“Where to stay in Armenia?” is one of top 10 questions I’m asked all the time. I assume there is a serious information gap on this topic. Of course all travelers visiting Armenia research accommodation options when planning their trip. Unfortunately, the almighty internet covers this topic only at a superficial level, and all you find is basically ads of hotels and accommodations. That’s why I decided to try to fill this gap providing thorough info on all possible staying options. If you find answers here, please let me know on Instagram or Twitter, with #ArmeniaTravelTips.
The types of accommodation in Armenia
Needless to say, accommodation is a key component for every traveler, providing safety and conveniences to those far from their homes. Traditionally there are two main branches of accommodations – catered and non-catered. Simply saying, those which include some kind of a service, food or a certain range of facilities, and those which don’t include any of these. Usually this single component makes quite a difference in budget and comfort that you get.
Luckily, in Armenia there are accommodation types of both categories. So, generally speaking, there are plenty of options to choose from. Let’s start with the recognized hierarchy:
Staying in hotels
As you would expect, hotels are the most famous and common type of accommodation in Armenia. Here, you’ll surely find hotels in most cities. Naturally, the bigger the city, the more the selection.
In big cities like Yerevan, Gyumri, Vanadzor, Goris, and other urban areas which are somewhat popular among travelers (both foreign and locals) there are plenty of hotels to choose from. From luxurious and pricey to modest and simple options, the selection is wide and will suit every pocket. These hotels are always advertised and promoted, so there won’t be any fuss in finding and comparing them. Let’s just briefly cover several pricing point examples below.
Usually, nightly prices per double room at an average hotel range between 15-20K AMD ($30-40), breakfast included.
Obviously, there is plenty of options for more those with more significant budgets at hand, offering top service, great views, every possible facility included. For instance, one night at Lastiver Resort in Yenokavan can cost $105 and more, depending on the room type, balcony view and facilities. This resort is located in a beautiful remote village where extreme tourism and hiking activities have recently risen dramatically.
And if you can afford staying at one of the famous ones, check out Armenia Marriott Hotel Yerevan. It’s right in the heart of the city, and it will costs your roughly $130 and more per night. Just note, all these prices can change depending on the season and day of the week.
Towns with a single hotel
Yes, it can absolutely happen that in some urban areas there’s just one hotel you will come across to. As you can guess, most often these towns don’t have tourist attractions and are not of much interest from a traveler’s perspective.
To give you an example, the city of Gavar near lake Sevan has just one hotel. At least one that I know about. Interestingly, the building used to be a serious large hotel during the Soviet era. The building wasn’t used and taken care of for tens of years and is in a poor condition now. A local person has recently bought and renovated two rooms on the third floor. So there you have it: a two-room hotel. Cozy and clean rooms inside a frighteningly poor building. But there is something weirdly attractive about this kind of brutal Soviet architecture. So, maybe you want to experience that. 🙂
Guesthouse culture in Armenia
Guesthouses have appeared and became an independently developing type of accommodation in Armenia only recently – during the past 10-15 years. Right now guesthouses are a pretty common type that covers the gap of accommodations in towns and villages.
These can even be not in any way connected to any specific area that has tourist attractions. People investing in guesthouses aim to attract travelers with rural experiences and eco tourism instead of historical elements. This way all communities get a chance to develop, even those which don’t have much to offer in terms of sightseeing.
Noosh guesthouse: founded and run by women
Noosh guesthouse (translated as “Almond”) in Ashnak village is a bright example. The founders, two young women, have opened an outdoor restaurant offering great cuisine experiences to travelers and have a renovated room for those who want to stay. Or even better, you can choose to camp in the yard, under almond trees.
If you are keen on exploring the non-tourist corners of Armenia and get the real flavour of what life is like, search for places like Noosh.
How to choose a guesthouse?
Search for locally-founded or family-run guesthouses instead of chains run by oligarchs. Unique name, modest branding, most often these guesthouses are not there in booking platforms and only have pages on Facebook. So FB is the right place to find them. By the way, the pricing point is pleasantly low: ranging between 8-10K AMD ($16-20) per person per night. So your stay may be a small but tangible contribution to community development in the area.
Bed & Breakfast options in Armenia
Armenia is a very, very, very hospitable country! So you may have guessed that bed&breakfast type accommodations are not only common but just widespread here. But the rise of B&Bs is sadly connected to emptying homes: declining demographics, families parting, leaving rural areas for cities… With some minor investment unused rooms turn into a way to earn living.
Why stay at a B&B?
In Armenia, any house is potentially a B&B for any traveller. Hospitality as a typical feature among Armenians make stays at B&Bs a truly unforgettable and amazing experience.
Staying at a B&B has so many great points: contributing to a family’s budget, experiencing the way of living, connecting with the locals and learning their stories. In addition, prices are around 5K AMD ($10) per person per night and you may also become a part of the great family breakfast.
And most importantly, B&Bs can sometimes be the only available option. Once I stayed at a family house in a remote village named Nerkin Karmiraghbyoor. That was the only option among several villages nearby and was still a really great stay.
Camping in Armenia
Campgrounds are relatively new and still few in Armenia. But still, this country is great for outdoor stays – fresh mountainous air and breathtaking views!
TUC – campground for social cause
Tourism Unique Center is a social enterprise located in one of the picturesque corners of the Lori region, Dsegh village. TUC was founded by a local NGO and aims at solving social issues and contributing to community development.
TUC organizes events and hosts through the camping season at just 4K AMD ($8). The camp offers hiking, zilling (off roading in a Zil truck), cow milking, horse riding and other rural experiences.
WOW – give it some glam
WOW is the first and still the only glamping place in Armenia. Located in the same village as TUC camp, Wow provides glamorous and comfy stay for those who long for a fancy stay. Wow glamping is logically way more expensive than TUC. One night’s stay will cost around 21K AMD ($42) for two persons.
Ttenut Eco Camp
Ttenut (translated as: mulberry forest) is located in Karahunj village, Southern part of Armenia. It has recently been opened as a project funded by the European Union. This is a great accomodation option especially for those who go for long-duration hikes in the region. Read more about the best hiking trails in this area in my post Hiking in Tatev.
To wrap this up,
Armenia has a lot to offer and you will always find a great accommodation to your taste and budget. Just remember, it’s always good to plan your accommodation in advance. This way you’ll be able to book your stay or arrange it ahead of time. Reasonably chosen accommodation will add a great touch to your travel experience! If you find this post helpful, ping me on Instagram or Twitter, with #ArmeniaTravelTips.
Featured image credits: @meginnie