Before I could even travel to Russia, European citizens have to obtain a visa and it is not very easy. We need an official invitation of a touristic organization or hotel.
I choose for the new Crowne Plaza for its location, new rooms and a good rate. I emailed the hotel in advance for the official invitation. Ms. Daria and Ms. Elena from the reservation department helped me with these documents and all guests can have them free of charge but they have a cancelation fee for guests who asked for these documents but cancel their stay after that so we had to give a credit card as guarantee.
I also ordered an airport transfer for our arriving flight from Moscow. Ms. Aleksandra arranged a car for us and their price is 1300 RUB one way.
When we landed our driver was already waiting for us in the small arrival hall. He was very friendly and helped us with our luggage to the hotel’s car. The car was very new and had the Crowne Plaza logo on it. The trip took approximately 30 minutes and he dropped us off in front of the hotel. The hotel is located on a busy road and opposite of it, there is a big shopping mall called galleria.
We entered the hotel and 4 doors automatically opened and suddenly there were a few stairs. There were two security guards standing there but none of them offered to help us with our luggage.
We had to carry them upstairs and then to the reception. It was not very busy but we headed to the Priority Club check in side. We checked in with Ms. Ludmila who was friendly at first sight. We are Platinum priority club members but she did not acknowledge our status at first. We had to ask her two times for our benefits and upgrade because she just wanted to give us our booked room without any benefits. After a while she began to understand we wanted some benefits from our card. She so called to some persons and after a while she told us that there were two options for us. She prepared a Deluxe room on a smoking floor or a Standard room on a non smoking floor. She gave us both cardkeys but because the hotel is new, we opted off course for the Deluxe room on a smoking floor. We thought because it was new, there cannot be a terrible hard smell of smoke.
Nobody helped us with our luggage but we headed to our room on the third floor, room 345 at the end of the corridor. We entered the room but we did not have the impression it was a bigger or better room we booked. It did not have a smell. The room was modern and had a bathroom with shower, big beds and a new LCD TV. It had unfortunately no view at all. But airs in the bath and under the toilet.
I checked online the description, sizes and pictures of a Deluxe and standard room and we found out she just dropped us in a Standard room and lied to us and told us it was a Deluxe room. We were now downgraded twice : No upgrade and a smoking room for non smoking guests. I measured the room and indeed, it was not at all 40 square meters.
I went downstairs and asked again to Ms. Ludmila if that was for sure a Deluxe room and she said yes, it is. She decided to not answer my questions any more and did not say anything any more. I so asked for her supervisor and Ms. Lidia, the shift leader came to us.
She listened to us and defended her colleague and told us this all is a misunderstanding. She tells us now that there are no Deluxe rooms available so we get the best available room, our room 345. I could not believe this all and was thinking it was a joke. They lied to us and pretended we sat in a Deluxe room, did they think we are stupid ?! I was angry but Ms. Lidia was not able to satisfy me at all. In contrast, she was blaming us and with a very arrogant way she told us that they are not obligated to give us an upgrade. I was completely shocked about her arrogant behavior. She told me that we would discuss it the next day because her shift was over.
She left and we sat in our standard room. When we came back in our room, there was a Priority club welcome package, one bottle of sparkling wine and some fruit.
I checked that evening online if there were deluxe rooms available online on the Crowne Plaza website, and yes I could book still Deluxe rooms. I confronted Ms. Lidia with it and she told me it was an error between the online system and the hotel’s system, and this again on an unfriendly manner.
We head back to our room and we felt asleep. We wanted to call the reception because we had all the time problems with the Internet but unfortunately the quick buttons on the phone were not working so we could not reach the reception. We went so downstairs and the night receptionist, Mr. Vitaly halped us out and was very friendly.
Next morning we had breakfast in the main restaurant around 10:00. It was very, very quiet and only 1 table occupied. Tables were not in order and only when guests sat at a table, we got our glasses and plates. There were two staff members in the restaurant and one chef for the eggs. Mr. David and Ms. Vera served us. We asked for a tea and a hot chocolate. The hot chocolate was not fresh and way to strong. The tea was also very strong.
Breakfast was okay, not outstanding. The toaster was not working at all and everything was there from the early morning already and was somewhat dried out. The toast bread was already hard. The chef for eggs was not there so we had to ask Mr. David to search her. After a while she finally came and made us some eggs. The orange juice was not fresh and service was to slow. The two waiters were more talking and laughing with each other than working.
After breakfast we went downstairs and asked again to a receptionist if they had Deluxe rooms available and she told me no because there are engineers working in it, this is a new story for us.
Then after a while when we sat on our computer in the lobby, Ms. Aleksandra came to us and told us there is a deluxe room available. The room next to us. Probably people talked about us or something but good for us, there was a Deluxe room. We thanked her and proceeded to the concierge Ms. Valerie and asked the way to the center and the major sightseeing in St Petersburg. She gave us a map and recommended to take the metro to the inner city, just 2 metro stops away. We visited some churches and museums that day.
When we came back in the afternoon, we got our key cards for the Deluxe room and moved our luggage and belongings to our new room, room 346.
That room, also a deluxe room was way bigger and definitely a Deluxe room. On the left side was a very big bathroom with separate shower and toilet. Also there was a very big bath and big sink with toiletries.
The room had two big beds, a big TV, a Desk and a lounge chair. The room was big and decorated till the smallest paintings on the walls. Also in this room, no view at all.
We had again a good sleep and it was already our last day. We had breakfast again in the main restaurant and surprisingly it was very, very busy. There were many staff members of the Park Inn hotel at breakfast and also some sales managers and other staff members of the Crowne Plaza hotel.
There was no someone at the reception of the restaurants, Ms. Olga and she asked friendly our room number. It was so busy that the two waiters could not handle their work.
We wanted some eggs but 4 or 5 people were waiting in front of me. No guests but the hotel’s sales manager and staff members of the Park Inn hotel. We had to wait over 10 minutes for an egg. If I was that sales manager and caring about my guests I would ask the chef to make my guests eggs first. But unfortunately he was not like that.
Food was again the same and no variety at all. Service again to slow and the hot chocolate was better but not good enough. Ms. Vera asked if the hot chocolate was good and I said yes. She answered, really ? I was a bit amazed about her reaction. We left breakfast with an overall poor experience over these three days of breakfast. There was a very, very annoying bird noise music every day and it is really annoying.
The hotel has a fitness center with a variety of equipment.
We went to the Concierge, Ms. Valerie and asked how to get to Petershof because it was our last day and we wanted to see it. She told us first to take the boat but after checking she said it does not ride anymore. She then said to take the metro line to Baltiskaya and take the bus there. Or we could take the metro to Abtovo and take there the bus but she recommended Baltiskaya because it is less stops than Abtovo.
We stepped out of the metro in Baltiskaya and searched for our bus stop. After searching the entire square with busses and bus stops we could not find the bus or not even the stop. We asked Ms. Valerie to write down Petershof in Russian on our map so we could ask people if we cannot find it. We so asked it to different persons and all telling that busses do not leave here but at Abtovo. Even a Russian lady who lives in St Petersburg but spoke German, told in German that we have to go to Abtovo.
We so headed back in the metro and went to Abtovo and found our minibus to Petershof. Ms. Valerie told us we have to get off the last stop because all busses stop in Petershof as last stop. We so remained seated until the last stop. Unfortunately we were in the middle of nowhere, alone with some busses but with no English speaking persons. We passed Petershof already. We could find one person who spoke English and told us to take a regular bus back and finally, 30 minutes later we arrived at Petershof.
We wasted time in Baltiskaya and with the bus on our last day.
We asked for a late check out because our flight was in the late evening back. I asked it and the lady at the reception told us we could have our room till 16:00 because she asked it to her manager and she agreed with it. We arrived around 15:15 back at the hotel and told our problems to the concierge. She did not say much and we so asked her how to get to the airport and when to leave. She said to leave earlier because the traffic was terrible at that hour so we asked her to call a city taxi, cheaper than the hotel car, and we checked out at 15:40. The same lady, I asked for the late check out was angry because we asked a late check out at 16:00 but we leave at 15:40. We checked out with Ms. Rada, the lady who spoke French and was very friendly. I also deposited the Guest comment card and we left the hotel.
Everything was prepaid but they charged us some extra taxes and our airport transfer.
Nobody helped us with our luggage, again.
Overall a poor experience, with average staff and breakfast and arrogant staff. But our stay was not over when we left.
When we were back home, I got a not very friendly email from Ms.Julia Sokolova, the Front office manager. I did not see or heard her during our stay.
She wrote a long email in reply to our comment card we deposited and she described detailed activity from when and at what time we changed rooms or asked something at the reception, a bit spionage activity. She wrote to us that we spend the first night in a Deluxe corner room and the second and third night in a Deluxe room. It is completely incorrect and what she said was not right and again, she was defending her colleagues and not her paying guests. She gave us links to websites how to get to Petershof but she did not know that the info on these websites is still not the things the Concierge told us. Also she kept saying we stayed in Deluxe rooms all three nights, which is not true. The sizes, pictures and description are not the same.
Also our last comment, two of the hotel staff members searched me and my guest on the hotel’s computer and added me and my guest on Facebook without even knowing them or asking that to do. I find this a very unprofessional and incorrect attitude of these staff members.
There is still a lot of work to do here and I am not sure I will come back here again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Crowne Plaza St. Petersburg - Ligovsky is located in the spectacular environment of business area of St. Petersburg just a stone's throw from the main street Nevsky Prospect and Moskovsky railway station. The hotel is rather close to Anichkov Palace, State Russian Museum, Hermitage, Kazan Cathedral and Mariinsky Theater. The nearby points of interest also include Church of the Savior on the Blood, Summer Garden and St. Isaac's Cathedral. And the popular shopping mall is located across the street, where you may buy needed goods, have dinner or go to beauty salon. Crowne Plaza St. Petersburg-Ligovsky will set your mood for this great city. After a long business trip, it's the best way to relax in our Lobby Bar with fresh drinks and starters from Chef, taste delicate Mediterranean Cuisine in the restaurant Olivetto and enjoy the walk along famous Nevsky Prospect, contemporary experiencing the world famous White Nights. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Crowne Plaza St. Petersburg-Ligovsky Hotel St. Petersburg