Kempinski Moika 22 Rates in Euros

Old Oct 14th, 2007, 10:36 AM
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Kempinski Moika 22 Rates in Euros

We are planning a holiday to St. Petersburg and are interested in the Kempinski Moika 22. In checking its rates on the Kempinski website, we note that they are in Euros rather than rubles. We had read that some (unscrupulous) Russian hotels would express their rates in non-Ruble currency and then charge an exorbitant exchange rate as a rip-off scheme. We realize that Kempinski is an internationally-reputable chain, but should we be concerned nonetheless? This will be our first trip to Russia, and we are trying to be cautious. Also, we welcome any feedback on the hotel itself. Many thanks!
MrZee is offline  
Old Oct 18th, 2007, 03:37 AM
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The hotel is quite good. I don't think you should be concerned about the exchange rate. Kempinsky must use the official current Central Bank rate - the actual payment in Russia will have to be made in rubles.
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Old Oct 18th, 2007, 05:05 AM
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Hi M,

Why not contact the hotel and ask for the rate in Rubles?

ira is offline  
Old Oct 18th, 2007, 11:59 PM
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It's quite common for hotels in Russia to show their rates in USD or EUR but charge in Rubles.
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Old Oct 19th, 2007, 03:49 AM
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Kempinsky Moika 22 is very good place to stay. Right next to the Palace square and the Hermitage, 2 min walk from Nevsky Avenue (the main street of the city), 5 min walk from the Savior-on-the-Spilled Blood Church, lots of cafes and restaurants in the area. I think it is the most centrally located hotel in St.Pete. Rooms are nice, service is good. Nice restaurant on the top floor with good view.

As for the exchange rate I would suggest asking the hotel in advance what exchange rate they use. Usually it is the official Bank of Russia (or Central Bank) rate + one or two percent for converting.

By the way as a piece of advice – don’t book any tours through the hotel concierge – it is very expensive.

Enjoy your trip!
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Old Oct 19th, 2007, 08:40 AM
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We have used the Moika 22 for clients many times and are quite happy with it. Where they operate Kempinski runs hotels comparable to the Four Seasons (although the Moika 22 is really a four star hotel, rather than 5 star).

Your concerns regarding currency conversion rates are valid. Until the beginning of this year hotels would advertise rates in Euros, conditional units (which are completely arbitrary), or US$. The conversion rate would often have nothing to do with any the Central Bank rate and as a result the hotel would take close to a 10% commission (the 4-5 star hotels were the worst at this). On top of this you often have to pay a 2-3% conversion fee to the credit card company. People would complain about the rates we charged for hotels, but I would point out how "$300 per night" translated into over $400:

$300=8400 rubles (at 28/$, instead of 25/$)
1,512 rubles VAT (at 18%)
297 rubles credit card conversion fee (at 3%)
10,209 rubles=$408.36

As I recall on January 1 of this year companies are supposed to advertise all prices in rubles, and the problem outlined above is far less of a concern. Most international chains give website users the option of viewing rates in any currency, but have a disclaimer that the payment is due in the local currency. You will still have to pay a credit card conversion fee but otherwise your pricing should be the rate quoted in rubles.
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Old Oct 19th, 2007, 08:47 AM
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Also, you will have to pay a VAT (value added tax) of 18%, which at least one international chain miscalculates on their websites
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