Uzbekistan Hotels

The central Asian Republic of Uzbekistan is making a concerted effort to increase tourism, especially to the fabled cities lying along the Great Silk Road which Marco Polo traveled en route to the then-unknown Orient.

Accommodations in Uzbekistan can be divided into four categories. At the top of the heap are new hotels, typically built with foreign capital from places like India and Malaysia.

The second tier are former Intourist Hotels, into which all foreigners were steered in soviet times. These can be considered to be moderately priced by international standards. Next, are the former Sputnik Hotels which, in the soviet era, were intended for soviet citizens. The fourth category, and a very promising one for both Uzbekistan and the budget traveler, is the bed and breakfasts that are popping up in the major tourist cities. They offer lodging (and breakfast) for $20 to $30 or so per person, per night. 

The government, in the form of UzbekTourizm, is creating an "association" of B&Bs, which may be just a way of keeping a closer eye on this form of nascent capitalism. Hopefully, it will result in marketing a much needed budget alternative to the high cost of hotels in Uzbekistan. Finally, We should mention that spur-of-the-moment invitations to stay at an Uzbek home are not at all uncommon. Striking up a conversation with an Uzbek on the flight over could very well result in a free night's lodging. The Uzbeks are a gregarious and open people and, invitations like this are genuine gestures of hospitality rather than something that should be regarded with suspicion.

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