St. Petersburg: the Venice of the North... with out the Western Culture A review of Park Inn Pribaltiyskaya St Petersburg
I will not waste too much space on pointing out that, in Russian culture, smiling to strangers is considered a sign of mental infirmity. Smiling is considered a sign of affection that is only reserved for friends and family and is seldom directed towards brief acquaintances. That being said, more of the staff than not at Pribaltiyskaya, as with most destinations in Russia, speak only broken English. If you are not the type of traveler to leave your Western comfort zone and dive into a language and culture not based in Latin or German Pribaltiyskaya Hotel is not for you. If putting a little effort into your communications is not a problem for you, something one must do everywhere in Russia unless a personal translator is always at hand, then you will find that the well kept rooms are more than worth the effort. Know that, if anything, the rooms will get a little too warm during the winter and spring months (an open window will solve this in only minutes). The food in the restaurants and bars is quite good and the computer service in the business center is better than most, but it is a little expensive. Wireless internet is available free of charge in many locations. One complaint that is valid is the Pribaltiyskaya's distal location from St. Petersburg proper; however, the view from the hotel onto the Finnish gulf is beautiful enough to make up for any geographical inconvenience. One last note, in the spring of 2005 the Pribaltiyskaya was in the early stages of construction of an indoor (heated) water park as part of their facilities.