Winterfell on Kropotkinskaya is a part of a Moscow hostel network. Winterfell is sometimes called a "hotel" in travel guides, but it has several dorm rooms and looks more like a hostel. The decor of the hostel reflects the spirit of "Game of Thrones" but it's not a "fans-only" place. Actually, some of those who stay in the hostel have never watched any of the series.
The hostel is located in the city center, close to the Central House of Artists, Muzeon Park, and Gorky Park. You can get from Winterfell on Kropotkinskaya to Red Square and the main places of interest on foot or by bike from the city bike rental station located nearby the hostel. The closest metro stations are Kropotkinskaya and Park Kultury, but from any of them you need to walk for about fifteen minutes to get to the hostel. Taking a taxi may be a better option if you have heavy bags on you.
The road from the metro station Kropotkinskaya is hilly, and the road from the metro station Park Kultury is by the river, and this way is a bit shorter than the one from Kropotkinskaya. It is hard to find the hostel from the street as there is no sign; you will need to go under the arch inside the courtyard (there is a gate, but you can enter it without any code).
The door to the hostel is located in the corner of the building. The hostel is on the second floor. Mind an old, unstable staircase that you will need to climb -- there is no elevator, and it's hard to climb with heavy bags.
Rooms and Bathrooms
There are several dorms and single rooms in the hostel, all located on the same floor; the rooms are not big at all. For example, in our single room, the bed almost occupies the whole space, and we found out there is a bunk bed with the lower bunk serving as a double bed. Perhaps the hostel owners really believe that this small room can accommodate a family of three, with one kid (which we doubt). You can hardly squeeze a bag in a single room in the hostel. There is also a drop-table, a mirror, and several hangers. Some rooms of the hostel (including some of the single rooms) don't have a window, but the air vent is ok. We were glad to learn that the air conditioning in our room could sustain the Moscow heat.
The experience with this hostel could be nicer if they would add a bed light and isolate noises from the corridor (produced not only by the guests but also by a TV set right near our room). The hostel staff keeps rooms clean every day. We also saw a "Don't Disturb" door tag (but didn't have time to use one).
The hostel has five bathrooms with a toilet bowl, a sink, and a shower corner. All bathrooms are located near the entrance to the hostel in a separate corridor. Shower corners are small, but quite clear. Still, having one separate toilet and these five bathrooms doesn't save this hostel from a big line made of guests waiting to take a shower in the morning and in the evening. You can use a washing machine for a fee, and make your clothes during the day time. Hair dryers are also available (for free), but can be used only before 11 p.m.
The main disadvantage for us in Winterfell on Kropotkinskaya is that there is no separate room for a kitchen and no place to relax. The hostel is equipped with a small island bench for up to 6 people and a cooking place with an electric kettle, dishes and cups, and free tea bags and instant coffee. Two small fridges located in the kitchen area were stuffed with food during our stay so we could hardly use them.
The doors of the single rooms overlook the kitchen, so when you open the door to the room, anyone who sits on the bench is able to view the inside of your room. From a single room, you can hear someone cooking their food in a microwave even at night.
Some details of our stay made us feel uncomfortable. For example, our check-in was at 2 p.m., and the receptionist didn't allow us to use the shower room before that time. We were also surprised to find out that we would have to pay for keeping our bags in the luggage room. The luggage room itself has a bed for someone from the hostel staff (we didn't feel that our bags would be safely kept).
Nobody told us about the rule to leave our shoes in the closet, and one morning we spent some time searching for our shoes. Later we noticed a note that all shoes left outside the closet would be thrown away from the hostel (quite unfriendly!).
The hostel is a good option to stay in the midsummer heat if you plan to be away from the hostel most of the time and explore Gorky Park and the Moscow River embankment. Still, there is no room to relax inside the hostel.
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
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