Review: Matreshka Hotel, Irkutsk

In this review, we will stay at the Matreshka Hotel in Irkutsk, Russia.

Reaching the hotel

Having just arrived by plane on an overnight flight from Moscow, my plan was to get to my hotel as soon as possible so I could have a short nap to catch up on some more sleep.

As I had no luggage to collect, I went straight from the luggage reclaim area to the arrivals hall of Irkutsk Airport. After withdrawing some Rubles from an ATM I quickly found a taxi driver willing to take me to my hotel for a couple of Euros.

The ride from the airport to my hotel was a short one – as Irkutsk Airport is located right on the city’s outskirts. For the first two days in Irkutsk I had booked the two-star Matreshka Hotel, a local budget hotel which had good ratings and a central location.

Even though it looked a bit basic on the pictures which I saw online, I thought it would definitely be sufficient for my needs.

Hotel reception

The taxi driver dropped me off straight in front of the hotel, which is located on an interior courtyard just off a main Irkutsk thoroughfare. The reception staff was very welcoming and within minutes I had paid the outstanding amount of money due for my room and received the keys.

I had booked a standard single room, which set me back 2,000 RUB (29 EUR) per night. The rate did include breakfast in the morning.

matreshka hotel review irkutsk entrance
The entrance of the Matreshka Hotel is located on a quiet interior courtyard just off one of Irkutsk’s main thoroughfares. ©Paliparan

Soviet looking

My room was located two floors up from the reception. Note that the hotel does not have lifts so you need to haul your luggage up on the staircase. Although this was not any issue for me, it might be relevant for travellers with disabilities or the elderly.

The entire hotel interior, whether it was the reception area, staircase or the corridors, did look decidedly old-school Soviet in character.

matreshka irkutsk
The old school Soviet-style interior of the Matreshka Hotel. ©Paliparan

Room

My standard single room itself was pretty much as I expected: basic, but perfectly fine for a short stay. As I was getting tired from the previous day of travelling I decided to immediately test out the bed by taking a short nap. The bed was comfortable and during my stay I managed to get a good night’s rest.

I did like the large window overlooking the courtyard in my room. At sunset, there were some spectacular views of the purple skies.

matreshka bedroom
Standard single bedroom at the Matreshka Hotel. ©Paliparan
irkutsk matreshka sunset room view
Sunset over the courtyard as seen from the window of my room. ©Paliparan
irkutsk sunset russia
Sunset over the courtyard as seen from the window of my room. ©Paliparan

Bathroom

My only real drawback to the hotel is the tiny bathroom which has no separate shower. The shower head is almost literally hanging over the toilet! When you take a shower you basically flood the entire bathroom floor and toilet.

matreshka bathroom
The cramped bathroom with the shower head hanging over the toilet was the only downside of the hotel. ©Paliparan

Other room facilities

The room had a desk and a seat which made for a good working spot during my stay. On arrival, there was a small bottle of complimentary water put on the desk, which is a nice touch for a budget hotel. The hotel’s WiFi internet worked perfectly fine during my entire stay as well.

Weirdly, instead of a pen and paper the desk contained a crayon and a paper! That’s for sure the first time I ever saw this in a hotel room.

matreshka hotel desk bed room
The standard room did have a good desk and WiFi connection. ©Paliparan
matreshka hotel crayon
The Matreshka is probably the only hotel in the world were instead of pen and paper you will find a crayon and paper on the desk. ©Paliparan

Breakfast

The breakfast is served downstairs and was quite decent. Although the buffet was for sure not extensive, it had all the main items to make a proper Russian breakfast, such as potato pancakes, eggs and some cold cuts.

The coffee was decent enough too. Unfortunately, the bread was a bit stale. If you go in with low expectations, you will not be disappointed.

matreshka hotel breakfast
Breakfast at the Matreshka Hotel was quite decent. ©Paliparan

Location

One thing I liked about the hotel is its location. While not located in the absolute city centre of Irkutsk when it comes to the major sights of the city, it was very convenient to a number of other places.

First of all, Irkutsk’s main market is located right next door. The main market is also the departure point of minibuses to Listvyanka on Lake Baikal, which would be my next destination after Irkutsk. Just a ten minute walk away from the market you can also find a modern shopping mall with a well-stocked supermarket.

There are a number of good restaurants in a 15 minute walking radius, and most sights in Irkutsk aren’t much further away than 20-25 minutes on foot.

In short

If you are looking for a good budget accommodation, then the Matreshka Hotel will certainly tick of all your boxes. It has a decent breakfast included in most rates, comfortable rooms, a good internet connection and a great location.

The only real negative point of my stay was the cramped bathroom and poor shower. Overall I was however still satisfied with my stay and thought the hotel was good value for money.

Trip report index

This review is part of the ‘Siberian Shuffle – A Crazy Winter Trip Around Eurasia‘ trip report, which consists of the following chapters:

1. Review: Wizz Air Bucharest to Oslo Sandefjord Torp (Airbus A321)
2. A Day in the Norwegian Capital of Oslo
3. Review: Norwegian Railways Night Train Oslo-Stavanger in a Private Sleeper
4. Review: Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Stavanger
5. Stavanger – A Great Norwegian City Trip Surprise
6. Review: North Sea Lounge Stavanger Airport
7. Review: KLM Cityhopper Business Class Stavanger to Amsterdam (Embraer RJ-175)
8. Guide to the Carnival Celebrations in the Netherlands
9. Review: KLM Crown Lounge (Schengen) Amsterdam Airport
10. Review: Air France Business Class Amsterdam to Paris (Airbus A319)
11. Review: ‘Salon Paris’ Business Class Lounge Paris CDG Terminal 2C
12. Review: Aeroflot Business Class Paris to Moscow (Airbus A320)
13. Review: Aeroflot Domestic Business Class Lounge Moscow Sheremetyevo
14. Review: Aeroflot Domestic Business Class Moscow to Irkutsk (Boeing 737-800)
15. Review: Matreshka Hotel, Irkutsk (current chapter)
16. Irkutsk Trip Report: Exploring the ‘Paris of Siberia’ in Winter
17. Review: Mayak Hotel, Listvyanka (Lake Baikal)
18. A Winter Trip to the Frozen Wonderland of Lake Baikal
19. Review: Ibis Irkutsk Center Hotel, Irkutsk
20. Review: Domestic Business Class Lounge Irkutsk Airport
21. Review: Aeroflot Domestic Business Class Irkutsk to Moscow (Boeing 737-800)
22. Review: Pushkin Hotel, Moscow
23. A 24 Hour Stopover in the Russian Capital of Moscow
24. Review: ‘Moscow’ and ‘Jazz’ Business Lounges Moscow Sheremetyevo Terminal D
25. Review: Aeroflot Business Class Moscow to Paris (Airbus A320)
26. Review: TAROM Business Class Paris to Bucharest (Airbus A318)
27. Review: TAROM Business Lounge Bucharest Otopeni Airport
28. Review: Air France Business Class Bucharest to Paris (Airbus A320)
29. A Short Overnight Stopover in Paris
30. Review: Sheltair Business Lounge Paris CDG Terminal 2D
31. Review: Azerbaijan Airlines Business Class Paris to Baku (Airbus A320)
32. Review: Old City Hotel and Apartments, Baku, Azerbaijan
33. Destination Baku: An Intriguing Mix Between Old and New
34. Guide: Train Travel in Azerbaijan
35. Sheki: Azerbaijan’s Most Lovely Town and Springboard to the Caucasus
36. Must Be the Ganja! A Visit to the City of Ganja in Azerbaijan
37. Review: Shah Palace Hotel, Baku, Azerbaijan
38. Review: Azerbaijan Airlines Business Lounge Baku Airport
39. Review: Azerbaijan Airlines Business Class Baku to Paris (Airbus A320)
40. Review: Air France Business Lounge Paris CDG Terminal 2F
41. Review: KLM Business Class Paris to Amsterdam (Boeing 737)
42. Review: KLM Business Class Amsterdam to Bergen (Boeing 737)
43. Blissful Bergen – Is It Really Norway’s Most Beautiful City?
44. Review: Bergen to Oslo on a Norwegian Intercity Train (Bergensbanen Railway)
45. The Flamsbana Railway – From the Myrdal Mountains to the Fjord at Flam
46. Review: SAS Economy Class Oslo to Brussels (Boeing 737-600)
47. Review: Diamond Lounge Brussels Airport Pier B Non-Schengen
48. Review: TAROM Economy Class Brussels to Bucharest (Boeing 737-800)

Koen

Koen works as a freelance journalist covering south-eastern Europe and is the founding father and editor-in-chief of Paliparan. As a contributor to some major Fleet Street newspapers and some lesser known publications in the Balkans, he travels thousands of miles each year for work as well as on his personal holidays. Whether it is horse riding in Kyrgyzstan’s Tian Shan mountains, exploring the backstreets of Bogotá, or sipping a glass of moschofilero in a Greek beachside taverna, Koen loves to immerse himself into the local culture, explore new places and eat and drink himself around the world.

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