The "Real Russia" review is correct. The "Octobretskaya" is a reminder of hotels prior to peristroika, and much of central Russia today. It's not a tourist hotel in the western sense as furnishings are a bit sparse, in the style of Eastern Europe in the 60's & 70's, but learn and use a few Russian phrases, leave a room tip with a Thank-you note in Russian, and the friendly staff will provide a very pleasant stay--just a couple blocks thru a park, in one of the focal points of the great Stalingrad battle. The main rail station, Paulus' surrender site, and the avenue to the Volga are in easy walking distance...as are several restuarants and basic grocery shopping. Battlefield tours are readily available on line--Stalingradworld.com...from our visit in July 2011, and hopefully a return. (I'd be careful about mid-winter as we're from the south U.S.)
Unique Quality: The "retro" atmosphere of the Soviet era; the location in the midst of the Sept '42 Stalingrad battlefield; and the easy & scenic walk to the Volga resturarant & boat landings.
Directions: Near the Theatre, the historic Heros' Square, the main Rail Station, Univermag department store, and a half mile from the Volga River.
I feel the other reviews are pretty unfair to this hotel. Its a typical Russian hotel of the late Soviet period in whats an unglamourous typical Russian city! No frills nor fancies. Nor does it pretnd to be anything else. Lobby, reataurant & cafe bar are fine, functional and clean. Breakfast is good. Rooms alas are a bit dated & run-down albeit very clean. And more so, everything – tv, fridge, fan , bathroom – works. Staff were most pleasant and helpful – less of the aloof attitude I found elsewhere in upper end places. As other reviewers have said – approach with the right attitude and you’ll get a lot out of the experience. I stayed in a higher end hotel in Moscow .... and could have been anywhere between Alaska & Vladivostock. This was a grittier but far more enjoyable experience. If you want “real russia” – warts & all ..... this is where to find it. Russia Lite is catered for in the Intertourist & Hotel Volgograd
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