This place was overpriced, unwelcoming, and unsanitary. First let me make it clear that I was not expecting perfect accommodation in the small village of Lahic; I understand that Azerbaijan is a relatively difficult place for travelers. The uncomfortable rooms and lack of running water are things that I would have been happy to deal with, had the people running the place been at all reasonable. We payed 15 Manat each, and the price included breakfast at a connected restaurant. The "breakfast" was bread, tea, and honey - barely worth the 5 Manat they tagged onto the price. They also did not give us breakfast one morning, which we had paid for in advance. Our room had no windows, and consisted of a filthy sofa bed.
The Ismaiellov family (who ran the homestay) were standoffish and very cold. One member of the family who spoke English loomed awkwardly over us during our meals, and made us feel extremely uncomfortable. He also tried to get us to spend unreasonable amounts of money. For example, he told us that transport to the city of Seki required a 50 Manat taxi ride. He told us that this was the only way. We easily discovered that we could use local buses to arrive in Seki for around 5 Manat. You get the idea. IF SOMEONE TRIES TO SUGGEST SOMETHING TO YOU CONNECTED TO MONEY DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, LISTEN TO ANYTHING THEY SAY.
Another young, English speaking member of the Ismaiellov family running the local tourist office charged us an exorbitant amount of money for a "jeep safari" that was very poor - about 2 hours, with no meal included. I REPEAT: DO NOT PAY SUGGESTED PRICES FOR ANYTHING HERE. YOU WILL GET RIPPED OFF.
Lastly, I would like to comment on the restaurant connected to the guest house. At this restaurant, you will be overcharged. For example, we paid 4 Manat for a small portion of shishlik; local Azeris were paying 1 Manat for this meal. You get the idea.
In closing, DO NOT STAY HERE IF YOU VISIT LAHIC. YOU WILL GET RIPPED OFF.
Unfortunately, this place was mentioned in our guidebook and we stumbled upon it when we first got to Lahic. To be fair, the setting is gorgeous and the house features a very old hamam that is great fun to bathe in.
The family was not very friendly when we arrived, though they speak some Russian. We were told to wait for their son, who speaks some English, and during our 3 hour wait Mamuka became increasingly outraged that no hospitality was offered - not even water. "This is the Caucasus!" he fumed, and indeed, it seemed rude by any standard.
The son indicated that the cost was 20 manat ($26) per person which, with dinner and brekkie included, seemed reasonable. We finally had to ask for dinner, which consisted of leftover soggy stuffed cabbage, some yoghurt soup, and stale bread. We were then told that we were being charged 15 manat ($20) for this stingy meal; we decided to forgo breakfast the next day, which would have cost 15 manat as well!
The beds are dirty and awful, even by our relaxed standards, and the room was freezing. This place clearly caters to tour groups and is making plenty of money through them; it no longer sees any need to attempt to please regular guests. Best avoided!
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