Stayed at Hotel Karelia for 5 days in March/April 2013 while working with colleagues at the Russian Academy of Sciences. This is not tourist season in Petrozavodsk, so occupancy rates seemed a bit on the low side.
The hotel arranged our visa invitations. The process was efficient and without charge.
We arrived on the late night train from Saint-Petersburg where we were met by a colleague and transported to the hotel. Check-in was efficient and we were given rooms on the 4th floor with a view over (frozen) Lake Onega.
Rooms were well maintained and comfortable. It appears that each room has a small balcony. Complimentary WiFi included in the rate as was breakfast which was extraordinary. Very large selection of Russian, Karelian and western foods, both hot and cold. The "chef's special salted trout" was a highlight.
We visited the hotel restaurant only once, although sat in the bar area and had soup and drinks. A little expensive but nice.
Unfortunately, we were unable to experience the fitness center/spa. We inquired early in the week but found out it was complimentary only between 7-9 AM. Not a problem - on our return to SpB, one of our Russian colleagues accompanied us to a "real" banya - a real "no holds barred" place and definitely not a spa - perhaps the subject of a separate review.
In all, I was very satisfied with Hotel Karelia and will certainly stay again when next in Petrozavodsk.
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