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Grand Hotel Europe

Ideally situated on Nevsky Prospekt, St. Petersburg’s main shopping boulevard, the Grand Hotel Europe overlooks the multicolored onion domes of the Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood. Gilt-framed paintings of the church and other local landmarks complement crystal chandeliers and Oriental rugs in the hotel’s premier suites, Lidval and Rossi. The Grand has installed a new executive chef, Dominique Ferchaud, whose French cuisine at L'Europe may include a scallop salad with quail eggs or veal fillet with a mushroom emulsion. For Russian cuisine, the Caviar Bar presents an intimate setting where guests sample beluga, osetra, and sevruga while being serenaded by strolling violinists. But the Grand’s authentic ambience is at its best in the Lobby Bar. Richly decorated with stained-glass ceilings and brass-and-glass fixtures, the Art Nouveau treasure offers an array of vodkas, including a $1,500 pour that comes in a faux Fabergé egg. Accommodations Highlights among the hotel’s 301 rooms include the butler-serviced Lidval and Rossi suites, which feature antique furnishings, crystal chandeliers, Oriental rugs, and gilt-framed paintings. Facilities A business center, a health club, a spa and beauty salon, and an arcade of luxury boutiques. Dining Complementing the Caviar Bar and L’Europe restaurant are Rossi’s (Italian) and Chopsticks (Chinese). Concierge Recommends See Swan Lake at the Mariinsky Theater—known during the Soviet era as the Kirov Theatre—where Rudolf Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov once graced the stage. Rates Standard rooms from about $490 to $930, suites from about $1,160 for a classic suite to about $7,565 for the presidential suite.

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Photo by Janos Grapow