I was intrigued about this place. A resort in Iraq. Really, it isn't that great of a resort but considering where you are, you have to give it some credit. They have a choice of various size of cabins some that are double story. We had a single which was nice enough. It had a decent bathroom, a large living room, a good sized bedroom and a kitchen. I found the overall condition of the place a bit worn and a little grubby. The cabins felt almost as if they were placed in suburban America with the lights on the road and the plastic garbage cans set out for the garbage truck to come pick them up.
This place has a small sized amusement park and a fairly decent restaurant that had good pizza. It was kinda weird considering how empty it was for the size of the restaurant. There was this bobsled/rollercoaster thing which was fairly cool. You can get some decent speed on it. Except the kids in front of us kept on braking and actually coming to a complete stop. Since when do kids go slow down a ride?
A decent western style hotel in Duhok. If you room faces the street, you'll have a nice view of Duhok. I found my room to be spacious and had satellite TV. The lobby was quite big but every time I went to my room, the hallway lights were out which made it quite dark. The reception was able to get my laundry done and left it in my room. I only had breakfast at the restaurant which was basic but it did have a nice view of the city.
The hotel was decent enough considering where you are. It's a bit away from the sites of Erbil, but taxis are cheap enough. I stayed here 2 times, the first room was ok (a bit cramped) and the second room was much better. Both had satellite TV and lots of hot water. The restaurant was quite good. There was a common computer in the lobby and staff was nice enough.
For that was Iraq was the most amazing place that we were in, and besides that it was a copy of the european torist places you could experience the pristine nature. We had a lot of fun
The houses that we stayed in was fairly good and the facility had a large pool and some small. it is 900 m above sea level and one can see very nice view
A lot of development is going on in the major cities, and you'll find 4 and 5* hotels popping up on the outskirts of Dohuk, Erbil and Slemani, mainly aimed at businessmen and charging a small fortune.
At the other end of the scale, Iraqi Kurdistan's budget hotels, with a few exceptions, are generally filthy and overpriced compared to similar in Turkey. In Diyarbakir in SE Turkey, for example, a clean single room with a spotless private bathroom and breakfast included set me back about $15, but in Iraqi Kurdistan $20 would get me a squalid room with sticky sheets, grimy carpet, and a bathroom down the hallway shared with other guests and many a six-legged beast. Oddly, satellite tv comes as standard, so even reclining on the filthiest mattress known to mankind, you can flick through 1001 channels in Kurdish, Arabic, Turkish and English. Hot water is also a common feature...you often have a choice between freezing cold or scalding hot in the shower. It's best not to look too closely at any electric wiring that may or may not be hanging loose in the shower cubicle, and be careful if your squat toilet has a flush...it will flush the bowl, but it'll also give your feet a wash too. Power cuts are frequent, but most hotels do have back-up generators.
That said, there are plenty of hotels around the market areas, all of them between $10 and $30 per room, some much much better than others, and a higher price doesn't always indicate an improvement. Check rooms before agreeing to stay, so if you're not impressed, move on. Most places are open to a bit of bargaining, so if the price seems to be ridiculously high, say so and it often falls quite quickly. One thing I can say for all the hotels I stayed in...the staff were friendly and helpful, and proved extremely useful when asking about onward transport.
Every reception has a photocopier, and you'll be asked to hand in your passport when you arrive, so they can take a copy of the information and visa pages.
Security at the budget places is fairly non-existant, but in this part of Iraq you don't really need it. If this was Arab Iraq, I'd want to stay in a good hotel with security walls and armed guards, but a stay in Iraqi Kurdistan doesn't warrant that. You can find it if you want it though...the Erbil International Hotel in particular looks like a fortified army barracks.
Hotel in Kurdish is "uteel" or "miywanxane", or you can ask for "funduq" in Arabic.
"Aray zhorek bo yek kes haya?" (Kurdish)/ "Fii 'andek ghorfa li shakhs waaHid?" (Arabic) - Do you have a room for one person?
"Kiraye zhorek bo yek shav chand denar?" (Kurdish)/ "al-ghorfa li layla waHdeh bikam?" (Arabic) - How much is a room for one night?
I lived in a CHU (Containerized Housing Unit) surrounded by HESCO Barriers (basically, dirt inside of a box). Basically, a CHU is a metal shipping container that they wired up, cut a hole in it for a door and one of those mobile AC units, and sometimes a small window. It's actually pretty nice, considering you usually live in tents when you go to war. You can plug in a fridge, a microwave, and they even hooked up obscenely expensive internet out here ($95USD for a month). So, if any of you civilians come out here (they often do, either to support the troops or for other business with the Iraqi government), don't expect to stay in one of these. I have no doubt you'll be getting vastly better treatment ;)
If the AC ever goes out, the temperature within your CHU swiftly rises to inhumanly acceptable levels. It's 120F out here right now (July), and this is essentially just a metal box, so it acts like an oven. AC goes out, you'll find people sleeping on cots outside their front door. Also, the scorpions and sand fleas still get in, and there simply is no stopping them. It's simply a fact of life out here; you learn to live with it, just like the fierce sand storms and never-ending heat.
This was a 2-star hotel and the room I stayed in was fairly basic but had satellite TV and small fridge. I appeared to be the only guest and the staff were relatively friendly. Breakfast in the morning was typical tea, bread, boiled egg and cheese.
This hotel was quite busy when I checked in. It has the advantage of being very close to the Citadel and the central market.
However, in terms of cleanliness, i would say it was noticeabley lacking and no towels are provided (although the hotel volunteered to send someone to the market (across the street) to buy me one).
I was charged just under $50/night.
I would not particularly recommend this hotel to anyone else. I should also point out that this part of down completely shuts down by about 6:30 pm which is when the electricity appears to get cut to all the shops. It is very dark to wander around the streets at this time although a few shops can be found operating on their own small generators.
I had to stay at the Kanya Motel since the main hotel in town was closed for renovations. This motel is located just outside Amedya down the hill and it is about a 15-20 minute walk up the road into town. Locals will likely stop to offer a ride if they see you walking.
The room I stayed actually had a kitchenette and one large separate sleeping room. Satellite tv is supplied and a kerosene heater in the winter. I was charged $50 for a night.
Underneath the hotel is a small sesame seed oil plant where the seeds are ground to produce oil for local sale. It is interesting to see this production which the owners will probably allow you to view.
This is a great hotel in Dohuk close to the central market and the shared car services for travel to places like Arbil. The cost of stay includes a good breakfast including fresh honeycomb to eat with the bread. The rooms are spacious with satellite TV and a bar fridge. The staff is also friendly and helpful and right beside is a pastry shop (same owners as hotel) with delicious sweets.
Great service, friendly and helpful staff and they also have a small staellite photo map of Dohuk which is useful for getting around.
The only downside is that construction of a major highway overpass was happening adjacent to the hotel so once it is up and running, noise may become more of a factor.
This is a decent hotel catering more to Turkish businessmen. It is located close to the highway leading to Dohuk so is convenient for catching rides. Kurdish is the language spoken at the hotel which also does not have any dining facilities. A 10 minute walk will easily get you into the heart of Zahko which isn't very big anyway.
There is not a lot to really see here but it is a good layover stop if you ended up late crossing the border. The cost is about $20.
We arrived here around 1 a.m., after a full day of an intense road trip. Quiet, and airconditioned, I was well pleased.
My bathroom was one of those utilitarian closets, containing a squat toilet, a sink & a hand held shower within a small space. While showering the soap slipped from my hand and went right down the hole of the squat toilet. I still worry that I may have caused a clog but I'm hoping that the soap just dissolved.
My stay in a Hooch is far better than the tent I lived in for 3 months with 35 others, but now i only have too share with 1 other
Keeps the rain out, what little we have. But the dust cannot be stoped.
We built a trailer park for all the soldiers and ourselves. Can't comment on the numbers involved but let's say that it is quite possibly the largest trailer park in the world.
Fast to assemble, uniform (The Army loves that), easy to maintain. It is also a lot less expensive than trying to stick build that many dwellings.
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