Get Your Culture Fix at These Historic Hotels in Moscow

Splurge on a decadent stay in the Savoy on a trip to Moscow
Splurge on a decadent stay in the Savoy on a trip to Moscow | Courtesy of The Savoy Moscow / Expedia
Richard Collett

Beyond colourful St. Basil’s Cathedral, Russia’s capital is not only its cultural hub but also the political centre: home to the Kremlin, Red Square, Lenin’s Mausoleum and numerous other extravagant architectural monuments. While visitor visas aren’t cheap, it’s certainly worth visiting Moscow for its historical significance alone – history buffs will relish in the tales hidden within the city’s walls. Explore Moscow’s turbulent history explained through these storied hotels.

1. Hotel National, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Moscow

Hotel

Hotel National, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Moscow
Courtesy of Hotel National, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Moscow / Expedia

Dating back to 1903, Hotel National offers guests a glimpse into a time before the Russian Revolution and the ensuing Soviet era that dominated Moscow for the remainder of the century. Part of the Marriott’s Luxury Collection, Hotel National features imposing Imperial architecture mixed with modern elegance. Take breakfast in the Moskovsky Room, which provides a panorama of the Kremlin and Red Square, before immersing yourself in the cultural life of Moscow’s historic centre.

2. Hotel Baltschug Kempinski Moscow

Hotel

Hotel Baltschug Kempinski Moscow
Courtesy of Hotel Baltschug Kempinski Moscow / Expedia

Located on the southern side of the Moskva River, the five-star Hotel Baltschug Kempinski Moscow provides you with impressive views of Red Square. This is the historic centre of the Russian Empire, and the hotel itself is located within a grand Imperial building that was constructed in 1898. Book the circular Kremlin Suite in the hotel’s grand tower for vistas across the entire city.

3. Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya

Hotel

Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya
Courtesy of Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya / Expedia

The Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya is for anyone in search of a nostalgic – yet luxurious – look into the Soviet era. After World War II, Moscow’s skyline was revolutionised by the construction of the Seven Sisters, seven concrete towers that came to epitomise the Stalinist style of architecture. When the Soviet era ended, the Hilton moved into one of these enormous Stalinist tower blocks in the Leningradskaya district, and established a luxury hotel in the brutalist building.

4. The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow

Hotel

The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow
Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow / Expedia

The Ritz-Carlton might be part of a five-star international hotel chain, but in Moscow they still like to keep things traditional. It all starts with the bread and salt offering as you’re welcomed into the hotel, a Slavic ceremony that dates back centuries. From here, you’re within walking distance of Red Square – or book into the Ritz Carlton spa for some Russian pampering.

5. Hotel Metropol Moscow

Hotel

Hotel Metropol Moscow
Courtesy of Hotel Metropol Moscow / Expedia
Built in a distinctive Art Nouveau style, Hotel Metropol was the largest hotel in Moscow when construction was completed in 1907. The Soviets turned this luxury hotel into a government administration building, but Hotel Metropol’s cultural significance was recognised when it was refurbished after the fall of communism. Today, the hotel offers a choice of 70 renovated rooms where technology collides with history. Order dinner on the in-room iPads while lounging in luxurious surroundings.

6. Hotel Savoy Moscow

Hotel

Hotel Savoy Moscow
Courtesy of Hotel Savoy Moscow / Expedia

Hotel Savoy has been a fixture on the Moscow city centre skyline since it first opened in 1913 – but the luxury hotel wasn’t in operation for long before revolution swept through Russia. Rather than closing its doors, Hotel Savoy became the hotel for the rich and famous of the Soviet world. It was renovated again in 2005, and rooms were redesigned with an Imperial-era look. Enjoy live music and Russian cocktails at the Hermitage Bar, where Moscow’s elite have gathered throughout the 20th century.

7. Chekhoff Hotel Moscow Curio Collection by Hilton

Hotel

Chekhoff Hotel Moscow Curio Collection by Hilton
Courtesy of Chekhoff Hotel Moscow Curio Collection by Hilton / Expedia

Located in a classic 1890s-style building next to the Lenkom Theatre, the Chekhoff Hotel is a luxury offering dedicated to the Russian playwright Anton Chekhov. This is one for comfort-loving theatre-goers, as the historic exterior hides an ultra-modern interior. Find creative inspiration in the Chekhoff Cafe and Bar, where a curated menu offers dishes and drinks that were beloved by the literary giant himself.

8. Barvikha Hotel

Spa Hotel

Barvikha Hotel
Courtesy of Barvikha Hotel / Expedia

If you’re looking to experience luxury living outside of the city, stay at Barvikha Hotel. Located along the banks of the Moskva River, Barvikha Hotel is 8km (5mi) away in the countryside where Russian royalty retreated to escape the capital. Nearby, you can visit the Arkhangelskoye Estate, a vast palace and grounds that were home to Russian royalty until the 1917 revolution. The hotel features a spa, while restaurants and designer shops can be found in the wider Barvikha Village Complex.

9. Petroff Palace Boutique Hotel

Hotel

Petroff Palace Boutique Hotel
Courtesy of Petroff Palace Boutique Hotel / Booking.com

Petroff Palace Boutique Hotel has 43 rooms that provide you with a luxurious glimpse into the past lives of Russian royalty. In the restored Petroff Palace in Moscow’s suburbs, the lavish building was formerly a resting house for the Russian tsars. You can stay in the same renovated rooms that emperors and princesses would stop at on their way to or from the Russian capital.

10. Sretenskaya Hotel

Hotel

Sretenskaya Hotel
Courtesy of Sretenskaya Hotel / Expedia

Sretenskaya Hotel has just 38 boutique rooms, and each one is designed with Russian traditions and folklore in mind. There’s an abundance of timber furniture and paintings, all carefully curated to evoke the spirit of the Russian countryside. The hotel has an inner courtyard, the Winter Garden, that’s been transformed into a place for greenery to flourish all through the year. Despite this rural, folkloric image, Sretenskaya Hotel is located just 20 minutes’ walk from Red Square.

11. The Sovietsky Historical Hotel

Hotel

The Sovietsky Historical Hotel
Courtesy of The Sovietsky Historical Hotel / Expedia

For those who wish to immerse themselves in the Soviet era, the Sovietsky Historical Hotel is the place to stay. The hotel originates from 1952, when Stalin himself ordered a hotel to be added to the existing restaurant Yar. The restaurant was then renamed after the Hotel Sovietsky and served as an important meeting point for governmental and diplomatic circles. A 1998 renovation of the structure leaves behind an eerie mixture of Soviet-era propaganda and pre-revolutionary grandeur.

12. Chenonceau Hotel

Hotel

Chenonceau Hotel
Courtesy of Chenonceau Hotel / Expedia

The Chenonceau Hotel emanates romance from its idyllic location near Patriarch Ponds. The public spaces of the hotel have been designed in the elaborate baroque style with crystal chandeliers and gold ornamentation, while paintings and flowers adorn the hallways. The nine rooms of this boutique hotel are each given a distinct character, some with extravagant rococo-esque furnishings and others with a more understated elegance. However the most stunning feature of this hotel is the exterior – which bears the splendour of a French country mansion.

13. Hotel Garden Ring

Hotel

Hotel Garden Ring
Courtesy of Hotel Garden Ring / Expedia

Hotel Garden Ring recalls the design of a traditional Moscow mansion, which reflects the character of the surrounding neighbourhood. This five-star establishment is quaint and cosy, yet offers the elegant marble floors, charming chandeliers and spacious rooms of a larger hotel. A summer rooftop terrace allows guests to enjoy pleasant views out over the picturesque Moscow rooftops. Hotel Garden Ring is within a short distance from the All-Russian Exhibition Centre and the Olympic stadium.

This is an updated version of an article originally written by Ellen Von Weigand.

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