Good service, overpriced meals A review of Rocco Forte Hotel Astoria
We stayed at the hotel Astoria for five days over Russian Orthodox Easter and May 1st. We found the central position in the historical centre a great advantage. The hotel is well appointed and combines art deco with modern comfort. The bath is impeccable. If anything is out of order a call to the desk will have it fixed soon.
The breakfast is sumptuous, a buffet of all foods you would find elswhere in Europe. However, the price is out of this world - St. Petersburg is adapting to capitalist rules, they will demand all they can get. Few people are prepared to start their day by going out to search for a better deal in another hotel.
The service in the restaurant and tearoom/bar is good only by local standards, the waiters and waitresses seem to understand english but in fact they have only a few standard words and all convesration and requests outside this spectrum become very complicated. Arrogance will get you nowhere in Russia in general - the people are proud and if they feel unjustly criticised become balky. Some basic russian and understanding of cultural differences will do a lot to make life easyer. The prices here again are much too high compared with the quality of most foods you get, but here the customer can decide to go to one of the many competitive restaurants in town.