Saint Petersburg was the home of the Russian Imperial court, so make the most of the city’s grand history with a stay in one of these sumptuous hotels – each one of them is fit for a star
Saint Petersburg may be Russia’s second city today, but for a significant period of time – including most of the Imperial era – it was actually the country’s capital. The home of the tsars and stomping ground of some of the nation’s most important citizens, this is a city rich in culture and brimming with historic charm.
When it comes to Saint Petersburg’s leading hotels, sumptuous interiors, grand architecture and impeccable service combine with outstanding modern amenities to make for a stay you won’t forget. Our pick of five of the best luxury hotels in the city will give you an experience fit for a tsar.
Kempinski Hotel Moika 22
The five-star Kempinski Hotel Moika 22 offers one of the most sumptuous stays in Saint Petersburg. Situated in the historic heart of the city, it overlooks the famous State Hermitage Museum and Dvortsovaya Ploshchad (Palace Square) and is housed in a mansion built in the 1850s. The interior, while offering all the mod cons you could hope for, echoes the grandeur of Imperial Russia. Treat yourself to a stay in one of the hotel’s Grand Deluxe or Signature suites, which feature fine art and antique furniture, or opt for the Executive or Hermitage suites – both offer amazing view of the beautiful museum.
The stylish Bellevue Brasserie, at the top of the hotel, is run by Parisian executive chef Christophe Laplaza and his elegant French cuisine is the perfect match for the venue’s stunning panoramic views of the city. Kempinski Hotel Moika 22 is also home to a tea room and a bar, as well as a wellness and fitness centre in case you want to burn off some of those calories after your meal – or perhaps just enjoy yourself even more with a spa treatment.
Belmond Grand Hotel Europe
The history of the Belmond Grand Hotel Europe dates back to 1875 and the hugely glamorous hotel was designed to rival the most fashionable establishments of the time in cities such as Paris and Vienna. It has played host to the most famous names in Russia, from royalty to figures such as Tchaikovsky and Dostoevsky. It reopened in 1991 after a two-year renovation and you could hardly find a better venue from which to explore both the historic and the modern faces of the city of Saint Petersburg.
We highly recommend booking a suite: pick from unique historic suites, each one inspired by a different element of Russia’s past, or one of the five Avant-Garde suites, designed in tribute to groundbreaking Russian artists. The Kandinsky suite (pictured) is our particular favourite.
Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace
The Four Seasons is one of the world’s most famous luxury hotel groups and fans of its other locations will not be disappointed by its Saint Petersburg offering. The Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace is housed in a 19th century Russian palace and the luxury interiors expertly mix original features – think high ceilings, large light-filled rooms and beautiful period details – with a clean, modern aesthetic. The overall feel is grand yet understated, a particularly hard balance to achieve.
In terms of amenities, fitness lovers can make the most of a 24-hour gym, although the round-the-clock room service offers dishes so delicious you’ll be tempted not to leave your bed. The hotel’s spa is an award-winning space set across four levels – offering a variety of world-class treatments as well as a traditional Russian steam room, this is the perfect place to unwind after a day exploring the city.
Hotel Astoria’s central location, right next to the beautiful Isaakievskiy Sobor (Saint Isaac’s Cathedral) and just a short walk from many of the city’s main attractions, makes this hotel the perfect choice for anyone visiting the city for the first time, with everything practically on your doorstep. The hotel offers an effortless sense of luxury and has a unique signature style – think juxtapositions of old and new, with chandeliers and oil paintings alongside modern furniture and contemporary art.
During your stay, be sure to take a meal – or two – at the Astoria Restaurant, which serves high-end Russian-French cuisine. You’ll also find a fitness centre, along with a spa offering massages, a sauna, a hammam Turkish bath, beauty treatments and more.
Corinthia Hotel Saint Petersburg
Opulent is a word used far too often to describe luxury hotels, but with the Corinthia Hotel Saint Petersburg it really does apply – from the moment you enter the hotel, with its high ceilings, columns, chandeliers and plush furnishings, you’ll see what we mean. Every room on offer here is impeccably decorated, with clean lines, classic materials and large windows creating an aesthetic of understated elegance. For something really special, however, the Royal Suite is a must. With 270 square metres of space, three bedrooms with king-sized beds, a private balcony with incredible views, marble bathroom, private entrance and every mod con you could expect from a top hotel, this suite has to be experienced to be believed.
Elsewhere in the hotel you’ll find a 24-hour fitness centre, an elegant fine dining restaurant, a more relaxed café offering afternoon tea and two bars serving perfectly poured drinks – a great place to sit and relax at the end of a busy day in Saint Petersburg. If you’ve booked into an Executive room or one of the hotel’s suites, make the most of your access to the exclusive Executive Club Lounge. This chic space, overlooking Nevsky Prospect street, includes privileges such as free drinks and canapés, newspapers and magazines, and calm and comfy spots where you can squeeze in a little work.