A January 2003 trip
to St. Petersburg by Nella
Quote: A long weekend in St Petersburg, enjoying Russian culture and gastronomy.
The Hotel St Petersburg is a typical Soviet-style hotel. It's classified as three-star, and has decent enough bathrooms in each room. However, our room had two single beds placed head to head which was slightly bizarre. We also had a window facing the extensive building work the hotel is currently undertaking.
The Carlsberg Bar on the ground floor of the hotel is, although basic, a good place to people watch - there are the usual Russian prostitutes in short skirts, padded coats and dour expressions loitering in the hope that they will attract the attention of lonely businessmen (surprisingly often, they do), locals downing spirits and chain smoking, and, during our visit, Belorussian lawyers on a delegation, trying to invite themselves into the bedrooms of any Western female visitors (we declined, but were given their business cards "in case you visit Minsk next time").
Russians staying at the hotel had a disturbing tendency to wander round the hotel and bar in comfy slipper, whatever the time of day.
So the hotel's not great on luxury or home comforts, but we still enjoyed the experience. You get to see a wider variety of people than at the five star hotels, although we were disappointed by the number of Brits complaining about the appearance of the hotel. You get what you pay for!
Member Rating 2 out of 5 on May 24, 2003
Hotel St Petersburg
5/2 Pirogovskaya Naberzhnaya
St. Petersburg, Russia
(801) 315 7442
The Idiot is known for being popular with expats, and there were a couple of British and Americans there when we went, but most people were Russian(including some Russian tourists in St Petersburg). It's one of the most relaxing places to eat in the city and well worth visiting.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 24, 2003
82 Moika Embankment/Naberezhnaya Moiki
St. Petersburg, Russia
The cars (mainly Ladas, living up - or down- to the Russian stereotype) tend to be coated in mud and grime, to the extent that even the windscreens are black, except for a small gap to see out of. The streets can also get very dirty, as well as dangerous with ice and snow. As the snow melts from the canals and embankments, you can find yourself treading very carefully to avoid the sewage and rubbish that can accumulate.
Even in April, there are still snowfalls, so take lots of warm and waterproof clothing just in case.
However, visiting St Petersburg in winter gives you a different, less touristy picture of the city - don't let the above comments put you off!
London, United Kingdom