A few minutes walk from Tashkent Chorsu market, Kukeldash Madrasah in the shadow of the thick trees, a cozy house in the national style is located. Guest house “Gulnara” is a small private hotel located in the so-called old town. The house entered the top 10 best guest houses in Uzbekistan according to Trip Adviser and Booking.com and is an excellent option for travelers who are considering budget holiday options.
The owners of the guest house, Ms. Gulnara Karimova and her son Ravshan, became known not only in Tashkent, but also outside the country, thanks to their hospitality, excellent cuisine and special atmosphere recreated in the house. We managed to talk with one of the owners, the main manager of the guest house “Gulnara” Ravshan Karimov
Where did the idea of creating a guest house come from?
The idea came unexpectedly. I myself am the representative of the 8th generation of our family, and we all lived here. One day, an Australian friend came to visit us. They stayed overnight and they really liked it, although they stayed in a hotel. And after their arrival, we had the idea of creating a cozy home to stop tourists. So the circumstances were that our family was not very big at that time and this house turned out to be big for us, so we re-equipped part of the guest rooms.
Did you have any difficulties at that time, in obtaining permission to work, with the design of the guests?
First of all, we registered as a hotel. Received the necessary permission, license and fully launched its activities. Of course, there were some difficulties without them, but we skillfully dealt with them.
In general, guest houses did not come up today, it was always. Guest houses suggest the type of accommodation where guests live with their hosts. Previously, guest houses did not enjoy such demand and popularity. But we began to receive information about guest houses in Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva. Tourists began to settle in such houses, and we are celebrating a real rise today.
How do you build relationships, interaction with your guests. What are the advantages of guest houses over standard hotels?
We have a lot of clients who tell us: “We are not interested in these glass pathetic buildings, we are not interested in the on-duty smiles of the hotel staff and how other tourists look at us. Here we live like one big family, here is a different atmosphere. ” When the guest arrives – first of all he is not a client, he is our guest.
Do tourists have to become participants in family celebrations?
Yes, we always attract guests to home events. For example, 40 people from among the guests of our house attended my wedding.
Do you have tourists who come regularly and visit your home exactly?
Of course, there are, but these are not ordinary tourists, they come to Uzbekistan for business, who are at work, who are studying, there are a lot of such people. That is, those who come for a long time, they want to go about their business in a quiet comfortable atmosphere.
And how do tourists find you? Do you do advertising?
Usually they learn about us on the forums, according to the recommendations, we do not place advertising about ourselves anywhere. People learn about us and are happy to share with other travelers.
And as for the kitchen? What usually goes in there?
We have standard breakfasts, very satisfying. Our national dishes must be included there: hot tortilla, fresh katyk, homemade jam, we close everything ourselves. We have a small garden where we grow sweet cherries, pears, apples. A must-have breakfast for us is a special omelet, about which our guests write a lot, with tomato, cheese and onions. Our menu also includes vegetarian dishes. Of course, drinks: tea, coffee to choose from and fruit, a lot of fruit.
How many guests can your guest house take?
How many people do you have?
We have a small staff, only 4 people. At the moment they are invited experts. Earlier, when my parents were young, they were engaged in housekeeping, now my parents are in old age and have retired, I manage accounting and administrative tasks: to invite a guest, place him, officially register him, pay taxes for him. 2 maids are responsible for cleaning the rooms and one cook works in the kitchen.
How much is the average of prices here?
From 60 thousand soums per person (8 USD), including breakfast. There is a dorm room that can accommodate 5 men or 5 women.
Previously, the minimum cost of living for a tourist in Tashkent was 15 cu Tough competition laws are changing the situation in the tourist market of Uzbekistan. Now there are more hotels, and they take the quality and price.