On the Nevsky Prospekt - the Champs-Élysées of St Petersburg - you'll find the Corinthia Hotel St Petersburg. Surrounded by buildings, monuments and anecdotes of historical and cultural significance, the three-mile stretch, planned by Peter the Great in the early 18th century, remains the city's main thoroughfare.
The hotel itself combines three buildings; two on Nevsky Prospect and one on Stremyannaya Street. The oldest of these was constructed by architect Martin Liven in 1834 and was the residence of the Samoilov Family, a famous Russian theatre dynasty who lived on the second floor of the building between 1869 and 1887. Once a veritable gathering point for actors, musicians, artists and writers of St Petersburg, the arts remain an integral part of the Corinthia St Petersburg's culture (the Memorial Samoilov Family Museum is housed in the basement).
While this outpost is no competition to its English counterpart, the Corinthia Hotel St Petersburg's grandiose corridors, warm staff and newly renovated interiors mark it as a stand out choice for discerning travellers seeking understated luxury.
Level upon level of expansive areas make up the strata of the Corinthia Hotel St Petersburg. A 2018 hotel-wide update means the 388 elegant accommodations (including executives and suites) feel fresh, revived and considered. Guests can enjoy sinkable bed sheets and the addition of blackout blinds mean Russia's White Nights are a non-issue come 5AM. (Word to the wise: bring a bread roll from the breakfast buffet to trace your way back through the labyrinthine corridors.)
A spread fit for an oligarch, breakfasts at the Corinthia spare no expense with lavish servings of pastries (ranging from Nutella-stuffed croissants to currant-laden Danishes), a hot and cold food bar, fresh juices and traditional dishes.
How about lunch and dinner?
Overlooking the Nevsky Prospect, the Imperial Restaurant serves European dishes with a hint of Russian flavour. Situated on the lobby level of the hotel is the Café Vienna - a popular coffee and teahouse offering a wide selection of blends and varieties to choose from, plus tempting treats created by the hotel's pastry chef.
Is there a bar?
Yes, there are two. The Lobby Bar is a laid-back meeting spot for a post-excursion tipple, while the Nevsky Bar & Lounge - with its live jazz band - offers a punchier evening atmosphere.
Within a short walk you'll find…
Right on Nevsky Prospect, the hotel's centralised location means most of the city's main attractions are in walking distance. Once you've crossed off The Hermitage, The Church of the Saviour of Spilled Blood and the Faberge museum, wander deeper into the districts side streets. Rubenstein Street is a particularly neat find, with copious Shoreditch-style bars, interesting clothing shops like Gate 31 and for the worth-a-look touristy drop in, head back on to Nevsky and make a right at the Eliseyev Emporium - stocked high with cans of caviar, vodka-laden chocolates and caramel-flavoured jelly in a particularly flamboyant setting.
Things you should know
It's worth considering booking an executive suite for perks alone (never mind the increased space, pristine finish and work in mind layout). Access to the executive lounge offers 24-hour computer service, meeting tables and sofa area and best of all round-the-clock canapés, drinks (from champagne to hot tea) and more substantial eats. With a daily changing menu and free pass to food this is an under-the-radar perk, not to mention economical choice, particularly for solo travellers.
The Samoilov Museum, which documents the history of Russian ballet and theatre, is located inside the hotel. A Partner Hotel for the Arts, the concierge is sure to suggest an evening at the ballet or opera during your stay. Post-performance, those taken by the ballet may wish to tour the art-deco style Nevsky Ballrooms - the perfect spot for a pas de deux.