Best Hotels in Moscow | Departures
The lowdown on the best places to stay in Russia's capital, including the best five-star hotel in Moscow and the best boutique options
This month’s ‘Departures’ provides you with information on ‘better’ things to do in Moscow – it’s our guide to everything and everywhere the discerning traveller needs to know: From the best bars in Moscow and the best restaurants in Moscow to the best Moscow hotels and the capital’s architectural highlights.
Moscow’s best hotels are world class and a world away from the Western stereotype of gloomy, imposing high-rises with surly staff (although these certainly still exist too).
In recent years a number of mid-range options have also sprung up, along with an increasing number of flats being let via Air BnB and other sites. The World Cup has boosted the number of hosts there if you are looking for a private flat.
Best Hotels in Moscow #1: Hotel Metropol
The Metropol, a stone’s throw from Red Square, is one of the capital’s foremost examples of art nouveau design. Each of the hotel’s rooms or suites has a unique touch and the building itself has a storied history dating back to 1907.
Taken by the Soviets in 1917 to be the official residence of leaders of the Bolshevik party, the Metropol became a hotel again in the 1930s and since then has hosted a number of foreign and Russian luminaries – from George Bernard Shaw, Bertolt Brecht and Sergei Prokofiev to Mao Tse-tung, Marlene Dietrich and Michael Jackson. More info: metropol-moscow.ru
Best Hotels in Moscow #2: Radisson Royal
Formerly known at the Hotel Ukraina, this five star hotel is located in one of the Stalinist Seven Sisters skyscrapers and sits opposite the Russian White House, or government building. The rooms are as you would expect from a hotel of this standard and there are 360-degree views of the city from its Mercedes bar (or the very top of the building if you walk another couple of floors up).
If you don’t get your fill of the city from above, there’s a diorama of Moscow on the first floor of the building – commissioned by the Soviet Ministry of Russian Affairs in the 1970s – with lighting effects that show the mini-capital transitioning from day to night. More info:radissonblu.com
Best Hotels in Moscow #3: Ritz-Carlton
For some more modern Russian history, check yourself into Moscow’s Ritz-Carlton, the reported site of Donald Trump’s… much-discussed visit to the city in 2013.
The write-ups of his trip don’t scream glamour but the hotel itself is stunning and the rooftop lounge bar has a view of the Kremlin. Located in the very centre of the capital, it’s perfectly located for seeing Moscow’s best sights, and there’s a highly recommended spa and gym inside the hotel. More info: ritzcarlton.com
Best Hotels in Moscow #4: StandArt
StandArt is among the most stylish hotels in Moscow. The exterior is all old-world Russia but the interior was designed by artist Stanislav Tratesvskiy. Supposedly inspired by sci-fi classics such as Blade Runner and Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris when he was creating it, Tratesvskiy has given the whole hotel a retro-futuristic theme.
Best Hotels in Moscow #5: Nikola Lenivets
If you have a bit of time to spend outside of Moscow, it’s well worth the roughly three-hour trip to Nikola Lenivets, an modern art and sculpture park set in over 600 hectares of countryside.
The complex offers a number of unique accommodation options, such as the constructivist-inspired “Headquarters” private building or creatively converted barns. The ideal starting or ending point for a trip exploring the artworks dotted across the grounds. More info: nikola-lenivets.ruTheo Merz is a British journalist based in Moscow. Keep up with him on Twitter. Lead image shows the Radisson Blu Hotel, via Flickr.