Big Hotel with Small Taste
* I heard that this hotel is demolished and to be constructed again.* (07.12.2009)
This is an old Russian style hotel. Very big with great location. However, rooms are terrible. Hotel is not renovated at all, small rooms, with very poor bathroom facility. Beds are small. I asked them 3 times to have double bed but what i got was two twin beds. Breakfast is optional. The only unique quality about this hotel is its location. Placed in a nice neighborhood, looking towards the big square, to Dom Soviet.
you better rent an apartment
I spend one night in 14th floor of Azerbaijan hotel in "Azaadligh" square .I surprised with customer service of hotel. There was no reception, but you guidance by a companionable young man and he take price by himself!
Hotel looks passed its glorious times and wasn't so clean ,each floor have been moderated by an person and seems every few floors had a chief, In first we ask from hotel "Absheron" from oter side of "Azadligh"sqare, but they have no suitable room for us, when we was waiting for rooms in hotel Absheron, noticed to a black limousine that descended one mid age fat man ,very similar to mafia bosses you seen in movies, when I ask a doorkeeper said he is hotel owner ,I noticed a pretty girl entered next to him to hotel and after deals maybe couldn't deal with that rich man and a few minutes later she exited!
In next day morning when I waked up in our room in hotel by walk in balcony I faced to awesome view that I couldn’t seen last night, Azadligh square with nice building on it, blue Caspian sea and harbor all spread in front of my eyes! Fantastic! I run to my camcorder for recording that great moment, nowadays when I watch this tape I enjoyed!
In the next day we can find a small apartment in nearby in only 60$ per night! That was very clean and so quiet place. I surprised that home we rent is fool of home instruments from a piano to large amount of kitchen tools and glass and crystals, private family album and family movies and C.Ds was in access and picture of house owner lady and her girl are in front of mirror smiled to us! She gave the house key to dealer and went to her relations home to make money from renting her home. ! Trustful lovely people! views of hotel azerbaijan is great but home we rented is more comfortable.
Good cheap accommodation in Baku
Not the first time i come to Baku, sometimes as a tourist, sometimes as a person on an assignment.From my personal experience i found out that most of the hotels in Baku are either very expensive (as IRS Plaza, Hyatt, Europa, Park Inn etc) or very cheap and uncomfortable (as Canub, Araz, Absheron).By the way, even in those cheap hotels the price for a good room is nearly 50$ per night per person (if you are traveling with somebody it hits in your pocket ).Of course, they have several rooms, which price is cheaper, but everytime i tried to reserve any cheap room i am always told that they are already reserved and i am offered to reserve an expensive one.I think, it is the special maneuver to force travelers reserve expensive rooms.I also have been in Canub hotel. The first, i was surprised to find out that the prices were higher in 2-3 times than it was written in any travel forums (for example, Lonelyplanet) or city guide books(though, might be, that was old info and cos of inflation the prices are growing by leaps and bounds). The second, i was shown their rooms and i was shocked – they were so dirty, with only one bed and table and nothing else and moreover i could not bear that musty smell from the toilet.
So, i decided to find any real estate agency.I tried different agencies, saw a big amount of apartments, but the story was the same:Good apartments were very expensive, cheap were in terrible condition.After long searching i contacted BakuRealEstate Agency. They offered me very lovely one room apartment by 35$ per night just in the centre of Baku, in 3 minutes walking to Fountain Square. The apartment was renovated, furnished, with all public utilities round the clock and all household in it. Also, they gave me the cheque for their service and when i came back home i took my money back from the account department of my company. Cheap, renovated, comfortable, in the centre
The Oil City
The oil fields outside Baku are huge and old. Tender bidding for exploration leasing was inroduced in 1872. By the end of the 19th century, Azerbaijan was supplying half the world's oil.
It is a weird landscape of pools and derricks near the Caspian coast. Part of the James Bond film 'The World Is Not Enough' in 1999 was shot here (at Bail, Baku). One of the best views is from the aircraft when one is taking off or landing at Heydar Aliyev airport (named after the president).
There are areas further away from Baku where there are 'mud volcanoes' with bubbling pools caused by seismic activity. Azerbaijan has over 300 sites of this type, more than anywhere else on earth. One can drink tea at tea shops while the hill beside you literally burns due to methane escaping through the ground.
There are theories that Zoroaster (who lived about 600 years BC), the founder of the ancient Zoroastrian religion, developed the use of fire in temple worship after possibly witnessing the perpetual methane flares of Azerbaijan's Absheron Peninsula.
Baku has some interesting monuments like this one which I think is to the local resistance fighters. It is in front of the Natavan Building, not far from the Hyatt Regency hotel and Tbilisi Avenue (or Prospekt as they say locally). I was also interested in the Russian insignia carved into local buildings and the varied architecture of some of the older mansions.
One of the best monuments to visit is the ancient and mysterious Maiden Tower near the waterfront in the old town. It seems to have few windows and is of a very unusual shape with one huge buttress. Once it may have stood by the sea front but the sea has moved back since that time.
Near the Natavan Building, Tbilisi Prospekt, in Baku is this great Christmas Tree which is made of a metal frame with small lights inside green bottles. It is there every year and is quite quaint and unusual. Perhaps visit the tree and then go for a nice meal or a drink down town! It looks better at night time.
Boat Disco near Absheron Hotel
Does anyone know what heppened to the boat which was moored near the Absheron Hotel, which was a bar and disco ? It was there in 2002 and 2004 and nicknamed the Loveboat by Welsh Football fans. Apparently it has now gone....