Kempinski Hotel Moika 22

Star Travel Rating

5/5

Review type

Accommodation

Location

Kempinski Hotel Moika 22

Date of travel

Aug, 2011

Product name

Product country

Product city

Travelled with

Solo

Reasons for trip

Culture / Sightseeing

Russia can feel like an intimidating place to holiday, apart from the exaggerated media stories of crime and gangsters, just getting around can be difficult with the majority of signs being in cyrillic rather than latin script. St Petersburg is Russia's most European city and you'll even find some English signage and plenty of English speakers. Its a beautiful city with a fascinating history and plenty to offer the visitor.

The Kempinski hotel (www.kempinski.com) has the city's best location, on the Moika river, and just a couple of minutes walk from the Hermitage museum (Winter Palace). It was originally an aristocrats mansion converted into a 5 star hotel in 2006; all the staff are Russian but they all have excellent English.

The rooms are stunning, many with antique furnishings, mine was more modern and plush with rich coloured fabrics, King sized bed, sofa and chairs and a grand view over the Moika River. Rooms come with sparking marble bathrooms and complimentary WiFi as well as tea/coffee/juice delivered to your room if you book a morning wake-up call.

Downstairs there's a gentleman's club-style bar, an elegant tea room (15 varieties) and a winebar in the cellar. At the other end of the hotel the rooftop restaurant and terrace have a 360 degree city viewsincluding the Winter Palace. There is also a complimentary rooftop relaxation centre with Jacuzzi, saunas, mini gym and relaxtion area.

There can be long ticket queues for Hermitage entrance tickets, no problem, the concierge will get them for you. A great day trip on a sunny day is a boat (30 minutes) to the Tsar's Summer Palace and they leave from a dock just a few minutes walk away.

There is a private guest lounge on a mezzanine level, its a quiet space and has classical musicians playing there every afternoon.

The buffet breakfast is one of the best I've ever had, the staffed juice bar will juice to order any fruit or vegetable combinations, eggs are cooked just as you like them and tea, coffee or a cappucchino is served at your table.

Hotel limousines are available instead of local taxis and they even have their own private river boat for a more personalised city river cruise.

But best of all are the absolutely top quality and friendly staff who manage to create a 5 star ambience but with a relaxing and unstuffy style.

St Petersburg is only a few hours flight from the UK and there are plenty of cruises that visit but I took the train from London with all my tickets and hotels booked with Railbookers of London (www.railbookers.com). This took a leisurely 2 days with stop overs in Poland and the beautiful city of Vilnius.

Peter Lynch

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