I was very much looking forward to this hotel stay as I was planning to visit the Hermitage itself and considered any hotel associated with it likely to be a world class experience. The location is not anywhere near the historic centre and in fact, is on a small side street in the middle of loads of apartment blocks far from any shopping or restaurants. The interior is glitzy in a faux Romanov style. The rooms are large and comfortable and because it is new, everything seemed quite clean.
Two experiences marred the stay however, the most important of which is the inability of the staff to treat the business as a service industry. While friendly, they mostly did not seem to follow up on promises to help either with room times or fixing the air conditioning in the room. We were told we could have a room a bit earlier than standard check in. As this was not a busy period and the hotel was not full, we thought this was reasonable. We ended up waiting four hours longer than expected and got our room assignments after the official check in time.
Also, while we stayed in St Petersburg, it was their Summer. The weather was very hot and very humid with temperatures up to 33 degrees Celsius (91 F) with near 100% humidity. Air conditioning therefore is very important. For the entire four day stay, the could not fix the air conditioning in our room. It never went below 27 degrees Celsius which is a bit too warm if you are getting dressed to go out to the ballet.
Finally, even the hotel staff were a bit clueless about etiquette. Several times, workers would tell us they had to do things, whether in our rooms or around us at breakfast, and we just had to bear it. One time, we had just come back from sightseeing and were taking a break having just showered. There was no reason for someone to need to restock the mini bar at that time as we had not requested it and maid service had come and gone hours earlier. When we asked the fellow at the door to come by later, he basicly barged in and said it would just take a few minutes. We barely had time to get our bath robes on in time! I literally could not believe it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The five star Official State Hermitage Hotel is conveniently located in the heart of Dostoyevsky historical neighborhood, where some of novels of the famous Russian writer took place. It is only a 10 minute ride on a complimentary shuttle bus to reach the State Hermitage Museum. Vladimirsky Cathedral, Dostoyevsky Appartment Museum and Nevsky Prospect are within walking distance. Three metro stations can be easily accessed and are situated close to the Hotel. The luxurious rooms and suites of The State Hermitage Museum Official Hotel Saint Petersburg offer elegant furnishings, designed by Italian woodwork masters from Florence. Every room includes a flat-screen TV, a minibar and a private bathroom decorated with Italian and Greek marble and fitted with bathrobes. The Official State Hermitage Hotel offers services of two restaurants: traditional Russian cuisine at Catherine the Great and Italian dishes at Michelangelo Restaurant. ... more less
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