What constitutes a luxury hotel in Minsk is comparable to lower- to mid-type American hotels, but we were grateful for the Orbita. It's clean and pleasant enough.
Be forewarned: the beds are hard, and the sheer curtains let in all light, which makes sleeping more difficult. We couldn't have slept without "chemical enhancement" (sleeping aids such as anti-histamine). Our friends had rooms on the east-facing street side, and the morning sun is a brutal wake-up force. Our room faced the back of the hotel, which was quieter, but the afternoon sun was so strong my husband had to put on his brimmed hat in order to sit at the desk and use his computer! After several nights we pulled a blanket from the duvet cover and hung it in the window to block out the light.
Also be warned that the rooms do not have a clock or a hair dryer. We were, however, surprised and delighted by the excellent strength of the water pressure in the shower.
And be warned that you have to lock yourself in your room when you’re in it. I forgot one time, and was quite surprised when a drunk hotel guest (or visitor?) opened our door by mistake one night. I shudder to think what might else have happened besides a look of surprise on both our faces.
The breakfast buffet in the hotel restaurant offered fried eggs and boiled eggs in addition to an assortment of eastern European fare. If you use artificial sweetener, bring your own. We had dinner in that restaurant one night and were pleased by the portion sizes and quality of the food. (Interestingly, we were the only patrons.) We ate in the pizzeria several times and were grateful that they had an English dinner menu available (but not lunch). The coffee bar is very good also.
As you go out the hotel door, there is a market to your right which is helpful for things like bottled water, which we bought in 5-liter bottles. (Even the locals don't drink the tap water.) And tissue (Kleenex), which the hotel rooms did not have. We came prepared to make our own coffee in the mornings since in-room coffee makers are non-existent, and were glad to buy large mugs at that market.
Behind the hotel is a supermarket and many flea-market type stalls. It's an interesting stroll if you have the time.
There are steps EVERYWHERE. In the hotel, outside the hotel, downtown. I usually use a scooter or wheelchair when traveling due to a mobility problem, but either would have been useless in Minsk. I saw a number of people on canes, but only one wheelchair and that was in the hotel the morning we left. I wondered how the man was going to get to the restaurant or even up the two steps to the pizzeria. (But then, this is really not out of the ordinary. Even at the Minsk airport, near stairs there are signs with the wheelchair logo that say "with assistance," and two men come to carry wheelchairs and their occupants up and down stairs.)
There is fast wi-fi in the lobby; you buy cards for an hour at a time for about 60 cents. Cheap and good! Only one of the couches had a power outlet close enough to plug into.
My husband's previous experiences with Minsk hotels included aggressive, unwanted prostitutes banging on his door and calling rooms in the middle of the night ("Massage? Sex?"). So he remarked several times on the refreshing difference and classiness of the Orbita. The no-nonsense business-suited security guards always in the lobby, did not allow prostitutes to openly work the hotel.
We were pleased and hope to return to the Orbita.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- "Orbita" Hotel" is a modern hotel of the Republic of Belarus with comfortable rooms and a wide range of services which is justly considered to be one of the best hotels of Minsk. The hotel is situated in the western part of Minsk near the underground station "Pushkinskaya", close to National exhibition center "BelExpo". The hotel offers you 251 rooms of different types that will give you an opportunity to make a choice according to your wishes and mood. In the evening you will be able to have a rest after a busy day in your suite. In a pleasantly relaxing atmosphere of a cozy and capacious restaurant "Orbita" and pizzeria you can order working lunch as well as perfect dishes of national and European cuisine which will appeal even to the most refined gourmet. For carrying out business meetings, conferences, master classes, negotiations and other similar business events in the hotel there are a conference hall, a negotiation room, a banqueting room. After a working day you can feel refreshment of mind and body in the hotel's sauna. The prices of Hotel "Orbita" are accessible to the public. "Orbita" Hotel has a unique style combined with both elegant simplicity and the fashionable present. The interior of the rooms combine cheerfulness, comfort and freshness of design, forming positive mood creating appropriate conditions for rest and work. Annually tens of thousands of guests from more than 80 countries of the world visit our hotel. People from C.I.S., The USA, Canada, Southern Africa, Australia and a number of European and Oriental countries stayed in our hotel. A large number of guests choose "Orbita" Hotel among all hotels of Minsk because we provide with calm sleep, continental breakfast as well as clean and cosy rooms. "The best hotel of Minsk!", "Thank you for the hospitality!", "Thanks for your kind treatment and care!" - These are the responses given by our guests. Our visitors' well-being is the point of honour of the qualified and obliging personnel. Therefore kindness, outgoingness and responsibility are essential components of our work. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Orbita Hotel Minsk