Which luxury hotel in Moscow?

Old Nov 21st, 2000, 01:35 AM
James Wyatt
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Which luxury hotel in Moscow?

We are planning a 3/4 day sightseeing visit to Moscow and want to be fairly central to the tourist areas - Red Square etc, and would like to stay in 4 or 5 star hotel. Any suggestions and/or prices? What is a must see in Moscow. Are taxi's east to get from the airport and safe? All ideas very much appreciated.
Old Nov 21st, 2000, 04:41 AM
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James - My husband and I were in Moscow in 1997. We stayed at the Metropol Hotel. I believe that it is a 5 star hotel. It has beautiful public rooms and the rooms were quite nice as well. We had a junior suite I believe which gave us an extra sitting room which was nice. The bathroom was quite large with lots of marble everywhere. The hotel is ideally situated. It is directly across the street from the Bolshoi (sp?) ballet (a must see) and just a few short blocks from Red Square. The only negative comment about the hotel is the staff. They were not very friendly, but would probably stay there again. With respect to taxis from the airport, we were advised not to take a taxi from the airport. We had made arrangements in advance to have a car from the hotel pick us up. Cannot recall how much it cost. As far as must see sights, definitely the Kremlin (allow close to a full day; there are many churches and great musuems inside the Kremlin walls; plus it's just cool to be walking around inside the Kremlin!), Lenin's tomb is worth seeing. Highly recommend the Pushkin Art Musuem as well as The Tretyakov Gallery. Also enjoyed the Novodevichy Convent on the outskirts of Moscow. Also, spend some time riding the Metro (subway). Many of the stations are gorgeous - mosiacs, marble, statues. It's like visiting a museum. You will have a great time! I can't wait to go back. If you would like more specifics, leave another post and I will contact you directly via e-mail.
Old Nov 21st, 2000, 05:22 AM
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I don't think the Metropol is worth the money, although it is well located and the building is beautiful. You might better consider the National, where I believe the rooms are a bit nicer, (though probably not less expensive), and the hotel is also extremely well located and historic. Frankly, though, I'd stay at the new Marriott Royal - it's nicer than the typical Marriott, competitive on price, and still well located.

For must sees - there's no doubt that you have to see Red Square and the Kremlin. Then I would add the Historical Museum, recently open after extensive renovation and right on Red Square, Novodevichy Monastery, the Gorky House (more for its superb architechtural rather than literary significance), the Pushkin Museum for it's small but extraordinary collection of impressionists, and a stroll on the Old Arbat (don't confuse with New Arbat)is quite nice for the old buildings, many antique/souvenir shops, and cafes. If you are a shopper, and if you will be in town on a Saturday or Sunday, then a trip to the Izmailova open air crafts market is an absolute must - the best and most imaginative crafts in Russia at usually reasonable prices. If you don't make it there, by the way, the souvenir shop in the Historical Museum is very convenient and has a good selection at suprisingly "normal" prices - especially good on the traditional blue and white Gzhel potter. A tour around on the metro is worth a visit itself, and if you can navigate the alphabet you may also find it relatively easy to use and for getting around the city. I suggest you look at the English language tours offered by Patriarchy Dom - one place to look them up is on the www.expat.ru website (which is geared mostly to expats living in Moscow, but can be helpful for tourists). They run very good tours at reasonable prices.
I'd skip a performance at the Bolshoi in favor of a wonderfully intimate experience at the Helikon Opera (if you can get tickets). For food, try Georgian cuisine at any number of restaurants - our favorite is Tiflis, just up the road from the new Cathedral. Quick and very Russian meals can be had at any one of the local Yolki Palki chains (don't miss the salad bar), and you might also want to catch the great fun of Central Asian cuisine at White Sun in the Desert (Beloye Solntse v Pustinye). There are a lot of places for food these days!
I would not take a taxi from the airport - better to book a car to meet you from the hotel. If necessary, you can also book a car via one of the stands located opposite the large board listing flights in the middle of the arrivals hall, but better to book in advance. Getting around Moscow you can hail a car on the street, but only if you're confident and your Russian is decent. Otherwise, I would either try to make use of the Metro or book cars via the hotel (very expensive, but safe!) Anyway, in 3/4 days, you'll just manage the basics, most of which are walkable from your hotel.
Hope that's a good overview ...
Old Nov 22nd, 2000, 09:26 AM
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Wow - great information from Karen! I would second her recommendation for the Hotel National. I have stayed there many times - it's DIRECTLY across from the kremlin and in walking distance of the Theater district. The metro stop is "Ohotny Ryad'. The hotel is very centrally located, and is a cross between western and european with smaller rooms (than, for instance any of the Marriott's in Moscow) but the location is great and the decor is quite extravagant.

I'd also second her recommendation on taking the metro. Their metro stations are unbelievable - you go from dirty, dingy streets down into almost museum like places - chandeliers, statues, mosaics. Most maps will have the cyrilic name and the "english" name of the stops. The metro itself only has cyrilic, but if you can match up the first few letters with what's on your map, you'll be okay. Just make sure to LOOK at the station name, not listen for it, because it will only be announced in Russian and is barely audible.

Enjoy moscow. If you're going any time before april - bundle up! Moscow tends not only to be cold, but wet so bring rain/snow boots.

Old Feb 5th, 2001, 07:09 AM
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Do Moscow hotels have good heating systems, or should one plan on being sort of bundled up indoors, too?

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