Boarding house – this is a type of hotels, which combines rest and treatment. Boarding houses are mostly located outside the cities, in beautiful places on the lake coasts, in the mountains or on the seashore. In Russia and CIS countries boarding houses are available for the great masses of population. Typically, rooms in the boarding houses don’t provide a heightened comfort. Rooms in the boarding houses can be single, double and, sometimes, four-person. Among the household device they have TV, radio and refrigerator. The traditions of stingy furnishing remained in many boarding houses since the Soviet Union times.
The main advantage of a boarding house is considered to be not a comfort in rooms but rather a possibility of an outdoor recreation. Boarding houses are often located in special climatic zones, pine forest, near the mineral springs.
Many boarding houses, especially at the sea resorts, offer various medical treatments, including popular today spa therapy course. Among the staff, serving guests in such boarding houses, there are several medical specialists in different areas: neurologist, dietitian, psychotherapist.
The cost of rooms in boarding houses is often equal or below the price of rooms at the 3* hotel. Besides booking rooms there is another option for room reservation. It is a tourist voucher. They are often sold by the state-owned enterprises and organizations to their employees. This method remained in the CIS and Russia since the Soviet times. The voucher to the boarding house should be ordered in advanced and paid for in full price at the time of the purchase. In addition to the cost of accommodation the price of the voucher includes the medical care expenses and meals. Due to the fact that boarding houses are often located on a decent distance from the settlements, you may not count on independent meals while ordering a voucher in the travel agency.
Boarding houses in Western Europe – is just some kind of private hotels. They do not offer much comfort, either. These are small houses with a dozen of rooms and the necessary conveniences, which provide you with a room, furnished with a minimum set of necessary furniture, as well as a bathroom. Boarding houses are common in Germany, Spain, Italy and England. The exception is Switzerland, where the boarding houses are owned by families with a long history. Swiss boarding houses can provide accommodation in the city, in the old mansions. Their rooms are notable for dainty design. An additional advantage may be the willingness of the owners to take the guests on an excursion to the picturesque foothills of the Alps.