Saint Petersburg Élite
Saint-Petersburg’s grandeur rivals that of any other major city. With a stunning number of imposing palaces lining the streets of Saint-Petersburg it is easy to grasp the imperial beauty of this remarkable city.
A plethora of magnificent buildings sprung up in Saint-Petersburg during the 18th and 19th century and have borne witness to some of the most important events in history.
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Noble Origins & Opulence and Grandeur
A plethora of magnificent buildings sprung up in Saint-Petersburg during the 18th and 19th century and have borne witness to some of the most important events in history. Peter the Great had a grand vision to transform this small town into the throne of the Russian Empire and have it serve as a beacon of Russian prosperity and power. Peter achieved this with distinction, having the Russian nobility move to the city that was soon to become his capital and construct grand palaces on an unprecedented scale.
An array of architectural styles was utilized leaving an interesting variety of palatial buildings in the city centre. Originally a Finnish fortress at the mouth of the River Neva, Saint-Petersburg was absorbed by the Russian Empire to provide a year round port city to the Russians. The Peter and Paul Fortress, founded in 1703, was the first building of the planned city that was to become the capital of the Russian Empire. The Peter and Paul Fortress is also home to the Peter and Paul Cathedral, which is where almost every Russian Emperor from Peter the Great onwards is interred.
No other Russian city can compete with Saint-Petersburg when it comes to opulence and grandeur, and the cultural pursuits on offer reflect this illustrious description. Founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great the State Hermitage Museum is one of the largest and oldest museums in the world. The quite literally unmatched collection of paintings that have been accumulated in The Hermitage is the largest in the world. Housed in the Winter Palace that on its own would inspire wonderment, the wide array of pieces on show is considered one of the finest collections of the arts globally. Catherine the Great was a connoisseur of the arts and a tireless collector, amassing a huge tranche of world-class paintings, antiquities and much more. Catherine’s extensive initial collection formed the basis of the Hermitage Museum, which opened to the public in 1852.
The Winter Palace, which forms some of the Hermitage Museum, was the home of the Russian Tzars from 1732 to 1917. As the imperious exterior will alert you to, the palace is opulence in the extreme. The dining table in the main dining room could seat 1,000 people and the main ballroom could accommodate 10,000. The palace was initially built in an Elizabethan Baroque style designed to be a reflection of the might of the Russian Empire and there are an endless number of statistics that will dazzle even the most extravagant modern person. The wealth of the old Russian Monarch is nowhere more visible than in this exquisite palace.
The Mariinsky Theatre, like many of the buildings in Saint-Petersburg, is one of the finest examples of a building of its type in the world. It is home to the Mariinsky Ballet, Mariinsky Orchestra and Mariinsky Opera three of the finest troupes of the performance arts globally. It was here that many of the stage masterpieces by Tchaikovsky, Mussogorsky and Rinsky-Korsakov performed their premiere and this excellence has continued to this day. Still a functioning and renowned theatre, admirers of the performance arts should attend this amazing home of the arts.
Swanky Cocktail Venues
Saint-Petersburg is known for its architectural beauty and imperial design with the exclusive nightlife scene kept to swanky cocktail venues. The Griboedov bar located in the Taleon Imperial luxury hotel is a lively and elegant nightlife option. Griboedov Gastro Bar is named after Alexander Griboedov (1795 -1829), a man famous in Russian literature for just one work, the verse play Woe From Wit. Griboedov lived in the building (on Bolshaya Morskaya); his other career was as a diplomat, and one of his first postings was to Georgia. The bar serves delicious Georgian delicacies in honor of Griboedev to complement the delicious mixed drinks that are offered in this stylish watering hole.
Exceptional Russian Delicacies
Although the majority of the fine dining options are found in the luxury hotels of Saint-Petersburg this does not detract from the exceptional Russian delicacies on offer. Above all else in Saint-Petersburg there is the panoramic Bellevue Brasserie at the top of the Kempinski Hotel, where the menu is as international as the clientele. With its 360-degree view of the city this trendy restaurant really is the place to see and be seen. People love to sit here for hours, taking in the famous view over the Hermitage Museum - the former Winter Palace of the Tsars - and take time for friends and family. Linger over lunch, with Kamchatka crab, or the French cheese plate and a glass of Brunello.
Restaurant Palkin is one of the oldest dining establishments in Saint-Petersburg and one of the few that has retained its original name and location. Its roots go back to the Saint-Petersburg restaurateurs, the Palkin family, the first mention of whom dates back to 1785. Initially, the popularity of the family's taverns, and then later the "Palkin" restaurants was extraordinary. The most fashionable - restaurant "K.P. Palkin" - was situated on the corner of the Nevsky and the Vladimirsky Prospekts, house number 47. Konstantin Palkin purchased the building in 1871, after he inherited the business of his father, Pavel Palkin. On September 8, 1874, came the grand opening of the restaurant with 25 dining halls, a billiard room, private cabinets, and a majestic staircase that was adorned with exotic plants and a gorgeous, sparkling fountain.
Live Like the King
Saint-Petersburg’s luxury hotels have the envious ability to be located in former palaces. In these brilliant hotels you will live like a Tzar. Positioned among Russia’s finest hotels, Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace provides the ultimate Saint-Petersburg luxury accommodation experience: living like Russian royalty in an authentic 19th-century palace. Heritage hotel interiors, including the main stairway, vestibule and entry hall, have all been painstakingly restored to their original 1820 beauty. Newly appointed luxury hotel areas reflect imperial Russian style while feeling fresh, light and contemporary. From a four-level glass-enclosed spa with vitality pool and Russian steam room, designed to exude warmth on even the coldest winter day, to full-service business facilities available 24 hours, Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace Saint-Petersburg offers modern amenities amid 19th-century opulence.
Kempinski Hotel Moika 22 is located in a quiet historical area, in the very heart of Saint-Petersburg, on the Moika River, opposite the renowned Hermitage Museum and Palace Square. The Hotel is just two minutes walk from the Nevsky Prospect and close to all major sights and shopping. Complete with 21st century luxury, this hotel conveys an elegance unseen since the days of the Tsars, when Dostoyevsky and Strauss were frequent visitors. When you enter the Kempinski Hotel Moika 22 you have stepped into the world of Anna Karenina. Luxury is a Russian philosophy, a philosophy that says the very highest standards of service and comfort contribute to the quality of life - your life. The Hotel Kempinski Moika 22 is a world that will be familiar to you, a world without compromise, a world of architecture and antiques, exquisite materials and wizard technology.