Preparation for the Ice Hockey World Championship is on the home stretch. On May 1st, in Minsk, 43 hotels offering 9,250 places will be ready to open their doors to visitors. Among them are the ‘old residents’ of the city plus those 14 hotels which have been built specifically for the grandiose sporting event. On just one April day red ribbon was cut on the entrance of three new hotels — Monastyrskaya and Na Zamkovoy in the centre of the city, and Hold Time Hotel in Korzhenevsky Street. New life was breathed into the well-known Belarus Hotel which appeared on the embankment of the Svisloch River in 1987. Hotel room capacity will more than double. So, what do we have to offer the championship?
Then and now
During the last year in Minsk only four hotels for 668 guests appeared. Among them the magnificent President Hotel and the more democratic Voyage Hotel which received its first guests on the opening day, in June. From the beginning of 2014, hotel construction accelerated. Recently, three hotels were opened in just one day; later another four hotels celebrated their house warming. By the end of April, 28 Minsk hotels will have received their various stars — from two to five.
Monastyrskaya Hotel receives guests
Four hotels will hold the status of ‘five-stars’: President Hotel, Europe Hotel, Crowne Plaza and Beijing Hotel, with rooms costing from $200 to $2,200 per night.
It is expected that 7 hotels will receive four stars (they have not yet received the corresponding certificates). These are the two buildings of Victoria, Minsk Hotel, Victoria Olymp Hotel, Monastyrskaya Hotel, Na Zamkovoy Hotel and Renaissance Hotel where the prices for rooms range from $100-$900 per night.
The majority of hotels in Minsk will be offering a three-star service.
Hostels will also offer their services. However, prices here will grow considerably during May. According to the Director of Traveller hostel, Ksenia Kurus, one bed in a hostel will cost $32 (in a room for 8 people), a six-place room will be $34, four-place room will cost $38 and $40 per place in a three-place room. Double room will cost $96.
The most affordable accommodation, with more than 5,000 places, is in the Student’s Village. According to workers of TsentrKurort, one bed there will cost 24 Euros. Moreover, clinics and hotels of the Minsk Region have allocated 2,100 places in reserve.
Final touches to hotel hospitality
● Belarus Hotel (3 stars)
Interestingly, this hotel was reconstructed by the same general designer and general contractor who originally put it into operation. It is assumed that the journalists will be housed here during the championship. And they will not go hungry. The hotel has two cafes, one cafe offering ‘Belarusian Cuisine’ and a lobby-bar.
Special features: Due to its reconstruction Belarus now has a panoramic lift and observation platform.
● Monastyrskaya Hotel (4 stars)
All 48 rooms, which include luxury rooms, suites, and also a disabled room, are equipped with air-conditioning, mini-safes and mini-bars, high-speed Internet access and interactive television. Visitors can also use the conference hall, two negotiation rooms, a sauna, plunge pool, underground parking and many other services.
Special features: This building is a cultural-historical monument. Before its restoration it was a Bernardine Monastery. The original monk’s cells are now cosy and modern rooms.
● Na Zamkovoy Hotel (4 stars)
At the same average rate as the Monastyrskaya Hotel — $100-$120 — this hotel is smaller in size, with half the rooms of the former.
Special features: Historical flavour. The appearance of the building, which was once a 19th century trading centre, has been completely recreated.
● Hold Time Hotel
This building completes a complex of three similar, economy class hotels which were opened earlier. The hotel is a tall, nine-floor structure with an attached one-storey cafй.
Special features: Special attention has been made for disabled visitors. Apart from special, ground floor rooms, there are also mechanical lifts.
In the summertime they plan to offer bicycle hire.
Lodgers — a group of sportsmen — have already moved in.
Victoria Olymp Hotel in Minsk
● Victoria Olymp Hotel (4 stars)
One of advantages of this hotel is its proximity to the Minsk-Arena, velodrome, bicycle lanes and skating stadium. There is also health and beauty centre nearby which offers Turkish and Finnish baths.
Special features: Everything for the businessmen. Negotiation rooms and conference halls which bear the names of Olympic cities: Barcelona, Calgary, London, Sydney and Tokyo.