Moscow’s New Luxury Age

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After nearly a century out of the gilded loop, Moscow is back with some über-swank hotels. It all started with the Ritz-Carlton, which opened in late 2007 and became an instant home run with the local market, as well as travelers to the city who were delighted with its location on Red Square. Now, other high-end brands are finding their way into the city.

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Starwood Hotels & Resorts debuted its Luxury Collection in Russia in September with the newly renovated and reopened Hotel National. Built in 1903, the hotel is a Moscow landmark and overlooks the Kremlin and Red Square.

Luckily, it’s gone through improvements since then. Like now, all guest rooms, suites and public areas have been renovated and have emerged with a décor that blends the hotel’s history with modern times (think couplings such as antique furniture and plasma TVs). Fans of Russia’s gilded age will be thrilled: The hotel’s 56 historical suites have authentic and rare Russian antiquities, including vases, lamps, mirrors, statues and paintings.

Stay Tuned: A second renovation phase is scheduled to begin in 2010. We hear it will entail the addition of a new spa and two Presidential Suites. Future renovations include refreshes of the Alexandrovsky bar and Moskovski restaurant by 2012. Luxury travel advisors can contact Director of Sales and Marketing Anna Kolebaeva.

Construction for the Mandarin Oriental is slated to start by the end of this year, with an opening date set for 2011. The 250-room “upside-down” hotel will have guests check-in at sky lobby level. A nine-level atrium will rise from the ground level and end as a specialty restaurant overlooking Red Square. The hotel will also have a health spa, an indoor swimming pool and a variety of restaurants and bars.

The hotel, a former 19th-century private manor house, will be on Tverskaya Road—Moscow’s equivalent to London’s Oxford Street—and will retain two of the original facades.

There’s more to come. We hear that Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts is set to open its first hotel in Russia in 2012. The 400-room Moscow hotel will occupy the top floors of a 42-story tower in the Park Huaming Business Centre, next to the Botanical Gardens and six miles from Red Square. Each room will have views of the Centre’s Chinese landscaped gardens or of the Botanical Gardens. Details are still scarce, but bet on a grand ballroom, indoor swimming pool and a health club.

 

Hotel National
Hotel National is a member of Starwood’s Luxury Collection.

 

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