If you like a good deal, you could worse than to visit Moscow right now. The Russian capital’s hotel rooms will probably never be this inexpensive again, so today we cast an eye over our Moscow writer’s introduction to the hotel scene this spring, along with the top three hotels. Happy travelling.
Occupancy rates were already dropping before inflation and the rouble devaluation kicked in last autumn, but the current crisis is really starting to affect hotels. With international websites pricing in dollars or sterling, you won’t benefit from the rouble’s collapse. Get a Russian-speaking friend to book on the rouble-only travel.ru or oktogo.ru. At the time of writing a night in the five-star Savoy was going for £80.
Hilton Leningradskaya – Classic
One of the city’s iconic Stalinist buildings, this hotel was refurbished at the height of new Russian mania in 2008 and it shows, with interiors luxurious to the point of hilarity. The mod cons are flawless and the pool is a joy, but this venue has clearly been impacted by recent events, with single rooms going for as little as £73 at the time of writing. Favourite room: this venue is to be looked at, rather than looked out of, and the views don’t really justify the premiums charged. You’ll have everything you need in a bargain-rate standard room. ££. http://www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/russian-federation/hilton-moscow-leningradskaya-SVOHFHI/about/index.html
Mercure Arbat Moscow – Sauna
Universally popular for its cleanliness, service and location (it’s a stone’s throw from the shops and cafés of Stary Arbat), this remains one of the city’s best-value business hotels (although some may baulk at the room-service costs). Facilities are flawless and the decor elegant (without the customary Russian excess). Offering an on-site fitness room and sauna, you’ll find excellent cuisine in the La Promenade restaurant. Favourite room: sizes can vary considerably. Consider upgrading to a Privilège room for extra space, a minibar and a Nespresso machine. ££. www.mercure.com/gb/hotel-7454-mercure-arbat-moscow/index.shtml.
Radisson Royal Hotel – Views (pictured)
If you’re looking to immerse yourself in genuinely decadent luxury, do it here, another of the city’s landmark Stalinist buildings, fully refurbished in 2008 and known historically as the Hotel Ukraina. Staff attitudes remain somewhat Soviet but the breakfasts are outstanding, as are the spa facilities, and the rooms, almost without exception, are as spacious as you would expect from a one-time venue for the party nomenklatura. Favourite room: the views are excellent. Refuse any room facing the dvor (courtyard) and go as high as you can. £££. www.radisson.ru/en/royalhotel-moscow.