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Shady chaikhana - Khiva

Shady chaikhana

Hotel Malika Heivak (formerly Hotel Lola): Couldn't be more central

The Malika Heivak - or, as it was named when we were there in 2005, Hotel Lola, would never win a prize for the beauty or sensitivity of its blocky building right in the very heart of the old city of Khiva. Any planning committee that might exist here must have all been out to lunch when this one got the go ahead. However, its great location -a minute's walk from Khiva's main street - and friendly welcome more than compensate for anything it lacks in style. A complete refurbishment in 2006 has gone a long way to increase the comfort and amenities the hotel has to offer.

In 2005 I wrote"Like most of the other hotels we came across in Uzbekistan, beds were short (six-footers will find them too short) and pillows hard, but after a very early start with a flight from Tashkent, followed by a long, hot day of sightseeing - we'd have slept on anything."

Update - 2009 - Well, that last statement's a thing of the past! Returning to the Lola/Malika Heivat in its refurbished state, the very best thing we found we new beds - lovely, long wide ones with well-sprung mattresses and good pillows to complete the comfort. Wonderful!

The hotel has been enlarged and upgraded, all the rooms with new bathrooms, a large foyer added and a lovely shady chaikhana built outside - additions that really add to the hotel's amenities.

Unique Qualities: Big, well furnished rooms with modern bathrooms and air-conditioning open off large landings and passage ways. A generous breakfast buffet has replaced the cooked-to-order breakfasts of our first visit. The staff were as helpful and as pleasant as we had found them on our first visit. Then a delicious dinner had been cooked and served for us on the upstairs balcony - a table laden with Uzbek dishes, cold Russian beer and a full moon ordered up especially for us, I'm sure. More rooms now occupy that space and the dinner we ate at the hotel on our first nihht this time was served to us in the hotel dining room, not as atmospheric but still a good meal.

It still isn't going to win any prizes for architectural merit, but the Malika's location and general air of being well-run, plus a few extras such as free wi-fi throughout the hotel made our return there every bit as satisfactory as our first visit.

Address: 10 Islamkhadja Street, Khiva

Comparison: about average

Directions: Inside the walls of the old city

Price: US$40-80

Theme: Hotel

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Dec 17, 2009
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