Five hotels in Moscow & St. Petersburg with historical suites (PHOTOS)

Andrew Shiva (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Lenin, Yesenin, Mastroianni, Tchaikovsky, Strauss… whom will you choose to be your neighbor?
  1. Hotel National, Moscow, Mokhovaya Street, 15/1, building 1

This hotel, built in 1903, was immediately chosen by high society. Ballerina Anna Pavlova, composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, writers Herbert Wells and Ivan Bunin, singer Fyodor Shalyapin and other famous people all stayed there. Apart from its beautiful architecture and luxurious Art Nouveau interior, this hotel had one more important advantage – high levels of comfort for its time. The building already had elevators and every room had its own bathroom and even a phone.

View of the Hotel National in 1904.

In 1918, after the October Revolution, the Soviet government took over the Hotel National. It’s known that Lenin lived in Suite 107 with Nadezhda Krupskaya and his sister. Alexandra Kollontai picked Suite 115, ‘the lounge of Louis XV’ – at that time, one of the most luxurious suites. Now, it’s a presidential suite.

After the highest Soviet officials moved into the Kremlin, the hotel hosted lower ranking officials. Only in the 1930s did the Hotel National become a hotel again. Some furniture, meanwhile, was brought to the hotel from the Catherine Palace and the Anichkov Palace.

Today, the price for one night in a classic double room starts from 15,000 rubles (approx. $165), if booked in advance. The price for one night in the presidential suite, on average, reaches 180,000 rubles (approx. $1,980).

  1. Hotel Metropol, Moscow, Teatralny Drive, 2

This hotel opened in 1905 and was initially envisioned as a “theater with a hotel”. But soon, only the hotel with a restaurant was what remained from the initial idea. However, art literally breathes through Hotel Metropol – the facades and interior were decorated by the best artists of the time: Mikhail Vrubel, Konstantin Korovin, Vasily Polenov, as well as Alexander Golovin.

Hotel Metropol in 1900s.

In 1918, Hotel Metropol met the same fate as Hotel National – it became accommodation for Soviet officials. Nikolai Bukharin, Yakov Sverdlov and Georgy Chicherin all lived there. Intelligentsia that managed to get a job in state agencies also moved in there: poet Osip Mandelstam and poet-playwright Anatoly Marienhof, among others. Imaginism poets also often visited the literature cafe ‘Kalosha’, which they opened themselves. Sergei Yesenin, the most famous of the Imaginism poets, often visited his acquaintances there and dined at the restaurant.

Just like Hotel National, this hotel reclaimed its original status only in the 1930s. Actresses Marlene Dietrich and Claudia Cardinale, writers Bernard Shaw and John Steinbeck, director Marcello Mastroianni and the returned-from-emigration writer Alexander Kuprin, poet Alexander Vertinsky, and composer Sergei Prokofiev all stayed there.

These days, room prices range from 24,000 rubles (approx. $264) to 170,000 rubles (approx. $1,870).

  1. Grand Hotel Europe, St. Petersburg, Nevsky Prospekt, Mikhailovskaya Street, 1/7

This hotel, built in 1875, looked up to the best European hotels. It had its own pick-up cabs, a hairdresser, a cobbler shop, a tailor shop, a store, wine cellars… and even a team of interpreters!

This (select) list of guests of the hotel is quite impressive:



  •     Fyodor Dostoevsky
  •     Bernard Shaw
  •     Maxim Gorky
  •     Konstantin Paustovsky 
  •     Vladimir Mayakovsky

Many other celebrities also stayed there, including actress Faina Ranevskaya, King of Sweden Gustaf V, singer and conductor Plácido Domingo...

The historical second floor of the hotel has named suites; for example, named after Dostoevsky, Stravinsky and Pavarotti. The latter has a piano which the singer played himself during his 2004 tour. The ‘Fabergé’ suite, meanwhile, is only dedicated to the works of the famous jeweler; he never stayed at the hotel himself.

The price for these historical luxury apartments range from 83,000 rubles (approx. $916) per night. And the cheapest hotel room will set you back 14,000 rubles (approx. $155) per night.

  1. Hotel Astoria, St. Petersburg, Bolshaya Morskaya Street, 39

This hotel with a view of Saint Isaac's Cathedral appeared in the center of St. Petersburg in 1912. An interesting fact: the graduates of the first female technical university in Russia participated in its construction.

This hotel became not just a place for famous guests to meet but also a movie set. You can see this hotel in movies ‘Unbelievable Adventures of Italians in Russia’ and ‘Melodies of a White Night.’ The hotel is also mentioned in Mikhail Bulgakov’s novel ‘The Master and Margarita.’ By the way, the author himself once was a guest at this hotel and preferred the 4th floor. Alexander Vertinsky, Sergei Diaghilev, Maxim Gorky, Herbert Wells, Grigory Rasputin were also among its famous guests.

Winter Garden Restaurant, The Astoria Hotel, St. Petersburg, Russia.

Currently, a night in the cheapest hotel room costs 22,000 rubles (approx. $242), while you can book the most expensive suite with a view of Mariinsky Palace for 87,000 rubles (approx. $957).

  1. Angleterre Hotel, St. Petersburg, Malaya Morskaya Street, 24

This 19th-century hotel became incredibly famous, first of all, because of the death of poet Sergei Yesenin. In December 1925, he hanged himself in Suite 5. Some still debate if the poet really committed suicide or he was murdered. At the end of the 1980s, Angleterre Hotel was demolished and rebuilt, due to the building’s critical condition. But, the historical look of the facade was preserved.

However, before the tragic events of 1925, the hotel was also popular. Writers Anton Chekhov and Alexander Kuprin, poets Andrei Bely and Osip Mandelstam, dancer Isadora Duncan – by the way, one of Yesenin’s wives – all stayed there.

One night in a standard room will cost you from 13,000 rubles (approx. $143), while a suite with a view of St. Isaac’s Cathedral will set you back 66,000 rubles (approx. $728).

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