With towering black marble columns and a spiky crystal chandelier, the lobby feels like the palace of a fashionable but villainous monarch, while guest rooms surrounding an atrium are warm, plush, and fully equipped. A touch of chilly luxury also permeates the low-lit lobby bar and the hotel's showcase restaurant, Les Menus Par Pierre Gagnaire, named for the French culinary great who constructed its menu. Down a staircase from the expansive lobby is a Japanese restaurant
and an enchanting, catacomblike spa, one of the hotel's highlights, where passageways with white pebbles underfoot lead to private chambers for massages and other treatments. On the western end of ulitsa Novy Arbat, which is essentially one long shopping center, and just over the river from one of Moscow's skyscraper-filled business quarters, the Lotte is convenient for just about everything but sightseeing.