Of the two hotels in the city, City Hotel is now reserved exclusively for Church officials and their guests, and the other, Hotel Vagharshapat, is in terrible condition, with one wing housing refugees from Artsakh, and the other perhaps the cheapest place in town to crash--if you don't mind sleeping without plumbing, windows or doors.
Luckily two new motels have opened nearby, and a number of homestays are available inside the city. The truth is no Armenian family will refuse a guest, and foreign guests are treated with especial care and hospitality. But do not abuse this, since this is the only way most families can earn income.
This is a very short listing of the possible homes to stay in--if any are full or you find yourself in a different part of town--just start asking. By the time we left Echmiadzin the local grapevine had already been humming, and US$10 for bed only, or US$15-25 for bed plus dinner, evening tea and breakfast, is the going rate.
Price note: During the 1700 celebrations (Autumn) , expect price-gouging and haggle, haggle, haggle! They know you can easily leave town to find suitable lodgings.
Hotel Vagharshapat (no phone); just beyond the Cinema House on Nalbandian Poghots. Refugees from Artsakh are the only residents now, but a second wing of rooms (no plumbing, doors or windows) is free for the taking. Stay at your own risk.
Unless otherwise noted all homestays ask US$10 for bed only, or US$15-20 for bed, dinner, evening tea and breakfast. Charges are per person.
Advance Bookings: Check with Harutiun (*5-20-38) at the Khoren Ter Harutian Sculpture Museum to arrange homestays w/dinner and breakfast for US$10-20. Also check with Khachik at Echmiadzin Shop (* 5-20-84 at the shop, 5-64-59 at home) for the same.
Always call ahead before home stays, even if you don't speak the lingo. By just showing up you may be wasting a lot of walking time.
Mrs. Hasmik Azatian (* 4-16-30), Nalbandian Arachin Nerpansk 5a (1st Cul de Sac off of Nalbandian, house 5a). The house is on the right as you turn the corner into the cul de sac., has a pleasant little home with lace curtains on the window and a large porch in back overlooking her garden. She has two beds.
Three other homes on Nalbandian Poghots are #68, #70 and #73. Spaces vary from spare rooms to an entire home. Call or see David at Van Motel (* 4-80-24).
of Mashtots Poghots:
Suro (* 4-39-83) at Kardjikian Arachin Nerpansk #4 (1st cul de sac off of Karjikian, house # 4) has a private house with a spare room for two lodgers.
Next to the Ring Café is Julieta Babaian (* 5-78-29), Mashtots Poghots 48 apt. 20, who has a spare room with two beds to let for single sex or married lodgers only. Nora Sarkissian (* 5-24-63), Djerzhinsky Poghots 82b, has a spacious and clean room.
Prices: expect some gouging during 1700 celebrations, but it is worth haggling as most tourists stay in Yerevan. The prices quoted are fair for the venue, but you may be stuck with a 25% mark-up.
Van Motel/Restaurant (* 4-80-24, ask for David) is located on the Markara-Zvartnots Janapar, 2 kilometer east of the Markara Road. The motel is also a restaurant, with individual glass-roofed dining rooms off of each of 6 double rooms. There are also three luxe suites. Spacious rooms are very clean with new furniture and hot showers. Air-conditioned doubles/luxe cost 10,000/15,000AMD. The complex also includes an outdoor pool and sauna, which cost extra. Meals are breakfast US$3-4, lunch US$5-6 and dinner US$6-8.
Zvartnots Motel/Restaurant (mobile * from Yerevan 821-40-26-31, ask for Valodia) is one of the most pleasant surprises in Armenia. Open in January of 1998, the complex includes 11 cottages (7 single story doubles and 4 two-story quads), a full-service restaurant, bar, disco, casino, outdoor pool, sauna, weight room, all set in a tropical garden. The air-conditioned cottages have separate living/dining rooms, baths, bedrooms and porch, with ample space for folks to move around. Satellite TV, stereo system, maid service and Jacuzzi tubs in the quads round out this well-maintained complex. Double/Quad cottages cost 20,000/30,000AMD. Breakfast/lunch/dinner costs around 3000/4000/5000AMD.
Zvartnots Motel is located 3 kilometers east of Hripsimeh (200 meters west of the entrance to Zvartnots Vank) on the north side of Echmiadzin-Yerevan Highway. Take bus #111 from Echmiadzin or Yerevan, or # 1, 2 or 3 from Echmiadzin.
Andranik Azatian and Anzhik Petrossian (* 5-55-03), Nalbandian Poghots 45, have a large two-room suite in their home (with antique furniture), immaculately clean toilet and bath, hot shower, and a beautiful garden in the back. Overnight, huge dinner, bedtime tea and breakfast for US$25 per person. Worth the splurge.