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Grand Hotel Europe J‘& http://www.grand-hotel-europe.com Phone: 7 (812) 329-6099
First let me say that out of all the hotels I visited, the Grand Hotel Europe did the finest job of giving us a facility tour. They really know how to wow people. For location, comfort, service and luxury, this is Saint Petersburg's best hotel.
Rates: Classic standard room $310 to $350; classic superior room $340 to $380. Junior suites $420 to $490. Suites: $750, $1400, $1600, $2800. Tax not included. Extra bed $40.
Location Rating: Excellent. This is the best hotel location in the city.
Proximity to Metro: Excellent. It's right across the street.
Surroundings: Gostiny Dvor is across the street (major, upper-end department store). Tons of stores, restaurants, everything is right there. The Russian Museum is right there. A park. The street entertainers. The artists. The excursion buses. It's all here. You can easily walk to Palace Square and the Hermitage and the riverfront. This hotel has the perfect location.
Lobby Appearance: This is a very classy hotel. And the lobby is very comfortable.
Room Appearance: On March 16, 2002 the hotel was almost fully booked (and they have 301 rooms). I saw two rooms and that was all that were available. One was a modern-style 2 story room with a skylight. The stairwell to the bedroom might be difficult for some people. Very, very nice. I liked it a lot. Then we saw a room with antique furniture. This is the kind of hotel that strives for perfection and excellence with everything and you can see they make every detail important. It seems like nothing gets overlooked and for whatever you want, they'll take care of it.
Useful Nearby Businesses: Everything is right here. This is the heart of the city.
Hotel Restaurants: Wow... numerous different places to eat here - seven - each with different, interesting and really classy surroundings. These are top notch dining places.
Other Amenities: They have all the luxury amenities you would expect from a bona fide 5 star hotel.
Would I stay here? Absolutely! It's a beautiful and unique hotel in the center of all the action here. It is a very interesting place with different atmospheres in different sections.
Staff Speaks English? Yes, of course.
Comments: All I can say is "Wow." You will not be disappointed. It is an interesting experience to be welcomed into the peak of luxury. People are a vital element to the success of a hotel like this and I observed that they have the right kind of employees. We were made to feel very comfortable. Despite what you may have heard about the difficulty of getting a room here, they say to please try anyway. The hotel was built in 1824 and was the first 5 star hotel in Russia.
Herzen University Hotel K Phone 7 (812) 314-7472
Rates: Higher quality rooms 2260 rubles ($75.33); lower quality rooms 1600 rubles ($53.33).
Location Rating: Excellent. A little more than a block away from Nevsky Prospekt and Kazansky Cathedral. Tink Off, an expensive restaurant/nightclub type place is right down the street.
Lobby Appearance: Modern, nice. A snack shop is to the right of the lobby; a nice corridor is to the left.
Room Appearance: We only saw a higher quality room. The bathroom was new. The room was recently spruced up, but the beds are too small.
Useful Nearby Businesses: If you walk to Nevsky Prospekt, everything is there.
Hotel Restaurants: On the first floor they have a cafe that looks fine. The floor is beat, but the atmosphere is still okay, and the prices are really cheap. It's like a non-profit cafe. On the second floor, up an interesting marble and steel spiral staircase, you will find a karaoke bar. Nobody was singing when we visited, but anybody can ask for the microphone and go at it. The prices at this bar were also cheap. If you are downtown and want a cheap place to eat, here's one place where you won't go broke.
Other Amenities: Laundry service. Internet access. Billiards (was not open during during our visit).
Would I Stay Here? Maybe. The location is very good.
Staff Speaks English: I'm not sure.
Comments: This hotel has a student atmosphere. They were listed on an internet hotel reservation website. That's how I found this place, yet they told us when we visited that their rooms are only available to those who are invited guests of this university. The phone number above is to the administrator of this facility. She is the decision maker about whether they will let you have a room or not. They have just 15 higher quality rooms and "about" 15 lower quality rooms. Take a close look at the picture. Kazansky Cathedral is right down the block.
Hostel Holiday K http://www.hostel.ru Phone: 7 (812) 327-1070
Peak Season Rates: Single room $37; double room $19; dorm room $14. (A dorm room can have up to 6 beds.) Prices include breakfast. They also have a couple more luxurious double rooms for $50. (We didn't see these.)
Location Rating: Good. Close to the metro, a square, stores, cafes, the river.
Proximity to Metro: Very good. A 6 to 8 minute walk to Ploshchad Lenina Metro Station.
Lobby Appearance: Clean. Interesting maps of Russia and Saint Petersburg are in the nearby corridor.
Room Appearance: Very basic. This isn't a hotel. It's a hostel intended for students. The place is old, but very clean. The atmosphere in the rooms is completely plain. The rooms are spacious and bare except for the beds, a small desk or two, a couple chairs and a mirror on the wall. That's it.
Useful Nearby Businesses: You don't need to walk far to buy food and other ordinary things.
Hotel Restaurants: They have a plain looking communal kitchen where you prepare your own food.
Other Amenities: Communal satellite TV room, piano room, ping pong room.
Would I Stay Here? I don't like the idea of sharing a room with other people, so I wouldn't. But for someone of limited means it offers a clean bed for a price substantially less than most hotels.
Staff Speaks English? Yes.
Comments: The young woman at the front desk spoke English very well and was very pleasant. A security guard is stationed at the entrance. The rooms do not have bathrooms. The floors have separate shower rooms with private shower stalls which are fairly nice and new looking. On the fourth floor is a terrace with a nice view of the Neva River. It looks like a nice hangout spot (when it is warm). The entire facility is clean, but very basic. They say in the summer their 150 bed facility is full. Diagonally behind the building I noticed razor wire on top of a tall, old brick wall, and an old, dark, decaying building behind it. It turns out there is a small prison right there. The prison works as a temporary warehouse for prisoners with maximum stays intended to be 6 months as court cases work their way through the legal system. Russian prisons have a serious health problem with the spread of tuberculosis. Inmate cells intended for 2 people instead house 10. I have heard the conditions are quite bad. I asked a doctor who is familiar with the hostel's close proximity to the prison if guests of the hostel would be at risk of catching tuberculosis from being near the prison. She is very certain there is no risk because sunlight kills the germ. So in summary, the location has some pluses and one undesirable neighbor. It's very close to the metro. The beds are cheap. And the place is clean, but it is very, very basic. What would you expect for $14?
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