Great Location A review of Rocco Forte Hotel Astoria
Our room on the 6th floor (5th really) in the Astoria was very nice, not huge, but looked towards the inner courtyard = nice and quiet. The room had parquet flooring and marble bathroom (robes and slippers provided) with maid service at least twice a day. In the evening the beds (very comfortable) are turned down and towels refreshed in the bathroom. 1 bottle of water per person is provided per day (you cannot drink St Petersburg tap/faucet water, so cleaning your teeth is fun!). If you are a sensitive non smoker ask for a room away from the stairwell as the smell seeps through all the same. The Manager did tell us they have 2 non smoking floors and are opening a third one shortly. We found our room a little too warm despite the a/c, but we imagine it would be necessary in the winter months (we visited in mid April 2004). The staff are all very helpful and finding English speakers was not a problem. The service in the Davidov Restaurant was impeccable, under the watchful eye of a very efficient Canadian. The breakfast buffet in Davidov's was very comprehensive with a huge variety of everything and you can even have caviar and champagne from the breakfast buffet if you so wish!! The dinner menu is equally delicious, with live classical music and tasteful singing at the weekend.
The Astoria is very well located and some of the main sights are within a 5-10-15 minute walk and Nevsky Prospect perhaps 15-20 minutes - you are well advised to be extremely careful/wary on this street as the Nevsky Prospect is VERY busy and notorious for pickpockets - the traffic is also manic so take care when crossing. If you go to the Mariinsky Theatre for ballet etc try eating at Director Valery Gergiev's new restaurant "Backstage Restaurant", Teatralnaya pl 18/10, St Petersburg, which adds to the experience. I shall look forward to returning to St Petersburg one day and would stay at the Astoria again.