Moscow is one of the major world capitals and a city that combines ancient traditions with the latest trends. Although it’s true that it’s primarily thought of as a business center, Moscow can also be incredibly romantic and even kid-friendly, if you know where to go. Well-known attractions include Red Square and the Kremlin, the symbols of Russia and its history, beautiful in the daylight and magical in the evening lights when they’re illuminated. There are a number of parks, gardens, theaters and shows that are perfect for an leisurely stroll, and in the summer there are often live music events such as the International Jazz Festival in the Hermitage Gardens. Plus, you'll want to take a Moscow Metro Tour since Moscow has some of the most beautiful subway stations in the world, true works of art in themselves, adorned with marble, stained glass, chandeliers and mosaics. You'll also want to use the subway if you need to get anywhere fast, given how bad traffic jams can get in Moscow. At the end of a busy day, go for a swim in one of these luxurious Moscow hotels, perhaps followed by a soothing massage and drink in O2 Lounge at the Ritz-Carlton, with its spectacular views of Red Square and the Kremlin.
The new Four Seasons Moscow, which just opened in 2014 in the completely renovated historic Hotel Moskva, has a prime location that overlooks Manezhnaya Square, right by Red Square. An easy 5 minute stroll takes you to Red Square, and a few minutes more to Lenin's Mausoleum and St. Basil's Cathedral. It's incredibly convenient to get to as well, since the Okhotny Ryad Metro Station is a few steps from the hotel's entrance.
The Four Seasons Moscow gets everything right, from the friendly and professional service that bests most Western European and U.S. hotels to the most spacious entry level rooms in Moscow: Premier Rooms are 430-635 square feet, and some have balconies with a lovely view over Manezhnaya Square. Don't miss the extensive full service spa on the 5th floor, with its large swimming pool flooded with natural light from the glass atrium, plus underwater music to listen to. In the changing room, radiant heat relaxation chairs, a Finnish sauna, steam room and experience shower await.
The Radisson Royal is one of the most iconic hotels in Moscow, as it's housed in the former Hotel Ukraina, one of the legendary Seven Sisters, monumental neoclassical skyscrapers built under Stalin in the early 1950s by architects Arkady Mordvinov and Vyacheslav Oltarzhevsky. It emerged in 2010 in its current incarnation as the Radisson Royal after a 3 year renovation. The hotel's location on the Moskva River Embankment is not for everyone, since it's about a 35 minute walk to the Kremlin, but the upside is that it's a more peaceful area and you can easily take one of the scenic boat trips, including dinner cruises, that depart just steps from the hotel on one of the hotel's private yachts. Inside, expect a grandly adorned lobby, elegantly appointed rooms with Mühldorfer beds, pillow menu, luxurious Frette bathrobes and towels, free WiFi, and no less than 9 restaurants and bars, several (Arkady Novikov's Tatler, Romantic Restaurant and Takasa) with stunning views of Moscow. The Spa and Royal Wellness Club includes a the largest Technogym in the world and a 50 meter pool, so bring your swimsuit for a workout or simply enjoy relaxing in one of the poolside lounge chairs. Shopaholics will want to bring their wallet–this may be the only Moscow hotel where the hotel's boutique shops include a Rolls Royce dealership. Don't miss the beautiful and very life-like “Moscow, the capital of the USSR” diorama that depicts all of Moscow at a scale of 1 to 75. See our Radisson Royal Moscow Hotel Review for our photos and experience.
Getting to Moscow
Here are some of the best ways to get to Moscow using frequent flyer miles or loyalty points:
- If you get the British Airways Visa, you'll receive 50,000 British Airways Avios after first purchase, enough for two roundtrip tickets in economy, or one roundtrip in business class Boston to Dublin or Shannon on Aer Lingus.
- You can then get a cheap Ryanair flight to London
- From London, you can use British Airways Avios for London-Moscow
4. Singapore Airlines First Class from Houston
As Ben wrote in the 15 Best First and Business Class Airline Awards in 2012, you can transfer American Express Membership Rewards points or SPG points to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer and redeem 114,750 KrisFlyer miles and about $400 in taxes for a Singapore Airlines first class roundtrip ticket to Moscow.
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