Magnificently colossal, rich inÂ culture and full of enchanting mysteries, Russia has always been aÂ doorway to one of my dreams. Needless to say, the wish has been fulfilledÂ twice now.Â The countryâ€™s capital, Moscow, is something straightÂ out of a fairy-tale with its seamless blend of wilderness and refinement. When I got invited to Moscow by The St. Regis NikolskayaÂ I headed withÂ my boundless excitement to see the city yet again along with some fellowÂ Dubai influencers. This luxury hotel added the much needed dose of splendour to our stay. IfÂ the hotelâ€™s location near the Red Square isnâ€™t a goodÂ reason to make it your temporary residence when in Moscow, then St Regisâ€™ opulentÂ heritage laced with luxury serviceÂ is definitely what you need to try.
ARRIVING IN MOSCOW:
Having experienced the beautyÂ and the magic of the Moscow before in 2011, I was ecstatic to visit this Russian cityÂ yet again. Although theÂ immigration procedure took a little longer than expected, the zest ofÂ exploring was revived as soon as I stepped out of the airport and drove past the beautiful historical buildings. My heart raced with excitement when we finally reached the hotel and pulled over in the glorious well lit entrance.
WHEN I STEPPED FOOT IN ST REGIS:
Walking through the glass doors of this exquisite hotel felt like walkingÂ straight into a celestial castle. High regal vintageÂ ceilings, stunningÂ stairways, massive lux chandeliers, detailed carpeted floor; St Regis Moscow is indeed a paradise to enter with its Russian architecture and theÂ perfect meld of gold and timber.Â My curiosity grewÂ as I was escorted to my suite room through aÂ luscious red and gold carpeted pathway. My private butler whoâ€™d guidedÂ me to my pavilion gave me a tour of the suite and I was touchedÂ with the polite service and the elite expanse of my room. I was welcomed with a plate ofÂ Â sweets and chocolates (which were demolished within a minute) and simply couldn’t get overÂ the size of my room. My grand suite included a living room, a bedroom, two washrooms and a spaciousÂ walk-in closet. The living room wasnâ€™t any less than a mansion withÂ intricate carvings and Russian paintings lacing the roomâ€™s dÃ©cor. TheÂ bathroom came with a massive bathtub surrounded by marble and goldÂ fittings while the lights of the suite were controlled by a touch system. ToÂ say the least, the room was an ideal destination for a grandeur yetÂ homely retreat!
Unwinding the tour exertion inch by inch is what I needed and the hotel’sÂ Iradium Spa couldnâ€™t have done that better! I opted for a foot massageÂ along with a jet lag massage and was totally swept off with theÂ waking result of the therapies. The hotel amenities include the gym andÂ an indoor swimming pool as well. The pool here serves as aÂ convenient escape from the cityâ€™s unpredictable weather.
From Italian cuisine with a Russian twist to St Regisâ€™ high tea ceremony,Â the hotel restaurants got my food dilemmas covered with an expert and aÂ fancy flair! Our days began with a wide spread of not just local specialitiesÂ but also American/continental options. Our daily meals were servedÂ at Tavola, an Italian restaurant renowned for its authentic dishes.Â Moreover, I was fortunate enough to experience the Jazz night that isÂ hosted every once in a month in the hotel. HowÂ can I not mention the famousÂ highÂ tea ceremony; a perfect amalgamation of all items that compliment your teaÂ hour â€“ scones, pastries, cakes, sandwiches and bubbly!
TOURS AND EXCURSIONS:
A trip to Moscow would be incomplete without visiting the famous sights. On our first day we had a walking tour around the city which was arranged and planned by the hotel. It was definitely the only time that history intrigued me and the weather played the perfect companion. We walked around the famous Nikolskaya street, admired the stunning Red Square, Bolshoi Theatre, Â St Basil’s Cathedral, Kremlin and visited the 200 year old GUM Mall. I think its best to see these main attractions by foot. Not only did we get a chance to stop at every nook and corner to capture the beauty but also gotÂ to soak in the city’s magic.
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We also visited Â the Garage Museum, a hub for great artists around the world to exhibit their talent. We were fortunate enough to see a piece of art by Takashi Murakami.
Bunker 42 Museum:
This was definitelyÂ my favourite excursion in the whole trip. Located 65 meters below ground level, this cold war museum allows you to experience the real bunker atmosphere that the soldiers lived in. This place originally served as a secret gateway for the military during the war times. It was so fascinating to walk down 15 floors and cross the bunkers, see the equipments, costumes, machinery, Soviet radios, chemical protective suits and technology used in those days. Back then the bunker was well equipped with food and water to support the officers for a long time. With a 19th century house as a cover nobody can ever make out what’s behindÂ those doors. As of today the museum has a restaurant, cinema and a banquet for events.
Located right next to the Kremlin, this luxury collection hotel is Moscow’s famous landmark and we were so lucky to get a chance to explore this gorgeous property. It’s the historic grandeur and the understated elegance of this hotelÂ that has attracted world famous personalities like Pierre Cardin, Gianfranco Ferre, Style icon Sophia Loren, Barack Obama and many others. Our tour began with a quick walk through the vintage suites that are inspired by the hotel’s nineteenth century dÃ©cor and are have breathtaking views of the Kremlin. ThisÂ followed by a traditional meal with the hotel’s team. The meal was a quintessential Russian set up withÂ a round table loaded with beautiful cutlery, ancient roll up menus, delicious local food and a huge dreamy window overlooking the red square. An afternoon well spent!
THE BENTLEY EXPERIENCE
As a part of my royalÂ stay at the suite, I was taken for a grandÂ chauffeur drive around Moscow in a Bentley. It was one of the best experiences ever. To be able to look at the same sights at night is another wonder altogether. For the guests who book a minimum two night stay at the suite they will enjoy a 2 hour drive around Moscow or an airport pick up/drop in the stunning Bentley Flying Spur.
Even though I had an action packed three day schedule I managed to spare some time and visit the famous Cafe Pushkin for dinner. A visit to this antique dining room with a Russian menuÂ should be a must on every traveller list.
The hotel staff stole my heart with their polite and helpful demeanour.Â Traveling around was made easy by the concierge, the packing andÂ unpacking was smoother with the butler service they offer and every touristÂ staying over is provided with a personal butler who can be reached easilyÂ when needed. Excellent service with a luxurious treatment is what I experienced!
WHAT I LOVED:
– You can avail butler services with every single room category. The butlers are available on WhatsApp and also offer packing and unpacking services.
– The hotel is located right in the city centre which makes it so convenient to walk to the red square through Nikolskaya street. Also there’s a metro station right outside the hotel.
Tel: +7 495 967-77-76
Tour company in Moscow:Â https://www.facebook.com/M.I.TravelGroup
Garage Museum http://garagemca.org/en
Bunker 42 Museum http://bunker42.com/eng/
National Hotel, The Luxury Collection http://www.national.ru/