Hidden Gem: Lakeside Apartment Hotel in Ohrid, Macedonia

I almost don’t want to tell you about Macedonia, because it is so special, and once word of that gets out, it could create unwanted growth and change. However, if you happen to be traveling through and looking for hotels in Ohrid, Macedonia, I’ve got you covered with this one.
Hotel: Apartments Smakoski
Location: Ohrid, Macedonia – In the southwest corner of Macedonia, on the shores of beautiful Lake Ohrid. Macedonia (FYROM) borders Albania to the west, Kosovo and Serbia to the north, Bulgaria to the east, and Greece to the south. The Macedonia-Albania border splits Lake Ohrid nearly down the middle.

Ohrid Macedonia
Ohrid, Macedonia
First impressions: If I had time to make it up the stairs to my apartment before being invited in for rakia, sausage, and cheese with the owners of the building, my first impressions may have been about the beautiful unit itself, but instead they are about the people who built this hotel in the first place. I was completely surprised by the generosity of my hosts, the Smakoska family, who treated me as if we had been friends for a long time. We even kept in touch on Facebook after my first visit, and I just went and stayed there again, two years later.
The property: The building is located in the back of a quiet alleyway directly off the main “promenade” along the waterfront in Ohrid. This is brilliant because although it’s close to a main street, it is set back just enough to be quiet, which is super important for me. It is also about half a mile from the main square, so it’s easy to walk anywhere in the center. The building itself is comprised of four floors, the first two belonging to the owners, and the top two containing multiple apartments for rent. Each unit is its own studio apartment, complete with bathroom, kitchenette, free WiFi, and balcony. The top floor studios offer the best views of the lake and fortress.
hotel Ohrid Macedonia
My top floor studio apartment
What I loved: Besides the wonderful family who runs the place, well, I loved nearly everything else as well. During my most recent five-day stay, I had a top floor studio that became my little haven for the week. I had my own quiet space to work, a kitchen to make breakfast, a patio to enjoy the fresh air, and a clean, bright space to spread out in and call my own. The WiFi was strong, which is a major bonus for a digital nomad like me, and there was A/C, although I mostly enjoyed the cross breeze from opening the windows and patio doors. I loved the proximity to town, and there are even a few restaurants nearby if you just want to go out and grab something close. There is also free private parking if you have your own car.
apartment ohrid macedonia
Lakeview from top floor studio
What I didn’t love: These things are definitely not enough to complain about, but they are worth noting simply for people’s preferences. The shower was tiny, which could be an issue for larger people. The kitchen set up was very basic, it isn’t meant for cooking meals, just heating things up, perfect for a simple breakfast and leftovers. The bed was a bit firm for my liking, but again, that is a personal preference. There is also no elevator, which made for a great workout to the top floor and back each time.
What’s not to miss: There is so much to see and do in and around Ohrid, but for simplicity’s sake, I just want to mention one restaurant that you must, absolutely, no excuses, go to, and that is Kaneo, with an over-the-water deck just below St. John’s Church on the water. It’s the opposite side of town from the apartment, but the menu is delicious and affordable, and the views simply cannot be beat.
kaneo restaurant ohrid
Lunch, Dinner, Snacks, Afternoon Beer – Kaneo is the best
Who should go: Apartments Smakoski is ideal for the solo traveler, couples, groups, or families. With the range of studios they offer, there is something appropriate for everyone, and the prices are the best value around. If you want a traditional style villa, this is not for you, but if you want something comfortable, modern, and bright, with the bonus of getting to support a local family, this is the best choice.
Prices for these amazing units start at just $27.
How to book: Apartments Smakoski