Moscow City | © Alex Defender/Flickr
Moscow City | © Alex Defender/Flickr

10 Culturally Significant Hotels in Moscow

Russia’s capital is known for its complex history, its extravagant architectural monuments and its status as the most populous city in Europe. What follows is a list of ten hotels which represent the historic, turbulent, and cutting edge aspects of this fascinating city.

Hotel National Moscow

The Hotel National Moscow has been described as the quintessential Russian Hotel. The building is not only an accommodation, but also a cultural and historical monument that stood witness to the turbulent events of the 20th century – during this time it played host to diplomats, government officials, military officers, scientists, writers and musicians. Built at the turn of the century, the architecture marries renaissance and classical style with modern embellishments, fashionable at the time of its construction. Renovations to the interior have preserved many of the original features, lending to the magnificent and glamorous appeal of this celebrated pioneer of Moscow hospitality.


Golden Apple Boutique Hotel

The interior design scheme at the Golden Apple Boutique Hotel is certainly one of the most innovative in the city of Moscow. The exterior of the building maintains the original character of this 19th century structure, while the interior has been redesigned by architect Rafael Shafir to combine a minimalist aesthetic with avant garde luxury. On each of the seven floors of this five star accommodation, a different colour theme has been established that extends from the hallways into the guestrooms themselves. The charming and comfortable rooms are fitted with soft and elegant furnishings which have been crafted of natural materials and, through their vitality, pop out against the chromatic plan for the space. A sculpture of a golden apple can be found in the lobby, offering the perfect spot for guests to document their stay.


Hotel Metropole

When the Hotel Metropole opened in 1901 Muscovites referred to the building as ‘The Tower of Babel of the 20th century’. When it was first established Metropole was the only lodging offering hot water, refrigerators, elevators and telephones. In 1917 the hotel acted as residence to the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and became known as the Second House of Soviets. During the 1930s it once again began to function as a top class hotel, and during the Second World War it housed special guests of the Soviet government such as Bertolt Brecht and Bernard Shaw. In 1986, following years of dilapidation, the building was closed down for renovation, and reopened in 1991 in the new Russia. Today the structure stands as an exceptional monument of art nouveau architecture with elaborate mosaics, decorative reliefs, and intricate iron railings adorning the facade. Inside, amongst sophisticated marble columns, ornamental wall paintings and grand light fixtures, an extravagant stain glass dome encapsulates the Restaurant Metropole, adding to the eminence of this historic building.


Barvikha Hotel and SPA: Barvikha

Designed by Antonio Citterio, the dominant materials used in the construction of Barvikha Hotel and SPA are wood and natural stone. Citterio is also inspired by the element of fire, and thus four elegantly serene fireplaces can be found throughout the hotel. Warm tones of cream and chocolate proliferate throughout along with instances of gold and silver. The overall structure has been built in glass so as to let this earthy interior merge with the outdoors. The hotel is located just outside of the city, down a long road flanked on either side by pine forests with the Moscow River visible through the trees. Guests at the hotel have easy access to the Russian capital while enjoying the seclusion of this natural environment.


Petroff Palace Hotel

Located in the modern area of downtown Moscow, Petroff Palace Hotel stands out as a stunning example of 18th century Russian architecture. The building has changed hands various times since its construction, acting as a military headquarters, a museum, and an educational institution before it was returned to its original function as an accommodation. The palace was originally built by architect Matvey Kazakov for Empress Catherine the Great, and it functioned as a stopover point for aristocrats journeying from Saint Petersburg to Moscow. Designed in the Romantic Neo-Gothic style, the hotel is painted in a vibrant red, and offers curious travellers the opportunity to imagine themselves as noblemen in the Russia of centuries past.


Hotel Savoy

In a historic building dating back to the mid nineteenth century, built by the Salamander Fire Insurance Company, the five star Savoy Hotel first opened as a luxury establishment in 1913 and quickly became a symbol of Moscow hospitality. The hotel has since hosted world famous celebrities in its sumptuous rooms. With its ideal location in the heart of Moscow the Savoy is within walking distance of major attractions such as the Kremlin, Red Square, the Bolshoy and Maly theatres, fashionable boutiques and cafes. After a full renovation in 2005 guests can enjoy the glory and mystique of an old Russian mansion outfitted with all the modern comforts of an upscale boutique hotel.


The Sovietsky Historical Hotel

For those who wish to immerse themselves in the Russia of 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 already existing restaurant ‘Yar’. At this time, the early 20th century facade was reconstructed in Soviet style. 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.


Sretenskaya Hotel

The interior of the Sretenskaya Hotel, which opened in 2000, is far more alluring than it would seem from the outside. Walls boast intricate floral designs painted in soft pastel colours and are complemented by stained glass windows in saturated tones and carved wooden features. A dense, jungle like courtyard with tables and chairs offers a serene refuge within Russia’s capital city. This is quite likely the most unusual atrium of any Moscow hotel. Sretenskaya’s central location is near to famous sites like the Kremlin and the Sretensky Monastery as well as distinguished theatres and museums.


Chenonceau Hotel

The Chenonceau Hotel emanates romance from its idyllic location in Patriarchy Ponds, Moscow. The public spaces of the hotel have been designed in the elaborate Baroque style with crystal chandeliers and gold ornamentation, while unique 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. The most stunning feature of this hotel, however, is the exterior, which bears the splendor of a French country mansion.


Hotel Garden Ring

The architecture of the 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 many of the primary historic sites in the city including the Red Square and the Kremlin, Bolshoi Theater and Botanic Garden, All-Russia Exhibition Center and the Olympic stadium.