I stayed here as part of a group tour early June. I would summarise by advising travellers that if they don’t have the budget to upgrade to an expensive suite, they would be best to stick with the cheapest/basic rooms, as any other upgrade is a waste of money. I paid for an upgrade to a room on the historic floor and regretted this decision. (Further detail on this is further down in this review).
Below are pros and cons showing where I felt the hotel excelled and where it fell short of my expectations:
- Stunning communal areas
- Breakfast was of a high quality with excellent choice and good service
- Food in their Caviar Bar was excellent too and reasonably priced, especially for a 5 star hotel
- Nice spa area/steam room and well maintained
- Concierge very polite, knowledgeable and helpful
- Hotel was in a great location, within walking distance of Hermitage and other tourist hotspots.
- Within my package for the Historic floor, it included the use of a butler service. This service is meant to be from 7am to midnight. On two evenings, the butler had left earlier than midnight and I had to phone around reception and housekeeping to try to get hold of what I needed. One of the items I needed was something basic that should have been in the room. On quite a few occasions in the mornings, when I tried to call the butler’s office, no-one was around.
- On a couple of occasions, when ordering room service it either didn’t turn up (and I had to chase), or I was waiting longer than expected for it (over 40 minute wait time for a pot of hot water and cup)
- Water in the room was meant to be replenished daily, but it was not.
- The en-suite to my room was just a shower over the bath tub, rather than separate walk in shower. Not brilliant but just about passable for 5 Star hotel standards, however, the décor was tired and out-dated and there were hard water/lime scale stains around the overflow in the bath.
- Tired/out-dated room. Having read a review on Tripadvisor from someone who stayed in a room on the historic floor, I paid more money to upgrade to a room on the historic floor. I only upgraded because I liked the style of the room this traveller had stayed in. The photo of her room was stunning. To ensure I booked the right type of room, I did also email the Grand Hotel direct last year, attaching a copy of the reviewer’s photo and asked them to confirm what type of room this was, so that I could ensure to book the correct type of room for myself. The hotel did not bother to reply to my query. I therefore emailed the Tripadvisor reviewer direct who did advise it was a room not a suite and that it was on the historic floor. I decided to risk it and booked a room on the historic floor and I deeply regretted this choice. The room I was allocated was awful. The colour scheme itself was the worst element of this room. The bright red and green patterned curtains and matching chairs, along with the style of bed linen were very out-dated, tired and old. The room made me feel like I was staying with an elderly relative, rather than in a grand hotel! The fittings were poor quality and not within keeping of the period building either. The light fitting was meant to be a chandelier but it didn't resemble a chandalier at all. In fact it resembled something you would buy at Ikea. A fellow traveller mentioned that the rooms did vary and they had other rooms that were of a more neutral style. I therefore explained to my butler my disappointment and asked to explore moving rooms. I offered to either move to a different room on the historic floor or downgrade to a lower level room (same as my friend). She told me I couldn’t downgrade and that there was no point moving to a different room on the historic floor as all rooms looked exactly the same. No variations whatsoever. IE, they all had the same colour on the walls and all had the red and green curtains etc. Since returning home it has transpired that this is not the case. Clearly, the butler lied here and should have tried to see if I could swap rooms to a more neutrally coloured room on the historic floor. Instead, she took the lazy option. This is unacceptable and I wish I had been more assertive and visited Reception to take further. She had earlier that evening offered for me to purchase an upgrade to a suite on the floor, but apart from it being too expensive to do so, I did not need a suite. So I had to make do with this very dreary room. I showed her the article/photo that was in Tripadvisor and she advised that this room was actually a suite and was not even on the historic floor. So either the Tripadvisor review was completely wrong or the butler was lying. I couldn’t dwell on it and just had to make do with my dreary bedroom.
Except for the last con above, most of the other cons are minor. You could not mark a hotel like this below three stars, however, the disappointment with some elements of the service, my room and the fact that no attempt at all was being made to resolve the issues with my room brings this score down for me to average.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A cultural and culinary landmark, Belmond Grand Hotel Europe has played a central role in social, cultural, civic, and business life of St Petersburg for 140 years. Belmond Grand Hotel Europe is located in the very heart of the city centre, on the corner of Nevsky Prospekt and Mikhailovskaya Ulitsa. Positioned adjacent to the Arts Square, the hotel has strong associations with the worlds of theatre, music and ballet. Past guests include Peter Tchaikovsky, Dmitry Shostakovich, Ivan Turgenev, Johann Strauss, George Bernard Shaw, Luciano Pavarotti, crowned heads and world leaders. Today the hotel offers its guests 266 rooms. The hotel's Historic Floor boasts 10 unique suites with individual names, including the Dostoevsky, Romanov and Pavarotti suites. The hotel is home to four welcoming restaurants and bar of the highest international standards. On Fridays, L'Europe Restaurant hosts the hotel's celebrated Tchaikovsky evenings, while another pearl of the hotel's restaurants is the Caviar Bar, where guests can enjoy blini with caviar washed down by ice-cold vodka. Those who enjoy chocolate can make their dreams come true in the hotel's in-house chocolate factory, where they can even order a chocolate grand piano. Located in the heart of the cultural capital of Eastern Europe, Belmond Grand Hotel Europe combines the charm and elegance of 19th century tsarist Russia with the contemporary comfort. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Hotel St Petersburg