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Travel Blogs from St. Petersburg
... late in St Petersburg, but who could tell.. the sun does not go down until after 1am, and went direct to the hotel. Well we thought it was a hotel.. After speaking with security in a gate house, we entered, into a yard of apartments and headed to a green door the guard had pointed us to.. We enter to a staircase and then are guided downstairs to a reception desk, were the reception lady could speak NO English. We worked our way through, ...
... if the money is yours, ignore them.
... who was under 30 was so despondent that she poured the lamp oil over herself and ignited it. After that the lamps were removed and electric lights provided. The last time the prison was used was 1917. Some went mad quite quickly, but others found ways to survive if they were spared the death penalty. . I don't want to end on that note, but we did come home to the ship after that tour, so to digress a bit, I will say that the staff on the ship are really lovely. ...
... Russia, who I have already trusted with my Russian visa and train St P-Moscow, can fix it, for a fee. So the question, with no answer for now, becomes; Vlad-Skor, or visa fees and Mong-Chin? As for my progress in Santa Peter, not bad for a day, so long as you want to experience a definition of 'whistlestop'. Helsinki is a compact, unhurried city. This isn't, and not have I been. * length of time between lights changing to green and the first honk from behind. Orig. ...
... is Petrodvorets (Peter's Palace) was built by Peter the Great so he could oversee the building of Kronshtadt Naval base. The gardens are all set out European style and are supposed to be modeled on Versailles. The Fountains are all gilded and said to be engineered by Peter himself. The centre is supposed to be Samson tearing open the lions jaws to celebrate Peters victory over the Swede's.
Nothing prepares you for the sight. I was there early so I got to ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
- Continental Breakfast
- Room service
- Free High-Speed Internet
- Fitness/Health center
TravelPod Member ReviewsDostoevsky Hotel St. Petersburg
the room was good and they tried to fix the safe which was broken and then offered to move us but we were good. the breakfast wasn't so much. their room service menu said "if you don't see it on the menu, try us, we like a challenge" but when my daughter called to ask for some boiled vegetables, they just told her no, they couldn't do that. so don't offer!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Dostoevsky Hotel St. Petersburg
Dirty rooms, unfriendly staff.
What a disappointing hotel.
The Dostoevsky is obviously huge but the rooms are the smallest they could possibly be. The furniture, the decoration and all the fittings are painfully cheap and showing signs of their age.
Worst of all, look under the beds or move the tables and the rooms are just plain dirty.
The staff constantly look tired and bored and seem to be employed to stand and stare at you. Something you get used to in Russia but could do without in your hotel. The bar staff were particularly unfriendly.
Breakfast is a distinctly low budget buffet.
Overall, you get the impression that the staff just don't want to be there. Not recommended.
OK - not much more
This hotel seems to polarise the views of reviewers on this site. We found it OK, but not much more. The room was small but comfortable enough. However, there was no ventilation and the windows were sealed - very very stuffy.
The location is pretty good - right next to a metro station, and a short walk from Nevsky Prospekt. It's a long (about 3km) walk from the winter palace area, but quite pleasant on a sunny day in September.
The restaurant was pretty hopeless, and the staff generally didn't seem terribly interested.
It wasn't bad, but I would recommend trying somewhere else first.
Very good Hotel
We have a great time in this hotel, the room are very good and the staff are very nices and very helfull. The hotel have a shopping mall where they have a Super market. the Dostoevsky Restaurant have a very good food
we really enjoy our stay there.
Delightful, friendly and welcoming
I have just returned from 4 nights at the Dostoevsky Hotel in St Petersburg. I very nearly had second thoughts about staying there (my first visit to the city) after reading the negative review written in August 2004. Thank goodness I went ahead with my booking. The hotel is situated just off the Nevsky Prospect - not within easy walking distance of the centre but still in a good location. We were a party of 4 (including 2 elderly ladies) and travelled everywhere by taxi. However, more adventurous travellers would have no trouble with busses/metro as both are very close by and frequent. The shopping centre above which the hotel is built is very smart and extremely convenient having an excellent supermarket which is open very long hours. The hotel itself was everything we could have wished for and more. The staff were delightful, all young, speaking very good English and incredibly helpful. They made sure we had everything we needed, booked ballet tickets, taxis and found out details of tours etc. The rooms, although small, had all that was required. They were clean and fresh. The beds were comfortable and we looked over the centre courtyard (not concreted but prettily laid out with trees in pots and swirls of different coloured stones). The window opened in two ways giving either a small or large amount of fresh air. The room was hot to begin with but as there was a temperature control in the room this was simply switched right down to a temperature to suit ourselves. It is a good idea to take your own hairdryer ( lots of plug sockets available) as they are not in the room but only available on request and then removed. The bathroom, although small, was cleverly designed with spacious corner shower and, again, smart and clean. The first night we had a delicious meal in the restaurant. We also really enjoyed the breakfast each day. The buffet was laid out with various bread and rolls, fresh fruit, cereal, salads, yoghurt, smoked salmon, herring, cheese, cold meats, cooked breakfasts also on offer, delicious pastries, fruit juice, various teas and coffee. It really set us up for the day.
Opposite the hotel is the most beautiful church which we visited. They do expect women to cover their heads as a form of respect so remember to take a scarf.
Very close to the hotel (two minutes walk) is a great little pancake restaurant where we sampled wonderful Russian food. They serve delicious soup - a meal in itself - and all sorts of crepes with fillings such as caviar and smoked salmon.
Downtown, modern rooms; great friendly service
I have previously visited St Petersburg and had the misfortune to stay at the infamous old style soviet type, The Hotel Moscow - believe me this was not good and by looking at recent reports it continues to be bad.
My advice to anyone planning a trip to St Petersburg, as part of a package tour, is to pay the extra (typically + £60/$120 pp based on a 4 night stay) to stay at the Dostoevsky hotel. You will not regret it. The Dostoevsky Hotel was really great. Downtown, clean and modern rooms, and with great friendly service. The restaurant food was excellent as was the food we had in the bar area.
The hotel also has the added benefit of being within a mall complex. There is a top quality supermarket on the ground floor where you can buy drinks, snacks etc. And if you visit in the winter months the whole mall/ hotel area is lovely and warm.
A real find - you will enjoy the Dostoevsy
Six of us stayed in the Dostoevsky from 17 to 21 September. I will not write as much as I had intended as the review by the User from Bradford on 14 September really says it all.
It is a very good place to stay indeed especially as, before we set off, the tour company notified us of a change from the Moskva Hotel (what a relief!).
What impressed all of us was the attitude and care of the staff - a long haul from the dreaded Intourist days.
We would all stay there again without a doubt , and we are seasoned travellers. I am told that there are going to be in-room safes soon. One tip - the shower rooms are first class but you do need your own plug for the brand new wash basin and, of course, do not drink the tap water.
There are some quite good restaurants nearby in walking distance - the Orient Express is a good choice. Another advantage is that the hotel is above a shopping mall where there is a well stocked 24 hour supermarket where you can buy your bottled water and reasonably priced wine (expensive in restaurants although Russian beer is tasty and cheap). There is also an ATM machine in the hotel lobby.
Give the hotel a try - you will like it very much, even if you are used to 5 star standards.
Dostoevesky deserves six stars for effort!
I stayed for 4 nights at the Dostoevsky this month (September 2004) and would unhesitatingly return.
Negatives? Well, nothing's perfect. Yes, the shower switched from hot to cold too viciously and a hairdryer in the room would have been good. There was no safety deposit box in the hotel, although the reception clerk assured us it was safe to leave things in the rooms. Of course, it was - but I think international travellers would appreciate the security of in-room safes. It would have been good to have had postcards and stamps available at reception, although tourist information leaflets were available on demand. Oh yes, and the coathangers were slightly too big for the wardrobe, so that hanging up one item late at night meant a lot of loud rattling for the room next door!
Positives? How long have you got?
Unfailingly polite and attentive staff. Special mention to Elena and Anna on reception, Boris the Concierge, the two red-uniformed doormen/bellhops, the Maitre d' in the Dostoevsky restaurant and the whole waiting staff, both in the evening and at breakfast, in particular, Ayo.
Breakfast was 'lively' with a real polyglot mixture of visitors in, sometime none too patient or polite. It calmed down around 9 as tourgroups left. As independent travellers, we had the opportunity to take a bit more time over it. It was the same menu everyday and very typical of any good, European hotel: breads, cold meats & cheeses, fruit, cereals, sausages, eggs, small sweet cakes; russian additions of bliny, smoked salmon, pickled herrings and kasha (porridge) to die for were very welcome too. Unlimited coffee too, of course. In a country where, in my understanding, it is still not easy to get a wide variety of foodstuffs, we were embarrassingly well provided for. Staff restocked the buffet constantly and were very efficient at moving dirty crockery from our tables.
The one evening meal we had in the restaurant was excellent, a shame we were the only ones there. A 3-course meal for two, with Russian beer, came in at the equivalent of under 50USD. The food was excellently cooked and beautifully presented, the waiters clearly getting a good training.
The air-conditioning was a little fierce and the patio door open, I was cold: the air-conditioning they couldn't alter but they closed the door; it opened again; they tried again, ditto. One of the waiters stood in the gap as a windbreak. The tried to wedge it closed. They fetched the engineer, who repaired the door in minutes, all this without fuss or complaint. We could not fault any of the staff for their sheer willingness to oblige.
To have the minibar opened, you have to register your credit card at reception. Within 2 minutes a uniformed lady came to the room, asked permission to enter and opened up. Bottled water cost 30 RUR (around 0.75UKP), exactly the same price as in the shopping mall cafes.
The room was cleaned thoroughly every day and new towels left, whether asked for or not. The room and bathroom were both spotless.
Boris the Concierge ordered theatre tickets for us (great seats) for two evenings; these were automatically charged to my credit card by room number. The bill was viewable on the hotel info pages on the room TV.
The hotel is very conveniently located at the Vladimirskaya/Dostoevskaya metro stations. The St. Petersburg metro system hasn't the best coverage in the world but being on 2 lines means everything that could be accessed by metro was available to us. A single journey anywhere costs 8 RUR (0.20 GBP) and a 10-trip card 66 RUR (1.62). The hotel is happy to order taxis, and their rates seem reasonable enough for a big city, but the metro was much more fun!
The hotel fronts on to Vladimirskaya Square and the Vladimir church - next time I'll ask for a room facing the church, a beautiful building and a real, worshipping church, not a museum. The area behind the church is fine but there were lots of groups of gypsy women and children there, for whom St. Petersburg is notorious. On our last afternoon we were also hotly pursued by someone demanding money from anyone they could lay hands on but we were able to slip into the harbour of the Dostoevsky's reception area unharmed. We actually saw very little 'untoward' behaviour throughout the city and certainly not by the hotel (although we were sometimes a little embarrassed by the way other English-speakers spoke to the staff AS - THOUGH - THEY - WERE - STUPID) and we were very comfortable with the hotel's security: 2 doormen, a concierge, 2 reception clerks and a security man on permanent duty.
The hotel's publicity says it is the new standard for 3 star hotels and I have to agree. It is vastly different from the big Soviet hotels I last stayed in in Russia, some 30 years ago; there may be other hotels like it in the city but we didn't see any. Maybe Dostoevsky is something of a trail-blazer: the staff certainly deserve a lot of credit for their hard work and cheeful commitment to service.
Did these people actually STAY at this hotel?!
If you've already booked to stay at the Dostoevsky, don't worry. I'm sure it'll be fine.
If you haven't booked, stay away. While the official rating is three-star, I can't say the place deserves much more than two stars overall. Let's start with the room. The hotel is massive, taking up the top three floors of a newish seven storey building, above a small shopping mall (complete with gun shop as well as a handy supermarket). However, there are only two small lifts up to the rooms, one of which was out of order for much of our stay. While this may be acceptable at three in the morning, it is not at five in the afternoon when a coachload of Italian tourists (the hotel's main occupants) has arrived in reception. The rooms are small by any standards, and many only have views of the inside of the shopping mall or the two indoor "gardens" (large squares of concrete). However the windows in the rest of the rooms barely open anyway so fresh air is hard to come by regardless of where the room is. Ventilation, however, is readily available. Like it or not. 24 hours a day, the cold blast of air conditioning blowing down over your bed. It can of course be turned off, but only by the "engineer" (who, conveniently, wasn't around when we asked after him). It became really unpleasant after a couple of days. The decor of the room is fine, but even after a few months it is showing disturbing signs of wear and tear - poorly fitted skirting and doorframes, furniture falling apart... I'd hate to see what the place will look like this time next year, let alone in ten years' time (if the hotel is still functioning of course). Other annoyances in the room include the way that the shower jumps from boiling hot to freezing cold every few seconds, the cramped bathroom with zero storage space, the toilet which made noises for hours after flushing.
The restaurant. Maybe we've been spoilt, but this was a mess. The choice of food at breakfast is adequate, but they've obviously been searching for ways to cut corners. Revolting sausages, only one jam (of the cheap and sugary type), and far too many waiters hanging around doing nothing when there was plenty to be done.
In fact the staff in general, with some exceptions, have got a lot to learn. When asked for advice or attention, they seemed constantly reluctant to help, and even put the phone down on us when we phoned them to ask for the minibar to be unlocked (so that they could charge us £4 for some fruit juice). The fitness centre is pretty hopeless - they charge guests for using it, and you have to book the sauna over an hour in advance because they don't keep it on all the time.
Maybe I'm not typical of guests at the Dostoevsky, but from what other guests we spoke to said, I don't think I am. If you can afford it, stay somewhere nicer - and closer to the centre, which is quite a walk from the hotel.
The hotel is correct but be careful to take COMFORT room and not a SINGLE room (really too small).
They charged you $12 for one hour of basic internet dsl connection in your room or in the business center, so i think its better to go to QUO VADIS internet cafe on nevsky (a lot cheaper of course !)
The breakfast is ok but nothing really special.
The best point for this hotel is the location (closed to nevsky and subway) and also the 24h/24 supermarket located in the same building.
Staff is ok. Security is ok.
A new, excellent, ***St Petersburg hotel
My wife and I spent four nights at the Dostoevsky Hotel a fortnight ago. It is excellent. First class location just off Nevsky, very close to metro station. It is new (about six months), large pleasaant room, first class shower, good breakfast. Set within an up-market shopping centre with several nice cafes - and has its own restaurant.
A tip: if you fly from Pulkovo 1, try the small airport duty-free shop: it sells very large bottles of whisky, etc (British blended brands) Whyte and Mackay was $49... for four and a half litres!