Yurt Lodge

Bel-Zhan offers different types of accommodation: you can sleep in a yurt room (fitted with modern conveniences), in Gidus' Tower with view on the Tien-Shan mountains, in Dirk's cottage, with a lot of private outdoor space, or in the house of stone with three separate rooms. The room accommodation is normally for two people. It is possible to place a third bed in the rooms.

Bel-Zhan lodge offers more than the standard accommodation around the Issyk-Kul lake. A peaceful and green terrain, decorated with taste by Dutch landscape architects where you can can find rest as well as meeting places and lots of local culture. Bel-Zhan is a small scale yurt lodge, offering possibilities for personal contact with the staff, places where you can meet other guests, but also opportunities for a privacy and quiet spots. Bel-Zhan yurt lodge accommodates up to twenty guests.

The lodge has all amenities. There are toilets and showers and there is of course wi-fi. In the central part near to the lodge entrance you can find the lounging area and the open kitchen, where there is an extending table catering for guests to have breakfast, lunch or dinner. Also you can 'eat at the neighbors’: several families cook for Belzhan guests, so you also get to know the locals and their habits. And in the evening you can relax around the campfire.

Bel-Zhan is open during the summer, months from May till September.

Local products

Bel-Zhan offers bed and breakfast and an evening meal and if desired lunch (or a packed lunch). Bel-Zhan buys only local foods from the neighborhood as much as possible. In the local area of Issyk-Kul they hardly ever use pesticide. The fruit is unsprayed. We offer families the possibility of trying a traditional Kyrgyzstan meal in the village.

Vegetarian in Kyrgyzstan?

At Bel-Zhan we serve a variety of vegetarian dishes: vegetable curry, veggie burgers, spinach gnocchi, lentil soup, etc. Also vegan upon request!

Environmental and social sustainability

The plan of Bel-Zhan is based on the philosophy of “’community based”’ tourism. This form of tourism makes sure that the revenue from the tourism reaches the local community as far as possible. Above all the attention of the environmental aspect for the economical development. We use solar collectors and biological wastewater treatment.

Hotel with a soul

Bel-Zhan means “The strength of the soul”. The name refers to the one side of Bel-Tam (“The strength of the mountains”), the yurt camp on the south coast of the Issyk-Kul lake, and on the other side (“Hotel with a Heart”), a Dutch chain of hotels who invest their profit in local education. Bel-Zhan is a hotel with a soul, that offers employment and an income for the villagers and whose profit gains are invested in local education. The employment at the Bel-Zhan yurt lodge such as (cleaning, receiving guests, taking care of the garden, and technical staff) will be done by the locals in the village Grigorevka or in the neighbouring villages. Furthermore there are other services which the locals will be able to undertake, such as:

  • hiking tours with guides to the Grigorevka and Semynovka gorge;
  • rent a bike service at the yurt lodge;
  • hiring out canoes on the lake shore for the guest of Bel-Zhan;
  • producing the homemade local products (jam, butter, juices, etceteras);
  • producing and selling homemade goods.

Profit gain in education

Bel-Zhan is a foundation without financial gain. The profit from the enterprise is to be invested in improving the quality of education in the village Grigovka. The day care which is situated near to the yurt lodge will be partly financed from these profits.

Bel-Zhan is a foundation in Kyrgyzstan, founded by Jacobiene Ritsema and Ludmila Gromova.
Copyright © 2013 Bel Zhan