We had a fantastic weekend at the Petroff Palace Hotel in Moscow. I would say we had the most Russian weekend. As you know, I’m a bit obsessed with hotels. They are my number one indulgence. I constantly search for hotels online to see what’s out there. In fact, when I arrive in a city I love checking out live the hotels I saw online. Likewise, I never miss a chance of having a coffee in every city’s best hotels. So I had eyed the Petroff Hotel before going to Russia.
We were staying with a friend in an apartment next to the Old Arbat Street. The weekend was approaching so we decided it was the perfect time to stay at the hotel. Thus, after saying our goodbyes we went directly to the hotel. Granted, the Petroff Palace Hotel is not in downtown Moscow. However, it’s a 5-minute walk to the Dinamo and the Petrovskiy Park Metro Stations. Hence, you can be in the Kremlin in less than half an hour. Thus, we went by metro to the Palace! As you know, with all the flights we take and our selfish lifestyle we have a huge ecological footprint. Consequently, we take public transportation whenever we can. In this way, we reduce our footprint a bit and get to hang with locals. Perfection!
The hotel’s lobby is tastefully decorated. In fact, sophisticated antiques and modern top-notch amenities decorate all the rooms and public areas. Likewise, the park surrounding the hotel, once the palace garden, is delicately manicured. The lovely lady at the reception greeted us and told us a bit about the history of the hotel. Then, the bell boy accompanied us to our room.
Though we had booked a standard room, we got a complimentary upgrade to one of the rooms facing the Court of Honor, the garden-patio in front of the main palace. Another thing we loved about the hotel is its size. With only 43 rooms, it really is exclusive. Our room was big and had both a classic and modern look. That is real, noble materials were used, such as wood and real brass. None of that blend beige look fancy hotels try to emulate nowadays. A special mention goes to our spacious and comfortable bathroom overlooking the patio.
We rested for a while and then went to eat at the Karamzin. The restaurant is truly beautiful. They offer local and international cuisine. Everything we had was simply delicious! I believe that those of you who are foodies will appreciate the restaurant even more. Russians have a thing for food, so you can imagine the quality of the wines, salmon and caviar at a palace. After overeating, we had to take a siesta. Gardens surround the hotel, so there are neither cars nor pollution, perfect for deep sleeping. We woke up and went to the basement pool. They have a pool, a fitness center (which we didn’t use), and a sauna. You can have all sorts of massages. Absolutely brilliant!
Great Base for Exploring Moscow
Fully rested, we went out to dance the night away. As mentioned above, the hotel is not downtown, but close enough, so taxis are inexpensive. We got to Mono Bar in less than 30 minutes and had a ball. The club has a powerful sophisticated sound system, a superb DJ, and Russians are handsome. What else could you ask for? Brilliant drinks and cocktails! We came back at dawn and spent the next day within the hotel. We had breakfast, read, had coffee, slept, used the spa, slept a little more, and basically enjoyed ourselves doing nothing. Fantastic!
The Petroff Palace Hotel is a real palace built by Catherine the Great from 1776 to 1780 to host royals coming from St. Petersburg to Moscow. That’s what its name in Russian means: Peter’s Arrival Palace (Петровский подъездной дворец). However, Catherine visited the palace only once! Her son Paul I of Russia abandoned the palace. Apparently, mother and son had a terrible relationship. Anyhow, rumor has it that no other than Napoleon stayed in the hotel, and saw Moscow’s 1812 great fire from the palace. Alexander Pushkin wrote: “from here, lost in thought, he gazed at the terrible fire”. Of course, once the fire ended, Napoleon burned down the hotel! Fortunately, the hotel was brought back to life almost immediately.
Russian architect Matvey Kazkov designed a regal and simple Neo-Gothic Romantic building. However, look for elements of a style called Muscovite Baroque and Russian themes. The columns by the entrance shaped like bottles are especially interesting. Likewise, take note of the moldings, gates, and arches. The Palace even has Turkish and Genoa fortresses inspired towers. The latter makes sense considering that Russia had just won the war against Turkey and liberated Europe from Ottoman attackers.
Petroff Palace Hotel Today
Until the October Revolution of 1918, the palace was a royal hotel visited by the likes of Mikhail Lermontov, the poet of the Caucasus. In 1922 the Bolsheviks established there the Zhukovsky Air Force Academy, the world’s largest and oldest scientific school of aeronautics. In doing so, the Bolsheviks preserved the Petroff Palace Hotel almost intact. Exactly, the other 6 imperial palaces in Moscow were all reconstructed. That explains why it looks so beautiful and authentic. The final restoration was done from 1999 to 2010 to bring the hotel to current luxury standards.
What can we say about the service? In all honesty, we found Russians to be very professional throughout the country. Being a same-sex couple, we were a bit apprehensive. However, we were treated nicely everywhere we went. Additionally, the same company that manages The Metropol Hotel, a historic hotel we plan to visit soon, manages the Petroff. They really know how to be elegant and relaxed at the same time. They speak several languages and are eager to help and make you feel at home.
History Lived First Hand
Back in Moscow from Siberia, we stayed at the Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya, another Russian jewel. We loved it! All through Russia, we got to experience history from within. To us, that is the ultimate travel experience. There you are, surrounded by beauty and history, so your mind travels in time. Do yourself a favor and book a room at the Petroff Palace Hotel in Moscow. There aren’t many real hotel palaces in the world, and this one is for sure one of the bests!
You can book it HERE