How to choose a hotel in St.Petersburg
A lot of international hotel chains entered the market in recent years and became very popular due to their worldwide reputation, good location and high quality services.
To ease your decision-making, I classified Petersburg hotels into several categories.
This group includes mostly 5-star hotels with a century of history and offer quality service and comfort.
Grand Hotel Europe 5*, www.grandhoteleurope.ru
A double room in high season (May-September) costs from 25 000 RUB / night.
The hotel was designed by the famous architect Carlo Rossi. The Grand Hotel Europe became the first Russian hotel included among the “Best Hotels of the World” in 1994. During its long history the hotel accommodated a lot of important people: members of the royal families of Great Britain, Denmark, Norway, Holland, Malaysia and also Mstislav Rostropovich, Montserrat Caballe, Julio Iglesias, Sharon Stone, Whitney Houston, Bill Clinton, Elton John, Tchaikovsky, HG Wells, Matilda Kshesinskaya and others.
There is a legend that a popular Russian film “The Unbelievable Adventures of Italians in Russia” was based on a story that took place at the Grand Hotel Europe. An old woman before her death told her successor that she hid a treasure under the floor in a room in the hotel “Europe” before fleeing abroad. The successor managed to get into the Soviet Union and boarded in the same room on the first floor. At night, he was rattling parquet and found an empty space. After removing the cover, he saw a metal box bolted down to the surface. Cursing the grandmother he tried to unbind the nut the whole night. When he finally succeeded, a terrible noise filled the hotel. During the interrogation by the KGB he came to understand that he had loosened the nut of the chandelier of the main lobby on the ground floor and there was no treasure.
Astoria Hotel 5*, www.thehotelastoria.com
A double room in high season (May-September) costs from 16 000 RUB / night.
The hotel was named after a chain of luxury hotels in the USA, controlled in the 19-20th centuries by the Astor family.
The hotel is considered to be the most prestigious hotel in historic St. Petersburg, it accommodated HG Wells, Alain Delon, Maya Plisetskaya, George Bush, Tony Blair, Margaret Thatcher, Garry Kasparov, and Vladimir Putin. Singer Madonna made staying in this hotel one of the terms of her visit to St. Petersburg.
There is an interesting legend that Hitler printed tickets for the banquet in the Astoria hotel, to celebrate the seige of Leningrad. The city withstood a 900-day siege, and did not let the enemy in, the tickets remained unused.
Angleterre Hotel 5*, www.hotelangleterre.ru
A double room in high season (May-September) costs from 9 800 RUB / night.
Empire Petersburg had a tradition of naming hotels after foreign countries and cities. «Angleterre» means «England» in French.
A famous Russian poet, Sergei Esenin, ended his days in this hotel. The official version of the story says he committed a suicide.
There are not so many hotels of this category and all of them have been opened in recent years. You will find your choice between a 5-star oasis and a youth hostel.
W St.Petersburg 5*, www.wstpetersburg.ru
A double room in high season (May-September) costs from 15 000 RUB / night.
The hotel interior was designed by Antonio Citterio. The style is unique and captivating to make you feel “wow”. The most interesting part of the hotel is the bar / outdoor terrace with panoramic views of St. Petersburg. Live music and various fashion events are held here weekly.
Domina Prestige Hotel St Petersburg 5*, dominarussia.com
A double room in high season (May-September) costs from 6 800 RUB / night.
Domina Prestige St. Petersburg is wholly designed in an unconventional bright style. The hotel’s entertainment programme features modern DJ sets on weekends.
Taleon Imperial Hotel 5*, www.taleon.ru
A double room in high season (May-September) costs from 18 000 RUB / night.
All the interiors of the hotel are decorated in the Empire, luxury style. Where the present mansion stands, once stood the first temporary Winter Palace in the 18th century. The building is also famous for the renowned people it accommodated, for example; F.M. Dostoevsky and H.G. Wells.
Radisson Sonya Hotel 4* www.radisson.ru
A double room in high season (May-September) costs from 8 500 RUB / night.
Another place associated with famous Russian novelist Dostoevsky is Radisson Sonya Hotel on Tchaikovskaya Street. The Hotel is located in a pleasant area, rich with consulates and foreign embassies and within a short walk to the river. The interior design is based on the most famous novel by Dostoevsky “Crime and Punishment”. In spite of that fact, you won’t find any Imperial Russia antiques inside, only adherence to the modern Nordic style in decoration, furniture and navigation. Almost every object of the interior looks simple, but hides a secret, that can be revealed at a closer look. The main themes of the Hotel design are love and versatility of the Russian soul shown in the Dostoevsky Novel through the character of Sonya, and not horrors and psychological torments of the main protagonist Raskolnikov as you might have thought. There is no question why the Hotel is called Sonya.
Karelia Business Hotel 3* www.karelia.spb.ru
A double room in high season (May-September) costs from 3 800 RUB / night.
The exterior design of the Hotel is the main attraction for the guests. The building was converted into two giant suitcases and hit the Guinness World Records in 2012 as “the largest three-dimensional painting”. The hotel is located next to a park with a small lake, just within a 15-minute drive from the historic center of St. Petersburg.
St. Petersburg has about 12 spa hotels, including previously mentioned 5 stars – Hotel Astoria, Taleon Imperial Hotel and W St. Petersburg.
I would pick out another 5 star hotel Solo Sokos Hotel Palace Bridge www.sokoshotels.fi, and a 4 star hotel – Hotel Neptun www.neptun.spb.ru. A double room in high season (May-September) costs from 9 800, 5 000 and 4 400 RUB / night, respectively.
Sokos Hotel has various swimming pools (with mineral water, glass walls and an ice font), showers (massage, rain, etc.), bath complex (8 types) and treatments for the face and body.
Hotel Neptun has a sports and entertainment complex of a smaller size; with a swimming pool, sauna, fitness center, bowling, billiard, tennis and squash courts.
This group is represented by 3-4 star hotels, often located outside the city center. They offer a full range of services necessary for business travelers, including a wide range of different meeting rooms.
Holiday Inn St. Petersburg Moskovskye Vorota 4*, www.hi-spb.com and Staybridge Suites St. Petersburg Moskovskye Vorota 4*, www.sbs-hotel.ru.
A double room in high season (May-September) costs from 5 800 and 8 300 RUB / night. Staybridge Suites has interesting offers for long-term stay in apartments with fully stocked kitchens. Holiday Inn has an equipped Business Center working 24/7. The hotels are located on one of the main prospects of the city, leading to the airport. A trip to the city center will take about 20 minutes by car.
Crowne Plaza St. Petersburg-Ligovsky 4* and Crowne Plaza St. Petersburg Airport 4*, www.ichotelsgroup.com.
A double room in high season (May-September) costs from 6 800 and 5 600 RUB / night. The hotel chain has a lot of business packages that include press, food and internet. The first hotel is located 5 minutes from Nevsky Prospect (the main street of the city); the second one is a high-quality accommodation near the airport.
Park Inn Nevsky 4*, www.parkinn.ru, Park Inn Pulkovskaya 4*, www.parkinn.ru/hotelpulkovskaya-stpetersburg.
A double room in high season (May-September) costs from 6 700 and 4 200 RUB / night. They have everything you may need for a conference or a business meeting.
In the 3* category I recommend Ibis St Petersburg Centre, www.ibishotel.com, double room in high season (May-September) costs from 3 000 RUB / night. In addition to business service package, animals are welcome.
There is no typical accommodation in the city fully complying with the family category, but most hotels offer family packages or booking discounts. With children you can stay at Park Inn Pribaltiyskaja or at Park Inn Nevsky, Crowne Plaza St. Petersburg-Ligovsky near the Vosstaniya square, since they are close to the largest shopping and entertainment center of the city “Galeria”, which includes a cinema, bowling and an amusement park for children.
Apartments with kitchens are very popular among couples with children. The apartment can be a room at the hotel or a separate flat for rent, the last one should be checked thoroughly and booked with caution. This type of accommodation has became popular in the past years, so the number of offers is increasing constantly.
Check Staybridge Suites and Apart-Hotel Nevsky 78, www.nevsky-hotel.com, if you want to stay in an apartment. Nevsky 78 hotel offers a comfortable stay in a family room with children in the city center, but there are no additional services.
I advise you to choose a hotel carefully and read travelers reviews.
Translation by Kira Horm
Edited by Joan Akatukunda