St Petersburg is a beautiful fascinating city, and the Grand Hotel Europe fits the Russian atmosphere perfectly with its luxurious environs and storied past . The Lobby Bar is a scene straight out of the early James Bond films mixed with a “Ricks” feel from Casablanca with a colorful cast of characters and old world elegance. We especially enjoyed attentive service while my wife and I sipped Russian vodka and Russian champagne to accompany Beluga Caviar after an evening of ballet at the nearby Mussorgsky Theatre.
We spent four wonderful nights at the Grand Hotel Europe in late August. The location is central with the ability to walk to the Hermitage, many nice restaurants (Terrassa), and the Ballet and Opera Theaters. Being an active business traveler and Marriott Rewards Platinum member, it was a nice break from the clinical monotonous chain hotel environment. After St Petersburg we actually took the Sapsan High Speed train to Moscow (highly recommend rather than fly) and stayed at the Ritz Carlton with Marriott points. While the Moscow Ritz Carlton was elegant and luxurious (I’m not complaining!) with an unmatched location across for Red Square, but until walked out the front door, we very well could have just been in the Ritz Carlton in Phoenix or Philadelphia. The Grand Hotel Europe was not only elegant and luxurious, but also a rich cultural experience.
The rooms are large and surprisingly quiet. The fare in the restaurants outstanding (we had bear for dinner one night in the Caviar Bar). Sure, the price can be an issue . However we booked a package through Luxury Link which made the stay reasonably affordable.
Some other points: Ok.. the service in Russian hotels (both the Grand Hotel Europe in St Petersburg and the Ritz Carlton in Moscow) is not exactly on par with the Peninsula in Bangkok or the Oberoi in Agra, but Russia in not exactly a service centric society due to its Soviet past. But the respective Russian hotel management personnel and staffs are trying hard and are almost always unfailingly polite and professional. (The same can be said for Tahiti or Bora Bora where the locals tend to move with a little less of a sense of urgency than your average New Yorker) So just take into account the local cultural aspect in relation to the expectation of service levels and attentiveness while in Russia or any other country or region.
All in all, My wife and I would not hesitate to return to the Grand Hotel Europe given the opportunity to visit St Petersburg again. It was a fabulous and rich experience.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A cultural and culinary landmark, Belmond Grand Hotel Europe has played a central role in social, cultural, civic, and business life of St Petersburg for 140 years. Belmond Grand Hotel Europe is located in the very heart of the city centre, on the corner of Nevsky Prospekt and Mikhailovskaya Ulitsa. Positioned adjacent to the Arts Square, the hotel has strong associations with the worlds of theatre, music and ballet. Past guests include Peter Tchaikovsky, Dmitry Shostakovich, Ivan Turgenev, Johann Strauss, George Bernard Shaw, Luciano Pavarotti, crowned heads and world leaders. Today the hotel offers its guests 266 rooms. The hotel's Historic Floor boasts 10 unique suites with individual names, including the Dostoevsky, Romanov and Pavarotti suites. The hotel is home to four welcoming restaurants and bar of the highest international standards. On Fridays, L'Europe Restaurant hosts the hotel's celebrated Tchaikovsky evenings, while another pearl of the hotel's restaurants is the Caviar Bar, where guests can enjoy blini with caviar washed down by ice-cold vodka. Those who enjoy chocolate can make their dreams come true in the hotel's in-house chocolate factory, where they can even order a chocolate grand piano. Located in the heart of the cultural capital of Eastern Europe, Belmond Grand Hotel Europe combines the charm and elegance of 19th century tsarist Russia with the contemporary comfort. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Hotel St Petersburg