Review: Hotel Astoria St. Petersburg, Russia

Review: Hotel Astoria St. Petersburg Russia

 

Hotel Astoria in St. Petersburg, Russia is a Rocco Forte hotel originally built in 1911. It was well known as the best hotel in the city during World War II, and Hitler planned to hold his victory dinner there, after taking control of the city—needless to say (and thankfully) that dinner never happened. Visiting St. Petersburg, Russia? See our 10 Travel Tips for St Petersburg, Russia and our posts tagged St. Petersburg.

TravelSort Clients enjoy these Virtuoso or Sir Rocco's Knights benefits at Hotel Astoria, St. Petersburg:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily full breakfast, for up to two in room guests
  • $100 USD Equivalent Food & Beverage credit, to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability

Review: Hotel Astoria St. Petersburg


Hotel Astoria Location and Check-In

Hotel Astoria is located at 39 Bolshaya Morskaya Street, with a view of St. Isaacs Cathedral from its entrance as well as from some of its rooms and suites. The closest metro station is Admiralteyskaya, about an 8 minute walk from the hotel, and St. Petesburg’s main street, Nevsky Prospect, is also a short walk away.

Entrance, Hotel Astoria St. Petersburg, Russia

 

Unlike Moscow, St. Petersburg doesn’t have an express rail link to the airport, so we arranged a private transfer through the hotel. The driver took my roll-on, leaving me my heavier shoulder bag, and didn’t take into account my son’s slower pace as he walked quickly toward the vehicle, but at least the ride was comfortable.

Hotel Astoria Car Used for Airport Transfers

 

The check-in staff was friendly and spoke English perfectly, and we soon had the keys to our Classic Room.

Reception, Hotel Astoria St. Petersburg Review

Lobby Seating, Hotel Astoria St. Petersburg Review

 

Hotel Astoria Classic Room

Our initial room was #430, on the 4th floor. It faced the interior courtyard, so it was quiet, but also rather dark even with the curtains open.

View from Classic Room, Hotel Astoria, St. Petersburg Russia Review

 

What I really didn’t like, however, was the smell, of stale cigarette smoke. I should have tried to switch rooms then and there, but we were tired from traveling and wanted to have a shower, get dinner and sleep, so we did end up staying there that night, which I later regretted.

Classic Room, Hotel Astoria St. Petersburg Review

Classic Room, Hotel Astoria St. Petersburg Review

 

There was a nice fruit plate as well as chocolate truffles, as welcome amenities. The chocolates in particular were excellent and are made in-house.

Fresh Fruit and Chocolate Welcome Amenity, Hotel Astoria St. Petersburg Review

 

I also liked the fancy design of the water bottles. While tap water quality has improved since my first visit to St. Petersburg in 1992, it still is best to only drink bottled water and to not request ice unless you’re sure it has been made with bottled water.

Bottled Water, Hotel Astoria St. Petersburg Review

 

We never use the hotel mini bar, but it was stocked with the usual suspects–juice, water, soda, Red Bull, and of course Russian vodka:

Mini Bar, Hotel Astoria, St. Petersburg Review

 

Russians, similar to most Asians, always take off their shoes by the doorway and use slippers, or “tapochki” when inside the house or apartment, so slippers were placed just inside the doorway on a shoe rack.

Slippers, Hotel Astoria St. Petersburg Review

 

Classic Rooms are typically 25 square meters or 269 square feet, so quite small, although our first room did have a sofa and coffee table as well as a small desk.

Classic Room Sofa and Desk, Hotel Astoria St. Petersburg Review

 

Classic Room bathrooms have a single sink and vanity, brightened with a flower:

Classic Room Bathroom, Hotel Astoria, St. Petersburg Review

Flower, Hotel Astoria St. Petersburg Review

 

There is a bathtub and shower combo, likely due to the space constraints of this historical hotel.

Bathtub and Shower Combo, Hotel Astoria St. Petersburg Review

 

Bathrobes reflect the Hotel Astoria's white and red color scheme:

Hotel Astoria Bathrobe

 

Bath products are Tuscan Soul by Salvatore Ferragamo, which we also enjoyed in the Ferragamo luxury hotels the Portrait Firenze in Florence and Portrait Roma in Rome.

Tuscan Soul by Salvatore Ferragamo Bath Products, Hotel Astoria Review

 

The next day, after explaining the awful cigarette odor in our room, we were able to move to another Classic Room, this time on the 6th floor. This was a much better room, and it did make me wonder why we weren’t put in this room to begin with. There was no smell, the room was exterior facing so it enjoyed better natural light, and it even had a partial view of St. Isaac's Cathedral.

2nd Classic Room, Hotel Astoria St. Petersburg Review

View of St. Isaac's Cathedral from 2nd Classic Room, Hotel Astoria St. Petersburg Review

 

Astoria Cafe Breakfast and Dining

I’ll cover breakfast and dining at Astoria Cafe in a separate post.

 

The Verdict

Because of Hotel Astoria’s storied history, many older Russians in St. Petersburg consider it the best hotel in the city, and it does enjoy a great location near St. Isaacs Cathedral and also offers some lovely suites. My stay in an entry level Classic Room was less impressive however: the first room I was in reeked of stale cigarette smoke, despite this ostensibly being a non-smoking hotel, and the room should never have been given to a guest.

 

The next Classic Room I was given was much better: no smell, and its 6th floor location even had a partial view of St. Isaacs Cathedral. While the reception staff was responsive and caring, I would have expected a better service recovery after being given a room reeking of smoke, for example some kind of upgrade for the second room, but none was offered. And since this was just my own personal stay and not a client stay, I wasn’t going to press the issue.

 

Rates are typically lower at the Hotel Astoria compared to the Four Seasons St. Petersburg, so it could be a good option for budget constrained clients; however, I would recommend the Four Seasons St. Petersburg for its better service (including housekeeping and room quality assurance) as well as fantastic rooms with balconies right across from St. Isaacs Cathedral, particularly if this may be your only visit to St. Petersburg, Russia.

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Disclosure: We booked our stay at a travel professional rate. The views expressed in this post are my own.

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