by Christine Noel
July 27, 2004
That said. It's fine. It's clean, safe, the rooms are medium-sized, and the hotel offers every normal amenity. There are idiosyncracies though. There is a mini-fridge in each room, but they aren't stocked. (Not a nice thing to discover when the only thing you want is a beer after traveling for a day to make it to Saint Petersburg.) If you want to order a movie, you have to go down to the front desk (which is always swamped), and if you have your laundry done you have to go down to the front desk to pick it up.
WATCH OUT FOR THE PORN CHANNELS IF YOU HAVE LITTLE KIDS!!!! When you station hop on the TV the porn channels show up with all the other channels. There's no way to block them. I learned a few things, let me tell you.
DON'T GET A ROOM FACING THE STREET, GET A ROOM FACING THE INNER COURTYARD!!! The inner courtyard is unarguably ugly, but the noise from the street is unbearable. The hotel is surrounded by badly maintained trolly tracks that run all night. The sounds of the trollys bumping over the tracks will keep you up unless you sleep like the dead. I went with a friend who NEVER wakes up because of noise, but after one night in a street-side room he had to demand an inner room.
The hotel offers several cafes that make a decent beef stroganof, and a lobby bar that is nice, but a bit pricey by Russian standards. If you walk outside and halfway down the block you'll get a beer for 1/3 the price anywhere you go.
All this said, I have to recommend this hotel, just because there isn't really any alternative in the city center unless you have an unlimited budget.
From journal A Week In Saint Petersburg