At a Glance
With spectacular views of St. Isaac’s Cathedral and in walking distance to the Hermitage and Winter Palace, this grande dame property, which opened in 1912, is now part of the Rocco Forte Group, blending history with sleek, modern décor.
- The central location in walking distance to the Hermitage, Nevsky Prospect (the Madison Avenue of St. Petersburg) and Church of the Savior on Blood
- The Cathedral-view rooms that look directly onto St. Isaacs
- Traditional tea in the lobby’s Rotonda Lounge
- The hotel’s reserved boxes in the Mikhailovsky and Mariinsky theaters
The Astoria hotel’s stylishly modern interiors were thoughtfully designed by Olga Polizzi to complement the old-world soul of this hotel. Small golden plaques listing the names of famous guests frame the elevator banks, the afternoon tea draws upscale St. Petersburg locals to the Rotonda Lounge, and the large, white-marble lobby is bustling most hours of the day. It’s not difficult to picture members of the Imperial family strolling through here when the hotel opened in 1912.
The Rocco Forte Group has managed the hotel for some two decades, giving its concierge team a leg up in this cultural city, but the Astoria was most recently renovated in 2016 with a few refreshes completed in March 2019, so the interiors feel fresh and polished. Spread across six floors, the 169 rooms and 86 suites all differ in layout, but they all share a sleek aesthetics.
Unlike some interior designers, Polizzi is one who doesn’t shy away from color, and here the mint-greens, deep reds and frosted blues reference St. Petersburg’s own pastel-colored facades. Black-and-white photographs of Mariinsky ballerinas, movie stills from the James Bond film From Russia with Love and shelves stocked with Tolstoy and Pushkin further reference the destination. One place where this play between the Astoria and St. Petersburg breaks are the Ferragamo-Tuscany bath amenities, but the Astoria’s core clientele is Russian and cares to recognize the label in the bathroom (a suggestion to source a locally made brand was received with bemused smiles from the staff). Nespresso makers and iPhone docks complete the comfortable bedrooms.
It’s key to splurge on a room with a view of St. Isaac's Square and Cathedral (the ones facing the side street are not as impressive) or on one of the multi-bedroom specialty suites named after famous St. Petersburg composers, including Stravinsky.
There is a small spa and gym on the top floor, but clients seeking a serious wellness component will be happier at the Four Seasons with its four-story spa. The Astoria is a storied and very comfortable base from which to explore the city, including an excellent concierge team who can recommend anything from the latest hot spots along Rubinstein Street to organizing helicopter tours of the city.
Who Should Stay
Those who want to be in a central location with great service and who like a modern aesthetic and a historic hotel with a soul. The Astoria is also a bit livelier than the very polished Four Seasons, so it’s a great option for families.
Written by Indagare