Four Seasons inaugurates the first Russian hotel in St. Petersburg
Travelers to the Russian Imperial City now have a true luxury option when deciding where to stay. Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is set to open its first Russian hotel in a former royal palace in St. Petersburg in May. The grand, historic building is located in the heart of the city and features a must-see yellow facade, huge classic white columns, and a blue-green roof (the official colors of the city’s bustling 18th and 19th century structures). Once the 19eIn the last century, home of Princess Lobanova-Rostovskaya, the Lion Palace is today the city’s first luxury hotel.
For its debut in Russia, Four Seasons bypassed the economic and political center of Moscow in favor of the country’s second city, capital of culture. Here you will find arguably the best ballet in the world (The Mariinsky Ballet Company), one of the largest and oldest art museums (The State Hermitage Museum) and magnificent architecture from the Imperial era that has remained surprisingly unscathed throughout the city’s tumultuous past. .
The Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace Saint Petersburg was originally built in 1820 by French architect Auguste de Montferrand and is the image of 19th century architecture for which Saint Petersburg is known and loved (Baroque, colorful, ornate). Two white marble lions flank both sides of the main entrance to the palace and were immortalized in Alexander Pushkin’s 1833 poem, “The Bronze Horseman”.
The interior splendor of the original building is also intact. Reardon Smith Architects and interior designer Anderson Miller led the restoration and conversion. The hotel has an impressive main staircase clad in marble, elaborate moldings, and gold and bronze accents, all restored to its original 1820s splendor. A few updates have been made, however, including the addition of a fifth floor (where the bedrooms have roof terraces overlooking Saint Isaac’s Cathedral) and two interior courtyards now topped with glass roofs. One of them is the new Winter Garden, a year-round glass-enclosed tea room with trees and flowers. The 177 rooms are bright with large windows that open onto the city or interior courtyards; each is dressed in creamy neutrals and classic furniture intended to resemble Russian Imperial design (upholstered headboards, bronze and gold accents, lacquered dressers).
Italian chef Andrea Accordi runs the hotel’s two restaurants, a restaurant that will bear his name and offers modern Italian cuisine, and Sintoho, an Asian restaurant that has a sushi bar and a private room equipped with a teppanyaki table. The bar, Xander, will serve traditional zakuskis (Russian appetizers), champagne by the glass and, of course, cigars and cognac (this is Russia, after all). The four-level spa in one of the glass-enclosed courtyards features six treatment rooms, a fitness center, sensation showers, a dry sauna, and a Russian-style steam sauna with traditional birch branches. On the upper level of the spa is the Vitality Pool, which has been designed to allow sunlight to pass through and keep the space warm, even on a cold Russian winter day.