When you walk into the Ambassador, you're struck by the opulent chandeliers and the polished, efficient reception. And that's exactly what the Ambassador is: efficient, impersonal, unfriendly.
This is a hotel where the staff, although waiting on you, have the air of thinking they are better than you. They're glacially efficient and sticklers for rules. We actually had one cheeky receptionist or supervisor, whatever, accost us one night when we came back after it had been raining outside. Now, I know nobody looks their best when caught in the rain but we were definitely not dressed in a sloppy manner!
Breakfast is served in a room with the most wonderful view, over the rooftops of St. Petersburg. It's especially beautiful if you catch the dawn rising and I recommend you take your camera to breakfast. Unfortunately, no matter what time you arrive, the breakfast buffet will be cold. The scrambled eggs were cold, the potato shreds cold, the fried eggs still jelly-like and undercooked in some parts. It was very disappointing. And throughout, they play the most infuriating muzak which makes you want to bolt your food and just get out of there. They even play the muzak in the sauna! The sauna!
The hotel pool is free. Until 11.30am. I can't even fathom why you, as a paying guest, are not allowed to use the facilities after 11.30am. Who on earth are they reserved for? I had go through several (unmarked) doors to find a rather haughty receptionist who told me to go through some more doors to use the pool. I had a swim -- making sure to get out before the dreaded 11.30am -- and came back, intending to exit through the door I'd entered. Oh, no. She actually made me leave through the bar/business centre area, in my dressing gown and bedraggled wet hair! It was absurd and I felt very self-conscious at having to make my way through people in suits casting me curious glances.
The hotel also makes you swipe your card in the lift anytime you want to use it, which is tiresome, though I understand and appreciate the security measure. What is unforgivable -- and dangerous -- is the stairs being inaccessible without the card swiped. How on earth will they manage if there is ever a fire? It's so irresponsible.
What else? The minibar is expensive, phone charges exorbitant and if you want to do anything, you are told to phone a certain number -- i.e. 90 on your phone to print something. You will invariably be told you should be speaking to some other department and have the phone put down on you.
Finally, the location is not very good. It's off Sadovaya Street, but very far down, a fair way past the metro. I think for the price, for the airs and graces of the staff, the fact that you can't use the facilities for most of the day and the rubbish breakfast, you'd be better finding a hotel of a similar price on Nevsky Prospekt. You'll be much happier.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ambassador Hotel is located in the historic center of St. Petersburg, a 7-minute walk away from Sadovaya (Sennaya Ploschad’) Underground Station. St. Isaac and St. Nicholas Cathedral, the Mariinsky Theatre, and the Yusupov Gardens are all in the immediate vicinity of the hotel and you can visit them while you take a walk.There are 251 comfortable rooms at the hotel, including the rooms of the following categories: Economy, Standard, Superior, Studio, Demi-Suite, Suite, as well as the Rimsky-Korsakov and Presidential Apartments. Each room is equipped with air-conditioning, Internet access, a direct international and inter-city telephone line, interactive and satellite TV, a mini-bar and a safe.All rooms are decorated in tranquil pastel shades with comfortable furniture upholstered in elegant fabrics and luxurious curtains. Bath rooms are equipped with big mirrors and somewhere are decorated with mosaic. All the rooms have a beautiful view on the historic city center, cozy courtyard or Rimsky-Korsakov avenue.According modern standards, the hotel has comfortable rooms equipped for physically handicapped guests. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ambassador Hotel St Petersburg
- Ambassador St Petersburg
- Ambassador Petersburg