THE OFFICIAL STATE HERMITAGE HOTEL, ST. PETERSBURG

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There’s no denying that the State Hermitage Hotel is beautiful. It’s been designed in a style reminiscent of the opulence of days gone by, the likes of which you can see across the city in the grand palaces you will surely visit.

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We stayed in a deluxe room which was a really lovely size, with his and hers wardrobes and an impressive marbled bathroom complete with an enormous rain shower.

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As always it was the little things that made it; crisp sheets, Hermès toiletries, long fluffy robes and a turn down service complete with chocolate on the pillow. Lovely!

I also couldn’t fault the staff. They were a real asset – approachable but discreet and keen to help with anything at all.

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There are two restaurants plus the rooftop terrace in good weather. Dinner in the Catherine the Great restaurant was reasonably priced, local fare. I say reasonably priced, that is unless you go crazy and order the Beluga caviar…!

When in Russia…

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Overall the food was pretty average but the service was lovely.

Breakfast has everything you need. Highlights for me were the fresh orange juice and the local bread basket as well as the cereal bar where you can help yourself to all kinds of nuts and granola.

After a few days, I’ll admit, the mirage starts to erode a little. They’ve clearly tried very hard to justify the price tag since, despite the name, you’re a good thirty-minute walk to the Hermitage itself so really, quite a way out of town. Set back from the road it glitters like an intruder between slightly shabby buildings. The neighbourhood is definitely off the tourist trail and the views from some of the bedroom balconies is the courtyard of residential flats which gets noisy at times.

The location is not something they can fix, so if I had more constructive criticism, it would be that they could do with more information about the hotel and local attractions in the room; not lots but opening times of the restaurants, maybe menus and maps, that’s all it would take. They gym and the pool are small and to use the spa you have to pay extra which is a bit of a kick in the teeth when you’ve paid as much as you have. However, the reality is, you’re not in St. Petersburg to watch yourself sweat in gym mirrors. Go out and explore instead!

 

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