We provide simple 3 star hotel accommodation on all of our Trans-Siberian journeys, with en suite rooms and breakfast included.
If you’re an intrepid grass-roots traveller that enjoys unique local experiences we also offer a homestay option in Yekaterinburg, Irkutsk and Ulan Ude. You may be staying with a local family, couple or single person. In some cases the home owner may actually move out so that you have the home to yourself. Homestays in Siberia are basic, most are small apartments with shared bathroom facilities. Fold-out beds are common and your hosts are unlikely to speak English. There is usually only room for one or two guests so if you’re travelling with a group of friends you’ll be accommodated separately. Homestay accommodation is on a half board basis so you'll receive dinner as well as breakfast. If you would like to book homestay accommodation as opposed to hotels a discount applies - see our pricing page for details.
Russia suffers from a severe shortage of quality 3 star hotels. Tourism is relatively new and the demand for accommodation is often far higher than the supply. With demand being as high as it is, hoteliers have unified with massive price increases, so much so that Moscow is now regarded to have the most expensive hotel accommodation in the world. In Moscow passengers stay at a purpose-built 3 star hotel which formed part of the athletes village at the 1980 Summer Olympic games. Tall and distinctively Russian, the hotel blocks are appropriately named alpha, beta, delta and gamma, following the Greek Olympic tradition. The hotel has a range of guest facilities, with close proximity to amenities and public transport, allowing easy access to the city centre.
Our passengers stay at a 3 star hotel in Beijing which is close to the Heaven Temple and with easy access to the cities main sites including Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the National Museum which are less than 3km away (a 5-10 minute drive).
On Trans-Siberian Railway journeys that include a stopover in Ulaan Baatar there is the option to camp out in a ger for two nights in Terelj National Park.
Mongolia is the home of the 'ger' or 'yurta' as it is known in Russia. More than 70% of Mongolia's population, many of whom are nomadic, live in gers, and have done since the time of Marco Polo. The Mongolian ger is built to withstand some of the harshest climate extremes, from the freezing gale force winds that blow from Siberia and winter temperatures which regularly fall to minus 40 degrees to the summer heat of the Gobi desert.
Easily assembled and disassembled, its components can be loaded on a couple of camels or horses. It is made of a wooden framework covered by large pieces of felt. A decorative cloth covering may be laid over the felt. The ropes which go around the ger, called bus (belts), are usually made of braided horse mane and tail hair. The wooden framework consists of collapsible walls, topped by poles radiating from a central smokehole ring.
Inside, gers are deceivingly spacious. Entering from the southern side, in the centre is a stove, with a pipe emerging from the roof. This provides the ger's occupants with warmth and hot food. The internal layout always follows the same traditional pattern, in that to the west is the men's side and to the east, the women's side. On the men's side, saddles, weaponry and the airag (mare's milk) bag is kept. Cooking implements are generally stored on the women's side. The most revered part of the ger is the northern part, where today families keep heirlooms and keepsakes.
NOTE: During the winter months (usually October to April, although dependant upon the weather), due to the harsh weather conditions, clients can decide upon arrival, whether to stay in permanent accommodation in Terelj National Park or a Mongolian ger.