Guest feedback

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My guests are encouraged to share their opinion, positive or otherwise.  Use the Comments function or the old notice board or whatever platform you found me on. Scroll down for feedback from my inbox or notice board, and photos of notes left in the apartment by guests, most of whom appeared quite happy.

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From my mailbox
Pasha’s Moscow apartment
Posted on February 18, 2012 at 01:50:43 PM by Lou

My wife and I stayed in Pasha’s apartment recently for 5 nights (Feb 2012). We loved this quirky place. Pasha has set it up so that you feel at home very quickly. Don’t expect luxury, just good old fashioned comfort. Location is brilliant with Red Square being only 10-15 minutes walk away. Stayed during the recent cold snap and heating worked flawlessly. $120 per night is a bargain for this part of Moscow. Location is safe – plenty of people around day and night.
Thanks again Pasha for a great stay.

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From my board, March 8 2011

Dear Pasha

We are terribly sorry that we didn’t send you this thank you note earlier. The time flies and it is already 9 months since we stayed at your apartment in Moscow. We really enjoyed staying at your place – a great location and set up. We were very lucky to come across your website and find your place. It was great to have our own place with all the facilities in Moscow.

Also, we could not thank you enough for the tour you gave to us. You were so accommodating and we could not have had a better driver and guide. We enjoyed the conversation we had with you, and I wish we had time to have a chat over some vodka! We really liked the bottle of vodka you left in the fridge for us. What sort of vodka was it? (I bet you cannot remember!)

After you left us Sergei Posad, we had a great stay in Rostov Valeiky, Novgorod and St. Petersburg. We would like to go back to Russia one day to see more rural areas, and hopefully we can visit your dacha then!

Hope that we meet you again.

Thank you again, and kind regards,

Kazuko and Rob

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Summer 2010  See http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?messageID=17564234&#17564234

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Found pinned to the wall July 20 2009

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From my board, June 16 2009 by O. Cooper  (o. cooper at  kmscommercial  co m)

Uncle Pasha is the best!!! The service and accomodation were fantastic and i wish everyone took notes from Uncle Pasha then we would have a better world!!! Keep up with the great work and all the best to you and your crew!!! xx Olga

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June 2, 2009

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From my board, October 22 2007

Hello Pasha,

Just wanted to say thanks very much for last week.
The apartment was in an excellent location, excellent value and plenty big enough for the 4 of us….particularly as we were out and about a lot of the time.
Although we struggled to communicate with Valentina, both the taxi transfers worked out fine – which we were very pleased about considering our middle of the night arrival and departure times.

I’ll most certainly recommend you to anyone else I meet who is planning a trip to Moscow, and thanks again.

Regards
Roz

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June 2007

From: “Mary Duffy” < m a r y b d u f f y [at] e x c i t e [dot] c o m>

Sent: Sunday, June 17, 2007 2:41 PM

Subject: Re: apartment

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> Hi again
>
> Just want to say thanks for the stay in ther apartment. We enjoyed it and the location was perfect.
>
> Will definitely contact you again if back in Russia and would recommend your place to others.
>
> Best wishes.
>
> Mary and Vince

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February 2007

Found these two pinned to the cork board:

  —————

This request, left by Italian guests who stayed here while Lunch-the-Rat was still alive, can be considered as a piece of feedback good enough to be put into a frame. And it was and now graces the “bedroom” wall.

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A note from a kid adopted by American parents who, quite properly, took him back to explore his roots.

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October 2006

Uncle Pasha, ust wanted to let you know we really enjoyed our stay in your apartment!  The location is superb as you are well aware. To have everything so close by was wonderful.

And to have heat or air-conditioning, whatever we needed was great, and we appreciated it much more after we got to St. Petersburg, it being much colder, and having no heat in the apartment we rented there.   We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to your beautiful country, and apologize once again for arriving late due to our delayed flight. We were just so glad Marina did not give up on us and leave.   Thanks again for everything.   Your September renters, Anne & Krista

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May 27, 2006

Hi Uncle Pasha! (hope you don’t mind me calling you that.)

Just thought i’d send a quick email to say how much I enjoyed my recent stay at your Moscow apartment. I was there between the 3rd and the 10th of May with Julia
Gulina (i’m Alan by the way. Nice to meet you.) and we both wanted to say thanks for having a nice place. I  know you don’t encourage English guests, but hopefully now you’ll treat Scottish guests as a separate entity, just like it should be.

On my last visit to Moscow I stayed at the Rossiya (I was very happy to see that it’s being torn down) and staying at your place was about 1,048 times better. I had no problems with any aspect at all. Thanks to Marina too. She was very pleasant and helpful with my visa registration. Anyway, that’s enough ass-kissing from me. I just hope you won’t mind if I stay there again sometime (I washed the dishes before I left).

Cheers,

Alan Gray

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From: “Rafael Roose” <r a c a [ a t ] s c a r l e t [ d o t] b e> To: <paul_voytinsky@yahoo.com> Sent: Monday, April 17, 2006 11:40 PM Subject: Re: Receipt for your Payment—-(13/04-15/04)

Hi Paul,

We had a great stay in Moscow. The weather wasn’t okay but it didn’t matter…. It was our first time and i think not the last one to visit this huge interesting city. Next time i want to learn really the cyrillic
alphabet….

Your appartment is great, well situated and very comfortable but my wife was afraid in the beginning when we entered the building and an old woman (showing and explaining in Russian) how to use the keys (it was a good idea that Sergei, the driver entered with us….;-) It was possible for Marina to come over at 21 hours and the contact was quite good. Thanks for the bread, butter, jam and nescafe…..for breakfast. We took a driver for 6 hours to take us to Novodevitchni, Saint Saviour, Pushin Museum, military shop and Lokomotivstadium (Mycha was his name – very very friendly but one disadvantage : his English is not very good……)

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Thanks a lot and do it very well with renting your appartment (p.s. : you
are mentionned in the new March edition of the Lonely Planet and i will
promote it to people who want to go to Russia – our national flight company
SN Brussels Airlines is flying now daily to Moscow (except Saturdays) since
the end of  November)

Bye bye and maybe next time we meet each other in Moscow.

Kind regards.

Raf & Carla

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August 17, 2005

—– Original Message —–

From: dave.harper [at]  crcn [d o t  ] net

Sent: Tuesday, August 16, 2005 11:41 PM

Subject: Thanks!

Pasha,

 Thank you very much for the rental of the apartment. Everything was great. One of the clotheslines broke. I’m sure it will be easy to fix, but I don’t want ot mess with it. We left 50 rubles in the in the computer desk drawer to cover any incidental phone calls. We used a long distance phone card, so there wont be any surprises. Your upgrade of the apartment is fabulous , by the way. Feel free to use us as a reference for the quality of the experience staying at your place. We’ll be back one day. You can’t beat it for the location, quality and price. Thanks a bunch.

 Dave and Svetlana Harper

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Received March 11 from Italian/German guests

From: “luigi bruno” [available on request] To: <paul_voytinsky@yahoo.com> Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2005 9:10 PM

Subject: thank you

> Hi pasha,
> i would like to take this opportunity to thank you for leting us renting
> your flat.
> Location was perfect and we really enjoyed moscow.
> Maybe we will come back one day.
> I did not use the mobil phone you provided us, we tryed to use the PC, but
> it did not work (we did not try to make any upgrades!)
> Everyone shall give as much hospitality as you did. In case of need feel
> free to give my e-mail address for references.
> Best regards,
> Luigi and Ruggero

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Received Jan. 28, 2005

Hello uncle Pasha and Olesya

A belated thank you, for all you have done.

I had a fantastic stay over the New Years holiday period.  The apartment was great and my dealings with yourselves, both Paul and Olesya, gave me some sanity in crazy Moscow.

It was my first visit and not everything went according to plan, however from being collected at the airport by Slava, meeting Paul and hassling
Olesya over the phone for various tickets, it was the best of services all the way through.  I also found everyone to be very friendly.

Thank you again for enabling a super first time experience.

Colin
from the dreaded London!!  [because of my beefs about the Brits – see the Prejudices page]
zakszipper at hotmail dot com

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Jan. 2005 Found this killer testimonial from two backpacker guest from several years ago while cleaning my computer. MORE

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Pasha & Olesya,

We just wanted to thank you for helping us to have a wonderful trip. The apartment is great – comfortable, great views, most most importantly, warm…Please don’t hesitate to let us know if we can hel you in any way. Being russophiles, I’m sure we’ll see yo again.

All the best,

Richard & Helena Payne

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July 8, 2003

Dear Paul,

Sharyl & I wanted to thank you for allowing us to stay in your awesome home. Although we did not have the chance to meet, we have left a smal token of our thanks. If you are ever in San Francisco please look us up…

Ron & Sharyl
ron_ponce AT yahoo DOT com

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Hello Pasha, I wanted to take a second to give a written recommendation for your
services.

Thank you for arranging apartment accommodations this last July while I
visited Moscow. The studio was comfortable and less than a ten minute walk
from the middle of Red Square. As promised, the arranged meeting at the
airport and car service into Moscow accrued with no problems (and with
personalized guide services provided gratis).  During my visit you were sure
to stay in contact in case I required support of any sort. A personal guide
was arranged for a tour of the nearby art gallery and a car service was
arranged for my final trip to the airport.  In addition, since my return you
have been most help in securing the shipment of purchases, including the
Ministry of Culture permits. Again, I’d like to thank you for your
professional services and personal insights concerning the Russian culture.

Michael Smith
Washington DC

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>Uncle Pasha & Auntie Olesya!
>
>I cannot say enough about your overwhelming hospitality, efficiency and business acumen!
>
>Right after the airport customs, meeting you for the first time, I knew that a solid person had come to my aid, in Russia.
>
>I enjoyed most of all the pedestrian tours of old Moscow, loaded with information of an historical and contemporary nature!
>
>I am most impressed with your efforts to prepare Russian citizens for what awaits them in their applications to emigrate to Canada and the US.  You are doing a great service, beyond any pecuniary compensation.
>
>I can only look forward to a time when I can participate in your Country Tours experience, when it gets warm.  In the meantime, I will agitate for greater participation in your numerous offerings by my fellow Americans, from here.
>
>Many thanks for pointers in where and how to eat vegetarian, while in Russia.   Without your help, this would have been no easy undertaking.
>
>My time spent with you in your apartment loft will be among the most memorable of my life.  I look forward to a redux in this, too!  Your central location in Moscow can only help others who want to become acquainted with this fabulous, old city.
>
>I wish you every success and my deepest thanks for all that you are doing in Moscow!
>
>Sincerely,
>K.  E. Rasberry
>Florence, Alabama

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Feb. 15, 2002

>  I am not one let good deeds go unnoticed, but for anyone who is looking for the “square deal” and integrity, I will be more than happy to recommend your services. I wish I had met you on my previous trips as you certainly made smooth sailing of any incident that arose. I look forward to recommending you to all of my friends who have been uncertain about travel to Moscow.
>
>  It is a cosmopolitan city full of beautiful women, historic sites, and with a day trip to St. Petersburg by rail, give one access to the world’s most incredible art at the Hermitage and Russian Museum. I guarantee  the most memorable vacation of a life time. Forget about the Cyrillic alphabet as a problem. Forget about the busy metro. Forget about the difference of language. If they have you in their corner and the ability to distinguish colors (working one’s way through the subway by following the colors and a Moscow Metro book), then I say relax and enjoy one of the most fun cities in the world!
>.
>  Dosvidanya,  Ed Mattson, Wings of Hope Cancer Foundation, Indianapolis, IN

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>I first met Paul in 1994 when I was looking for a place to live.  Paul
>helped me find an apartment near the Kremlin at a very reasonable price.  I
>quickly realized that knowing Paul would be very useful and maintained
>contact.  In 1996 I returned to Russia to finish research on my thesis.
>Paul proved indispensable in helping to gather and translate some needed
>information, as well as helping with accommodations.  I literally could not
>have found some much needed information without Paul’s assistance.  As a
>corporate attorney now practicing in New York, I maintain contact with Paul
>because I like him and because if I ever need anything in Russia there is no
>one I trust more to get the job done  more efficiently than Paul.  I highly
>recommend Uncle Pasha.
>
>
>Feel free to edit this as you wish (I am unsure how you prefer your name–so
>switch it around if you want.)
>
>Peace,
>Adam

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Received Feb. 21, 2001

>….Really enjoyed staying >at your place and in Russia in general. The location of your apartment is
>particularly beneficial, so we got to visit everything from unknown art
>galleries, to strange night bars in the company of well-known local rock
>stars, great restaurants and had a lot of interesting debate. We had three
>diners as guests at people’s apartments, so savoured a lot of local
>character on all socio-economic levels. Made some good conections with some
>like-minded people like the owner of the Muzey Sverevski and the writer &
>art critic, Ludmila Aleksandrovna Ostanina. We actually had a fabulous time
>and as you know the weather was surprisingly mild most of the time. Although
>St Petersburg is amazing from a historical and architectual perspective, it
>is clear that Moscow is getting the investments and is really on the rise,
>particularly in terms of infrastructure and facade restoration. I suppose,
>it comes with the territory of being the capital. At least i got to speak
>Russian for a couple of weeks, which keeps me in shape. Say Hi to Olesya. I
>hope things are going well at the Dascha.
>Best regards
>Derek & Charla

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March 1, 2002 >Time: Fri, 01-Mar-2002 02:45:27 GMT     IP: 205.128.215.120
>
>  hey look folks,
>    uncle pasha is a very polite gentleman,helpfull as best as
>he can, and even extends himself for your well being.
>he may seem a little odd in the photo’s, but he is helpfull
>and considerate to all that do business with him.
>  he hasnt lead me wrong yet,and actually even straightens out
>my misgiving about moscow.
>  i will be there 18/03/02.
>
>      hope all have as much faith in there visit to russia as
>  i have grown to have.
>    besides aint pasha cute!

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Dear Pasha,

It’s about time I sent you a note to tell you how much Donald and I enjoyed traveling with you while in Moscow…and beyond! Sergiev Posad was definitely a highlight for me. How exciting to have seen it on the Sabbath without a tourist in sight. I don’t think we’ll ever be able to top that experience!

And we really loved your apartment, too. It’s a great location…in such a lovely neighborhood yet close to the principal sights of the city. But what I hadn’t expected was the level of comfort. It is light and airy with much more room than we’d have had in a hotel and for a fraction of the cost. We loved the view of the canal and cityscape. We’ll definitely stay there whenever in Moscow.

How is Lunch? I didn’t think I’d ever fall in love with a rat but I missed him when we left.

The overnight train was just wonderful. Slipping into Peter in the weak pre-dawn light was just mind-blowing…derelict railroad cars on abandoned side tracks, enormous smokestacks and high-tension towers silhouetted against the low clouds…very industrial-revolution iconography.

The trip was way too short and I’m anxious to visit Russia again.

Send me a note and tell me how you’re doing.

Regards,

Sandra

PS.  from Donald:
Touring Russia in winter has enormous rewards. Imagine being in a room with twenty Matisses…and you’re the only person there!

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To whom it may concern.

I recently visited Russia for the first time and used the
services of Paul and Alesya for my week long stay in Moscow.
I highly recommend Paul and Alesya’s services for anyone
requiring personal, business, logistical or communications
support services while travelling or staying in the Moscow
area. Paul has a great understanding of both Western and
Russian culture and is wonderful at bridging the cultural and
language gaps when travelling to Russia for the first time or
for anyone needing help with complex or difficult
communications in both English and Russian. Paul and Alesya
are both very resourcful and attentive to the needs of their
clients. Paul is an experienced interpreter and has a great
knowledge of Moscow current affairs, geography, history and
landmarks. He makes good on his promise of keeping one “out-
of-trouble” while staying or travelling in Russia. Alesya is
well connected and a marvel at obtaining tickets for just
about any event you would want to attend. If you are
contemplating a trip to Russia and are looking for an honest
and reliable interpreter, translator, guide, or
communications facilitator, you will not be dissapointed with
Paul and Alesya’s services.

Chris Phillips

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To Whom it may concern, I needed some fast help in Russia and by chance found Pasha web site. Not only did he provide me with immediate assistance, his follow up and professionalism were impressive. Anyone who ever has done business in Russia gets used to hearing the term “that’s impossible” or to hear on how you can not get things done, Pasha does not give excuses he knows Moscow and knows how to get the job done. I recommend him highly

D. Gath

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At the bottom of this page, Pasha proclaims:
“THANK ME, RECOMMEND ME, GET BACK AT ME, WARN
OTHERS…”

With the exception of getting back at him, I’d
like to do all of the above.

I’ll start by warning others: if you think Pasha
is most likely a kind, considerate, thoughtful
human being who’s cleverly manufactured a harsh,
brusque and cynical cyber-demeanor, then this
probably won’t be the last miscalculation you’ll
make while in Russia. If you need the banter of a
friendly tour guide, better avail yourself of
Olesya’s services.

Now for the thanks and recommendations. Due to a
lack of adequate planning time for this trip,
Pasha proceeded to perform two near-miracles on
my behalf. After outwitting Sheremetyevo’s
notorious customs officials in a caper that
could’ve come straight outta Hollywood, he then
put me in touch with a family eight time zones
away who ended up being absolutely instrumental
to my documentary film. So if you’re looking for
brains and connections, Pasha could well be your
man… if you can just keep all those annoying
unnecessary comments to yourself!

M.S. from the US.

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Thanks to Uncle Pasha for helping me arrange several
things on my trip to Moscow.  Through his cajoling and
gentle pressure on the taciturn security guards, he
was able to extract the information needed to gain
admittance to the fabled “KGB tour.”  Then, as a
fellow vegetarian, he provided excellent advice on
good restaurants, where to pick up hard-to-find
staples, such as chick peas, tofu and tahini (plus
cardamom and lavash bread) – and even drove me around
to several shops as I accompanied him on an afternoon
of errands.

A word of warning to those who meet Pasha in the
flesh:  talkative Americans drive him batty.  We got
along quite well, since I’m comfortable with long
periods of silence and am not opposed to buying the
benefactor a nice cold beer and sparing a few
cigarettes.  With those in hand, I even got Pasha to
smile for a few moments!

Best of luck to fellow travelers.  Pasha will
definitely give you the straight answer to vexing
problems, and expound upon his great love of humanity
if you allow him to. (ha ha)Steve Kaufman,
Washington

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Pasha,

OK, I’ve been back in Texas for about 6 weeks now since I left Moscow. I thought I’d take leave from the daily activities that seem to absorb my time and energy to send you my impressions of my stay:

First, I’d like to thank you for your hospitality. Your information, communication, services, and the apartment were all excellent. The apartment was roomy, centrally located, and comfortable.  I was extremely happy about having high-speed internet. In the evenings, I could stay in touch with family and friends daily. I could also do my banking, in case I needed more funds or to move funds between accounts. I could also plan my activities for the next day.

Second, the prices were extremely fair. I still can’t believe you only charged $25 for horseback riding. I particularly liked the ability to pay for everything, well almost everything, in advance.   It meant I could relax and focus on enjoying myelf.

And Third, everything was as you said it would be. There were no unpleasant surprises. I will stay with you the next time I come to Moscow. In fact, I can’t imagine staying with anyone else.

 Best Regards,

 David Jones

Fort Worth, Texas, USA

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