From the outside you are tempted to think...ouch!!! and then the lobby area is has a certain charm but not much more than ok. The rooms are smallish but actually pretty good with fluffy dressing gowns, slippers, bottled water and ours had a good shower, We found the staff reserved but if we spoke the three or four words of Russian that we learned their whole attitude changed. ( This proved to be the case in most places that we went. A few words in their language made everyone smile. I encourage you to learn some, it will enhance your stay.). The location of the hotel is the gem of the property. The Hermitage was a few paces away as was the Nevesky Prospect, the enjoyable main "drag" of the city. You can walk to many other of the main attractions in the city. We were there in June and the days were long and bright which encouraged meandering late into the evening. Defintely, but definitely, we would recommend taking a boat trip. Ours was informative and the views from the river gave a different aspect and put everything in place. It was not expensive ( about €10 ) and we got a glass of champagne !!! We loved St. Petersburg and we are glad we spoiled ourselves by taking a driver and guide. We used Maxibalttours ( "Volkov Alexei, MaxiBaltTours" <email@example.com>) and are so glad we did. Alexei was charming, funny and hospitable and our guide Maria was a font of information.
We came on the 72 hour no visa trip with St. Peter Line. It is a floating factory, well run, efficient and good value. We wished we had stayed longer
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