Simply put: don’t stay anywhere else in St. Petersburg. The W’s location is perfect for touring or business (I was on business). There are, of course, other equally well-located hotels. The difference is, first, the service. Maybe other hotels have been “westernized” but the service is still distinctly Soviet – surly, unhelpful, unresponsive. The W staff, on the other hand, are all honours graduates of Starwood University – they are “on it”, they remember your name after the first meeting, they speak excellent English, they anticipate what you need before you know it yourself. They are simply the best in the business. And of course, there’s the design. I have literally tried finding something, just some little thing, at the typical W that has not been lovingly art-directed. In vain: no detail is left un-WoW’d. This W is no different, and is one of the best. Rooms are Milanese-glamour meets Hamburg-minimal with some Holllywood swish and high-end fixtures: the rain-head shower, the flat screen with Bose speakers, the automatic lighting, the swinging sixties homages. But, although eye-pleasing bricolage is the illusion, there’s also the prosaic reality: what is strikingly different from other St. Petersburg hotels is that everything works. Beneath even the most elegant older St. Petersburg hotel is Soviet infrastructure: creaky plumbing, unreliable phones, low/no bandwidth wireless. Everything here is perfectly designed, naturally, but also perfectly engineered and executed: it’s all post-modern Italian hipster on the outside but old-fashioned, no-nonsense German engineer on the inside. This marriage is most evident in the highlight of this W, which is the gym, the pool, and its steam bath – updated Russian / Roman bath with stone floors, marble seats, and tiled ceiling. For re-fueling, the bar is “W cool”, of course, but was also quite popular with the local and visiting suits; I did not try the Alain Ducasse restaurant, opting for the Ukrainian place next door. Overall I thoroughly recommend this W, though I also recommend you carry with you the street address, because the hotel is so new a lot of taxi drivers don’t know it. But they will.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A modern wonder romanced by Saint Petersburg's elegant traditions, where nostalgia meets cutting edge cool in Russia's historical capital of glamour, fashion, and music. Conceptualized by award-winning designers Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel and Partners, W St. Petersburg is located in the heart of the city next to St. Isaac's Cathedral, a stones throw from the lavish Winter Palace with the famed Hermitage Museum and a short stroll from the spectacular Neva River. Indulge in our Living Room, tune into the DJ beats on our panoramic terrace, check out our panoramic meeting space WOUNGE and unwind at bliss spa and WET swimming pool. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- w St. Petersburg Hotel St. Petersburg