Shabby room, depressing beds A review of Grand Hotel Europe by Orient-Express
This was absolutely not a 5-star hotel. We stayed at the Hotel Ararat in Moscow, which was absolutely lovely and perfect in every way, then took an overnight train to St. Petersburg. Our first views of the hotel (and city) were nearly overwhelming. A beautifully restored city with gorgeous neo-Classical buildings. The lovingly restored lobby and dining areas of the Grand Hotel were awesome. Then we got to our room. There were stains on the walls and carpets, a view of the air conditioning units, chipped veneer furniture, and a bed that we sank into like a sinkhole! Apparently, complaints about the too-soft beds are common (they have no other types of beds, even in upgraded rooms, which we were willing to pay for!) because they offered to put a board under our mattress! Then the bed felt like a soft mattress with a board underneath it! Because I am nosy, I peeked into other, $700/night+ rooms, and they were much the same, just with a better view.
I will not exaggerate and say this was the most uncomfortable bed I've ever slept in; after all, I've shared space with bedbugs in Thailand for $1/night, but at THIS price, I was nearly devastated. I guess for some people, it's perfect, but NOT for people who need a good night's sleep on a firm mattress. I could have forgiven even the faint smell of cabbage that lingered in the room, if only the bed had been worthy. Painful. Plus, the other 5-star hotels were already booked, so we couldn't switch hotels. I felt like I was in Purgatory. Oh, well, at least the dining room was amazing.
We have now refurbished 200 of our 300 rooms with the help of French designer Michel Jouannet, focusing on making the rooms intimate, whilst giving the long hallways of the hotel a warmer rich red décor. Michel Jouannet has also worked at the Grand Hotel Europe's sister properties, the Hotel Cipriani in Venice and the Copacabana Palace in Rio.
We have also fully refurbished the Caviar Bar restaurant making it St Petersburg most popular place to dine.
I hope that you will return to the Grand Hotel Europe and give us the opportunity to welcome you to our superb new guest rooms.