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Odessa, Ukraine - The Pearl of the Black Sea

There are quite a few hotels to choose from if you're planning a visit to the port city of Odessa, but the aptly named Hotel Odessa is - in my humble opinion - the finest hotel in town. Built in 2001, this 5-star hotel is the centerpiece of Odessa's Port. With each of the hotel's 178 rooms facing the Black Sea, every visitor is guaranteed a room with a view.

The most impressive element regarding the Hotel Odessa is its accessible location. Once you leave its marble facade, take a leisurely stroll across the hotel's large open air patio, walk under the gallery to avoids city traffic and you'll find yourself standing at the foot of the famous Boulevard Staircase, better known as the Potempkin Steps...backdrop for the 1905 Revolution against tsarism in Russia. The massacre on the Potempkin steps was perfectly captured in the still-riveting 1925 Sergie Eisenstein classic "The Battleship Potempkin".

These days, the significance of the Potempkin incident has been lost to the current generation. In fact, the only action I recall taking place on the steps concerned bargains offered by ex-soldiers and old merchants. As you get to the top of the stairs you stand in the fulcrum of Odessa's main thorough-fare; Deribasovskaya Street, and an open invitation to the thriving downtown district of Odessa.

Deribasovskaya Street is all at once cosmopolitan, decadent, ebullient, and typically Russian. Here you'll find some culture with the Opera House and Ballet Theater, several parks and museums. Along the boulevard are chic shops, restaurants, cafe's and night clubs. It's a playground that never closes. A neon city dressed up for tourists and the city elite.

With the Hotel Odessa and the Black Sea at your back you'll never feel too far from home. The city of Odessa offers a nice mix of the old and the new, where lazy days and exciting nights pass all too quickly.

 



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