If you come in for a short period it is better to stay in hotel. If you will stay for longer (about a month) it is better (and cheaper) to rent an apartment.
First thing to know about Russian hotels is that foreigners often are charged different rate than Russians. That's official, they're not cheating on you. Yes, we know this is dumb, but that's really official - foreigners usually pay for rooms about two-fold than Russians. However, this stupid tradition is passing out.
On the better part, we're glad to note that modern technology is coming at least there are some hotels available on booking.com - so probably the easiest thing to do is to book there.
'Kuzbass' hotel - located in the middle of the city, on Vesennyaya street, between Sovetskiy prospect and Krasnoarmeyskaya street. Hotel often has all rooms sold, so book them up to a month upfront. Tel. +7 (3842) 25-02-54. Address: Vesennyaya str., 20. See the map
'Crystal' hotel - located a bit further from Kemerovo centre, but still very good and comfortable. Tel. +7 (3842) 44-01-04. Address: Lenina pr., 90/2.
Renting an apartment
First of all, people here lives mostly in block apartments, private houses are occupied by either poor people (terrible living conditions) or by rich people (great living conditions), but they rarely provide houses for rent, so you probably would find only flats available for rent.
Apartments here are measured in terms of all rooms, not bedrooms, so when you read 'two-room apartment' it means exactly two rooms: hall and bedroom, or hall could be converted into bedroom (kitchen doesn't count - all flats have it.)
Hotel rule of 'foreigners charged double' doesn't apply for apartments, but usually landlords will rise their price for foreigners just because they think they can afford it anyway.
Most important issue with renting a flat is that landlords mostly don't care about the product they offer, so you'll have to spend some time finding 'decent' apartment. Usually flats are provided without furniture or with just very basic one. One-room apartment in the centre of the city will cost starting from 10 000 Roubles (around 350 dollars) per month. Decent apartment in the centre of the city with good furniture might cost 500 dollars and higher.
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