Destination: Russia: St. Petersburg
Vibe: History goes glamorous
At a Glance: Just behind St. Isaac’s Cathedral, this old world property has been given a chic updating by the Rocco Forte hotel group.
A glance at the Hotel Astoria’s address is enough to reveal why it is one of the most famous and popular hotels in St. Petersburg. Located in St. Isaac’s Square, directly opposite St Isaac’s Cathedral, it attracts crowds of tourists who arrive in big buses every day.
From its opening in 1912 until the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, the Astoria was a byword for luxury in St. Petersburg. There is still a sense of that today as you are arrive in the shadow of St Isaac’s famous gold dome and then enter into the white marble lobby. To the left is the Kandinsky bar, a dark-wood lounge bar that is open 24-hours a day and has a deal-making atmosphere and the calmer Lobby Bar, famous for its Afternoon Tea and chocolate fountain. Its most popular restaurant is Davidov, boasting a traditional Russian menu including _zakiskis_–an assortment of canapés to go with the three types of caviar. Unfortunately, as in much of St. Petersburg, vegetarians have limited options.
There are two great halls, the Winter Garden, with its stunning glass roof, and the Ballroom, which are often connecting for large weddings and events. There is also a small gym and one of the better hotel spas on the seventh floor with four treatment rooms, a sauna and a Turkish Bath.
The classic and deluxe rooms are well-sized and share the design flair of the rest of the hotel—thanks to designer Olga Polizzi—but their views of the interior courtyard or side-street are underwhelming. It is worth booking a Superior Deluxe room for slightly more space, a larger bathroom and most importantly, the sweeping views of St. Isaac’s Cathedral. All of the rooms have a homey, comfortable feel, and a contemporary color scheme.
Who it’s right for: Those who want to be in a central location with great service and who like a modern aesthetic
Who it’s wrong for: Those who want the most modern of everything. There’s an old-fashioned charm to the place.INDAGARE LOVES:
- That it is easy walking distance from the Hermitage and Marinsky Theater
- The Volga Linens in surprising color palettes in the room, which delight and soothe
- The Decleor hydrotherapy massages which combat jetlag
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