This Review of Belmond Grand Hotel Europe in St. Petersburg, Russia is part of a trip report including Vienna and luxury hotels and dining in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia. Visiting Russia? See all our posts tagged Russia. For the previous posts please see:
TravelSort Clients enjoy Virtuoso benefits at the Belmond Grand Hotel Europe:
- Daily Buffet breakfast, for up to two in room guests
- Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
- $100 USD Equivalent Food & Beverage credit (Applicable for Room Service and Minibar. Not combinable, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
- Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
Belmond Grand Hotel Europe Location and Check-In
The Grand Hotel Europe enjoys a prime location on Nevsky Prospekt, St. Petersburg's main street, and is at the intersection with Mikhailovsky Street; the actual entrance is at Mikhailovskaya 1/7.
The hotel is one of St Petersburg's grand dame hotels, having originally opened in 1875, and has hosted Russian luminaries such as Turgenev, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky as well as H.G. Wells, Debussy, and Gustav V of Sweden. I well remember when the hotel was renovated and reopened in 1991, since I was studying in St. Petersburg at the time–it was truly the only luxury hotel in St. Petersburg then.
Nowadays, the hotel hosts both individual leisure and business guests, as well as some large groups–during my visit, there were quite a few Chinese tourists.
Check-in was quite smooth, and I was offered a welcome drink of cranberry juice, a nice touch.
There isn't a large lobby, but there is some seating just by the reception and near to the concierges.
Belmond Grand Hotel Europe One Bedroom Suite
The hotel had kindly upgraded us to a 1 bedroom suite, which was probably just shy of 500 square feet, although suites do range in size and start from 430 square feet. Here's the entrance hall, which also had an umbrella stand–a thoughtful reminder that weather is very changeable in St. Petersburg.
The living room included a sofa, chairs, coffee table and work desk, as well as a bar area.
There was a Nespresso machine and bottled water (important for St. Petersburg, since you don't want to drink the tap water) although there was only one kind of espresso pod.
Two doors opened into the bedroom, which at our request held two double beds, since I was staying at the hotel with my son. The beds were comfortable, the heavy drapery worked to block out the morning light, and we both slept well.
Our suite was on the side of Mikhailovsky Street, so the view was unremarkable, but some views face Nevsky Prospekt or a nearby park and would have better views.
The bathroom wasn't huge, but it did have double sinks as well as a bathtub and a separate glass enclosed shower, which I was happy to see.
The shower was a regular shower, not a rain shower, although personally that was fine with me as it's more convenient when not wanting to wash one's hair.
Bath products were Elemis, which I tend to associate now with British Airways and don't perceive as that luxurious. Instead, I used my own L'Occitane products.
I also thought it a bit odd that the hair conditioner was on the counter by the sinks, instead of in the shower.
The bath slippers were some of the plushest I've encountered–very comfortable and worth saving.
There weren't any welcome amenities in the room when we arrived, so before going to dinner I did ask if there would be any kids' welcome amenities. When we returned, there was a large fresh fruit platter, some petit fours, and kids' welcome amenities. Most of the fruit was delicious, but there was a very bruised pear that should have been discarded and not offered to guests. The desserts were forgettable and on the dry side.
My son liked the little bear stuffed animal:
There was also a voucher to enjoy complimentary ice cream or cake in the Mezzanine Cafe–more on that in the dining review.
Spa Plunge Pool
While waiting for our room to be ready, I worked a bit in the spa, since it was quiet and the hotel's free WiFi works there as well. The Grand Hotel Europe doesn't have a swimming pool, but it does have a cold plunge pool, for refreshing yourself after using the sauna.
Breakfast and Dining
I'll discuss the buffet breakfast and dining at L'Europe Restaurant and the Grand Terrace in a future post.
We enjoyed our stay at the Belmond Grand Hotel Europe, particularly the convenient location right off of Nevsky Prospekt and the space of the 1 Bedroom Suite. The welcome and kids' amenities were nice, but we did have to ask for them. Service was generally good, although lacked some of the attention to detail I would expect at this price point–for example the lack of kids' welcome amenities until we asked for them, no kid's bathrobe, the bruised pear in the fruit, conditioner on the counter, and a real service lapse in terms of my shoes.
Specifically, I left my shoes for polishing overnight, and when I called the bell desk letting them know my shoes were there for polishing, I specifically instructed them to leave them outside the door by 6:30am and NOT to call me. I said this in English and in Russian. Instead, I received an unwanted call at 6:30 about my shoes (!) which weren't even outside my door. It took another couple of calls to get my shoes left outside my door as I'd requested. Let's just say I was not happy with the bell desk.
So in sum, stay at the Belmond for convenience and for comfortable if somewhat dated rooms with fantastic slippers, but don't expect high attention to detail or for accurate responses to your requests–even if you speak Russian.
Disclosure: I paid a travel professional rate for our stay at the Belmond Grand Hotel Europe. The views expressed in this post are mine.
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