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“8 nights in Sochi April 2012”

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Grand Hotel Zhemchuzhina
Ranked #34 of 218 Hotels in Sochi
Reviewed 7 April 2012

A huge hotel but very functional with good service oveall and English speakng receptionists.Breakfast was interesting and the American diner was ok for food.We ate out and best to pay cash for everything as I used my credit ard once (not in the hotel) and it was cloned.
Swimming pool very good as were the tennis courts at the hotel -basic changing rooms but adequate.Modernisation is going on but we were not disturbed by the noise -ask for a sea view.Rooms again functional but adequate, not plush but kept very clean
Night life was an eye opener for my 15 year old son as there is lap dancing in a part of the hotel.Sochi is a constrction site so leave an extra hour to get to and from the aiport the traffic jams are terrible and took us 2 hours to cover 10k to the airport!!
Ask for English menus at restaurants as most had them but keep a note of what you order as we had a few surprises and we were overcharged a couple of times as they see tourists as fair game,
The staff were friendly and it is a good central position near the centre and a beach.Before going I contacted the Sochi Club http://www.sochiclub.ru/ and Yaraslav was very helpful and speaks perfect English.
My impression overall was that Russians are not that friendly to other European tourists but in generall Sochi felt safe if you stayed in the tourist parts and did not stay out till the early hours.We were there as my daughter play in a football tournament so we had a focus but I am sure there are Black sea trips and more local architecture to see than we did.

Room Tip: Ask for a sea view away from any renevations or you will look onto a carpark
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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4  Thank RJLW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 7 August 2011

The location is excellent, and use of the private beach was included in the room price.

The staff were extremely friendly (although i am thankful to the previous posts about retaining proof of how you arrived in Sochi- i was asked to show my boarding pass on checking in) and answered all my questions.

The breakfast buffet was typical of many mid-range Russian hotels i have stayed in, and i found it to be perfectly acceptable, and the range of excursions offered by the hotel were extremely enjoyable. Whilst i speak Russian, one of the tour guides spoke English and between us, i was able to enjoy the full benefit of the trip!

I was also able to pay to keep my room for an extra 6 hours (which came to around £15) on my day of departure, to allow me to fully enjoy my final day before heading to the airport.

The pool and the facilities around the pebble beach are good, and as it is a private beach, seemed much quieter and more relaxed than the rest of the embankment in Sochi.

I opted for a room without air-conditioning, which, with hindsight, was not the cleverest thing to do in late July, however this is easily remedied by asking to move rooms at the reception.

The restaurants in the hotel are fairly poor, but this was not an issue for me as i mainly ate outside of the hotel, where there is plenty of choice.

Room Tip: Request a room with air conditioning
  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled solo
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3  Thank SochiRocks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2010

As other reviewers have said (and is obvious from the photographs on your booking pages), the building dates back to the sixties. The first room I was shown, was on the 6th floor, had no airconditioning and a poor view looking at another block of the hotel. Given outdoor temparatures of 35 to 37 (or higher) during the day and high twenties at night, Ii switched to a 10th floor room, with A/c. The new room had more modern furniture.

My visit to Sochi coincided with that of a friend staying at another hotel 500 meters east. That hotel, the Edem, also hasa a large salt-water pool, but one not divided all day into swimming lanes. It's beach access is also more 'natural' than that at Zhenchuzhina - so I spent my days at the Edem (even though there was a R250 charge for poolside (R150 just for the beach)).

Breakfast was plentiful and Ii thought the choice available was fine - better than in other Russian hotels I have stayed in over the years. I only tried the Limpopo restaurant, but had two good meals, accompanied by live variety performances (one the 'normal' show, the other a 'special' for which there was a small charge to reserve a table). Both shows were fine - if you like the sort of thing that is very common on Russian TV.

And yes, the (high-end) nightclub on the 'Platform' (which has nothing to do with the Zhemchuzhina) got going around 11/12 and carried on until 5/5.30. Without air conditioning / with the balcony door open it would be very noisy. I did not visit either the lap-dancing bar or the strip club in the Zhemchuzhina, nor did I succumb to the blandishments of the prostitutes who materialised late at night in the Xhemchuzhina's lobby ... Why would I with my girlfriend almost next door?!

I'm pretty sure I was the only non-Russian in the place, but reception staff helped out when my own command of Russian let me down... But the hotel, staggeringly, does not provide a 'visa service' - perhaps because they get so few non-Russians. I would happily stay there again ...

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Lamandin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2010

The location is great, on the seaside. However, the service and personnel is from old soviet time. The system of check out is absurd - your room first is controlled by lady who is your floor attendant, then she calls to reception (if everything is ok) and then the second control. If you pass both, you will need to get a paper permission for bringing your own staff(!) out of hotel. Then the last check by security and you can go.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled on business
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21  Thank globalvisits
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 July 2010

The hotel is an old soviet style block. It looks dirty from outside and this is confirmed when you enter the lobby. The rooms are small and dirty. Ask to have a room with view on the port because, on the other side, there is a open air discotheque which is very loud till 5 am.
Internet is working using the city wireless network. So ask to have a room in the higher floor to get the signal.
The quality of breakfast is poor and there is not a big choice on the buffet. The other restaurants in the hotel are not good either. But fortunately there are some good restaurants around the hotel.
The pool is very dirty. The sun chairs around it and on the beach have never been cleaned. I really don't recommend to go there. In additon the pool is not free and there is loud music all day long.
I have been many times in Sochi. There are only 2 hotels which I recommend: Radisson Lazurnaya south (beach side) and Grand hotel poliana (on the mountain 40minutes driving from Sochi).

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled on business
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10  Thank fursenba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2009

Last year I chose to go to Sochi to see a warm mountanous side of Russia. Most people people have only heard abot Moscow.
I went to Moscow with Aeroflot and got on a domestic flight to Sochi (Adler airport) which is on a narrow strip of land with the Caucasus - over 5000 metres high - in the background.
The first thing I noticed was the palm trees and the warm air - it was in may. I took a cab to hotel Zhemzuchina and got a hotel room with greatest view over the Black Sea. The hotel is a bit worn down but people are nice and there is a private beach to the hotel.
Sochi is full of hotels, has a lot of parks with exotic plants so I decided to visit the Botanical Garden not far from the hotel. I have been to botanical gardens before but this botanical garden is by far the best - plant selection, pathways and a view over the Sea and mountains. Perhaps the Russian have a passion for plants and flowers because most of Russia is cold. This garden is a must.
Near the hotel is a supermarket - which is convenient when you don't speak Russian and in the city centre there is a market and restaurants. There is a circus, museums, cinemas and concerts - so there is entertainment for the tourists who mainly are Russians.
Being intterested in plants I would also visit the tea plantation. I had to book a tour at the hotel and we went off into the mountains on hairpin turns all the way to the tea plantation where we could see the plants, taste and listened to a concert drinking more tea and eating local hazelnuts and honey.
All in all a nice holiday.
yours Peter, Denmark

5  Thank badstue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Eureka Springs, AR
Reviewed 1 June 2006

This is my first trip to Russia and the first time I have ever stayed in one of these "monster hotels" so I really was not sure what to expect. First, you just call and make your reservation without a credit card. If you're lucky someone will speak enough English to help you--if not, try again. All you will receive is a reservation number but that is all you need. Just show up at the desk with the number but if you're in the high season, I would recommend confirming it a few days before.

The rooms are similar in quality to a $69 Holiday Inn Express or Rodeway Inn. Not much to write home about, they only have a shower, and at $105 per night, you might think you have been ripped off. YOU HAVE NOT. Just go to any hotel in any city other than Moscow or St. Petersburg and you'll have good feelings about The Pearl which is what Zhemchuzhina means. The AC's works, the view from the balcony is excellent, every room has a balcony, and the hot water works consistently.

If you are trying to choose between The Pearl and The Radisson SAS at $215 per night, absolutely choose The Pearl. I stayed Sochi two weeks and thought I might "upgrade" to The Radisson so I took a taxi and looked at the rooms. The are exactly the same quality as The Pearl only with better bathrooms. But instead of a balcony with a table and chairs and a sea breeze, they have stale air and a picture window and they are not anywhere near the center of town. Unless you plan on living in the lobby you will pat yourself on the back all the way to bank over your choice of The Pearl.

I do have two complaints. They have 6 restaurants and none of them are very good with the American Diner being the only one worth the attempt. The 769 (or some number like that) accessible as you drive up to the hotel has good food and a menu in English which can really help. Also, the housekeepers are very efficient but they have the authority to fine you $2 if you bleed or spill wine on the sheets or towels--and I don't mean a lot. Resolving the fine can be embarrassing and I can not imagine why management gives them the authority to dish out this petty insult.

Stayed: May 2006
24  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grand Hotel Zhemchuzhina

Address: Chernomorskaya St., 3, Sochi 354002, Russia
Region: Russia > Southern District > Krasnodar Krai > Greater Sochi > Sochi
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#5 Romantic Hotel in Sochi
#8 Business Hotel in Sochi
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Sochi
#21 Spa Hotel in Sochi
#23 Luxury Hotel in Sochi
Price Range: $84 - $317 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Hotel Zhemchuzhina 4*
Number of rooms: 887
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
GRAND HOTEL ZHEMCHUZHINA Grand Hotel Zhemchuzhina is situated right by the seashore, downtown, taking up 70 000 m22. It is a modern 19-storey hotel providing magnificent view of the Caucasus Mountains and the Black sea. Grand Hotel Zhemchuzhina is located in a park zone with tropical plants. Zimny theatre, Sochi circus, “Festivalny” concert hall, “Dendrarium” botanical garden, museums and theatres are situated nearby. BEACH AREA Well-equipped private beach has a capacity of 2000 pax. The following facilities are available: showers, sun loungers, deckchairs, parasols, restrooms and dressing rooms. The beach area is covered with authentic ocean sand for your ideal relaxation. Enjoy water fun activities with our pedal boats, wave runners, yachts and go windsurfing, parasailing and scuba diving. Moreover there is a special stage for performances and night discos, first-aid post, brise soleil area and sports equipment rental. Several restaurants, lounge-bar , store, billiards, massage, kids trampoline are open for your convenience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Zhemchuzhina Hotel Sochi

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