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Marian's Guesthouse

We are often asked about the story of Marian's Guesthouse, so here it is. 

In 2000 a very brave (well we think so) Australian woman came to Dushanbe on what she thought was a five day trip to monitor development projects she was managing.  Well, as things do, one thing lead to another and after seventeen years, and much of many people's amazement, she is still here.  Her first problem was finding somewhere to live.  Like many expats living in Dushanbe at the time, Marian was faced with the daunting prospect of either moving into a soviet era hotel or the equally uninviting option of having to rent a dreaded apartment.  Neither option guaranteed clean running water, heating, constant electricity or roofs that didn't leak when it rained or snowed.

Whilst having been an adventurer “in another life”, and having trekked the globe several times, Marian was no stranger to living rough, "but as time goes by one comes to a certain that age that brings about requirements for a certain level of creature comfort" she was once heard to say.   Realizing that there were probably others who were faced with the same dilemma, Marian chose to think out of the box and tried something new.  Always focused on her development work, Marian teamed up with a group of enthusiast young Tajiks and set to work on creating something new - new in Tajikistan that is - a guesthouse - Marian's Guesthouse.

Over the years, numerous guesthouses and hotels have mushroomed throughout Dushanbe. Many have tried to replicate her style and vision, but there is no mistaking the fact that Marian’s Guesthouse is still unique. Truly a mixture of East meets West. From her Monet style garden, her Soviet and Central Asian Carpets and Artefacts which she rummaged through markets and basements belonging to “babushkas” long gone, to her Moroccan inspired pool courtyard, Marian's stays true to her philosophy that anything is possible – even in Dushanbe.  We even have an authentic Aussie BBQ!

The profits from the Guesthouse have been used to promote other job creating initiates such as open air cafes, a medical clinic, a honey producing venture and a weekly expat newspaper.  As time moves on, so has Marian.   In 2013 she formally handed over the guesthouse to the team that she had trained for over 10 years.  She still stays here with us when she is in Dushanbe as our VIP guest, always watching over Gulya, Shohrukh and Timur to maintain the standard that she has set.  And of course when she is here you will always find her out in the garden supervising the workers. If you happen to see her, we are sure that she would be happy to share a cup of tea and tell you of her many adventures.

As recent guest was heard to say, "you start your first night as a guest and then after that -  you just feel like you are part of the family".

Next time you come to Dushanbe, come and stay at Marian's Guesthouse - you won't regret it!