CANUB HOTEL (AND GULAG): SOVIET GOTHIC
I can still remember my first hotel in the USSR. 1986. Passports handed in to reception and suspicious, distrustful looks. Then up the stairs to the first landing. There an old Matron with a stare that could kill 20 Imperialists eyed you up. She would be at her desk, guarding the 1 TV (with the 1 station never on) and an eagle eye-view from the desk to every door on that floor. You were scanned and allowed – to climb another set of stairs. You then arrive and see… an old Matron with a stare that could kill 20 Imperialists eyed you up. She would be at her desk, guarding the 1 TV (with the 1 station never on) and an eagle eye-view from the desk to every door on that floor. 5-25 floors – it never mattered. And your room key was NEVER at reception. No. It was with the floor Matron. Young, yet made of old steel. Ready to report you for subversive activities and sentence you to 2 extra nights in the same hotel.
You reach your room? Dark, mouldy, no shower curtain, maybe some flip-flops. Parts of mismatched carpet, a diabolical bed, little or no curtain, maybe a little heat and a blanket that was too short.
Did I say 1986? Yes, but the spirit is alive today with the daughters running this Soviet Museum. And it’s expensive for what you pay for!
My half toilet seat finally broke and scratched my backside. My bed flipped forward and pitched me along the room when I sat on it. The carpets ARE originals and smell accordingly. The curtain is see through – get up! And you can hear about everything.
Ashtrays are standard – of course it smells like smoke fool!
If you stay here – you get what you deserve.
I have actually dug out some of my USSR pictures (1986) and Belarus pictures (2004) and I can assure you – this place is still the same. The ‘reception’ area is where Matron irons linen and watches the one TV. And she has your key in another room.
Don’t stay here – you wouldn’t sleep in a museum would you.
There are some good and great places to stay in Baku. This isn’t even good enough to be bad.
Where do I begin?
* Smells like mould
* Matron on every floor staring at you
* The TV on every floor goes on - very loud - at 2am when the vodka kicks in
* A bed of nails would be better
* Broken toilets/heaters/doors/beds - you don't get a choice
* You actually have to pay to stay here
* Curtains that let in 99% of light and 120% of noise