St Petersburg is arguably Russia’s most beautiful city, and it also hold’s some of the country’s most beautiful hotels. The most historic and magical property is the Grand Hotel Europe. A part of the esteemed Belmond hotel collection, the Grand Hotel Europe is a stately and culturally significant monument to Russia’s past, and has hosted everyone from Czars to celebrities and heads of state. With a legacy of service that has been in place for over 100 years, today’s guests can see, within the first moments inside, that a stay here is going to be very special.
I was a recent guest at the hotel and had been looking forward to staying for a very long time. As a lover of travel, I knew about the hotel for many years, adding it to my bucket list of properties to experience on my first visit to the St. Petersburg. I arrived in the morning and was welcomed enthusiastically by the courteous staff. A glass of champagne followed and I was taken to my suite, a beautiful three-room enclave on the 5th floor that featured amazing views over nearby Mikhailovsky Garden and the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, in the distance.
My room was outfitted with a nice mix of modern and period furnishings, attention paid to lighting and high-quality materials. The bathroom was huge and featured a marble floor with radiant heating. This was much appreciated as I was visiting during a very cold time, and waking-up to warm bathroom floors made all the difference. Rooms were serviced twice daily, and I really could have spent more time in the suite had there not been so much to see further afield.
Hotel Grand Europe consists of 265 rooms and suites. Its public areas include the beautiful caviar bar, the delectable L’Europe restaurant (Russia’s oldest continually serving restaurant), Azia and the Lobby Bar. But breakfast was my favorite, served inside L’Euope. This room retains much of its original period décor and glamour from years of service. Breakfast at the hotel is a true Russian experience, offered with endless choices. Delicious fruits, cakes, breads and blintzes are prepared. Bowls of fresh caviar and sour cream sit waiting to smother your blintz, while a traditional samovar holds hot water to brew your favorite tea. I could have checked-in to the breakfast room and never left.
This property features a beautiful lounge courtyard, the Mezzanine Café, with painted buildings on the walls reflecting the unique pastel architecture seen in St. Petersburg. Here, you can sit with friends and enjoy coffee and a bit of chocolate from the hotel’s own production.
My stay at this Belmond property was a highlight during my time in St. Petersburg. The Hotel Grand Europe feels opulent, important and dignified – yet, retains a welcoming and casual atmosphere to put each guest at ease. The service is incredible – I can attest to a 2:00 am request I had for a lavender-scented pillow from the hotel’s pillow menu. No problem here. I loved every minute and cannot wait to return.