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“James Bond & Casablanca meet Luxury & Elegance”

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Belmond Grand Hotel Europe
Ranked #7 of 355 Hotels in St. Petersburg
Certificate of Excellence
Newport Beach, California
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“James Bond & Casablanca meet Luxury & Elegance”
Reviewed November 1, 2010

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.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
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1 Thank Winthorp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 30, 2010

We spent our first year wedding anniversary in St P and had the most amazing holiday including a special treat courtesy of the management of the Europa Restaurant! The hotel is perfectly located for shopping, food and culture and the staff were the friendliest and most helpful we\'ve found in our travels. We most heartily recommend a stay in this great hotel and lovely city! thanks again

Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank ruemke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, IL
Level 6 Contributor
154 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 187 helpful votes
Reviewed October 12, 2010

For sure I would never stay here on my own because the cost must be high. It was part of the tour package we purchased. I didn't realize how wonderful this place would be. It is a historic hotel that covers an entire block off the main street in St. Petersburg - Nevskiy Prospekt. My first clue was the number of doormen who "guarded the entrance". In addition, you are greeted by at least two young women before you reach registration. We did not have to deal with any of the registration because of our tour group but the business center is to the right of the desk. You can purchase use of the internet, copy machine, mail postcards & letters with them (FYI - postage was expensive. They may add a surcharge.). The lobby bar is beautiful, up the stairs on the left, and also served us as a breakfast room the morning we had to leave very early. It is elegant. There are a myriad of shops and two restaurants on either end of the hall. The elevators to the rooms are up the stairs on your right. We were on the fourth floor. I am attaching pictures. We had a king size bed. Each of us had our own duvet - wonderful. The bathroom was good size and impeccably clean. We had a TV with at least four English speaking stations - BBC, CNN, and two others. Internet was NOT free.

Every morning breakfast was served for all guests on the 1st floor (2nd floor to us Americans) at L'Europe Restaurant. It was totally elegant - champagne, juices, coffee, tea, baked goods, caviar and its accompaniments, salmon, herring, cold meats and cheeses,, eggs, sausages, bacon, potatoes, fruits, yogurts, cereal - you name it. The servers were very attentive. The room itself was gorgeous. It had a stage.

We also had a high tea. I am not sure if this is a regular offering of the hotel or not but it was good. We also had a harpist for entertainment. I am including a picture of the food - why not.

On our last evening we ate in L'Europe Restaurant as did other hotel guests. Our menu consisted of wine, coffee, tea, water (still or sparkling), an assorted smoked fish plate with garden leaves, Asian style lobster cappuccino, Chilean Sea Bass served with vegetable confit cake, cherry tomato and champagne sauce and a Lime Creme Brulee served with pineapple salsa and coconut sorbet - OMGoodness! Does anyone really eat like this. Well the dinner was excellent and of course the servers were dressed in tuxedos. We had a Tchaikowsky night which included a pair of ballet dancers and a 13 piece musical group. Apparently, Tchaikowsky night is standard.

The hotel is fabulous. Of course, let me reiterate, that this was way out of our price range normally but if you are in St. Petersburg and can afford it - GO!

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank plan2gosoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed October 12, 2010

The Grand Hotel Europe is one of the leading hotels of the world..and deservedly so, with very pleasant staff , comfortable rooms, excellent facilities and a perfect location on Nevsky Prospekt. However the experience can be soured by overpriced mini bar drinks , like 1800 roubles for a below average half bottle of wine (approx £38). Worse was the suggestion at the business centre that they could post 19 postcards for 2500 roubles (£53) when the cost at the post office was 450 roubles...a reasonable £10. I have stayed at many world class hotels and understand that drinks and food will be expensive, but never had quite such blatant overpricing. My advice...be careful .

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Samiant1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gheurope, General Manager at Belmond Grand Hotel Europe, responded to this review, October 27, 2010
Dear Sir,

Allow me first to thank you for your comments, and for taking the time to provide us with your feedback. We were especially delighted to read about your praise for our staff and to learn that you enjoyed our location. We were sorry that you were unhappy about other aspects of your stay but very much appreciate your letting us know: it is only through guests opening up to us in this way that we can take steps to put things right.

With reference to your comment on the high prices for wine in the mini-bar, this is a reflection of the cost of imported alcohol in Russia. Many travellers, and especially those who enjoy wine, are surprised by the difference in prices here in Russia compared to those in Western Europe or North America. Often, the price you might pay in a restaurant in France or England, might be the price a Russian hotel has to pay the supplier for the exact same bottle. This is especially the case with old world wines such as a Baron Philippe de Rothschild from France. We do realise that for many Europeans the price of wine here is an issue, but on the other hand there are many things here which are much less expensive than in Europe.

As for the post, we use the Finnish postal system which is much more reliable and faster than the Russian service. Hence the higher, European prices. Delivery to the EU takes 3-5 days as opposed to 2-3 weeks with Russian post.

Once again, we thank you for the feedback, and hope to welcome you back in the future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anchorage
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed October 10, 2010

Really nice hotel, much better than when I staned there 15 years ago. Even the array of "smellies" (shampoo, conditioner, etc) is presented with a fresh flower. BUT we checked out, cleared our bill, NEVER used the minibar, etc. Our credit card was charged an extra $40 (approximately) after discharge, for unknown reasons. I emailed the hotel, with no response. I'm disputing this through my credit card company, but BEWARE of giving them your credit card!

  • Stayed September 2010
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Helpful?
4 Thank taiyaAK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pennsylvania
Level 6 Contributor
637 reviews
152 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 664 helpful votes
Reviewed September 28, 2010

We stayed at the Grand Hotel Europe in the city center for four nights at the end of August to the beginning of September 2010. We loved this hotel and it seemed 5 star all the way! The hotel is affiliated with both the Orient-Express chain and the Leading Hotels of the World chain. It is located on the corner of Nevsky Prospekt and Mikhailovskaya Ulitsa and takes up nearly half of a city block. The locations is excellent, with one side of the hotel facing Nevsky Prospekt and the other reaching Arts Square. It is an easy walk to the Church of the Spilled Blood, Russian Museum, Hermitage, Kazan Cathedral. There is some parking in front of the hotel, but the spaces are guarded carefully by the doormen. There are always at least two doormen on duty, and also sometimes two bellman. The front desk is manned by several staff members at a time, and there is more than one concierge. Someone is always available to help you, no matter what your request.

We booked our room through the American Express Platinum Travel Fine Hotels & Resorts program, so we received a room upgrade upon arrival to the historic floor. We didn’t book the absolute lowest standard room category, thinking that the standard would only upgrade us to a superior room; instead, we booked the superior category, hoping to be upgraded to a belle junior suite, which we were. The room was quite spacious, with a large sitting area (with a sofa, two chairs, two end tables, a coffee table, and an entertainment unit), desk area, a large foyer/entry way, and a large bathroom (with a real shower, complete with rainfall shower head and shower curtain). There was actually enough room to set/store two suitcases, which is almost never the case, and it becomes necessary to keep one bag on the floor rather than at waist-height. There was a DVD player, cappuccino maker, mini-bar, umbrella, safe, hairdryer, robes, and slippers. The toiletries weren’t a brand that I recognized, but there was a full complement available, including lesser-seen items like razors and toothbrushes. There is twice daily maid service, including an evening turndown that includes a delicious chocolate for each guest made by their in-house confectionery, Dominiques. Our room supposedly had air conditioning, but despite the fact that the outside temperature never rose above the high 60s, it was always very warm in our room. The air conditioning seemed to run continuously, but it never really produced cold air. Fortunately, one of the two windows in our room opened, and we were able to get some cool air through its tiny opening. (The windows were enormous, but only portions of it actually opened, and it was necessary to use a key-type instrument to do so. The other window did not open, nor did the “key” from one window work on the other.)

There are myriad choices of restaurants at the hotel, including L’Europe, Caviar, Rossi, Chopsticks, Grand Terrace, Mezzanine Bar, and the Lobby Bar. Daily breakfast at L’Europe was included with our room rate, and it was an excellent breakfast, with both hot and cold items. A harpist plays during breakfast, and the servers are very attentive despite the fact that it is buffet service (although I did see people ordering other plates from the kitchen, which seemed to be included in the price as long as you made a special request). The decor of L’Europe is beautiful with lots of stained glass, and it resembles an intimate theatre. For me, a jacket is required for dinner in L’Europe and in Caviar. One night, we ate dinner at Grand Terrace (outdoors) at the Grand Hotel Europe because we had a $100 credit from booking through American Express Platinum Fine Hotels and Resorts. And guess what? Our bill was just about $100 for the same two entrees and drinks that we had just around the corner for half the price. But the location was excellent, because it is positioned on the corner of Nevsky and Mikhailovskaya, and we sat outside covered up with cozy blankets and watched the pedestrians stroll by. We had a pizza and a veal schnitzel dish, the latter of which was tasty. The pizza, while huge, was not very good, and I wouldn’t recommend it. Service was sub-par as well, although it was difficult to tell how much of this was our own fault. In the US, we are accustomed to first ordering drinks, then ordering food usually after the drinks are delivered. In Russia, the servers seemed to expect patrons to order everything at the same time, including drinks and food. Perhaps if we didn’t have to scrutinize the menu each time, even looking for something simple like a non-alcoholic soft drink, we would have had an easier time with ordering and received better service. As we read online, when we paid our bill (even if it was using a credit card), we left 10% of our total check in cash as a tip. On another evening, after a ballet performance at the Theatre of Musical Comedy (also called the Grand Palace Theatre) we had some drinks and dinner at the Lobby Bar at the Grand Hotel Europe. For two rounds of drinks, a club sandwich, and an eggroll-type appetizer, the cost was about $100, proving that even a quick and not elaborate meal in the hotel was twice as expensive as a meal just down the block or around the corner.

On other nights, we ate dinner in the same block as the hotel. According to my credit card statement, the restaurant was called Nevskij 40 (Nevsky 40), although that was difficult to tell from the sign outside of the restaurant. It was a refurbished restaurant with both indoor (down a few steps) and outdoor seating. Tatiana said that there weren’t any good restaurants on Nevsky (we equated it to eating in Times Square in New York; there are restaurants, but they aren’t the best ones in Manhattan), but we enjoyed our meal. We ate a typical Russian meal of beef stroganoff served with mashed potatoes (not egg noodles) and meat dumplings with a few beers for my husband and a few Diet Cokes for me; the total was about $50. The food was tasty, but I thought that the portions were small. $50 was our standard dinner tab, which was much less than we were expecting to pay for food. We thought that our dinners would easily be $100+, and they could have been if we had eaten in the hotel restaurants and not ventured out just a block from the hotel. We tended to visit touristy restaurants that had menus in English; otherwise, it would have been an arbitrary pointing to some wording on the menu. Admittedly, they weren’t the finest meals that we’ve ever had (no need for The French Laundry or Le Bernadin to worry), and we only ordered entrees, not appetizers, but the food was just fine, and there was a great variety of cuisines available to suit every taste. In a recent search online, I found nearby restaurants located at www dot nevskycontour dot com forward slash en forward slash nevskyprospect forward slash cafes; that website would have been very helpful to have seen before we visited.

There are several shops in the hotel, including La Petit Opera, Mercury (jewelry), an art gallery, Russian souvenir store, Russian handicrafts shop, flower shop, and Dominiques chocolate shop.

We couldn’t seem to find the fitness center, but I think that you could reach it through the beauty salon. There is an Citi (?? Citibank) ATM machine and also a bank in the hotel, but the ATM is not near the bank office or owned by it. We weren’t charged any fees to withdraw money, either from the bank owning the ATM or by our own bank (credit union). Twice we withdrew 10,000 rubles (about $330), and there was an option to withdraw an even larger amount, although I don’t recall what that was.

There is a grocery store was located on Nevsky Prospekt in the block before the hotel, heading away from the city centre. It is on the same side of Nevsky as the hotel; walking from the hotel, first pass the Armenian church, then the 24-hour bookstore, then the indoor shopping arcade (which I believe is called Passazh, meaning The Passage or The Arcade), and the grocery store will be next in the basement of the arcade. It seemed like a well-stocked store, and I think that they accepted credit cards, although we used cash each time.

We liked our stay at the Grand Hotel Europe, but unfortunately, our last minutes there spoiled our experience a bit. When we checked out, there were charges on our bill that we did not understand. Two of them were easily explained: the fee and associated tax for registering our stay in order to complete the visa process. It would have been nice if the line item entries accurately described the charges so that we did not have to ask for an explanation. We were also charged the equivalent of $10 for sending a fax, which we did not send. (Who sends faxes anymore these days? Doesn’t everyone just scan and email instead?) There was a lengthy back-and-forth between the front desk and someone else (perhaps the telephone operator or someone at the business center) as to whether we sent this fax. In the end, the charge was removed from our bill, but not before my spouse was forced to write and sign “I did not send a fax” like a child would be reprimanded to write on a chalkboard! We also had a problem with our return airport transfer. Although we asked the bellman, and called down to the front desk two times, no one told us that it would be necessary to order/ reserve a city taxi to take us to the airport, and that it would take at least 30 minutes for the car to come. Had someone told us that prior to check-out, we would have planned accordingly, but we didn’t feel that we had an extra 30 minutes to wait for the ordered car to arrive. (We weren’t exactly pressed for time, but we wanted to allow 1.5 hours to reach the airport, with an additional 1.5 hours at the airport pre-flight.) The hotel had Mercedes transportation available, but at a cost of approximately $125 USD one way. We ended up walking outside of the hotel and hailing a taxi that was waiting across the street. The cost was $70, significantly less than the hotel Mercedes, and only about $10 more than the city taxi quote. Regardless of our last few minutes there, we would definitely stay at the Grand Hotel Europe again when visiting St. Petersburg.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank fluffnfold
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La Grange, IL
Level 6 Contributor
354 reviews
70 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 260 helpful votes
Reviewed September 22, 2010

We enjoyed 3 nights in a deluxe room. The bed and pillows were comfortable, and the bathroom was large and old world. We had one dinner at the hotel which was quite good, and the service was excellent. Breakfast was really the special event, probably the most incredible of anywhere we've been. A glorious stained glass filled room, with a harpist playing, and every fruit, smoked fish, eggs, juices and sparkling wine, and a multitude of delicious breads, etc. were available with fantastic tableside service. We walked everywhere in the city, this is a great location. Do not keep anything in your back pockets, my husband was mobbed by a group trying to pickpocket him at 4 in the afternoon. We were lucky and got away, be alert. An easy catamaran ride to the Peterhof is a wonderful day trip. The Hermitage was just incredible, try to get your tickets ahead of time, the lines to purchase tickets can be very long on the day of entry. Our favorite restaurant was a Georgian place in the Taleon Imperial Hotel, you can enter from the street behind the hotel. Great food at great prices. We enjoyed walking around the hotel at night, there's always something going on, and it is just a really beautiful place with excellent service, and a helpful staff. The city is very beautiful and elegant, and 3 days is about the minimum time needed to enjoy the sights. My only complaint is that internet access is not included. We paid a very high price for a short time and my 24 hour card expired before the actual time even ran out.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Pamela V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Belmond Grand Hotel Europe

Property: Belmond Grand Hotel Europe
Address: Nevskiy Ave., Mikhailovskaya St., 1/7, St. Petersburg 191186, Russia
Phone Number:
Location: Russia > Northwestern District > St. Petersburg > Nevskiy , Palace Square
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in St. Petersburg
#2 Spa Hotel in St. Petersburg
#4 Romantic Hotel in St. Petersburg
#5 Family Hotel in St. Petersburg
#7 Luxury Hotel in St. Petersburg
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Belmond Grand Hotel Europe 5*
Number of rooms: 266
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

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