This delightful place is a converted 18th-century caravan-saray, forming a twin-level arcade of sturdy arches around a pretty central courtyard. Sheki once had five working caravanserais as the trade routes between Baku and Tbilisi and a spur route across the mountains to Dagestan used to meet here. Caravansaray is not just a hotel but also one of the most intriguing sights of the Sheki town. Overnighting here is justification enough to visit Sheki. It's not every day that you have the chance to sleep in a genuine Silk-Road-era caravansarai, so this hotel seems like it should not be missed. It is also quite cheap. But it's a government-run property, and it shows in every respect.
Even if you don’t stay here just peep inside. From the outside in the middle of the night this place is lit up and looks outstanding. Even entering into the foyer the look of ancient times is present. Stride through the somewhat daunting wooden gateway door and if questioned say you're heading for the restaurant in the garden behind, a lovely place for a cuppa with a slice of Sheki's signature halva (pastry with nuts).
Staying in the rooms one can easily imagine how silk route traders were making a stop here with their camel caravans loaded with precious goods. The building is literally a small fortress with just one entry and thick fortified walls around the inner yard. In case of attack the doors could be closed and all those inside could feel safe and secured behind the walls. Overlook the courtyard where the camels once were tied. The inner yard is quite spacious and was used by traders who erected trade stalls inside. In other words they were starting to trade once in Karavansaray. The ground floor was used as a basement and a warehouse. The first floor was designated for the guests. Rooms had a hatch in the floor and stepladder so that they could quickly and easily get down to their goods that were placed under their rooms. Currently all premises are used for rooms with those on the first floor being a bit more expensive. They have even luxe rooms there.
Rooms have wonderful arched brickwork ceilings and while they're certainly not luxurious, all have sitting areas and humorously basic bathrooms. Rooms are very basic, just beds, toilet, shower. All is in a heavily used condition, but keep in mind this is a karavansaray, not a business chain hotel. Old TV in the room, heavy walls, practically no windows. No need in aircondition as due to thick brickwalls the temparature is refreshing all the time and you will need 2 blankets even in the summer. The place really needs some cash pumped into it since all is more or less broken or tatty. The bed linen has holes. The cleaning also leaves to be desired.
Upper floor on the right side is actually at street level as the road is steep at the side and all these produce a lot of noise. The locals seem to scream up and down in cars most of the night, with much shouting, braking, hooting and the like, so try to avoid that side. Even if traveling solo, better choose the double room. It's only an extra 10 AZN but the doubles are much less cell-like and actually have heating in the winter.
Book ahead, especially for single rooms as there are only two. The entrance way is a small portal within a vast wooden door (poorly signed) making entry a slightly daunting prospect. Don't be put off. The reception area is across the castle-like vaulted entrance-way.
At the rear is an attractive garden restaurant which in summer makes a lovely place for a slice of Sheki's signature halva and a cup of tea. There's also a winter dining hall and a very atmospheric tea house which sadly only offers tea by the samovar in an excessively expensive set accompanied by a series of fruits and jams.
This hotel promises much but fails to deliver on everything except the historic ambience. Properly managed, it could be a pearl. There are new hotels built in Sheki, so hopefully the competition may induce the owners to fix the bathrooms and smarten the furnishings.
BOOKING: Unfortunately, we are no longer accepting booking requests for Karavan Saray Hotel. The hotel accepts only cash and guarantees paid bookings only. Since they do not have facilities to accept any form of payment in Baku our travel agency to our great regret has to stop accepting booking requests that we can't guarantee for 100%. Reservations for that particular hotel has to be arranged by travelers themselves. Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience.
Unfortunately, Caravan Saray hotel in Sheki still runs the things as they have been doing for years now without any advances. That means they don't have emails or faxes. All bookings are accepted via phone. Besides they accept only cash and there is no way how we can accept bookings from our customers and settle then account with the hotel. It just not works. What we can do is to place a booking there on your behalf via phone, but again, and we need to stress that out, we do not bear responsibility if the booking is cancelled or smth. goes wrong. We can guarantee that with hotels in Baku, but Sheki is beyond our control.
P.S. We could assist with GROUP BOOKINGS ONLY. Please contact us with your travel details.
FOR PERSONAL BOOKINGS PLEASE CALL YOURSELF TO HOTEL'S NUMBER: +994557555570
PRICES including VAT
Rate in AZN
Rate in USD
|Single Room (only 2 rooms)||
|Twin Room (18 rooms)||30 AZN||40 USD|
|Triple room (only 4 rooms)||36 AZN||45-50 USD|
|There are also some Luxe rooms at higher rates|
* Rates are exclusive of breakfast that would be extra 7-8 USD 1 AZN = 1 Euro (roughly)