What does Starwood Hotels know about working with Coyle Hospitality to produce stellar results from their Moscow hotel collection?
Crammed in its center with famous sights that make the eyes go pop, Moscow is vast and sprawling beyond the citadel of the Kremlin walls and St. Basil’s Cathedral in the heart of cobblestoned Red Square. An underground ride on the Central Line is a sightseeing experience of its own.
- Russian-speaking evaluators are on the local scene
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21st Century Moscow Embraces Luxury
Don’t let the thought of Lenin lying mummified in his marble mausoleum here deter from your sightseeing escapades. For those intrigued, the Lenin monument is open with free admission daily (except Mondays and Fridays) from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Directly opposite on the eastern side of the square, visitors can change up the mood while still steeping in history lessons with a visit to GUM department store. Obviously now a testament to the power of a platinim credit card rather than a state-run enterprise, the building itself is well worth admiring from the aisles inside.
Visitors get around both the north and south sides of the Moscow River via a quick and efficient subway system. Those wanting to stay near the center on the north side can settle into any number of luxury and first-class business hotels. Those who have researched their visit know to be prepared for sticker shock.
Major American-based hotel players on the scene include Starwood, with a Luxury Hotel Collection entry at the National. Marriott Aurora is a 10-minute walk to everything, including the subway, where the concierge gets high marks for assisting Westerners and first-time visitors. Marriott also comes in with a traditionally decorated Ritz-Carlton entry where Kremlin views from the terrace at sunset come highly recommended, the Marriott Grand, Marriott 1st Tverskaya, a Renaissance and a Courtyard.
A contemporary Ararat Park Hyatt has tip-top rooftop views and InterContinental sits on the best part of Tverskaya Sreet, a Fifth Avenue-style address within a stone’s throw.
Soon to join the party of North American cousins, Four Seasons is due to open in mid-2014 in Manezhnaya Square, just beside the Duma, Bolshoi Theatre and the Kremlin, with a huge spa featuring 14 treatment rooms, an indoor swimming pool with cafe, two restaurants. What does the exterior of the historic former Hotel Moskva look like? Just glance at the label on a bottle of Stolichnaya Vodka to see for yourself.
Back in Red Square, the legendary Café Pushkin of song opened in 1999 in a 19th century Baroque mansion. Service is 24 hours a day, Wi-Fi is free and it’s deserving of its place in the top 10 things to do in Moscow on many a professional’s and amateur’s list. On the 29th floor of the Radisson Royal, Buono’s window seats are scooped up first, Bon is the sleek black Philippe Starck spot with a clubbby vibe, CDL needs advance booking and won’t be possible when presidents and prime ministers are in town, and the 12th floor 02 Lounge at the Ritz-Carlton is too trendy for words.