The pearl of the Caucasus, the cradle of Russian mountaineering, the center of extreme sports, the popular ski resort – this is all a tiny village of Dombai in the Karachay-Cherkess Republic. It is murderously beautiful at any time of the year, but especially in winter.
Dombai (more correctly pronounced Dommay) in translation from the Karachay-Balkar language means “mountain bison”. Animals became extinct at the beginning of the XX century and around the same time Dombai began to develop. It was originally built as a resort: it is known that the first tourist center appeared here in 1921, and in 1940 the sport of alpine skiing began to develop. Throughout the XX century, the village was conditionally accessible: party workers, athletes and famous people went skiing here, but such vouchers were not issued on the trade union line.
At the junction of XX-XXI, sane investors finally came to the region and in a few years turned the abandoned mountain slopes into an interesting resort. The tracks of Dombai are designed for 200 thousand people a year: these are equipped slopes, good lifts and excellent, to the envy of other regions, infrastructure. Let Dombai not have promotion and background of Krasnaya Polyana, but he has his own character: those who are interested in ski holidays, and not in everything accompanying it, come here. And, which is also a plus, in Dombai there are no concerts of aging pop stars.
Renting an apartment for a holiday in Dombai is a much more reasonable solution than to stay in the usual hotel rooms, even designed for skiers. Autonomy, tranquility, familiar surroundings, no queues at ski storage or equipment – this is priceless.
Olga, Moscow: “We rested in Dombai for a week in December. The influx was noble, you can’t push through on the tracks. It’s good that I insisted on apartments: I hate the queue for breakfast in hotels. And this terrible deadline: I did not have time to ten – that’s all, you have breakfast with borscht! And I want to to twelve on vacation, not rush to the call for food. I’ll have to, I’ll cook it myself. Moreover, this is Dombai, there is a market and deli at hand. ”
You can get to the mountain Dombai only by road by taxi, regular bus or your own car. The nearest airport is in Mineralnye Vody, it is about 200 km away. The nearest railway junction is in Ust-Dzhegut (100 km).
In honor of Dombai (not a resort village, but a stunning mountain region in the North Caucasus), one of the stars in the constellation ursa Major is named. The exoplanet, which rotates at great speed in the orbit of its luminary, was named after the Taberda River, in the upper reaches of which the village is located.
And, by the way, on Earth, in Dombai, you can ride along snow-covered mountain paths on beautifully decorated house yaks. It’s cute and completely unforgettable.
The 13-storey apart-hotel “Vershina” is located a little away from the center of Dombai, but close to the main cable cars of the resort. The hotel was built not so long ago, has not yet had time to dilapidate and against the background of snow-capped mountains it looks spectacular, but without unnecessary pathos. Apartment “Peaks” are popular with tourists: in the season, the room must be booked in advance.
This is a large hotel complex, more like a residential apartment building: on the first two floors there is a sports and bath complex, billiards. Above are the rooms (on the last floors – the most prestigious, best and expensive). Heating is centralized, but hot water is autonomous. There is a heated pool on the roof, but it is often closed for repairs, so you should not count on it especially.
Rooms include apartments of different sizes:
- studio, up to 4 guests;
- 1-room, up to 4 guests;
- 2-room, up to 4-5 guests;
- 3-room, from 4 to 6 guests (standard, mini, deluxe).
Rooms of all categories are fully equipped for self-catering: in the kitchen you can cook, there is a refrigerator. Who does not want to stand at the stove, will have to look for a pleasant corner of catering, but in the “Top” there is no own cafe. On the ground floor there is a separate, non-obligation with the hotel, restaurant. From there, you can order room service for the price of a helicopter.
According to reviews, the design of the apartments is very pleasant – simply, without frills in the style of a tear-eye.
- paid parking (daily parking is calculated cleverly, from 17:00 to 12:00);
- boiler of small volume, hot water is not enough;
- dishes minimum;
- all additional services are paid separately (resort prices).
The aparthotel cooperates with private guides and excursion bureaus, so it can organize excellent walking or sports, including extreme, tours at any time of the year.
The residential complex “Vershina” is one of the newest and most comfortable in Dombai, and this is something, yes it means. Its main advantage is the stunning views from the window, for which tourists choose an apartment on the seventh floor (apart 711).
This is an isolated 2-bedroom apartment with one bedroom and a bathroom, designed to accommodate up to four adult guests (double bed in the bedroom and double sofa bed in the living room). Apparently, the owners themselves worked on the design: the apartments are decorated in an eclectic style, full of unexpected combinations of textiles and furniture. This spontaneity is more of a plus than a minus: the room does not look state-owned. On the contrary, it is homely residential and pleasant.
In the apartment:
- bed linen, towels;
- fully equipped kitchen and bathroom;
- big TV.
Hot water must be consumed sparingly: the boiler is designed for a quick shower of two people.
On the territory of the residential complex there is a restaurant “Bison”, where you can fully enjoy Caucasian cuisine. Breakfasts are not served there, but for lunch and dinner you do not even need to book a table.
Disadvantages of the apartments are common to the whole village:
- poor internet and cable;
- poorly clear roads;
- on the roof the pool is constantly under repair;
- parking is paid (November 2021 – 500 rubles / day).
The undeniable advantage of the apartments is the proximity to the ski lifts of the main slopes (Dombai Ski Lift – 300 meters).
In the residential complex “Vershina” there are many excellent offers for tourists, and the 3-room apartment “Mountain Paradise” with two bedrooms on the sixth floor will definitely appeal to most. According to reviews, it is obvious that the owner did not spare money: everything that is in the apartment is not from the economy segment. The apartments are decorated like an expensive hotel room – in one tone (silver-gray with elements of marble), but they are distinguished from ordinary hotels by thoughtfulness and attention to the comfort of guests.
What is in the apartment:
- living room: TV 65 inches, console, speakers, fireplace;
- bedrooms: orthopedic mattresses, bed linen made of satin, mirrors;
- kitchen: induction cooking surface, oven, dishwasher, dishes (pots, pans), dining table in front of the window;
- bathroom: a lot of space, shower.
The apartment has a storage room in which a vacuum cleaner, an ironing board, an iron and other accessories important for cleanliness and comfort are stored.
Small nuances make life more comfortable – zonal lighting, underfloor heating. The apartment can accommodate up to 8 people (2-bedded beds in two bedrooms, sofas in the living room and kitchen)
- no balcony;
- there are no slippers, bathrobe, bath accessories in the bathroom;
- Issue only one key.
- bad internet.
The owner is very attentive to the comments of guests and, as far as possible, corrects the shortcomings. For example, I bought a coffee machine.
Not far from the center of the village, surrounded by pine trees and with a stunning view of the mountain slope, there is the Sputnik residential complex – a new apartment building built according to the project familiar to all citizens. Almost all the apartmentsthat it has, private owners rent to tourists.
Some of them have undergone a specific refinement: their originally large apartment of 100-120 meters with two or three bedrooms made two apartments for two or four guests (a double bed in the bedroom and a sofa bed in the living room). Living permanently in them will be uncomfortable, but as a temporary refuge for a skier – great, no one will notice anything.
New, furniture, the smell of pine trees, air conditioning and heater, a good bed – it will be pleasant to relax after trekking. In the apartment (which is rare for Dombai), there are disposable slippers, cosmetic and bath accessories, and the kitchen complete set exceeds all expectations.
- poor sound insulation;
- one boiler for two numbers, interruptions with hot water;
- problems with pressure in pipes;
- it’s cool in the off-season.
The owner is constantly in touch, promptly solves all problems, including the repair of unexpectedly broken equipment. In addition, he owns a rental nearby on the slope, where you can leave ski equipment. On the territory of the complex “Sputnik” there is a paid parking.
In the residential complex itself there are no catering establishments, but literally three meters outside the territory endless taverns with Caucasian cuisine begin – you can’t try everything for a vacation.
The apartments are located in the residential complex “Vershina” on the ground floor with its own entrance (from the courtyard). The windows overlook the sauna complex and the street. The room is a good one-bedroom apartment of modern layout with underfloor heating and furnishings that combine comfort and optimal choice
Max, Yekaterinburg: “In general, a good proposal. Very clean, modern design, normal furniture, comfortable bed, but the bedroom is stuffy. There were good bed linens, a bunch of towels. The microwave is better than my home. I’ll definitely be back next season.”
- poor views from the windows;
- unimportant sound insulation;
- there are problems with water;
- no children’s furniture.
The owners of the apartments are nice and friendly people who will help to solve any problems. Parking is paid in the same complex, it is paid by the owners. All additional services, including gym, spa, billiards, are paid separately and at the price tag at the luxury level.
Luxurious two-storey penthouse “Dombai” with four bedrooms (designed for 10 guests) is located in the residential complex “Sputnik” and is completely dependent on centralized heating and water supply. Yes, yes, everything is so: entering almost the most expensive apartments of Dombai, a tourist can not guarantee himself hot water in the kitchen or an acceptable temperature in the bedroom. However, he should be comforted by the skin of a polyester bear stretched out on the bed.
The apartments are decorated somewhat heavily in a style that combines the magic of dark fairies, the aesthetics of the ancient Druids and the taste of Thranduil, better known as the father of Legolas. Additional heaters, climate system, underfloor heating or at least a boiler of two hundred liters are not provided in the design.
The pride of the living room is a chic fireplace lined with stones. But this is all a deception: gypsum stones, it is not recommended to use a fireplace. Well, the fact that it is cold outside, and the apartment is dank is not an argument. After all, the heating is turned on in mid-October, you can wait.
Eva, Moscow: “Very beautiful apartments, gorgeous photo zones. But it was very cold, there was no heating, we bought firewood, but the owner came and said that the fireplace could not be used. There was no shower on the first tier either – the hose broke. On the pillows there was hair from previous guests (().
Apartments with two bedrooms are located in the residential complex “Sputnik” and are designed no longer for tourists from far abroad, the owner promotes them on Airbnb more than on Russian sites. They received the name “Raccoa” for their design: in the living room, the wall is decorated with Raccoa Raccoa, a character from Marvel comics.
The whole apartment is designed in an urban style with walls under brick and metal sheets – to knowledgeable people this will remind the legendary lofts of lower New York, New Jersey and Harlem, which were inhabited by bohemia and turned the destroyed workshops into centers of culture.
The apartment is beautiful, comfortable and not philistine, the kitchen is equipped at a minimum, but enough – a microwave-kettle-refrigerator, in the living room there is a modern TV. According to reviews, there is not enough washing machine.
The balcony offers river and mountain views. On the ground floor of the residential complex there is a rental of skis and equipment. Nearby there are dozens of cafes of different levels.
Superheroes are our everything and even a little more: in the residential complex “Sputnik” there are apartments with two bedrooms and bathrooms, which by a strange coincidence were called “Disco”. Probably, it is connected with the design of the wall in the living room, something resembling a disco ball … Or maybe with walls quoting the interiors of legendary Manhattan bars and clubs from the pre-Mercury period? Then it is not clear, and here are portraits of Spider-Man, Batman or motivating hipster pictures: after all, in those days when rockers and bands gathered in the chic basement bars of the Big Apple, all these characters had not yet been released on the big screens.
In any case, the apart-idea “Disco” is one of the best offers for tourists in Dombai: a new residential complex with minimal problems with communal services, comfortable plumbing, cool repairs, good bedrooms.
Igor, Kyiv: “It’s great! Two balconies, they offer a stunning view, five minutes to the cable car, next to good eateries for a snack. Cleanliness in the apartment, new bed linen. The only thing that upset me was the cold tap water. You have to wait for the boiler to heat up.”
Stunningly stylish apartments on the top floor of one of the blocks of the residential complex “Sputnik” are suitable for connoisseurs of the texture of natural wood and the hard roughness of the stone. No plaster (yes, it happens)!
In the bedrooms (only two, the apartments are designed for 6 guests) the emphasis is on a comfortable stay: on comfortable, no frills, beds – the best orthopedic mattresses from those that money can buy. Absolute impeccable cleanliness is the personal chip of the owners. Bed linen, towels and slippers are provided.
In the kitchen, a standard set is a microwave, a refrigerator, a kettle and a minimum of dishes. According to reviews, there will be 6 adults back-to-back, but a family of 4 people is enough.
First, it’s just beautiful: the combination of inexpensive high-tech materials and familiar wood can be unusual. Apartment “Baby” – tiny, one bedroom, only 30 “squares”, but very cute – can boast of modern dynamics, cool aesthetics and comfortable plumbing. Yes, it happens.
The room is located in one of the new blocks of the residential complex “Sputnik”, a little away from the main building. The view from the windows is excellent – mountains, forest, valley, plus silence – this is the outskirts of Dombai.
Advantages of the room:
- owners are attentive to trifles: Christmas tree, corkscrew, napkins;
- a variety of lighting options, including diode lights;
- provide a minimum of products – sugar, oil, cereals, spices;
- there is everything in the bathroom;
- excellent air conditioning;
- great bedrooms.
Dombai is not a point on the map, it is a place where you need to come at least once in your life. Of course, in such villages it is better to stay in apartments, this is not even discussed. Young dynamic people will be delighted with stylish rooms: “Raccoon”, “Disco” – they will leave only the best impressions. People more solid can choose “Panther” or “Mountain Paradise” depending on their personal taste. Cheaper, but definitely not worse – any apartment from the rented to choose from in the “Top” or “Sputnik”. In the latter, it is still a little better with water, and the furniture is newer. Singles or couples in love with the mountains and each other are ideally suited to the room “Baby” – cozy, stylish, comfortable.