeu statue, the bazaar as previously mentioned, as well as restaurants, bars and shopping.
Self catering in this environment is an absolute pleasure with the fresh fruit and vegies of the bazaar plus an excellent meat mart just around the corner. There are also numerous little minimarts and a couple of slightly bigger 'mini markets' within five minutes walk where one can stock up on ingredients or snacks.
On arrival, the management has endeavored to put on extra satellite TV channels like Discovery, and a whole bunch of English language News (Euronews, BBC & CNN), TV Series and Movie channels (no Starmovie but good enough).
A few days ago I asked for Internet to be connected in our apartment and the ISP guys came and hooked us up yesterday, which is why I can now get online from here instead of getting smoked out in one of the Internet cafes in town!
Early this morning at the ungodly hour of 3.00am, our hot water system blew up!, and just after lunch the workmen arrived with a brand new hot water system and installed it so now we have lovely hot water again - a must during these freezing cold days and nights.
Our apartment is very comfortable and has separate heaters in the bedroom, the loungeroom and one in the kitchen. We do not have any problem with power or being cold (trust me, I come from the South Pacific and you will hear me whining a mile away if I am cold!! ;-))
I suppose at the end of the day, I appreciate the management's willingness to help, even though they may not respond as quickly or exactly as I would expect, but they do try and make an effort to make our stay more comfortable and enjoyable.
An excerpt from the email I just sent my collegues about the Hotel Ora in Kosovo:
"This morning as I was leaving to go to the field office, the manager of the hotel I am at asked how my night was. I told him that he had a beautiful hotel (blatant lie) and the food was very nice (gross exageration), and casually mentioned that my room was a bit warm (no AC).
This evening I came back to my room to see part of my exterior wall ripped out with a brand new air conditioner being installed. It's finally in and working (now 9:30 PM) and I am left hoping this doesn't appear on my bill - something I will confirm tomorrow with the manager (after thanking him, of course). Now that's service ..."
While the view from the hotel is depressing (see picture), I was greatly impressed by the dedication of the hotel staff.
The hotel has five floors and approximately 25 rooms. Breakfast is included in the price, but is somewhat unimpressive (as is standard in this region). The hotel's restaurant serves acceptable food, but given Pristina's large number of high quality restaurants, it doesn't make sense to eat at the hotel.
Amazing service and VERY friendly staff
I spent a month here on business in 2004 and was back in 2012 for 2 1/2 weeks. Both times I found the hotel very comfortable and the staff very, very helpful. The rooms are nice and they are kept clean. Both rooms I had have large modern bathrooms with soaking tubs which is always a plus. A nice not great, breakfast buffet is included. The dining room has good dinners. The hotel is within easy walking distance of a main city street where I went to buy snacks and drinks for my from a mid-sized "supermarket". Pristina leads the world in the number of pharmacies so several pharmacies are also nearby. As an example of the hotel's service when I mentioned at the desk in 2004 the lack of English language entertainment on their cable TV system they added a cable movie channel the next day (TCM or AMC type not HBO or STAR but good enough). Now they have two Fox TV channels (Life and Crime) and the local channels have some English TV shows. I would go back in a minute and in fact eventually I did just that. I would stay there again. I really liked the place.
On every floor there are two PC's. It was always easy to get one and surf the web. They used to have headsets for listening to audio on the web but these were gone in 2012.
This is newly build hotel with great conference hall and parking lot.The rooms are equipped with TV, Air-conditioning, phone with a direct line, small bar
and free access to Internet. Located 2 km from the city center by connects to every part of town easily with public transport.
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