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“Much less grand than it thinks it is.”
Review of Ambassador Hotel

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Ambassador Hotel
Ranked #45 of 359 Hotels in St. Petersburg
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 20, 2011

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.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Kovalyova
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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240 - 246 of 818 reviews

Reviewed September 13, 2011

Good hotel. Rooms are comfortable, although the beds are not very large. The service is good and the breakfast very good, in the 9th floor restaurant with a nice view over the city and St. Isaac's cathedral. It is also well located. Very good internet service in the internet cafe on the ground floor, where there are a significant number of computers.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank MVLVA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2011

For our Russian company we found that the best hotel for a training and employee bonus is the Hotel Ambassador in St. Petersburg. The hotel does an excellent job of providing 5-star conference facilities so we can concentrate on our business discussion. For relaxation the fitness club in the hotel is clean and well equipped. Finally the location of the hotel in the center of St. Petersburg makes it easy to organize cultural and evening events for our team.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled on business
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Thank Jim G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2011

My husband and I stayed here for two nights in July 2011 as part of a packaged tour from Helsinki (cruise/hotel/sightseeing package). It was a solid 4 star hotel, at least (probably more like 4.5). We were pleased with our choice, especially since others on our tour who had chosen the lower hotel option had some issues with their hotel.

The lobby is beautiful and makes a good first impression. It is very grand and spacious, with a pleasant cafe/bar/lounge area with good desserts and snacks, a decent gift shop, and a free internet cafe with several computers available (the internet cafe was smoky, though, so we just went in there for a few minutes). There was also a convenient currency exchange machine that you could use to convert your euros to rubles. (There were probably other currency options too, but euros-to-rubles was what we did.)

I can't comment on the check-in procedure because our guide basically did that for us (we had already prepaid as part of our tour and she had our voucher). The only small issue we had when checking in was with the secure elevators - they were the kind of elevators where you have to insert your room key in order to go to any of the guest floors. We appreciated the security, but the system seemed to be a little flaky and we were not told about it when we checked in, which was kind of odd. (The front desk staff did speak English and did give us our key cards directly, even though our guide took care of the check-in details, so I would have thought they would have explained the secure elevators to us.) We couldn't get it to work for us at first and we actually had to go back to the front desk to get someone to come and help us. There was a certain knack to it, which was fine once we got used to it, but it wasn't exactly friendly at first. Throughout our stay, we saw a *lot* of other guests having trouble with the elevators, so we know that it wasn't just us :-) Not a huge deal, but they could make it much friendlier if they (a) explained the system when you checked in and (b) posted a multi-language sign in each elevator with detailed instructions. (For anyone who is going to stay here, you insert your key card then remove it right away very quickly (sort of all in one action, like you're swiping it), then WAIT for the green light, THEN press the button for your floor.)

Our room was very nice. It was spacious and clean with pleasant, tasteful decor. The bathroom appeared to be brand new, with nice sparkling dark green tile floors. The in-room safe worked well. The free wi-fi worked well generally, but we did lose our connection a couple of times (but we were always able to reconnect again right away).

The included buffet breakfast was quite good. The breakfast room was in an elegant dining room on the 9th floor, with a great view of the city, which made for a pleasant start to each day. Good selection of pastries and breads, plus all the usual stuff (meats, fish, yogurt, pancakes, eggs, bacon, etc.) (Okay, one small complaint, which is a pet peeve of mine. The first day the bacon was cooked *perfectly*, which is extremely unusual for buffets - NO limp fatty bits, but not overdone either. I was ready to give the hotel 5 stars, just for the bacon :-) BUT, on the second day the bacon was typical buffet bacon, i.e. limp, fatty, and basically disgusting and inedible, in my opinion. :-)

They had a bar on the 9th floor as well and we went up there one night to have a drink and enjoy the great city view, only to find out that the 9th floor bar had NO view! It was just a smoky, loud bar dominated by TVs, with no view at all! Kind of strange (and we decided to go elsewhere for our drink).

We felt safe in the area of the hotel and walked to and from all the major city attractions without any problems. It was a longish walk to some of the attractions, but it was fine for us. (If you're not into a lot of walking, you may want to get a taxi instead.)

Overall we were very happy with this hotel (despite the couple of random complaints about).

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank goodtrip77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2011

The hotel is well situated near the canals, and close to Nevsky Prospekt - but not too close so it's a little more peaceful and away from the crowds. The rooms are excellent with comfy beds, good showers and lots of space. The breakfast is really good with lots of choice and served on the 9th floor with excellent views of the city. We stayed in a room on 8th floor and were concerned that the very loud music from a private party on the 9th floor would be troublesome, but we were assured that it would cease at 2300, and it did! Our only criticism is that the pool and spa can be only be used free by residents in the mornings; later in the day the charge is approx £25 per person which seemed steep to us.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank croatiabuddy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2011

For St. Petersburg it’s a good hotel for reasonable price. A medium level monotone breakfast was better than nothing. A place is not very central, but relatively close to Mariinski theatre and Sadovaya Square with metro.

Room Tip: Be aware – there’re not coffee and tea facilities in the room in Russian hotels!
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  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank AlexKiriatOno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2011

My only criticsm was that the room was a bit warm for my taste. On the other hand the room was spacious and clean, the breakfast buffet was excellent and the restaurant was big enough to cope with large groups and couples. I was able to book theatre tickets and my taxi to the airport through the concierge, who was very obliging. there was a small language glitch with the drink waiter in the restaurant, which I probably caused in part.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled solo
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1  Thank Rex06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ambassador Hotel

Address: Rimskogo-Korsakova Ave 5/7, St. Petersburg 190068, Russia
Phone Number:
Location: Russia > Northwestern District > St. Petersburg
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#11 Spa Hotel in St. Petersburg
#33 Luxury Hotel in St. Petersburg
#34 Family Hotel in St. Petersburg
#46 Business Hotel in St. Petersburg
#65 Romantic Hotel in St. Petersburg
Price Range: $56 - $171 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Ambassador Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 251
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

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