in , ,

Azerbaijan – Five Star Gabala

Gabala, or also and more locally known as Qabala, is the most ancient of cities in Azerbaijan. Rich in culture, rich in activities and most definitely rich in sights. In the mountain region to the North of the country I can truly say that I had found a perfect luxury getaway. As I am blogging my way through Azerbaijan it is nice to stop and show you here some wow factor of the resorts to stay at.

DSC03525 Azerbaijan – Five Star Gabala
Looking out from the entrance to Qafqaz Riverside Hotel.

Many of you know I am happy camping in a tent or trekking via hostels but a bit of pampering, in remote beauty, in a country I love. How could I resist? Five star here is truly relaxing and hospitable. Gorgeous yet never too stuffy. Genuine service with great friendly smiles. Comfort absolutely out of this world and the list of recreation activities go on and on….. I could have hidden away here for months quite happily 🙂

DSC03524 Azerbaijan – Five Star Gabala
Lobby of the Qafqaz Riverside Hotel.

I will start where I stayed, The Qafqaz Riverside Hotel, oh my! Just look at this view from the room balcony, looking up the valley to the mountains that lead to Russia. Oh of course I loved the mountains.

DSC03529 Azerbaijan – Five Star Gabala

In this valley they are in the process of building a huge ski resort. Progress is swift and after looking at the layout and plans I know that I will most definitely be back, ski kit in hand. But the Riverside hotel is not alone in providing a wonderful experience with a bit of pampering. Taking a tour around the Qafqaz Resort Hotel and also the Qafqaz Sport Hotel I sure did get the feeling that no stone had been unturned in helping give a memorable experience to all whom enter. In only the past few weeks there had been foreign dignitaries passing through and the likes of Gérard Depardieu love to stay here and hide away from it all.

DSC03540 Azerbaijan – Five Star Gabala
Awaiting a massage in Qafqaz Resort Hotel.

DSC03533 Azerbaijan – Five Star Gabala
Turkish bath in the Qafqaz Resort Hotel.

DSC03532 Azerbaijan – Five Star Gabala

DSC03546 Azerbaijan – Five Star Gabala
3D cinema, Qafqaz Resort Hotel.

DSC03548 Azerbaijan – Five Star Gabala

DSC03559 Azerbaijan – Five Star Gabala

Idyllic spot for lunch. Cabins hidden away in the woods, quiet, beautiful and romantic.

DSC03560 Azerbaijan – Five Star Gabala

DSC03556 Azerbaijan – Five Star Gabala

DSC03641 Azerbaijan – Five Star Gabala
VIP jacuzzi, Qafqaz Sports Hotel.

DSC03649 Azerbaijan – Five Star Gabala

DSC03647 Azerbaijan – Five Star Gabala
Pool, Qafqaz Sport Hotel.

photo_swim02 Azerbaijan – Five Star Gabala

What a place to unwind after a day of adventure and culture. Chill in the bar of the Riverside Hotel. Cheers!

DSC03650 Azerbaijan – Five Star Gabala

DSC03652 Azerbaijan – Five Star Gabala

A perfect delicious lunch… Cheeses, butters, soup, broth, bread, turkey, lamb ….. and washed down with the local fresh pomegranate juice.

photo_food_01 Azerbaijan – Five Star Gabala

I will be showing more of the local culture, sights and activities in these parts in other posts, way too much to cram in here. Sport, hiking, fishing, hunting, skiing and the list goes on. Football is a big sport in Azerbaijan, Gabala being in their premier division. Arsenal fans especially would respect their manager, a certain Tony Adams. Gabala Lake is a gem I am glad I came upon. Half natural, half man made. It is brimming with activities galore and especially in summer. I enjoyed a while of winter bliss at the shores and pondered excitedly at what lay ahead.


Written by Paul Steele

Founder of and avid hiker, climber and trekker. Never liking to sit still and always seeking new adventures around the world. Sharing personal views here and tweeting live via @paul_steele


  1. Haha we stayed in the exact same hotel, I even had the same room from my hotel balcony! I didn’t know about the cinema though (not that I’m surprised, that place was huge!)

  2. Hi Paul,

    It is fantastic to read your impressions on Azerbaijan. We want to co-operate with you. Could you please, email me to discuss the details?

    Thank you.

    BTW, merry belated Xmas and happy New Year.

    Kind regards,


Azerbaijan – Sheki Kahn’s Palace

Azerbaijan – The Unique Udi Church of Nij