Fodor’s Choice: Moscow & St. Petersburg Lodging

Metropol, Moscow
Originally built in 1899-1903, this first-class hotel has been the stage for some fabled events: Lenin spoke frequently in the assembly hall of the building, and David Lean filmed part of Doctor Zhivago in the restaurant. The hotel is one of Moscow’s most elegant, with outstanding service and amenities. The lobby and restaurants transport you back a century, and the guest rooms have hardwood floors, Oriental rugs, and modern furnishings. $$$$

Golden Apple, Moscow
Cozy, stylish, and upmarket, Golden Apple embodies the definition of boutique hotel. Shiny metallic panels clash with bright, oddly shaped armchairs in the lobby bar. The enormous golden apple next to the front desk turns out to be a comfortable sofa on closer inspection. Each floor of the hotel is a different color, and, in a reference to playwright Chekhov, some rooms have huge propeller-like iron seagulls hanging from the ceiling. $$$$

National Hotel, Moscow
If you seek luxury and elite service, this 1903 hotel is the place for you. It’s the city’s most elegant accommodation, right across a plaza from Red Square and at the foot of Tverskaya ulitsa. Inside the stunning landmark art nouveau building are a great marble staircase, elevators topped by silvered twists of ivy, and a Viennese-style café. Most rooms are plush with polished-oak furniture upholstered in silk. $$$$

Hotel Danilovskaya, Moscow
Located within the walls of the Orthodox Danilovsky (St. Daniel) Monastery — the official residence of Patriarch Alexei II of Moscow and All Russia — this hotel is serene and lovely, with fountains, religious-theme paintings, and the domed monastery buildings. The church holds conferences here and also sponsors concerts and exhibitions. Though basic, the rooms (breakfast included) are clean and spacious; some rooms have showers, but no tubs. $

Astoria, St. Petersburg
The Astoria is a magnificent hotel. Antiques retrieved from various museums decorate the splendid interior. Centrally located in downtown St. Petersburg, the hotel is near St. Isaac’s Cathedral and the Hermitage. The restaurant Borsalino affords memorable views of the cathedral. The service is impeccable, and the rooms are elegant without being stuffy. $$$$

Grand Hotel Europe, St. Petersburg
Combining the elegance of pre-Revolutionary St. Petersburg with every modern amenity, this luxurious 1875 hotel has earned the uncontested title of the finest accommodation in town. Behind the stunning baroque facade lies an art nouveau interior, complete with stained-glass windows and antique furnishings. Pleasing shades of mauve, cream, and gold decorate the stylish and comfortable rooms. If money is no object, this is the place to stay. $$$$

St. Petersburg Hotel, St. Petersburg
Although this is not the luxury hotel it once was, it is still the place to stay for ultimate White Nights vistas. The Finnish-decorated interior is faded and the furnishings are a bit worn, but the rooms and public areas are clean. The Finland Station and metro are within walking distance, but the route is unpleasant and takes you along a busy highway. Breakfast is included. $

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