The Best Boutique Hotels in St. Petersburg, Including Book-Themed Boltholes and Family-Run Inns

St. Petersburg, Russia -   yulenochekk/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images
Photo by yulenochekk/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

by Paul Sullivan, The Telegraph, November 25, 2019

Already known for its cultural prowess, Russia’s 'City of Arts' is no slouch on the design front either. Alongside its stately European architecture, the city offers a wealth of attractive contemporary interiors throughout its cafés, restaurants and hotels – the latter with stylish, design-savvy rooms, highly personal service and the welcoming intimacy and charm that leaves its guests eager to come back. Here's our pick of the best boutique hotels in St Petersburg.

Alexander House

9Telegraph expert rating

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Set in a house that dates back two hundred years, this highly personable, family-run hotel offers 20 rooms themed after the world’s great cities. The most luxurious rooms are Mexico, London, Paris, Helsinki and St. Petersburg, but the ground-floor Venice room is the most romantic, with a four-poster bed and light white and pink colouring. Elegant common spaces contain antique bookshelves and cabinets, and are peppered with framed maps and a bevy of wooden sculptures, souvenirs and artworks – many of them procured during the owner’s travels. Other highlights include a pleasant and peaceful back garden, plus a restaurant offering Russian meat dumplings (pelmeni) and homemade cakes.

From £68per night

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SO Sofitel St Petersburg

9Telegraph expert rating

This swanky hotel with a hip rooftop bar has quickly become St Petersburg’s premier hedonistic hideaway. Italian architect and designer Antonio Citterio is responsible for the establishment’s chic aesthetic, from the dapper wraparound lobby to the stylish restaurant. The half-egg-shaped Terzani lamps, a reference to Fabergé, are by Russian fashion designer Alena Akhmadullina, who has also weaved Russian folklore elements into the hotel’s logo and cushion designs. Plump for a suite to get more space, a selection of free drinks from the minibar, and, in some cases, the best views over St Isaac’s Cathedral.

From £121per night

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Rossi Boutique Hotel

8Telegraph expert rating

This small hotel’s aristocratic air is based around the building’s rich architectural history. Constructed in 1865, it was formerly a residence of elite Russian luminaries including the stage actress E.P Korchagina-Aleksandrovskaya, a regular at the nearby Alexandrinsky Theatre. Rooms and interiors have been designed by the owners and general manager of the hotel and are in keeping with the refined exterior – think floral curtains, elegant chairs and sofas – and paintings of old St Petersburg tastefully blended with up-to-date amenities. The hotel also offers a dapper restaurant with summer terrace and a pleasant spa area with a pool.

From £46per night

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Hotel Astoria

9Telegraph expert rating

Hotel Astoria, originally built in 1912, enjoys a stellar reputation thanks to an illustrious roster of guests comprising celebrities and politicians. The modern interiors by Rocco Forte design stalwart Olga Polizzi favour a red-and-cream colour scheme and the hotel is punctuated with fashion, art and photography, designer furnishings and luxurious materials such as marble, leather and mahogany. In the rooms expect large beds and elegant art prints depicting the Mariinsky Ballet. The luxurious black-and-white marble bathrooms come with Salvatore Ferragamo toiletries and suites feature generous sitting areas with armchairs and coffee tables, plus great views of the St Isaac’s Cathedral.

From £149per night

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Domina St. Petersburg

8Telegraph expert rating

A flamboyant five-star boutique occupying a stately 18th-century building on the Moika river. Interiors, created by Italian villa designer Gianmarco Сavagnino, are unapologetically bold and colourful as well as arty – as seen in the punchy lobby-atrium, with its collection of stylish chairs in blues, yellows, reds and oranges and central Michelangelo-mimicking atlas sculpture. More sculptures and bright hues can be found in the neighbouring restaurant and bar (serving Mediterranean-influenced dishes plus classics such as borsch and pancakes) and throughout the rooms. Top-notch facilities include a downstairs wellness area with a glass-walled Finnish sauna and Turkish steam room, as well as a spacious fitness centre.

From £101per night

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Metropolis Hotel

8Telegraph expert rating

Metropolis hotel has a peerless location just 300 metres from Palace Square, making it a prime base for sightseeing. It is set on the fourth floor of a grand residential property and was designed by the owner himself, with exposed-brick walls freshly painted in black and white, pristine wooden floorboards and well-chosen vintage and contemporary furnishings. There are just nine rooms, with each themed around a different Russian cultural figure (Pushkin, Dostoevsky, Rachmaninov, Tolstoy). All have the same kind of thoughtful antique furnishings and patterned wallpaper, as well as tea-and-coffee making facilities and televisions. Breakfast is served directly to the room.

From £47per night

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The Brothers Karamazov

7Telegraph expert rating

This centrally located but discreet four-star hotel, named after one of Dostoevsky’s best-known novels, is designed to recreate the atmosphere of St Petersburg in the second part of the 19th century. The lobby area is low-lit and welcoming, with a small reception desk, antique wooden book cases containing a few Dostoevsky hard backs in Russian, and a couple of small tables with perspex chairs. This sets the tone for the rooms, which have an old-fashioned but fairly charming air, and are set along dark, red-carpeted corridors dotted with granny-home touches like old sewing machines, small photos of old St Petersburg and, on the top floor, a piano.

From £38per night

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Pushka Inn Hotel

8Telegraph expert rating

The friendly Pushka Inn occupies a house built in the late 18th century. Inhabited by three generations of the noble Pushkin family for around a century, the handsome building is heralded by an iron gate and a stone hallway hung with contemporary paintings by local artists. The atmosphere inside is intimate and warm with soothing colours and comfortable furnishings. Rooms are slightly old fashioned aesthetically but very comfortable, with floral wallpapers and neutral brown-and-cream colour schemes set off with more colourful armchairs, photographs and bed covers. Guests receive 15 per cent discount on all meals and drinks in the adjoining Pushka Inn restaurant.

From £56per night

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Casa Leto

8Telegraph expert rating

This family-run property offers five spacious and comfortable rooms and five newer apartments. A doorbell ushers guests into a dramatic hallway, featuring a large stone staircase dating back to the 18th century. The residential feeling continues with a small lounge where tea, coffee and snacks are offered free of charge throughout the day. Antique furnishings and restored stucco and woodwork lend the place an elegantly old-fashioned atmosphere. In the rooms expect king-sized beds, high ceilings and a gentle colour scheme, punctuated with floral paintings and gold-framed mirrors. You’ll also find modern amenities such as underfloor heating and satellite televisions.

From £60per night

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This article was written by Paul Sullivan from The Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].

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