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“Worst part of our trip”

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Nordhostel Hermitage
Reviewed 25 January 2012

I have stayed in hostels all over Europe and never encountered one like this. When we arrived from the night train despite confirming our arrival time by e-mail the previous day we had to wait for nearly two hours for staff to arrive at the hostel despite being within their advertised opening hours. The hostel was dirty with mold in the kitchen and unchanged beds in the dorm rooms. Sheets were old and had rips in them. The furniture was of poor quality and the bathrooms tiny with showers that did not drain. When we arrived the staff did not check our passports (standard practice in every hostel I have ever stayed at) and left the hostel in the early evening. On New Years day there were no staff at the hostel in the morning and we were left completely alone in the hostel as there were no other guests. We felt very uncomfortable with this situation (especially considering the strict rules in Russia about passport registration, etc) and decided that we needed to leave and find other accommodation. We had paid in full for 4 nights in the private room and the booking agent Marsha was rude and aggressive in our subsequent e-mail communications when we asked for a refund.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank LuiseCO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
tbdm130, Guest Relations Manager at Nordhostel Hermitage, responded to this reviewResponded 23 April 2012

The clients didn't show up at the planned day of arrival, didn't inform about it in advance and arrived the day later when their booking was already cancelled.
Since it was new year and no other bookings were accepted for the same dates, the hostel was not ready for the unexpected guests.
We are sorry about this situation, but we do not accept the responsibility for not informing us about the change in travel plans.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (61)
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3 - 9 of 61 reviews

Reviewed 29 November 2011

Crummy furniture, dark dark common space, and jekel and hyde staff.

Booked a room for two and were bullied into paying in advance for transport from airport to Hotel. Double confirmed in writing that it was a room for two with a bed for 2, to be sure we didn't end up with twins. Flight was very late, we were tired and arrived to find ourselves booked into room with twin beds. After another hour and a half delay, we finally found ourselves at the "private room" place several blocks from the office (ALWAYS a bad sign).

The room had cheap Ikea furniture that fell apart while we were there, and we were given the hairy eyeball for this, without reason.

In a day or two we were told that we had to pay more than 80 euros extra for the time the taxi was kept waiting. When we said that paying in advance for hotel transport, giving all flight info in advance, was only done to avoid exactly this. Before we could barely finish our sentence, to say nothing of being honestly listened to, we were told, in the rudest, most inappropriate, positively vicious way, that if we didn't pay immediately, our things would be locked up, we would be carted away by the police, and "here in Russia our owners have arrangements, and it will be quite unpleasant for you". Who said this? It was Tatiana, affectionately known as "Tati" in other reviews. She is very good at befriending and relating to people, especially women travelers, and practically has a cult of personality about her, some people take to her so much. However, if you are not carefree about paying additional charges that come up (and they definitely will), you will find yourself victim of Russian mafia threats and extortion before you can blink.

When you are faced with such nastiness, such uncalled for, unprovoked (we never raised our voices or became even stern!) nastiness, it really dents your mood and it's just the last thing you want on your vacation. STAY AWAY FROM THIS PLACE. No one should ever, ever, ever, be threatened by hotel staff. Inexcusable, full stop. AVOID THIS PLACE FOR SURE.

Room Tip: Choose one in another hostel
  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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12  Thank brucethepirate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 July 2011

This was the best hostel I stayed in throughout my trans-mongolian railroad trip! Friendly, enthusiastic, and helpful, clean, as well as the greatest location...

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled solo
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1  Thank rmcc57427
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 July 2011

For my time in St. Petersburg, I stayed in a private room with Nordhostel; this review is not related to the dorms.

The most impressive aspect of my stay was the friendly staff; Tati in particular went out of her way to give us tips, suggestions, and helpful advice about what to do and how to do it in the city. Also, the administration was very accommodating; my friend and I had to make changes to our reservation dates which they accepted without extra payment or even discussion. They also helped us to arrange train tickets (the very tickets that caused us to need to change our original dates).

The property itself is separate from the property housing the dorms, which others on this site seem to be grumbling about, although I don't understand why - true, it is not a thirty second walk from the Hermitage, but unless you are going to ONLY go to the Hermitage your entire stay, and will race someone to get there every day, so what? The private rooms are actually rooms in a real apartment, in an apartment building, so it is a more authentic experience to live as if you were a resident of the city. Also, it is by no stretch of the imagination far - it is, at most, a ten minute walk to the other location (and the Hermitage). It is regularly cleaned and well-stocked with food that is free and available to travelers all day. Again, it felt like a shared apartment - many mornings we sat at the kitchen table and had breakfast with other travelers - it was very nice and relaxed and "homey" feeling.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with friends
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3  Thank thisisjacky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 February 2011

We had a great stay at Nord Hostel. Would highly recommend it. Can't beat the location. The staff were amazing and really went the extra mile for us. The breakfast included and use of the kitchen is a great perk when on a budget.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled with friends
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2  Thank ElusiveLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 December 2010

Like others I was initially very disappointed that we were not at the Nord Hermitage location.

Like others, I had selected the Nord Hermitage site because I liked the idea of being close to the major attractions and I was looking to cut our walking time to a minimum. After all 6 hours in the Hermitage was quite enough walking without the extra journey time. And I confess I enjoyed the thought of swanning in and under and around that fabulous arch that shows on the Hostel’s details.
Tati's explanation for our change was that the other hostel is very noisy. On Nord's actual website under MAP they refer to ‘dorms only’ at the Hermitage address. (I’m sure that was not there when I booked) For clarity, I do think it would be a good idea to give both locations on Trip Advisor.
Fortunately, I had arranged transport from the airport through the Nord website and we ended up at the right address which is the Nord Hostel Kazansky. I think I would have been very cross if I was expected to take my luggage to the other address.

All this aside, the Nord Kazansky location turned out to be great! Tati, the manageress was incredibly helpful, and vivacious - from organizing our taxi pickup when we left to giving us instructions on how to best reach various places via public transport and on foot.
I loved walking beside the Griboedov Canal looking towards Nevesky Prospect with the Church of the Saviour of Spilled Blood on the canal horizon, the feeling of being part local life, the shops and the cafes. The local supermarket was just downstairs, (there is an interesting elevator) out the security gate, and a few doorways along. Shopping here for supplies was very easy

I found the older apartment building and the staircase with its wide steps (I'm sure Marlene Dietrich rode a horse down these very steps in Catherine the Great!) and the old fireplace on the ground floor (presumably to heat the stairwell once upon a time) broodingly charming. I felt like I was living in A Russian Novel (with some creative imagining)
Our room was fairly private as the walls are very thick. Unfortunately we only had single beds but that was ok. There are 4 or 5 rooms here, some with double beds.
The apartment was quiet and clean, although I would have liked to see the bathroom hand towel changed more frequently.
Access to the kitchen was good with breakfast things including eggs provided. I always travel with my coffee plunger and ground coffee. To be able to get up and make an early coffee just the way I like it (strong!) before tackling the day is a small but important ritual that verges into luxury. Just one more reason to stay at hostels.
We obtained our guest invitation directly through Nord. They were very helpful even with the problems at our end due to the Russian Embassy having holidays and further closures for computer upgrades.
We stayed here 6 nights and found it really suited our travel style.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank eyes2c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 October 2010

I spent three months in Russia for an art project. I was out to be inspired learn about the country and myself. I ended up staying in Nord hostel next to the Hermitage, it was a little strange being away for the first couple of days, but the staff became my friends and went out of their way to help me. They were interested and interesting. I needed somewhere a little more private as i was to be spending more time there, I was offered by Nord this adorable room in the other hostel they have, which is actually in a more trendy, fun area than the hermitage one.It was perfect and felt more like a shared flat, there was another long term business tenant staying there and with the staff we became a little family. I was extremely sad to leave but have made friends for life. Without Nord my whole experience would have been different, I would definately stay there again when I return.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled on business
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2  Thank EllaM-W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Nordhostel Hermitage

Address: Bol'shaya Morskaya St., 10, St. Petersburg 191186, Russia
Region: Russia > Northwestern District > St. Petersburg > Admiralteisky , Palace Square
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #460 of 1,702 Speciality Lodging in St. Petersburg
Hotel Class:2 star — Nordhostel Hermitage 2*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nord Hostel one of the most centrally located hostels in Saint-Petersburg. You cannot possibly be closer to the Hermitage, one of the largest and oldest museums in the World, city's main square, the Palace square, and magnificent Winter Palace, residence of the Tsars. Just walk through the Arch and immerse yourself in history and beauty! ... more   less 
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