At the end of December 2015, I crossed the border from the Kazakhstani town of Korday into the magical world of Kyrgyzstan. After initially touring some cool sights in the north of the country, like Ruh Ordo, Ala Archa National Park and the Petroglyphs at Cholpon Ata, it became obvious that I would use the city of Bishkek as my base for a while. You know I love to mix up my travel style in terms of where I stay, on any given night you could find me sleeping on night buses, night trains, airport floors, hostels, guesthouses, Couchsurfing etc. But there is no doubt in my mind that if I want a few nights of pure relaxation, luxury and to get some work done without crowds of people, then a cosy 4 star hotel is what I crave. Plus, I was getting stressed about visas for Central Asia, more stories on visas to come on Don’t Stop Living.
These days I try to stay in a 4 or 5 star once a month. In Bishkek, I chose the luxury Evropa Hotel (Europa) which is situated in the downtown area. It was my first time to stay in central Bishkek and I made the most of my two nights here, checking into my room early to regenerate before heading to more embassies than you can count on one hand, for visa missions. I was so happy to have this base for a couple of nights!
If you’re a business traveller coming to Bishkek, or a worldwide wanderer needing somewhere pretty swanky and comfortable for a night or two, this is your spot! Here are 5 reasons to stay at the Hotel Evropa (Europa) and you can see why I loved the break from the endless backpacking lifestyle of night trains, border crossings and dorm beds.
1.Smiling Helpful Staff
On arrival at the Hotel Evropa, Astra on the front reception greets me with a smile. Each night and morning I am spoken to by the staff, in English with welcomes and greetings and lots of smiles.
I got to meet the staff over the two nights and three days including the security guys Manas and Azamat. Also smiling happily on the front desk was Camila, below. The staff all speak good English here, this can be a novelty in cities like Bishkek which are joining the international tourist scene in their own progressive way.
Thanks for looking after me on my stay everyone!
2.Fast in Room Wi-Fi
In a city where power cuts and slow internet can occur more often than you expect, you can take advantage of your time here with the fast in-room WiFi. I was in Room 207 and didn’t hesitate to get a little bit of blogging and writing done while I could. In fairness, I was out and about on visa missions, but the desk was still used!
3.Pristine 4Star Comfort
The rooms at the Hotel Evropa are brand new. The Hotel is ready for the tourism boom for sure. All rooms feel and smell so new. They are spotless and pristine. The Hotel is modern Bishkek in a nutshell and ready to welcome you to this chilled out city.
The reason I was going wild about the location of the Evropa Hotel, and the reason I chose it is because it is more central than most hotels and hostel. But even better – it’s on the corner where Ibraimov Street meets Toktogul Street which was so handy for my visa applications, as the Afghanistan and Tajikistan Embassies are just south, Afghanistan Embassy is even on the same street.
It is also round the corner from the Post Office, 5 minutes walk from Victory Square, less than 10 minutes walk from Ala Too Square and some cool bars like Burger House and Greenwich Pub are all within walking distance.
5.Bar and Restaurant
You can enjoy an ice cold Kyrgyz beer here in the bar and restaurant on the ground floor.
What was even cooler for me though, is that the hotel is attached to a really trendy nightclub that you would hardly see if you walked past! I found the time from my busy schedule of watching AFC Bournemouth online, sourcing visas and writing my book to have a beer in this place, which is called Level Club. Even for a posh local bar, it still rocks out at only $2 US a beer, local brew Arpa on tap.
While those are my favourite five things about my stay in the Evropa Hotel, I thought I’d show your some more photos from in and around my room and the hotel, including the tea and coffee in the room and the mini-bar.
And the good news is that during my stay here, I got my visas for Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Gorno Badakhshan!
Here are the details for booking the Evropa Hotel in Bishkek, brilliant place to stay:
Kyrgyzstan, 720021, Bishkek city, Ibraimov st. 70
Phone: +996(312) 97-90-70, 43-19-94
Fax: +996(312) 97-90-71
Here is a video of my room in the Evropa Hotel, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan: