Monday, 3 January 2011

Where We Stayed in Damascus & Aleppo

After telling you about the rip-off hostels in Damascus, I would like to tell you about the hostels where we stayed in Damascus and Aleppo. These hostels are not listed in Lonely Planet but were good finds nonetheless.

In Damascus we stayed at Al-Kindi Hotel. A double room with bathroom ensuite costs us only 800 SYP per night for the entire room. Eventhough the bathroom was in a bad condition, the location of this hotel made up for it - it's only a 5-minute walk from Souq al-Hamidiyya.

The daunting part about staying here is that only 1 of the staff is able to speak English. Whenever the other staff are manning the counter, we didn't bother to ask for anything cause we know we won't be able to communicate with them.

The other sore thing is that they charged us 100 SYP each for storing our luggage at the hotel for 3 days when we went to Aleppo.

Entrance to Al-Kindi Hotel

When we headed to Aleppo we didn't have any inkling of where we were gonna lay our heads for the night. By the time we reached the central area it was already late evening and we navigated our way to the clock tower area where most of the backpackers hostel are located.

The first hostel that we went to was Al-Gawaher. It was recommended by Kate who stayed there before. Unfortunately Al-Gawaher was full and we had to continue our search for another hostel.

In the next lane from Al-Gawaher, we saw Ammar standing in front of Hotel Radoun.  

He asked if we were looking for a room and when he informed that rates were 900 SYP for a double room, we asked to see the room first before making any decision.

The room was spacious and clean. And when we opened the balcony door and saw this view ...

... we immediately agreed to stay there.

Staying at Hotel Radoun was indeed a good choice because it's centrally located beside the clock tower and Sheraton Aleppo Hotel - both of which are good landmarks to navigate your way around.

Hotel Radoun is also walking distance from the Citadel, Great Mosque, souqs and Christian Quarter. So it was a good find, especially at 900 SYP per room per night. Moreover the owner Ammar can speak English.

 Room rates are displayed in Hotel Radoun's lobby.

So you see, the hostels that are listed in Lonely Planet are not the only hostels available. There are so many other cheap and maybe even better options. You just need to look hard enough and maybe let faith lead your path.

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