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Zarina is a small family run hotel located within couple of minute walk to major landmark of Samarkand - Registan square. This is a private mansion with all necessary facilities for a standard 3 star hotel and decorated in a national Uzbek style with traditional-style dining room and divans in the courtyard.
The location is good indeed and ideal for tourists, although to find it you have to go down some back streets which would be a bit confusing for the first time. The hotel is located on an unpaved street behind commercial buildings and a Soviet-era apartment block. Walking off the main road to get to this hotel through what it looks like a bit of a dodgy area, but actually the whole town is really very safe and once you get inside you won't be disappointed, the place is very well-kept. The lobby is stylized in Oriental way with 'antique' chests, patterned pillows, the walls have camel caravan paintings. The hotel keeps track of its own history presented in multiple photos hanged in the lobby. Nice collection of radios, record players suitable for the museum. Very cosy and colorful. The courtyard is pretty with plenty of shady seating and a shallow pool.
There are 25 quality rooms divided on two categories: standard rooms equipped with: air conditioner, separate bathroom, phone, old age TV. Rooms for students and budget tourists equipped with air conditioner but lack other features. All rooms differ in size as it's a converted house. So if you are lucky you will get a larger size, cause small rooms have barely enough space for twin beds, a desk and chair and a small wardrobe. But generally rooms are lovely, some of them overlooking the small pool, with a small balcony. The furniture simply consists of small beds, a lamp and one chair. Besides a lack of furniture, the room also lacks anything resembling style. The beds are rather firm and some people may not like them. Bathrooms are rather small, literally is 1 square meter in size. The towels and the bed linen seem rather clean, although outdated. They also have an "annexe", just across a small lane, where the rooms are rather dreary, with no outlook at all. So ask for a room in the main building. Cleanliness is adequate but cleaning is only after check-out, no daily service.
They provide safe deposit and money change services at reception. There is a nice swimming pool in the yard. Next day laundry service is available.
The breakfast is basic, fairly minimal with bread, jam, hardboiled eggs, juice, coffee and tea. Have a rest in cosy courtyard decorated in oriental style; drink a cup of green tea on the wooden-fretted ayvan (terrace) in the fruit-tree garden. Guests will have an opportunity to commune with a local family and discover a variety of national customs and traditions. Unfortunately there are no restaurants in close vicinity, most are 3 km away, so in the evening you are more or less confined to stay in the hotel.
Owners are friendly and eager to help.
The location wins it all - just 2 minute walk to Registan square. A nice place for a couple of days when you don't have to stick around in the hotel. In the rest basic accommodation that is standard for a 2-3 star Uzbek hotel. There are plenty of budget hotels in Tashkent and there is no other good reason to choose this one.
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