The Best Hotels in Belarus

The Robinson Club sits along the shores of the Minsk Sea
The Robinson Club sits along the shores of the Minsk Sea | Courtesy of Robinson Club / Expedia
Photo of Phoebe Taplin
7 January 2021

Europe’s last bastion of Soviet totalitarianism is more than just a nostalgic curiosity for Cold War junkies. Alongside socialist realism monuments and museums of Belarusian statehood, you’ll find pavement terraces outside quirky new cafes, art galleries and lakeside oases in the forest. And, since 2018, a new 30-day visa-free tourist regime means it’s no longer a bureaucratic hassle to visit Belarus. Here’s our pick of its best hotels.

Crowne Plaza Minsk

Hotel
Map View
Crowne Plaza Minsk, Belarus
Courtesy of Crowne Plaza Minsk / Expedia

Dark wood veneer, back-in-the-USSR wallpaper, leather chairs and faux-marble bathrooms give the Crown Plaza an old-school atmosphere. Suites add crimson carpets, gilt-edged mirrors and jacuzzi-style baths. The stucco ceiling, chandeliers or backlit stained-glass panels in the choice of restaurants have a Stalin-era, Moscow-metro vibe, while the pervasive smell of smoke, pool and gym, chrome-and-neon nightclub and on-site casino feel more like the crazy ’90s. It’s within proximity of the central station and Karl Marx Street, a fun mix of craft-beer pubs, trendy coffee shops and the Belarusian National History and Culture Museum.

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President Hotel

Hotel
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President Hotel, Belarus
Courtesy of President Hotel / Expedia

Right in the heart of the city, Minsk’s biggest five-star hotel offers classic decor and a long list of facilities, including a sunny gym and 25m pool. The Stolitsa restaurant’s comprehensive menu celebrates Belarusian national cuisine, including porcini mushrooms, sour cream and draniki (potato pancakes), alongside more exotic offerings such as baked pike-perch with mozzarella and olives. Standard bedrooms feature button-backed headboards, wood surrounds and neutral tones, while a variety of opulent suites offer extra sitting rooms, kitchens or four-poster beds.

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Victoria and Spa Hotel

Spa Hotel, Hotel
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Hotel Victoria Minsk, Belarus
Courtesy of Victoria and Spa Hotel / Expedia

This shining riverside cliff of plate glass and steel girders opened in 2014 to accommodate conferences and overlooks the wooded lakes and islands of monumental Victory Park. More than 250 clean, quiet bedrooms favour stripes and landscape paintings and come with air conditioning, minibars and free wifi as standard. In a huge hall, the restaurant has a bargain “business lunch”, while the breakfast buffet proffers platters of pickled herring, boiled eggs, cheese slices and glasses of birch juice.

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Smart Boutique Hotel Vitebsk

Boutique Hotel, Hotel
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Smart Boutique Hotel Vitebsk, Belarus
Courtesy of Smart Boutique Hotel Vitebsk / Expedia

The Smart Boutique is a five-minute walk from the red-brick Marc Chagall Art Center in a leafy garden near the wide Daugava River – the artist was born in 1887 near Vitebsk, approximately 300km (186mi) northeast of Minsk. Eight comfortable, minimalist rooms in a late-19th-century building have varied layouts, with half of them tucked under the slope-ceilinged attic. Grilled fish, Greek salads and other Mediterranean dishes are on offer in the restaurant, and there are several bars and eateries a short stroll away along the cobbled streets of the old town.

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Robinson Club

Spa Hotel, Hotel
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Robinson Club, Belarus
Courtesy of Robinson Club / Expedia

Along the shores of the Minsk Sea, also known as the vast pine-fringed Zaslawskaye Reservoir northwest of the Belarusian capital, the Robinson Club sprawls between a boat-fringed jetty and the long, airy corridors of its hotel. You can pick from monochrome, contemporary rooms or individual cottages, including some with hot tubs. The club’s Aquazone features a 25m indoor pool, a big, sun-lounger-flanked outdoor pool and a jacuzzi. The lawns are dotted with gazebos, and the restaurant’s summer terrace faces out across the lake. The Italian-inspired menu also includes local favourites, such as salmon with draniki and honey cake.

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  • Hotel Europe

    Hotel
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    Hotel Europe, Belarus
    Courtesy of Hotel Europe / Expedia

    From the glass-domed atrium, full of elegant murals, trailing plants and leather sofas, to the polished desks and brocade bedspreads in the bedrooms, the central Hotel Europe is a classic luxury hotel. The original 1880s building gained three extra art nouveau-style floors in the early 20th century, making it the tallest building in Minsk at the time, with the city’s first elevator; famous guests included painter Marc Chagall and radical Soviet poet Vladimir Mayakovsky. It stands opposite an urban park and the neoclassical town hall, a few steps from the city’s hands-on Cat Museum. Live guitar music serenades the guests at breakfast, and there’s a choice of bars.

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    Kronon Park Hotel

    Hotel
    Map View
    Kronon Park Hotel, Belarus
    Courtesy of Kronon Park Hotel / Expedia

    Just outside the city of Grodno in western Belarus, with its castle and baroque cathedral, the spotless Kronon Park Hotel is a renovated mansion with wrought-iron balconies hidden deep in the woods near the sandy-shored Neman River. Even the miniature swimming pool has views of the forest. The bedrooms, overlooking the trees or courtyard, are individually decorated in ruched swags of rich floral cloth with 18th-century French motifs and cheerful colours. The candlelit restaurant is similarly opulent, with soft piano music, glinting chandeliers and tasselled velvet curtains. Alternatively, sit between flowering roses round the courtyard fountain in summer.

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    Chalet Greenwood

    Hotel
    Map View
    Chalet Greenwood, Belarus
    Courtesy of Chalet Greenwood / Expedia

    Deep in the forests about a kilometre east of the Polish border, the pine-walled Chalet Greenwood has a sandy beach on the nearby Belea Lake with canoe hire, volleyball and a couple of resident swans. Bedrooms in warm, natural colours, with botanical prints on the wooden walls, echo the trees outside. A romantic restaurant juggles flavours from Italy and Belarus in an open kitchen with a roaring log fire.

    These recommendations were updated on January 7, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.