Nestled between the city’s most celebrated landmarks on the iconic Nevsky Prospekt, Grand Hotel Europe is truly at the heart of historic St Petersburg.
Our doors opened in January 1875, less than a month after famed architect LF Fontana completed his magnificent neo-baroque facade. As the first five-star hotel in the country, we’ve been the ultimate rendezvous for Russia’s high society ever since. It’s easy to see why. With resplendent marble surfaces, gilded stucco ceilings, and breathtaking stained glass, our lavish spaces evoke a Russian opulence rarely witnessed today.
The hotel bears a fascinating history, acting as an orphanage during the First World War and the Bolshevik Revolution. Then, we functioned as a 1,300-bed hospital during the siege of Leningrad during the Second World War. At that time, surgeons were often forced to operate without electricity in temperatures below -8C. In an effort to keep patients warm, makeshift stoves were rigged up in the wards, their flue pipes stuck out of the windows. As Antonina Bubnova, a doctor who had worked at the hospital later recalled, this gave the building a ‘most peculiar appearance’. Witnessing over a century of change, our hotel has been a sentinel to the action.
You may recognise our sumptuous interiors from the Bond movie GoldenEye, but long before 007, famous faces were enjoying our distinctive brand of luxury. Early visitors included Igor Stravinsky, Fyodor Dostoyevsky—who used Nevsky Prospekt as a setting in The Double and Crime and Punishment—and members of the Romanov Dynasty. Artists, musicians, politicians and socialities followed in their footsteps: Elton John, Claude Debussy, H.G. Wells, Luciano Pavarotti and Catherine Deneuve have all stayed within our ornate walls.
Such was their impact, we created an entire Historic Floor of suites individually named and themed in honour of our celebrated patrons. The Fabergé honours Russia’s most celebrated jeweller with resplendent hues of pink, lilac and gold. The Pavarotti Suite—where the famed tenor stayed during his 2004 tour—recalls the world’s finest opera houses. Together, they serve as a delightful recollection of Russia’s opulent past.
Contemporary influences take centre stage again at AZIA restaurant, where an inventive pan-Asian menu is accompanied by crisp Tokyo-inspired cocktails. Prefer more traditional gastronomy? Our commitment to Russia’s culinary heritage is palpable in L’Europe. Refined takes on national classics are served in a stunning art nouveau interior dating back to 1905. If you want to sample the rare original recipe for a classic, this is the place: L’Europe is the only place in the world that serves beef Stroganoff cooked to the original recipe.
Our Caviar Bar & Restaurant is unique in St Petersburg and employs Russia’s only full-time vodka sommelier. The Polugar single malt, a traditional bread wine popular in the 18th and 19th centuries, serves as the perfect accompaniment to our signature ‘egg in egg’ dish. Egg shells are stuffed with truffle-flavoured scrambled egg and topped with oscietra caviar.
A wide range of bespoke vodkas are on offer at the Lobby Bar, too, where you can take a cocktail master class and enjoy light bites from morning through to the early hours. It’s a regular haunt for St Petersburg’s most glamorous names, so keep an eye on who sits down next to you.
Indeed, Grand Hotel Europe’s splendour is tangible wherever you look. This is truly a place where you’ll find treasure around every corner.
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