Shkodra (subject) or Shkoder (object) or Scutari (way out of date Italian name) is a very ancient, nice little city, and the logical place to spend a night or two before heading off on the Lake Komani Boat trip. Points of interest which you should look up (not here!) include: Rozafa Castle and legend (typically gory one in which women behave with totally outrageous selflessness and men suffer terribly for things which are surely all their own fault and-I-don’t-feel-sorry-for-them. Hmph.) and Marubi Film Studio (first Albanian photographer family and source of almost every romantic black and white photo you’ve ever seen of old Albania). Also the Lake which is the largest protected-for-birds water body in Europe (or something like that).
Since you ask, places we recommend are:
For one of the nicest high-end experiences you can have in Albania, try Tradita Hotel, Restaurant and Ethnographic Museum. I am not kidding about the museum. They have 15 kinds of raki, and the owner is devoted to Edith Durham even going so far as to erect a tablet to “The Queen of the Mountains” somewhere-er-other on the road to Theth. I think a double room is around 56€ per night.
For something less formal, but maybe more comfy-cosy, we recommend our friend Zhujeta’s Mi Casa Su Casa Shkoder Backpacker’s Hostel. They even have a private ‘apartment style’ double room for something like 35€ I think.
Other close runners-up include: Florian’s Guesthouse which has the advantage of being a short (free) bike ride outside of the city proper, @Home Hostel with the Super nice and helpful Gregor (you should go to the website just to read the “Italian Lady” story on the homepage – so sweet!), and people also speak nicely about Kaduku Hotel (which has to be one of the silliest-to-say names ever? Never ever say it aloud to a four year old . . . . )