Awaza, Turkmenistan
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Travel Guide

Awaza | Turkmenistan Travel Guide

Awaza Resort,

The following Awaza Resort Travel Guide aims to provide insight into what exactly is Awaza, where it is, how to get there, and how to stay there.

Basically, everything you need to know about the Awaza Resort in Turkmenistan.

Feel free to skip to the chapter below for the information on the Awaza Resort in Turkmenistan you're looking for! 

Introduction to Awaza Resort
What is Awaza?
Where to Stay
How to Get to the Awaza Resort
Is Awaza Worth Visiting?

Updated March 2024

Introduction to Awaza Resort

So... what is Awaza?

It's a load of hotels in a row on the banks of the Caspian. 

None of them are recognizable chains Many of them have names that make little sense. And some are even hard to pronounce for non-Turkmen guests.

There is also an artificial 7km canal that runs past them all which you can take a glass-topped boat trip along.

Why Awaza?

The Caspian Sea is a cold place.

Never suitable for swimming, populated by sea snakes, and salty.

It’s not the obvious place to build a massive multi-billion dollar beachfront tourist resort. 

But when you are Turkmenistan you have to dance with the shoes you’re wearing. No Mediterranean or Gulf coast for Central Asia’s most fascinating country.

So the Caspian it is!

Situated on a spit of land (largely artificial in fact) a mere 10km from the older city of Turkmenbashi, the Awaza resort area is simply one of the most ambitious and aspirational mega-projects ever undertaken.

It is also a project which has put up with its fair share of ridicule over the years.

Some earned, some not.

Awaza Resort

What is Awaza?

Basically a line of hotels as a resort area. Plus some other things such as weird small park with models of dinosaurs. And smaller versions of some of the ancient architectural marvels of the past in places around Turkmenistan. Such as Konye-Urgench, Merv, and Old Nisa.

These seem to be there to establish a legacy, to say to the ancients that they may have built the greatest cities of the Silk Road.

But they never built several km of empty hotels, did they? 

So, Awaza is easy to mock. But the truth is that sometimes this place does fill up.

Taking a Trip to Awaza

As trips can be very good value for local people. Plus, they can get around their own country with ease, the lower middle classes especially do frequent Awaza. 

Swimming is a cold experience in the Caspian. But all the hotels have pools, along with bars, billiard rooms, saunas, and so on. 

A subsidized trip for a family of Turkmen is suddenly something vastly more affordable than flying off to the Med or the Gulf. 

Is Awaza Resort Busy?

You are more likely to find a somewhat post-apocalyptic collection of empty buildings than a bustling Torremolinos-like atmosphere on arrival.

There isn’t anything else to do in Awaza. But you can get to Turkmenbashi City very easily. That’s a real place with real people, cafes, markets, etc. 

There are also hotels in Turkmenbashi that can be used. So you can avoid Awaza entirely if you so wish.

This would be a mistake though! 

Building the Awaza Resort

The construction and development of Awaza is usually credited to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. The second and current President of Turkmenistan. 

However, planning and construction did begin in the era of Saparmurat Turkmenbashi The Great. (An honorific not generally recognised outside of Turkmenistan). 

Hotels in Awaza Resort

The first hotel built here was the Serdar (Leader). It is still fronted by a bust of the Turkmenbashi in the modest car park. 

At the time this was built (around 2004) it seemed to be a lonely sentinel of a hotel weirdly built in the middle of nowhere. 

Now it is the most modest and sensible of an increasingly wacky range of buildings you can choose to stay in. 

At the last count done by us (a few years ago) there were 22 hotels here. 

Would it have been a smarter move to build 3 good ones instead? 

Yes of course. But that kind of thinking doesn’t get you far in Turkmenistan! 

Here is a list of the Hotels in the Awaza Resort, Turkmenistan. 
  • Hotel Hazyna
  • Wellness Centre Kerwen
  • Wellness Centre Kuwwat
  • Hotel Watancy, Hotel Nebitchi
  • Wellness Centre Arzuw
  • Hotel Bereket
  • Hotel Serdar, Wellness Centre Dayanch
  • Complex of Cottages Shapak, Rest and Wellness Centre Hasyl
  • WellnessCentre Galkynysh, Complex of Cottages Showhun
  • Complex of Cottages Yupek Yoly
  • Hotel Deniz, Complex of Cottages Ashgabat
  • Rest and Wellness Centre for Adults and Children Ahal
  • Rest and Wellness Centre for Adult and Kids Lebap
  • Rest and Wellness Centre for Adults and Kids Balkan
  • Rest and Wellness Centre for Adults and Kids Mary
  • Rest and Wellness Centre for Adults and Kids Dashoguz
  • Yelken Yacht Club. 

Where to Stay at the Awaza Resort

Yelken Yacht Club is easily the best place to stay here.

A complex of villas spread over a well-manicured area, half-decent wifi, watersports and an excellent breakfast.

This Turkish-run place is the jewel in the crown for sure. 

Budget Hotel in Awaza

If you want to save money, go with the Serdar. It offers retro charm and experiences the now-modest luxury of the late Turkmenbashi the Great era. 

Mid-Range Hotel Awaza

For mid-range go with the Hotel Watancy. For the simple reason that it is often called either the Hotel ‘Wait-and-see’ or the Hotel Vacancy. 

As most of the hotels are more or less the same choosing based on puns is as good a reason as any!

How to Get to Awaza

There is no airport in Awaza.

So, you fly to the very modern and shiny Turkmenbashi Airport.

Then, drive around 40 mins to Awaza. 


Or you could take the train to Turkmenbashi and drive 20 mins to Awaza.


Or a long 6-7 hour drive from Ashgabat. 

Bus from Azerbaijan

If you are heading there across the sea then the ferry from Baku in Azerbaijan would take anything from 14-40 hours to cross to Turkmenbashi. 

So, you go to Awaza via Turkmenbashi.

Is Awaza Worth Visiting?

It is easy to make fun of Awaza. And it deserves to be made fun of. But it is well worth a visit.

Especially if you head here from somewhere rugged like the Yangykala Canyon

The sea is stunning. The weather is often very good. It is relaxing and simply fun too.

Not noisy but much more chill and simplistic. 

Also, you would be one of the relatively rare foreign visitors.

Along with Jennifer Lopez who performed a concert in Awaza in 2013 to mark the 56th birthday of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. 

J-Lo didn’t cover herself in glory with this one as she ended up giving away her huge fee on the ground that she “didn’t know” that there might be any kind of human rights issues in the country.

Come and visit Awaza if you like to tell your friends you like to holiday in difficult countries they have never heard of but you also really want to stay in a beach resort.

Come to see something very wasteful and quirky.

Come to laugh or come to be amazed at how on earth this ever got built. 

Anyway, come to Awaza!

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