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Travel Blogs from St. Petersburg
... in their manner and I felt offended/annoyed by anyone I had to talk to. I couldn't get my head around it so I did a bit of reading on Russian culture to try to understand their behaviour and hopefully realise that it isn't personal and I don't need to feel offended. My findings were that Russian people are very friendly to people they know but are not friendly to strangers. When I meet a stranger who I need to have some sort of interaction with e.g.shop ...
... them up for a great tour. Our drive into St Petersburg was interesting. Many old beautiful buildings mixed with the bland, and boring construction of the Soviet era. Our first stop was a little pink church that looked like a cake. Then we were headed off to Catherine Palace. Just walking to the gates you could see this place was going to be magnificent. We then looked up, and our jaws hit the pavement. Gorgeous gold ...
We soon forgot the tiredness and the exertion when first job of the day was breakfast - cheese curd fritters with honey - odd combo, bit sweet, bit sour - but made a change from instant noodles. We had a FOUR HOUR walking tour lined up - so we "negotiated" it down to 3 (Masha was fairly quick on the uptake). Architecture featured high on the list of impressive aspects of St Petersburg - very European, more like Paris or Amsterdam as opposed to ...
... inversely to their reward in the next life probably kept them going. We passed on the evening's entertainment which was a history of dance in one of the many Moscow theatres, preferring to have a more leisurely dinner and wind down from the afternoon's activities. On the way back to the ship, we passed many upscale stores as well as the more common ones - Starbucks, Gap, and similar. But it almost appears that there are more banks than stores. I ...
... did not install confidence in the fire alarm system).
After settling in, we all headed down for our first Russian dinner. We had also been warned about the food - potatoes and meat (not a vegetarian’s heaven but thankfully we are not vegetarians!). Well, the dinner exceeded our lowered expectations. It was a buffet style which included salad and veggies (as well as lots of meats). Evan and a few of the guys were excited by the cheap 1 litre ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
- Shuttle bus service
- Swimming pool
- Room service
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Historical Traveler Reviews Angleterre Hotel St. Petersburg
Best bet in St. Pete
We had the fortunate experience to arrive at the hotel a few days prior to Dubya (who was to stay at the attached Astoria Hotel for the G8 summit) so our hotel was loaded with secret service men. I think this may have had a positive affect as the staff were "on their toes" and security was noticeable. Front desk check-in was smooth and efficent and we were immediately given a room even though it was 11:00am. (I was a bit scared that they took our passports at check-in but understand this is necessary for immigration out of the country.) The champagne was a nice gesture although it did taste like donkey urine. Loved the elevators since there was never a wait. Our room was a gorgeous split-level number that was modern and tastefully furnised with everything in working order and a great view of St. Isaac's Cathedral. Ate and drank at Cafe Borsalino in the hotel; food was great but the drinks were very expensive ($12USD for a vodka and tonic). Also tried Davidof (restaurant) next door in the Astoria. Great service, nice selection but also expensive. Everything in Russia is expensive though - welcome to democaracy and capitalism!
This place was way overpriced for the size of the room and quality of the bed, but I get the feeling that most hotels are overpriced in St. Petersburg. Best of luck.
Good Location poor service
The hotel has a great central location. It is a better value than its twin the Astoria which is more expensive and right next door. If you like to swim like me the hotel is one of the few to have an indoor pool which is very nice. The rooms are large and clean and quite pleasant. The only problem is the service . Like most in Russia at best indifferent and often rude especially the front desk. However for a short stay the best value for the money in this location
We had a great room with a lovely view
It's not the best hotel you are ever going to stay in. But it's certainly not the worst. The staff were very friendly and efficient. The complimentary glasses of champagne on arrival went down a treat. Our room was very clean and bright and reasonably large with wonderful views over St Issac's church and square. Only downer was the lack of a full double bed - our room had two singles put together. But the linen was of good quality and there were thankfully duvets rather than blankets which I personally loathe. It's also not a bad deal - we paid £330.00 all in for two nights - which isn't too bad for Russia. The bar etc... we didn't try. But we did have a drink at the bar at the Astoria Hotel, right next door, which was lovely.
Sadly, perhaps as good as it gets.
What you think of this place likely depends on whether you scale it against
the horrendous local competition, or actually consider it as the high-end hotel it claims to be. Having endured several grim mosquito-ridden towers in St. Petersburg, it was an enormous relief to be in a clean cheerfully-decorated room, with a multi-lingual reception staff. In fact, everyone on the ground floor of the hotel, including porters and bellboys, can at least get by in English (and often also in German, French, Spanish, or Italian), and all of them give the impression of being genuinely interested in assisting patrons. The concierge desk could do the standard tasks well --arrange tours, help with airport transport, recommend restaurants. They were impeccable in dealing with wake-up calls, sending ironing boards to the room, and the like. They also seemed to be doing their best in preventing or reacting to the various hassles that can occur in St. Petersburg. Several guests had problems with police or thieves in the city; from what I could tell, the hotel was making a solid effort (probably futile) to lend a hand in all cases.
The location is perfect and the beds are comfortable. And did I mention that the temperature controls in my room all worked perfectly?
OK, I want to move on to the bad news. For all their good intentions, the hotel is still on training wheels. Reservations seemed to get mangled often -- in my case, it took them two days to figure out that the room was prepaid,
and I met a few other guests who arrived to find room sizes and number
of beds that were different from their reservations. Once they get off their basic script, many of the staff are pretty clueless -- when thrown a question they haven't covered in rehearsal they react by simply ignoring it and asking something in their script ("Can I take a reservation for dinner?"), or respond that this question must wait for a "manager" ---apparently, a code word for someone who actually understands the workings of the hotel. Waiting for a manager to figure out something about your bill might take you a day (or two if it's a weekend), so I definitely wouldn't book here for a short stay. Worst of all, when asked something out of their ken, many of the staff seemed to just make an answer up out of thin air.
On check-in I was reminded persistently of the location and time of the breakfast buffet, which is a nice spread that included salmon and caviar. It wasn't mentioned that the buffet was not included in my room rate, and that they were charging an outrageous 30 euro for it. I figure the hotel "spa" is mostly symbolic --- it included a kiddie pool and two sauna rooms, which doesn't go very far in a large hotel with a lot of suana-happy patrons. The one time I went it was managed by a dour attendant who could manage a few cryptic phrases of english ("sauna 1 man. pool 25"-- the latter number refers, I think, to the temperature).
Many people have told me that this is the best hotel in St. Petersburg.
I couldn't prove them wrong. But if so, it says more about the city
than the hotel.
If you are the sort of person who is made uncomfortable by tales of suicide (and I am not), best not check into the Hotel Angleterre.
But it was such a romantic suicide. The Russian poet Sergei Esenin (1895-1925), whose stormy marriage to Isadora Duncan was brief, hanged himself at the Hotel Angleterre on the 28th of December.
With his own blood, on a wall of his hotel room, he wrote his last poem:
Goodbye, my friend, goodbye
My love, you are in my heart.
It was preordained we should part
And be reunited by and by.
Goodbye: no handshake to endure.
Let's have no sadness - furrowed brow.
There's nothing new in dying now
Though living is no newer.
It's unlikely that Mr. Esenin's ghost haunts this 4-star hotel. The place was entirely refurbished in the late 1990s and ghosts do not remain in spaces with which they are not familiar.
Just as the first rule of residential real estate is 'Location. Location. Location.' so it is with a hotel. The Hotel Angleterre is situated in the best possible location, St. Isaac's Square. It's a pleasure to walk out the door to see the grand Cathedral of St. Isaac, the monumental bronze to Tsar Nicholas I, and the fine park that stretches between them. Try to visit in late spring when the fragrance of the park's lilac bushes perfume the air. Ten minutes away is the Winter Palace and the Hermitage facing Palace Square. Two minutes away is the city's emblem, Peter the Great on horseback, known as the Bronze Horseman. And beyond that is the River Neva and its beautiful vistas. As we did, you can easily walk to the Mariinsky Theatre where you will be dazzled by the magic of the ballet.
The spacious lobby is understated. The staff is efficient and responsive to your needs (an iron and ironing board was brought to room in an instant). The hotel's restaurant, the Borsalino Brasserie, hosts the filling, wide-ranging complimentary breakfast each morning, and diner there is very good. Or you can linger over coffee and pastry as you gaze out over the square in the gallery portion of the restaurant.
If the suites that face the square prove to be a budget buster, request a room on the interior courtyard with a fine view of the dome of St. Isaac's, such as the one we enjoyed. The bed was very comfortable, the room clean and pleasant with plenty of closet and shelf space. The white marble tiled bathroom was equipped with a pleasantly, and an unexpectedly, deep and wide sink, a warm towel rack, and shelves for stowing toiletries.
The Hotel Angelterre is a very fine value, but don't write on the walls in your own blood; it has been done.
This is a class act hotel all the way. It is perhaps the nicest hotel I have ever stayed at, anywhere in the world. The service is incredible, the room was fantastic. Meals and room service were top of the charts, as were the dining options within the hotel and adjoining Astoria.
The location cannot be better - right across the street from St. Isaac's Cathedral in the heart of everything. Walk to Nevsky Prospect, to the Hermitage, to Admiralty and the Kazansky Cathedral. I can't say enough good about this hotel. It is also impeccably cleaned/polished. There is a currency exchange right in the lobby too. I cannot wait to return there.
We stayed in Hotel Angleterre 20. - 24.3.2005. Location is very good, you can walk to the main historical attractions of the city. It was nice to wake up in the morning, when you see The Isaak's Cathedral from your bedroom window (it is not seen from every window, so ask about it). Room was nicely furnished and clean. We have to change the room after first night, because at night the room was very cold. They change the room but we did not get any bonus.
We had a room in a club-floor, so we got free breakfast (very good), sauna, local calls and use of a business lounge. Lounge was ok. Sauna was ok, but the bathroom of it was quite cold and gloomy. Hotel is unique, but it is not so glamorous as you might expect after visiting its www-site.
Fine hotel for SPB experience
Stayed 5 nights in November, with great rate from web. Perfect location for exploring St. Petersburg, spitting distance to St. Isaac's, and easy walking to Hermitage and prime locations along Nevsky Prospect. Staff was professional and courteous, and spoke very good English. Concierge was particularly good. Room more than met expectations, reasonable size, very clean, quality bedding; also had a good experience using their laundry/ dry cleaning service. Hotel also has a decent health club facility and nice sauna, and shares access to all facilities at Hotel Astoria. All in all, a fine hotel experience in a beautiful city. Will certainly stay here again on next visit to SPB.
Love this hotel; love the staff
This hotel is a perfect treasure and exceeded all of my expectations. I recently returned from nine days at the Angleterre, having booked an independent visit to St. Petersburg through the hotel concierge service. Our room was exactly as promised, a suite overlooking St. Isaacs Cathedral and Square. The rooms have recently been remodeled, are immaculately clean and the extra space was nice for the length of time we were there. The Borsalino Restaurant is excellent and also provides the hotel room service; we were extremely pleased with the quality and diversity of the menus. The real treasure of this hotel, however, are the four women who staff the concierge desk. I had emailed a list of everything I wanted to see in St. Petersburg (a formidable list) and this was translated into a practical itinerary. We were provided with a car and guide, Irina, who made exploring the city and coutryside a true pleasure. I had also requested information on ballet and symphony performances and was provided a choice of seats with a seating chart. We managed to see four magnificent performances and the Angleterre staff made sure that we had a car to take us and pick us up; everything was made quite effortless. I have never met such a friendly staff. We enjoyed many conversations on a variety of subjects. After being there so long it truly felt like we were leaving the home of friends and we will surely be back. I should also add that the location of the hotel was quite convenient and made walks around the city a real pleasure. Treat yourself and stay here!