There are several different options, levels, and prices of accommodations in UB and some provincial capitals. Most in UB are in the one to two star range with a few luxury options like the Chinggis Khaan, “Ulaanbaatar hotel” and Kempinski that top out at the four-star level.
Unless you travel to the cities of Erdenet, Darkhan, and UB or to Khuvsgul, it may be slightly difficult to find hotels with showers or comfortable beds. Instead, you are most likely to find budget hotels that could barely meet a one-star rating, some of which have outhouses in lieu of a loo and a shared shower, if any. Some are better than others, and some are worse than others. Inspect the room before you agree to stay. If you don’t like it, move on.
Outside most provincial capitals and places of interest such as sand dunes, oases, hot springs, Terelj National Park, and Khuvsgul Lake, you can usually stay at one of Mongolia’s 360 registered ger camps and tourist camp, a group of gers set up for domestic and foreign tourists. They generally sleep between four and six adults and include at least a meal or two. Because they usually require a drive, ger camps are often much harder to locate unless you have booked through a tour with a company.
Camping is almost always an option in Mongolia and is about as regulation-free as you’re going to find. If you want a guaranteed place to sleep, a tent is the perfect thing to bring along. If you don’t bring one with you, you can rent them from a number of UB hostels and outfitters. Outside any town, village, or city, you can put up a tent and sleep. Other than that, there are no regulations, one benefit of state-owned public land and a pastoral nomadic culture. If you are hiking, cycling, or riding a horse in the countryside, you might want to plan a hotel stay in a provincial capital every few days for a shower and a good meal. When camping near aimag centers, it is best to set up a kilometer or two from the edge of town. And any time there are gers nearby, you may want to ask if they mind your presence.