When I travel I rarely stay in hotels and use one or two services that offer condominiums, apartments or houses. I figure if the prices is at or below what a hotel offers, why not have my own place. I did rent a hotel one time when Skopje but it was a last minute decision I made to head down for the New Year’s Eve bash and I had to take whatever was available.
I ended up at the Best Western in downtown Skopje a quick walk from the center of the pedestrian area. It was quite a nice hotel, very upscale with a continental breakfast and a nice restaurant attached. My room was excellent with a nice thick bed and right on the pedestrian area so I could see all the activity from my window. It didn’t have a balcony but I wasn’t concerned as I didn’t spend a great deal of time there anyhow. As part of the room rental we were given a parking spot close to the hotel so this made the decision even easier to make. It was over $100 per person per night which I was surprised to hear but they had me between a rock and a hard place so to speak and it is a nice hotel.
I checked in, cleaned up and headed out. You can read about my New Year’s Eve activities (some of them) on another page. I was the first one up the following morning and ate my continental breakfast alone, well not actually alone there was a staff member there who spoke English so I had a nice chat with here. She was very pleasant and I learned just how hard people in Macedonia work in exchange for very low pay. I found this the norm throughout the Balkans though but these people are quite hard working as a whole.
I finished my breakfast, wandered around a bit and came back when the restaurant opened. The restaurant staff was also quite friendly and attentive but since I’d already eaten earlier I had some coffee while my friends ate a hearty breakfast.
The other place I rented was over by the Romanian Embassy and initially was a challenge to find as I was taking directions from someone who barely spoke English. I ended up having my friends just drop me in the center of the town and I grabbed a cab. Once in the cab I dialed the number and handed the phone to the driver which quickly solved the problem of locating the place. It was a condo and when I arrived the owner had wine and water on the table for me which I felt was a good touch. It was a typical condo with everything I needed and a short walk to the main area. It was as it turned out a great place to stay as it’s off the beaten path, but close to restaurants and stores so I could get up in the morning and grab a bite without going all the way downtown. It was a very modern place owned by a guy who was in college somewhere and needed the rental income. A win, win as far as I was concerned and if I return to Skopje, I’ll rent it again.
The third place I rented was in an apartment building literally one minute walk from the front entrance of the mall in Skopje. It was a cold gray building that reminded me of something you’d see during the soviet era. There was graffiti all over the building, inside and out. The elevator didn’t appear as if it had ever received maintenance and when the door closed to take me to my floor it felt more like a tomb than an elevator as it was completely enclosed and quite small for an elevator. I was on an upper floor and the room I rented turned out to be a bit different than the photos. The guy that put the pictures on the rental site was a real pro as the place looked quite a bit larger than it actually was as I realized when I walked in. But, I’ve learned to just go with the flow and since the place was clean, the owner friendly I felt, ah, what the heck. It was close to the downtown which is what I was after and suited my needs nevertheless.
All three places had something about them I liked and since I love to experience the culture and live like the locals as much as I can the two rentals were an excellent choice.