Let's talk about an important element of any journey — accommodation. We cannot describe all the hotels, but we'll give you examples and advice how to sort them out and choose. Let's go.
Conditionally Altai can be divided into 'touristic' and 'non-touristic' (concentration of the hotels marked with red on the map).
It is about 100 km along the Katun river - from Gorno-Altaysk to Chemal - and touristic sector at the Teletskoye lake.There is a great variety of hostels and hotels, sometimes it may seem one big touristic base. Both - cheap and elite variants are available.
Here are some examples:
- Excellent conditions, including local VIP: 'Lesotel', 'TourSib', 'Altai Resort', 'Altika'. Prices start from 3500 RUB for a night.
- Mid-priced hotels - 1000 to 3000 RUB: guest house 'Ay', 'the Igman Hotel' in Gorno-Altaysk, 'Edelweis', 'Royal Comfort' in Chemal.
- Economy variant - from 300 RUB for a person: hostels ('Ethnohostel', for example), or so-called 'hen houses')
Houses can be different (the window is on the back side)
Places of accommodation in Altai are just developing, even in 'touristic' Altai. Though there are a lot of hotels around, the balance of price and quality is sometimes inadequate. Why? Because big quantity is a kind of illusion: number of rooms is so little, that there's no vacant places in the high season. Even the biggest touristic bases consist of one-storey buildings; there's no big hotels; an average number of rooms at some touristic base is 10-20.
That is the Altai which you may notice in the best photos. Amazing mountains, cleanest lakes, waterfalls, wild nature, uncrowded areas and... weak infrastructure. The choice of a place to stay usually bases on the approach 'at least, not in a tent'.
In the wildest places, during a raft or a horse tour we have to spend nights in tents.
You may move for hundreds kilometers along Chuysky trakt without a hint at a place to stay. There are some touristic bases, of course. We just should make a condescension for wildness of the area and plan our route the way we won't have to stay under the stars for a night. Prices aren't low.
- Good conditions, priced at 550 RUB: there are very few at the distant areas — «Rasul», «Belukha Portal»;
- Mid-level service, 500-1000 RUB: 'Feel like home', 'the Seminsky Pass';
- Ordinary touristic bases, with conveniences outside, bathhouse, not stable electricity: there are quite a few - 'Ak-Boom', 'Katu-Yaryk', 'Tydtu-Yaryk' (yurts).
Some tourists are not ready to stay in such conditions. so if are going to travel in Altai, you should get prepared morally. A true beauty is hidden at the distant areas, where living in a yurt is normal. At the high season you'll be glad that, at least, there is some place to stay.
Negative experience concerning hotels tourists mostly get in tours to some distant areas, where there is no choice. Online booking systems in Altai are developing slowly.
How to search and choose a hotel
Making barbecue at the territory of a touristic base
Google is the answer) Check the website - Все-базы-алтая.рф (they have the contacts of all hotels). Also, you may search at booking.com, turistka.ru and 2Gis.
Travelling at the low season you don't have to reserve anything at all. Just ask if a hotel works at that time.
In October I decided to travel through Altai incognito. My purpose was to observe the service as an ordinary tourist.
I didn't try every single place, and I'm not going to give exact names. But I can say for sure, that tourists' comments are, in general, close to what I saw. So if someone tells that a hotel is bad, it is bad. If some say that in a cafe cuisine is not tasty, I can confirm that. There were also some 'anti-surprises' - an overrated cafe served second-rate food. Also, I ran into 'Altai service' with its carelessness) Nowadays there are still very few places where bank cards are accepted. In addition, all the roads except for Chuysky trakt, are bad.
But that is not really important when it is all about beauty around. I can't stop admiring landscapes which I have already seen for 150 times.
As for hotels and cafes, they are what they are; they can't spoil the whole impression, but even can enlarge it)
Equesto CEO (FB)
Chapter 1. Why Altai and what's its zest?
Chapter 2. Best time of the year to go to Altai
Chapter 3. Best solutions how to get to Altai
Chapter 4. Taking off our rose-colored glasses: antidote against 'all-is-good' ads
Chapter 5. Activity in Altai
Chapter 6. Touristic bases, hotels and campsites of Altai
Chapter 7. Hikes with tents
Chapter 8. The ancient Altai and history
Chapter 9. Important questions got answered
Chapter 10. Prices in Altai
Chapter 11. Altaian tour selection guide
Chapter 12. Goods of Altai
Chapter 13. What do people say after visiting Altai?
Chapter 14. The examples of independent travels in Altai
Chapter 15. Organizing a tour
Chapter 16. Bike tours in Altai