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Khiva Madrassah Hotel (former Orient Star hotel) is located in the Architectural-urban Museum Reserve of Ichan-Qala, inside the Mukhamed Aminkhan madrassah which was build in 1851-1855 years and reconstructed in the year 2000, and now is functioning as a hotel with all the necessary conveniences. Stepping out of the hotel you can start walking tour along the narrow streets of the old fortress, glancing at the workshops and it seems to you as if you chanced to find yourself in a small part of the ancient city several ages ago. Staying in Orient Star Khiva Hotel would only enrich your experience of visiting Khiva. There is something special, something rather atmospheric about the thought of staying in a traditional madrassahs. The modern restoration has perhaps been a little clinical, but it is still very pleasant. On the downside, the rooms are relatively spartan, as they correspond to the student rooms of what used to be a madrasa (ie Coranic school). In particular, the rooms do not have windows but only a small opening near the ceiling.
The location couldn't be better with just hundred meters from the main city gate. Its minaret, Kalta Minor, was supposed to be the tallest in Central Asia but reaches only 30 meters, it was planned to stretch its top 70 meters into the sky, but the founder died before it was finished and nobody had the means to finish the work.
Hotel is also unique with its original khujras (cells) of rooms where guests are accommodated. There are 40 rooms in total in the hotel including 10 singles and 30 doubles. The rooms are basic, as might be expected, but still nice and clean. The rooms are in the old students' rooms, so a little poky, but that's all part of the historical experience. The rooms themselves are well appointed, with TV with international English news channels. They also have excellent air-conditioning, which is a real life-saver in hot climate. Bathrooms are fine but a small piece of soap and one small shampoo only provided. Being the largest hotel complex inside the walls, it attracts a lot of group travel. For the rooms on the upper floor one will have to climb up a narrow very low staircase, definitely not suitable for anybody who is tall. So, stay on the ground floor if you are concerned about climbing steep spiral stairs with low ceilings
Breakfast at the hotel is not really good and might be substantially improved. The hotel runs its own large restaurant just outside the premises in another old madrassah. It is open for breakfast, but otherwise only if enough people request their evening meals. There is an underground tearoom in the middle of the inner yard, which is open or closed much in the same way as the restaurant. Meals are served in a restaurant a few meters away. Evening meal is good.
Staff is not properly trained, one would not feel himself as welcome as it would have been in a smaller boutique hotel that are usually family run and do make extra mile to please the guests.
Good location in historical building. Adequate accommodation but staff service and breakfast are below the level.
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