Luxury Holidays to Russia: an Overview

One of the most evocative destinations in the world, Russia is represented in all its contrary ways by the two cities we love - St. Petersburg and the capital Moscow. St. Petersburg is simply one of the world's most beautiful cities, built in defiance of nature and logic - and at great human cost - on marshy islands at the mouth of the River Neva on Russia's Baltic coastline. In contrast, but no less fascinating, Moscow is a more eastern-focused city than it's long-term rival. For anyone with the remotest interest in history and culture, a luxury holiday in Russia will not disappoint.

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Why we think you’ll love it

  • From palaces to cupolas, Russia isn't short of beautiful and iconic architecture, from Moscow's Kremlin and St Basil's Cathedral to the Hermitage and palaces of St Petersburg
  • It's home to two of the world's best ballets; performances at the Bolshoi and the Mariinsky will thrill even the most uncultured soul
  • Snow, fur hats, skating, Tolstoy, troika rides, borsch, matrioshkas, Tchaikovsky, vodka and lashings of caviar… not necessarily in that order!

Tailor Made Holidays and Tours in Russia: the Detail

St. Petersburg is seriously impressive, but there's almost more to be learnt about the Russian psyche from the enormous palaces built by subsequent tsars and tsarinas in the countryside around the city. It's easier to understand the shift to communism - the 1917 revolution kicked off here, incidentally - after wandering around these temples to excess with a guide bringing the places to life.

A three hour daytime (or longer overnight) train away in Moscow, the sites of the Kremlin are a magnificent must-see, and the showy displays of wealth by the winners in the post-communist free-for-all are a reminder that ostentation is a trait the Russians have had all along. We know and can recommend all the latest restaurants, bars and clubs to watch the new Russian money flowing as fast as the champagne.

Did you know

  • The average Russian consumes about 18 litres of alcohol every year (double what experts consider dangerous)
  • Russia and America are less then 4km apart at the closest point
  • In 1908 the Russian Olympic team arrived 12 days too late for the games because they weren't using the Gregorian calendar yet
  • In 1867 the US bought Alaska from Russia for only US$ 7.2 million
  • Russia is the world's only country bordering 12 seas

Top picks for Russia

Ritz-Carlton Moscow

Ritz-Carlton Moscow

Moscow

Since the early 18th century No. 3 Tverskaya Street has been a hotel - the state run ‘Intourist’ was here during the Soviet era - but it was only in 2007 that the Ritz-Carlton opened its doors, becoming the first of the Western luxury hotel giants to stake a claim to the city. The original, and for many still the best, the Ritz Carlton boasts not only one of the city’s most sought after addresses - Red Square is practically its back garden - but also some of its most stylish accommodations.

Where to stay

St Basils at night in Moscow

Moscow

Russia

As the capital of a country so large that it spans nine time zones and two continents, Moscow was always going to be a pretty exciting place; combine that with the fact that it morphed from the beating heart of communist Europe to capitalist panacea in the space of a decade, and you've got a city like no other.

Where to go

Four Seasons St. Petersburg

Four Seasons St. Petersburg

St Petersburg

The Four Seasons Lion Palace began life in 1820 as the private residence of Princess Lobanova-Rostovskaya and retains its regal feel today.

Where to stay

Hotel Angleterre

Hotel Angleterre

St Petersburg

Recently refurbished under the watchful eye of designer Olga Polizzi, the Angleterre is an excellent 4 star alternative to neighbour and sister property the Astoria, with which it shares facilities.

Where to stay

St Nicholas Cathedral

St Petersburg

Russia

Built in defiance of nature and logic, St. Petersburg is a monument to the will of Peter the Great. His city became a ‘window on the West’ and remains Russia’s cultural capital.

Where to go

Hotel National

Hotel National

Moscow

To say that the National has benefited from Moscow’s rich, and often tumultuous past, is something of an understatement; Lenin stayed here shortly after the October Revolution (his latter residence is, coincidentally, about 30 seconds away) and the hotel is decorated with numerous artefacts pilfered from aristocrats’ estates and palaces.

Where to stay

We trust your judgement completely and once again you arranged one of the most amazing holidays we've ever been on.

Becky

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