I can't say enough about the staff at this hotel. They get 5 stars. They made this hotel a memorable and enjoyable experience. (The hotel itself gets 3 to 3.5 stars, so I factored in the people who work here and gave it 4 stars overall). They were the most conscientious people I've ever encountered when traveling. From the front desk check-in women to the female concierge... everyone was extremely (!) nice, friendly and stunningly efficient. (I’m sure the guys were good, too… we just never encountered them). It was a pleasure to see them everyday. They were great. The price was good. The location isn’t.
The Crowne Plaza is situated on a 10 lane “street” -- more like highway -- with a pedestrian barrier across it, two blocks south of the Moscow Train Station. We picked the hotel due to its proximity to the station, as we took the Sapsan high-speed train here from Moscow. Yes, it is technically across the “street” from the station and it was nice to be able to walk to our hotel after the 4 hour train ride, but it still takes you about 10-15 minutes to get here. (Incidentally, the Sapsan is the best way to travel between Russian’s two main cities --- a brand new, very comfortable train --- but the ride itself isn’t particularly scenic).
The immediate neighborhood isn’t charming at all. And parts of Saint Petersburg obviously are. We thought we could get on the metro and zip right into the center of the old town. Alas, the city’s metro system isn’t designed for tourists... it’s meant to get commuters to and from work. There are no stops near the Hermitage or this hotel. There is a metro station that looks quite close to the hotel on a map, but it’s a long, crummy walk past some funky shops and "restaurants" to get there via a crowded, relatively dirty sidewalk (most of the city is very clean). Not a pleasant stroll when you leave in the morning or when you return to the hotel in the evening.
Since Russia's taxis aren't trustworthy, we were forced to walk and walk and walk in this sprawling city and were exhausted by the end of each day. I would opt for a hotel closer to the historic center of town if I were to visit again -- which I’m not sure we will -- though Saint Petersburg is definitely worth seeing once. A hotel shuttle service would be a great idea.
The hotel itself is in an older building that was nicely redone in the last 5 or so years (along with the adjacent all-glass office building). We stayed on the top floor (9th?) facing west… so we had the best view the hotel has to offer. We could see over the charming rooftops a few miles to the far-off domes and spires of St. Petersburg’s churches and palaces. It was really nice and we appreciated the upgrade. The lobby is small and not the kind of place you’d want to hang out in… we didn’t have the time or inclination to check out the hotel restaurant or fitness center.
Our room was small but stylish (although it has way too many switches for things like hidden lights and blackout curtains). Unfortunately, the bed was HARD. Really hard. We had to put the comforter and blankets under the sheets to add a little cushion to the mattress. The carpet in the room and the hallways is light colored and needed a good cleaning. Our A/C couldn’t keep up with the mild late summer temps (low 70s), so we kept the (large) window open a lot. We also used outside air to mask the very faint stench of sewage that occasionally came up through the toilet and shower drain. (We kept the lid down and the bathroom door closed, which helped, too).
We never ate at the hotel, but adjacent to the train station is a newish 4-story mall, where we had breakfast at Costa’s every morning when it opened at 10 am. There is a modern Stockman’s Department Store (a Finnish chain) a few blocks away with a great food floor (more like a high-end supermarket). We bought groceries there and made our own sandwiches every day (it’s hard to get a good – or, for that matter, any -- sandwich in Russia).
Though the neighborhood around the hotel has no good dining options, there are a few, new, very good restaurants near the Hermitage. Our favorite was Barbaresco… owned by a local company that is called Global Point Family (check out their website). Good Italian cuisine, beautiful décor, an outdoor dining area, a friendly staff, and reasonable (for Russia) prices.
Overall, as visitors, we much preferred Moscow to Saint Petersburg, no matter how grand a faded beauty it is. The city is full of tour groups... the Crowne Plaza was no exception. There were some low-rent, loud and crass Brits staying when we were guests. In fact, we saw them at the Hermitage… which is pretty dilapidated on the inside and full of other similar groups. The groups took over the Impressionist wing, making it impossible to see the great works (which are displayed horribly, by the way). The rest of the museum, however, was virtually deserted.
Definitely take a canal boat tour and the hop-on, hop-off bus when you're visiting... the concierge can tell you where to pick them up. We took a boat tour narrated live in Russian (though at first, they didn't want to sell us, obviously English-speakers, the tickets). It was great not to have to pay attention to a tour guide blathering on and on about pointless details and just be able to enjoy the beautiful architecture and vistas of Saint Petersburg.
I totally understand why the Crowne Plaza ranks so high on Trip Advisor (which is the reason we chose it) –- it’s a good value and has nice rooms -- but this hotel wasn’t a great choice for us. It’s simply way too inconvenient to everything there is to see in Saint Petersburg and is set in a very uncharismatic neighborhood. It was the staff (and the staff alone) that made us not regret choosing this hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Crowne Plaza St. Petersburg - Ligovsky is located in the spectacular environment of business area of St. Petersburg just a stone's throw from the main street Nevsky Prospect and Moskovsky railway station. The hotel is rather close to Anichkov Palace, State Russian Museum, Hermitage, Kazan Cathedral and Mariinsky Theater. The nearby points of interest also include Church of the Savior on the Blood, Summer Garden and St. Isaac's Cathedral. And the popular shopping mall is located across the street, where you may buy needed goods, have dinner or go to beauty salon. Crowne Plaza St. Petersburg-Ligovsky will set your mood for this great city. After a long business trip, it's the best way to relax in our Lobby Bar with fresh drinks and starters from Chef, taste delicate Mediterranean Cuisine in the restaurant Olivetto and enjoy the walk along famous Nevsky Prospect, contemporary experiencing the world famous White Nights. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Ctrip TA, IHG, Booking.com, Expedia, TripOnline SA, Hotels.com, Evoline ltd, HotelQuickly, Cancelon and 5viajes2012 S.L. so you can book your Crowne Plaza St. Petersburg - Ligovsky reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Crowne Plaza St. Petersburg-Ligovsky Hotel St. Petersburg