Whilst the Russians might be stereotyped at times for their austere demeanor, you need only visit the Kempinski Hotel Moika 22 in the beautiful St Petersburg to thaw your impression. The hotel welcomes you with a warm disposition and boutique luxe trimmings (who doesn’t love a room comfort menu in a Russian Doll!). Renowned for their international luxury resorts, the Kempinski Hotel St Petersburg offers the quintessential 5-star treatment, which will sooth even the tiredest of feet after a day of sightseeing and vodka drinking.
‘Well positioned’ is an understatement when talking about the location of the gorgeous Kempinski Hotel. Located in the very heart of St Petersburg on the Moika River you’ll find this gem within a hop, skip and a jump to Cathedral Place, in fact you’ll have some of the best views in St Petersburg of this historic site (which look even better after a few cocktails!). You can also jump on many of the canal tours right in front of the hotel.
Time of Stay
We stayed at the end of the Russian summer in mid-September. It was warm during the days (make sure you still pack a jumper or light cardigan) and definitely much cooler at night, warranting jeans and a thicker coat or jumper. However it is definitely a great time to visit and doesn’t stop you from doing night-time activities outdoors.
If the location and exterior don’t already impress you the inside of the hotel will. You are greeted with staff opening the car door for you, directing you up a flight of stairs into the elegance and subtle grandeur of the light filled foyer with gorgeous ornate trimmings, reflective of the city’s elegance. And like any good 5-star hotel, it is all the extra’s that make it a truly lasting impression.
We were placed in a Deluxe Suite which was like something out of a Jane Austin film, you know, where they live in rich swanky mansions and have ‘themed’ rooms, where everything coordinates perfectly! #swag
The huge room (50m2) was absolutely gorgeous! Themed in blues with a whimsical cottage flower print on the wallpaper with a perfectly matched bedspread, accented with powder and rich blues, cream and intricate wood finishes and pared down with tasteful chandeliers. I call them the ‘casual chandelier’, perhaps the really wealthy just call that style!
There were several armchairs, a desk, flat screen TV and a wardrobe that definitely invites you to go shopping to fill it up (pfft what baggage allowance!). However, the next part of the room to take my breath away was the bathroom, a grandiose all-marble affair continuing the country chic theme, with striped wall paper and pastel hues. It featured a traditional deep bath, separate shower room and double vanity basin, cause ain’t no one got time to wait for another person brushing their teeth. After looking on the Kempinski website at the other rooms, I’m convinced this is the coolest one by far.
The ‘room comfort’ menu is something unique too. Delivered in a traditional giant Matroushka doll (the ones that usually open up to reveal mini dolls inside), the menu lets you choose 6 different pillows from orthopaedic foam to sweet cherry, your preferred bedding (hello Merino Wool Plaid!) and even preferred scented sticks or candles. However the pièce de résistance is the bath collection! Containing 8 different scrubs, salts, oils and sugars to exonerate your shopping and drinking sins, from Verbena Bath Foam to Almond Shower Oil. #cleansed
Admittedly the room itself is enough of a feature, so the view becomes secondary. My room looked out onto the street, however the views from the top of the hotel in the drinks and dining area are unbeatable!
Upon taking the elevator up to the cocktail lounge level you are greeting with the Bellevue Brasserie, a glass restaurant, then an outdoor drinks/ dining area that looks directly over to infamous Cathedral Place and Hermitage Museum. The Hermitage is one of the oldest museums in the world, founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great, it also encapsulates the former Winter Palace of the tsars. In the warmer months, dinner and drinks out on the rooftop are a must! It will become your regular hang out after a long day of site seeing.
Dining & Drinks
Von Witte Bar
Rich mahogany and leather bound books are the order of the day in the Von Witte Bar, where you feel like part of the old boy’s secret spy club. Kempinski calls it ‘straight out of old Russia’, with an open log fire place, leather arm chairs, a library and views straight out on to the Moika river. You better think of some witty conversation and worldly references until the scotch and whiskey kicks in! We enjoyed spending time here snacking on olives, cheeses, smoked almonds and other gourmet treats.
If you want to take in the beauty of St Petersburg and imagine yourself as the Russian elite, then the Bellevue Brasserie should be on your list! The amazing views of the Hermitage and Cathedral place make the food and drink taste that much better. Even if you don’t stay at the Kempinski, dinner here is a must! And if you can brave the cold, then rug up outside with a cocktail, blanket and outdoor heater to soak in the views. Bellevue Brasserie serves French cuisine and famous dishes from Russian cuisine with a modern twist, although a ‘must try’ is their signature dish- Kamchatka crab!
The place to indulge in all the delectable finery that will earn you some serious likes on Instagram. Russians call it ‘five o’ clock,’ the tradition that we call afternoon tea. The Tea Room houses an open log fireplace, the amazing views. You can dine on homemade cookies and treats on Imperial Russian porcelain and the French champagne flows all day! Oh yes.
Voted on Trip Advisor as one of the top 10 Spa Resorts in St Petersburg, it’s easy to see why when you step foot into the spa area. The main whirlpool spa bath grabs your attention in turquoise tiles with a view out to the St Petersburg skyline. There is also a steam and sauna room, not to mention many different spa treatments available including scrubs, massages, wraps etc. for face and body. Expect 5-star prices, although the opening hours of the spa treatment centre mean you can book an appointment as early as 7.30am and they run until 11pm.
The fitness zone operates as part of the wellness package with an area containing some exercise machines, free weights and treadmills.
The location, friendly and attentive hotel staff service and attention to detail tips this boutique luxury hotel into something that makes your stay in St Petersburg truly memorable. I was impressed with the staff welcoming me back each day like old friends as I retreated to the Bellevue Brasserie. They even brought over post cards with the famous view from the top of the Kempinski for me to write in and happily arrange postage anywhere in the world. Even if you don’t stay at the Kempinski Hotel St Petersburg, we highly recommend a visit here for afternoon tea, dinner or drinks. Da!
Rates depend greatly on the time of year and are more expensive in summer. The Kempinski Hotel St Petersburg runs good deals in advance, if you can plan your stay a while out. Otherwise check third party sites like trip Advisor, Expedia, Booking.com and your frequent flyer club to snap up good deals. Rates can start as low as $260 p/n in off season.
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