We stayed here for one night in transit between Murmansk and Warsaw. It was our last night in Russia and we wanted a change from the modern hotels that we’d been in for the previous days in Murmansk and Arkhangelsk – Fortecia Piter certainly fit the bill in this regard.
Its location in Millionnaya ulitsa is upmarket and extremely handy for the Hermitage Museum, about a three-minute walk so it would suit anyone wanting to spend quite a bit of time there. It’s not so handy for the metro, nor for restaurants, cafés etc – there are some in the vicinity, but we weren’t particularly attracted by any of them – but it’s only a five- to ten-minute stroll to Nevsky Prospekt and from there, St Petersburg is your oyster. The hotel can be a little hard to find if you’re not prepared for it – the entrance is tucked away within a gated courtyard, with security personnel at the street entrance – and the sign on the outside of the building is only in Russian, but it matches with the typeface on their website so it’s not so bad if you learn what it looks like beforehand. The street number is simple enough to find.
We’d booked well in advance on booking.com and got a cheaper than normal rate. There are lots of pictures on that site and the hotel’s website and we found that the interior matched what we had seen online (actually a bit better); we booked a twin room rather than a double because it appeared to be a little more spacious (and we saw a double room whilst we were there – we’re glad that we picked a twin). It felt like a mini-hotel with its eight rooms and cosy reception/dining area, which was fine by us.
The welcome was warm and the staff could speak some English, which helped (our Russian being fairly limited in scope). We arrived early due to our flight times and our room wasn’t ready, but we were able to leave our bags at reception until check-in time. One thing that I found a little strange was having to sign a form saying that I’d understood the “house rules” (I thought this a bit draconian but okay, fair enough); we were also given a breakfast menu to fill in where we could tick what we wanted the following morning. It was a bit either/or in what you could have, but it was fine and turned out to be plentiful. Breakfast time itself was endearingly disorganised but we got what we’d asked for and it was more than ample to set us up for the day. The DIY espresso machine was appreciated greatly!
Our room was on the first floor (American second floor) and, like the other rooms, overlooked the courtyard (which was very quiet at night). It was the smallest of the rooms we’d had in Russia but there was still plenty of space for two people and it was thoughtfully equipped with nice toiletries, bottled water, insect screens, a safe that worked, information folder and so on. The décor was charming with a chandelier and carefully arranged curtains – evidently some care had gone into the furnishing. Beds were very comfortable – the one against the window was larger than the one along the wall, almost a double in size but not quite – and my partner enjoyed being able to stretch out. The bathroom was contemporary and very clean with a powerful shower. We could pick up wifi in our room and it was free, an undoubted bonus (we did have to pay extra for migration registration, which other hotels had done free of charge).
Overall, it was a charming and friendly little hotel and we were happy with our brief stay there.
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