Grand Hotel Europe, A Belmond Hotel, St Petersburg

A journey into St. Petersburg’s imperial history

The oldest luxury hotel in Russia’s cultural capital, Grand Hotel Europe, A Belmond Hotel, St Petersburg is a living museum. Opened in 1875, it endured the country’s turbulent 20th-century history all while keeping its elegant art nouveau interiors and memories of famous musical guests, including composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky, opera singer Luciano Pavarotti and pop star Elton John.

Located between Nevsky Prospekt (St. Petersburg’s main thoroughfare) and the Arts Square, the palatial property is a cultural hub, housing about 2,000 antiquity items and five Russian Avant-Garde-themed suites along with playing host to opera and ballet performances.

Food isn’t an afterthought here, either. Get a taste of Russia at L’Europe, learn everything you always wanted to know about Russian caviar (but were afraid to ask) at Caviar Bar & Restaurant, and let the city’s only vodka sommelier guide you through 35 varieties and teach how to drink without suffering the next day.

Our Inspector's Highlights

  • As soon as you enter, you’ll understand why Grand Hotel Europe is a protected historical and cultural landmark. Turn-of-the-century mirrors and lamps, a dramatic grand staircase, art nouveau stained glass and shining marble floors instantly transport you to the bygone age of the czars.
  • There are 10 unique historic suites, each individually named and themed. Dedicated to the Mariinsky Theater, composer Igor Stravinsky, jeweler Peter Carl Fabergé, writer Fyodor Dostoevsky and other prominent figures, these rooms might just turn you into an expert on St. Petersburg’s cultural history.
  • Grand Hotel Europe is deeply connected with the city’s vibrant cultural life. Paying tribute to the fact that Tchaikovsky honeymooned at the hotel, L’Europe restaurant hosts weekly ballet performances of Swan Lake’s “White Adagio” (among other famous pieces) accompanied by a live chamber orchestra.
  • Those with a sweet tooth shouldn’t miss the opportunity to try the St. Petersburg hotel’s made-from-scratch chocolate. The in-house chocolate factory churns out cakes, pastries and candies that are served in the Mezzanine Café and sold as sweet souvenirs.
  • Not only are you surrounded by antiques, but you can also purchase fine examples of Russian crafts in the luxury hotel’s shopping arcade. Imperial Porcelain, designer goods, amber jewelry and famous nesting dolls made by local brands and artists can all be found in the property’s boutiques.

Things to Know

  • Book your ticket to Tchaikovsky Night in advance. These elegant Friday evening performances are popular and fill up quickly. There are additional shows on Wednesdays from May to September.
  • If you come for summer’s White Nights (mid-May to mid-July), reserve a room with a terrace. During this 60-day period, the sun never fully sets, so you can enjoy varying degrees of sunlight from your balcony any time of day.
  • The luxury hotel is just two minutes’ walk from two historic shopping malls, two theaters, Grand Hall of St. Petersburg Philharmonic Society, Fabergé Museum and Mikhailovsky Palace — home to the bulk of The State Russian Museum’s enormous collection. Exclusive tours with museum curators are available upon request.

The Rooms

  • Each of Grand Hotel Europe’s 266 rooms and suites emulates the stately home of Russian nobility with high stucco ceilings, elegant furniture, classic artwork and antiques.
  • The 10 historic suites benefit from high ceilings, Italian marble bathrooms and dedicated butler service. Themes vary from imperial yachts to Fabergé eggs, so you just need to choose your preference to be immersed into rich Russian culture.
  • Five Avant-Garde Suites transport you to the early 20th century. Inspired by Russian artists of the time period, each accommodation features paintings and accessories specially commissioned from modern creatives who were inspired by their predecessors.
  • For a stay on par with a czar’s palace, the two-bedroom Presidential Suite fits the bill. The 3,767-square-foot space boasts luxurious details like a domed, gold-leaf-covered ceiling in the entryway; a private sauna and gym; a library complete with a trick bookcase leading into the master bedroom; and a music room outfitted with a Carl Schroeder grand piano.

The Restaurants

  • One of Russia’s oldest continuously serving restaurants, L’Europe transports you back in time with its opulent stained-glass ceiling, carved wooden balconies and candle-lit ambiance. Indulge in a six-course Taste of Russia set menu (borscht and beef stroganoff) or opt for classic European fare (foie gras and rack of lamb) à la carte.
  • AZIA serves up a more contemporary dining experience in sleek surroundings adorned with warm woods, reclaimed metal accents and handmade brick. Pan-Asian cuisine is the specialty here —don’t miss the signature AZIA roll and try at least one of numerous exotic deserts.
  • Sample the finer things in the Caviar Bar, which offers 15 kinds of the classic Russian specialty. Rather than be overwhelmed by the options, let the sommelier guide you through a tasting or suggest the best distillates and housemade liquors — he prepares some of them himself.
  • Grand Hotel Europe’s Sunday brunch is an opulent affair you won’t want to miss. Served in the elegant surroundings of L’Europe, the multinational buffet stretches nearly 100 feet and is accompanied by live jazz.
  • Open 24 hours, Lobby Bar serves up all-day breakfast, light bites and warming cocktails. Live jazz and blues piano concerts start daily at 6 p.m.

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Getting There
Nevsky Prospekt, Mikhailovskaya Ulitsa, 1/7, St. Petersburg, 191186 Russia
LED (22-45 min)  
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