Pribaltiyskaya Hotel J http://www.pribaltiyskaya.ru Phone: 7 (812) 329-2430
Rates: Normally $140 for a single or $160 for a double. As of this writing (January), business at the hotel is quite poor and they are running a special: $80 for a single, $100 for a double. Luxury suites are $230. Luxury suite two story apartments are $340. Prices include all taxes and breakfast.
I'm very familiar with this hotel and its neighborhood...
Location Rating: Fair. This neighborhood is far different from the picturesque scenes you see in the travel books. It's loaded full of giant, dull, ugly apartment buildings that look like they're falling apart. These buildings are soviet built. But I can tell you the neighborhood is a family neighborhood and I feel it is safe. I spent over 4 months living in this neighborhood.
Proximity to Metro: Poor. It's a bit of a hike. Preemorskaya Metro Station. A 20 minute walk. But for 5 rubles (17 cents) you can pick up the 162 mini bus and you'll be at the metro in 3 to 5 minutes. The 248 mini bus will also take you there. These little buses constantly are running and you never have to wait long for another one to stop by. Your longest wait would probably be 5 minutes.
Lobby Appearance: Attractive and clean. The hotel was renovated 3 years ago (1999).
Room Appearance: The 12th and 13th floors have been updated. The 10th and 11th are being updated now. Whether you get a brand new room or an old room, the pricing is the same. And already the city's largest hotel is almost completely booked for the peak season.
The Pribaltiyskaya really did a classy job in providing Tanya and I with a room tour. I didn't realize it until then that this hotel really does have some class. All the rooms are air conditioned. Every room we saw was in fine shape, even the ones that had not been updated. All of their suites have interesting views of the Gulf Of Finland. The apartments are in a more secure area of the hotel where access is restricted. And these apartments are big! It's like you're in a house. They have two bathrooms, a kitchen and several hangout areas, an office, plus the bedroom. The semi-spiral staircase to the second floors of these units may be a little scary for those who are afraid of heights. The unrenovated suite apartment we saw was a little tired looking. The updated version was much nicer. And there is no difference in price! So push for an updated room.
Rooms that have not been updated still have nice bathrooms. Updated suites and apartments have safes.
Useful Nearby Businesses: The bright orange building to the north and on the right side of the boulevard is the local supermarket. It caters to the more affluent of this area. There are other shopping areas here, but this is the better one. They can also handle photo developing here.
Closer to the metro there is another photo place, and they have English speaking people there. Other supermarkets and cafes are here, and a money exchange place is right next to this busy metro station. The exchange rates are far better than the hotel and competitive with exchange places in the center. You get a little more when you exchange $500 or more at a time. They charge 20 rubles for the transaction.
Hotel Restaurants: The hotel has a lot of restaurants and bars. They are of good quality, but it is expensive to eat here. The restaurants are mostly small, cozy, and well decorated. They're very comfortable. There is also an interesting banquet hall with a panoramic view of the Gulf Of Finland.
Other Amenities: They have a nice 4 lane bowling alley. It costs 400 rubles per hour. They have billiard and pool tables in a comfortable area... and they advertise they have a health club. I consider it a joke since it is just a small, sparsely equipped room. It's a wild and almost unbelievable misrepresentation in their advertising that foolishly damages their credibility, but it is still a good hotel. Internet access is available here, but your guide can show you a cheaper place (less than $2.50/hour) just 5 minutes away. They have art and souvenirs for sale that are too expensive. A post office is here, and this is a great thing because the nearest post office the locals use is too busy. You can exchange money (not a good deal). There is a night club, and numerous other things you can buy: music, pharmaceutical things, snacks.
Would I stay here? Yes. It's comfortable.
Staff Speaks English? I am told "As a rule, most of the staff speaks English." At the reception desk, the lady there spoke good English, and at one of the restaurants I recently tried out, my waitress spoke English fine, so did the bowling area guy, and they have had an English speaking postal lady there.
Comments: The hotel is along the Gulf Of Finland and was built in 1979. In the summer it is an interesting place to be. The locals hang out at "the beach" here (beach is maybe 5 feet wide and loaded full of bricks). It is a hangout spot and relaxing by the water. Multiple cafe-type places open up here during the warmer weather. The pulse of that ever-popular disco music will probably be pulsing through the air by the water. You might see windsurfers or kite flyers. Students seem to have a tradition of coming here during the white nights to touch the water in this spot. It appears to be some kind of tradition. They come by the bus load. But this place is entirely different from the city center. No beautiful old buildings in sight. The hotel is also the city's largest with 1200 rooms. They advertise that they are near the exposition center "Lenexpo." But it is not that near. It is not like you can just stroll there in a few minutes. It may be 2 miles away. Overall, this is a good, clean, safe place to stay. Busy in the summer with tourists from many different countries. The heart of the city is 2 metro stops away and you can't mess up because Preemorskaya is the last stop on this metro line and you can only go in the direction of the center. A McDonalds is at the first metro stop (Vasileostrovskaya Metro) in an interesting and busy neighborhood with an upscale shopping area. The hotel advertises the availability of a free shuttle to the center. That is a very nice plus if it is available. In the summer, the hotel is very busy with tour groups.
Hotel Update: January 7, 2004. Half of the bottom floor has been
renovated... and their renovation ideas are great! One large area features many
couches and tables that are formed into numerous hang-out spots. An attractive
bar is planted nearby. A slightly different hang-out area is also there - with a
bar and fish tanks! These are good areas to unwind with friends after a day of
Rates: Luxury Suite $110; double $90; single $80.
Location Rating: Fair. It is far from the center of the city in an extremely industrial neighborhood. But it is close to a metro station, and the views from the 14th floor are interesting. Right down the street is Kirovsky Zavod. In soviet times it was a military factory and foreigners were not allowed in this area. The view is strange. All you see from high up in the hotel are factories, railroad cars and smokestacks. Next door is a fairly large abandoned building. The view is not pretty. But to me it was interesting.
Proximity To Metro: Very good. You can walk to Kirovsky Zavod Metro Station in less than 10 minutes. And this station is among the most interesting, and clearly unique.
Lobby Appearance: After I walked in, I said "Wow." I was impressed. They have a very nice lobby.
Room Appearance: The rooms are all modern and very comfortable.
Useful Nearby Businesses: A lower class outdoor market is across the street. Kiosk businesses are outside the metro. There are other businesses around, but you may not want to spend too much time exploring the surroundings here. The air quality is not normal here.
Hotel Restaurants: They have a restaurant and bar area.
Other Amenities: Wake-up calls. Safety boxes. 24 hour guarded parking lot. Urgent medical aid. Satellite TV.
Would I Stay Here? Yes, I would be happy to stay here. The only negative is the location.
Staff Speaks English? Yes, they understand some.
Comments: The local metro station is one of the most interesting I have seen, and it's a quick walk to the hotel. The hotel doorway was locked when we arrived, but a door person allowed us entry. This is a business center. Companies have offices here. Only 36 hotel rooms exist and they are of excellent quality. For the money, it's a good value. Unfortunately, the air outside has a certain odor. It was not unpleasant. It smelled like popcorn, but from all the smokestacks around, I imagine it was something else. I don't think this is a neighborhood you should have a casual stroll in. It struck me as probably being among the most industrial areas on the planet. I had never seen such an industrial area like this before, so I found the views on the 14th floor to be very curious.
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