Archive for March 13th, 2009

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Mozart Hotel – Odessa

March 13, 2009

The Mozart Hotel, www.mozart-hotel.com, belongs to a friend of mine.  That said, I will try and give a non-biased appraisal of it, even though I have a 10% discount card for it and he is an extremely nice man.  I know what you’re thinking, why does he need a 10% discount card for a hotel in Odessa if he lives there? – It’s not like he will need a room……..Well, for the restaurant, bar, conference room and beauty salon of course. 

No, no, no!!!  I do not use the bloody beauty salon……but I do have a wife !!!

Ok, the Mozart is probably the best known hotel in Odessa throughout the former Soviet Union and sits directly opposite the world-famous Odessa Opera House…..and looks just a good……..but it has to, the City wants everything there to be in keeping with the looks of the Opera House!!

This is by no means the biggest hotel in Odessa.  It is what is described as a “boutique hotel” by those in the trade….apparently.  It does have planning permission for an additional two floors which would in effect double the amount of rooms is has to offer.  “How would he know that?” I hear you ask yourself……well, like I said, the owner is a friend of mine and it is currently for sale……..at the right price!

The hotel is always at least 90% full, so if you intend to stay at the Mozart, then it is a definite case of booking before hand rather than taking “pot luck” when you get here.  It is predominantly used by the businesses community, both national and international, when staying in Odessa……..although it also regularly has VIP guests by way of Russian and Ukrainian pop-stars, sports stars, politicians and comedians…….not to mention Jacqueline Stallone and Rambo himself several times a year.  (Well, half of the Stallone family tree is from Odessa after all!!) 

If, by any chance you are famous too, then please make sure you sign the “famous person book” held in reception – it will make my friend very happy.

The hotel is exceptionally popular with wedding parties as there is a “stone” which should be touched by newly married couples on the grounds……..and in the summer, it obviously makes for great photographs being opposite the Opera House if you have just got married.

The only downside to this hotel is it only has 47 rooms for guests to stay in (until someone buys it from my friend and builds another two floors – interested parties let me know and you can save the agent fees – but I still want my 10% off under any new ownership!!).

Anyway, the website sells the facilities of the hotel far better than I can – but I still give it the “thumbs up”…….as I should, it is a 4 star hotel after all.

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Pecheskago

March 13, 2009

Hmmmmmm – have to say, this is my favourite restaurant in Odessa by a country mile! (www.pecheskago.od.ua)

The menu’s are in English and Russian (right hand page English, left hand page Russian).

The chairs are heavy and very, very big………..and comfortable.

The menu is extensive and ranges from traditional Ukrainian and Georgian cuisine (the owner is a very nice Georgian chap), French (including snails and frog’s legs), steaks, salads, desserts etc etc as well as a good wine, spirits and liqures list.

It also has the hookah (Arabic smoking pipe) with varied tobacco flavours (strawberry, apple, mint etc etc) and a small collection of cigars on the premises.

You can pay by Visa or MasterCard………….or of course cash.  Next to the restaurant is a money exchange to change your Dollars, Sterling or Euro into the local currency.

Amongst the staff there is always at least one English speaker at work on any day at any time.

It is a very popular restaurant amongst the local elite due to it’s relaxed atmosphere, excellent food (I have yet to find something I don’t like) and friendly staff.

It is open from 11am until…………………late.  In the evenings there is regularly live music or a DJ, however if you want to talk it is better to sit a little to the periphery as it can be quite LOUD!!!!

During the day, however, it is a great place to sit and relax whilst eating something the Doctor told you that you probably shouldn’t.

The restaurant is on the corner of Deribovskaya and Gorsad and looks out onto the public park, making it a fantastic venue in the summer.

Discount cards are available for regulars…..of 10%…..and of course I will be happy to eat at your expense should you want to employ the services of my card.  It is not the most expensive restaurant in the City…….but it certainly not the cheapest.  The average bill for someone is around £10.00………..or $15.00 if they eat two courses and drink a few beers/coffees/teas.

This is not a place to come if you are in a rush though.  On average you can expect to wait about 20 minutes for your food to arrive…….although it is most definitely worth the wait!!!  If you want fast food, MacDonald’s is about 500 meters down the street.

I cannot recommend or rave about this restaurant too much……other than to RAVE, RAVE, RAVE!!!!!!!!!!!

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English Speaking Builder in Ukraine

March 13, 2009

Following up from a few emailed enquiries relating to the “Property” category in this blog, there is indeed a qualified English speaking (in fact he is native UK) builder in Odessa………..it just so happens that he is the owner and writer of this blog.

To answer the more general questions asked:

Yes, I am qualified and yes those qualifications are here in Odessa and yes, you can see them should you want to.

Yes, I have actually built houses, refurbished apartments and shops here in Odessa.

Yes, I have photographs of what I have done.

Yes, I do deal with all the work permits, permissions and bureaucracy involved with the City Administration.

Yes, I can find land with existing appropriate permissions.

Yes, I will deal with the gas, water, electric and sewage agencies.

No, there is nothing which cannot be found or obtained by way of materials……even if it is so “unique” it has to be imported or fabricated here.

Yes, I know how to deal with the above statement.

Yes, I know what documents you need to buy property.

Yes, I know what official documents you should receive when you have purchased a property.

Yes, I know good notaries and lawyers.

Yes, I know good translation services.

Yes, I know which areas are good and…………….not so good.

Yes, you can contact me through this site, either by email or leave a comment.

No, I won’t screw you over………..I live here too.

 

That just about wraps up the general enquiries I have received……..specifics now please!!!

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