BEST BEDS

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - One Perfect Day -

QUAL­ITY places to stay have never been Sa­markand’s strong point, but the city’s new­est of­fer­ing, the Ho­tel Pres­i­dent, has made some in­roads into this ac­com­mo­da­tion desert.

A 15-minute walk from the Regis­tan, be­side the Lenin-es­que statue of Tam­burlaine on the main round­about, the ho­tel’s but­ter-yel­low ex­te­rior walls and glass-bub­ble en­trance set it apart, and the seven floors en­cir­cling an in­te­rior court­yard pro­vide the city’s most com­fort­able lodg­ings.

Rooms are large, if rather spar­tan, and the top two floors on the east­ern side have dis­tant views to the domes of Bibi Khanym Mosque. For a dash of lux­ury, there are four Span­ish-styled two-bed­room apart­ments, each with spa and Char­cot’s douche, a favourite Rus­sian spa treat­ment in­volv­ing fierce jets of wa­ter played on your back.

The ho­tel has a base­ment pool, mas­sage ser­vices, time-worn ten­nis courts and a high-class restau­rant. The lobby bar is also one of the few places in town to serve a de­cent es­presso. From $US165 ($185) a dou­ble to $US700 for an apart­ment.

www.uzhotel­pres­i­dent.com

Top tier: The Ho­tel Pres­i­dent in Sa­markand

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