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March 3, 2008
September 17, 2006
February 1, 2006
Checking in was a breeze since I had copies of the reservation confirmation voucher. The staff wore the standard Radisson uniforms, without the standard Radisson smiles, though. Service, it seems, comes in a different package in Russia. As usual, they kept my passport for registration and I got a receipt. You can have your luggage sent to the room, but arriving with no rubles for tipping forced me to lug my belongings up myself.
I got a nonsmoking room. I'm not sure if it was double or what. The bed was big enough for three people! The wardrobe space was ample, but my Samsonite was just too long to keep on the provided suitcase bench in the wardrobe. The safe was easy to use and is always handy, especially when you have extra jewelry along.
The pint-sized bathroom turned out to be just right. The showerhead didn't have a myriad of adjustments, but it did have just the right spray. Water pressure didn't seem to be a problem around the usual wake-up time for most guests. There were also complimentary soaps, a shower cap, etc.
The desk came in handy, but it was disappointing that this is one of the only Radisson hotels that doesn't offer free broadband! There's complimentary water in the bathroom and tea and coffee making gadgets on the desk. The TV was okay, with some British, American, Russian, German, and French channels. It was easy to adjust the heat once you realised it was right over your head on the bed!
Checking out, I strongly recommend you recall exactly how much was agreed to and note down anything you take from the minibar before signing. Otherwise, the Radisson Plaza in Oslo was much nicer, the atmosphere and in general.
The hotel can assist with tourist visa applications, and if you're bored, there's a gym and some (really expensive) stores in the lobby area.
As this was a business trip, I only really got to see the hotel and conference area. The conference facilities are up-to-date and met our requirements, perhaps a little dated area, and smoking is allowed everywhere.
We did have dinner at the nearby infamous Arbat street, which is usually a 15-minute walk across the river but went much quicker in the -37 degrees C weather than we experienced. Taking a taxi (with a local) is easy enough, but because of the construction/direction, it would've taken us 20 to 30 minutes to drive to Arbat!
From journal Not Quite my Moscow