Art deco at the Belmond Grand Hotel Europe
With its marble, tall columns and heavy tapestries, the Belmond Grand Hotel Europe is reminiscent of Russia's imperial past. Its majestic facade adorned with sturdy Atlas figures stands proudly at the corner of Nevsky Prospect, the main road of the city, and Mikhailovskaya Street. Suffice to say that you could not find a better location for visiting the historic centre of Saint Petersburg.
Built at the end of the 19th century by the architect Fontana, this opulent hotel quickly became a hotspot of Saint Petersburg high society. When you stay within its walls, you are following in the footsteps of some illustrious figures: the composer Prokofiev, the enigmatic Rasputin and Queen Elizabeth II. The history of immortal Russia is reflected in its sumptuous interiors.
Each of its 270 rooms and suites has its own unique decor. If you can, choose a room on the upper floors, at the back of the hotel. From your window, you can admire the rooftops of the city and the onion-shaped domes of the Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood. If you have a penchant for Russian literature, choose the Dostoyevsky suite with its large desk facing the street. If classical music and ballet is your thing, you will love the majestic decor of the Mariinsky suite, inspired by the illustrious theatre whose name it bears. The unique character of these opulent spaces adds an extra touch of character to the Belmond Grand Hotel Europe.
Every morning, before exploring Saint Petersburg, you can treat yourself with an enormous breakfast served in the very stylish Europe restaurant. On Friday, do not miss the gala evening which features a Tchaikovsky ballet staged underneath its art deco glass roof.
Belmond Grand Hotel Europe
Mikhailovskaya Ulitsa 1/7
Saint Petersburg 191186
+7 812 329 6000
Sumptuous opulence at the Four Seasons Lion Palace
Ever since its opening in 2013, the Four Seasons Lion Palace has been the most exclusive, must-visit address in the city. A historic palace of the former imperial capital, “the Lions' House” underwent 10 years of meticulous restoration to turn it into a luxury hotel. The result will exceed your wildest fantasies.
As you enter, two marble lions, immortalised in Pushkin's famous poem The Bronze Horsemen, immediately set the tone. Impressed by the splendour of the entrance hall with its white columns, you ascend to your room via an imposing granite staircase. A door adorned with gilding opens onto your stylish sanctuary in shades of yellow and blue.
Enthused by the idea of exploring the hotel, you pass through its majestic decors before coming across a pool bathed in natural light. Relaxed by your swimming session, go and warm up in front of the fireplace in the Xander bar. You drink a toast to romanticism with a Negroni – in moderation of course – prepared by a mixologist.
A table awaits you in the Percorso Italian restaurant. An attentive waiter recommends the vitello tonnato or the fried sea bass. A perfect choice!
Four Seasons Lion Palace
1 Voznesensky Prospekt
Saint Petersburg 190000
+7 812 339 8000
An encounter with traditional and contemporary style at the Astoria
As you enter the foyer of the Astoria, you fall under the charm of a decor which combines Russian classicism and modernity. For your Saint Petersburg adventure, you have chosen the most prestigious hotel in the city. With its idyllic location in Saint Isaac Square, this one hundred-year-old palace designed in an eclectic style by the Swedish architect Fredrik Lidvall has lost nothing of its former opulence. On the contrary, its recent restoration has given it a new lease of life. With its varnished parquet flooring, Russian linen curtains, and cosy lounge area… you will love the snug comfort of your "Junior suite", brightened up with some amusing references, such as this poster taken from “From Russia with Love”, decorating a retro bathroom in black and white marble.
The communal areas opt for a contemporary style in neutral tones, enlivened with touches of bright colours. At the end of the afternoon, give into temptation and enjoy a pastry in the large circular Rotunda lounge, directly overlooking Saint Isaac Square.
And how about a relaxing sauna session, with a view of Saint Isaac's Cathedral? Ascend to the 7th floor of the hotel, where the very beautiful Decléor spa is situated, a very well-known French brand.
It will soon be time for dinner at the Astoria Café restaurant. Black and red armchairs and prints contrast with the high ceilings adorned with mouldings and crystal chandeliers. In this glamorous setting, you begin proceedings with an aperitif and caviar, before savouring some traditional Russian cuisine.
Bolshaya Morskaya Ul 39
Saint Petersburg 190000
+7 812 494 5757
Just like the museum, at the State Hermitage Museum Official Hotel
Between Vitebsk railway station and Nevsky Prospect, you enter an imposing, neoclassical building. As a lover of imperial opulence, you have chosen to stay at the State Hermitage Museum Official Hotel, a spectacular five-star establishment designed in partnership with the legendary Hermitage Museum. From the atrium filled with furniture, sculpture and art works, to the doormen's' uniforms, inspired by the uniforms of the former Royal family's servants, everything imitates the majestic style of the Hermitage.
Your “Junior suite” is reminiscent of a museum exhibition room, with furniture handmade by Italian craftsmen, the colour choice for sheets and pillow cases, and a bathroom in Greek marble… This elegant apartment exudes the ostentatious 19th century opulence, combined with ultramodern fittings. And there are more surprises in store. Ask to visit the Imperial Suite inspired by the Tsars. You will not believe your eyes when you see this extravagant apartment, decorated in the style of the Winter Palace.
A free shuttle bus will take you to the official residence of the Russian monarchs which is home to the Hermitage's fabulous collections. On your return to the hotel, continue your living dream at the Catherine the Great restaurant. On the menu: Russian salad with crayfish, followed by chicken Kiev. You can enjoy dishes inspired by those served at the emperors' tables, presented on crockery manufactured by the Lomonossov factory, the porcelain factory which supplied the Romanovs and their imperial court.
State Hermitage Museum Official Hotel
Ulitsa Pravdy, 10
Saint Petersburg 191119
+7 812 777-98-10
Excess and great views at the Taleon Imperial Hotel
Like the majority of five-star hotels, the Taleon Imperial Hotel is located in the heart of historic Saint Petersburg. Its exceptional location, on the corner of Nevsky Prospect and the Moïka embankment, offers immediate access to the most beautiful attractions of the city. This sumptuous retreat is based in a former, magnificently renovated, 18th century palace. Your stay here will be steeped in the opulence of Imperial Russia, with meticulous attention to comfort and state-of-the-art fixtures and fittings.
This luxurious decor will transport you into a prestigious past. With its many mouldings, gilding and tapestries, the interiors pay homage to the palaces of the Tsars. Baroque, rococo and Imperial styles are all represented in your room. The memory of illustrious guests, such as Catherine II and Napoleon's mistress, Marguerite-Josephine Weimer, lingers in the air.
Despite its museum-like appearance, the Taleon Imperial Hotel does not turn its nose up at hedonistic pleasures. There is a heavenly surprise on the roof! A vast indoor pool offers you a stunning view of the gilded domes of the city's churches. A privilege which is rather rare in Saint Petersburg.
When it comes to food, you can delight yourself by dining at the Taleon restaurant. Alexander Dregolsky, the driving force behind this multi-award-winning gourmet restaurant, reinterprets Russian cuisine in a precise and sophisticated manner. His fried flounder with almonds and sautéed vegetables with pumpkin nectar will leave you with a final emotional memory of your stay in Saint Petersburg.
Taleon Imperial Hotel
Nevsky Avenue, 15,
Saint Petersburg 191186
+7 812 324-99-11