If Saint-Petersburg, Russia is not already on your short list of places to visit, it definitely needs to be. As many of you may know, it's my home town where I was born and raised. But this city have changed so much, since I moved to Los Angeles 18 years ago!
It has always been the cultural center of Russia, but Moscow was often ahead when it came to modernization and hipster lifestyle. I must say, in the last few years Saint-Petersburg has really flourished as an European foodie destination and a total hipster city. American dollar and Euro still go a long way here, which makes this destination even more desirable.
We chose to stay at Kempinski Hotel Moika 22. This 5-star Hotel is located in the beautifully restored historic building in the heart of it all (pretty much a hand-reach-away from the Hermitage) and overlooking the Moika River.
When we arrived in our room (well, super spacious suite) I was giggly-smitten by all of the nautical décor and details: anchors, lighthouses, sailboats and compass roses. What else can a Nautical girl ask for?! Oh wait, how about a Juliet balcony overlooking the river?! Unfortunately, Kempinski has only 3 balconies (reserve your room early), so I guess we got very lucky...and it's such a cute place to have your morning coffee (in my case tea) and watch local captains show off their maneuvering skills making tight-90-degree turns under the bridges with single prop canal tour boats.
As part of Kempinski's extra-attentive-keep-them-spoiled service we were greeted by sweet treats from “Lady in Red” (which is Kempinski's version of a Concierge) offering us assistance with anything we might need.
Breakfast at Kempinski is a separate-post-worthy in itself. I have heard from one of my well-travelled friends who stayed at Kempinski Moika 22 the year before that “THE Breakfast there is insane! One of the best breakfast I have ever had”...so I was definitely intrigued. To say that I was “not disappointed” is an understatement. What a treat! The breakfast buffet is just lavish and if that is not enough to satisfy your spoiled-cravings there is a whole a la carte menu (with some traditional Russian dishes including caviar) to steal your stomach's heart. And don't forget the champagne!
We did order room service a few times...guilty as charged! And it was fab, just as was the turn down service. Rain is kind of a norm in Saint-Petersburg (I know...why do you think I love LA so much:), so we did get a few days of that...so having umbrellas available everywhere (room and grand entrance) was quite nice.
Speaking of spoiled, one of my personal favorites was the Spa and Bedding Collection Menu: free of charge I ordered a few different shower scrubs, oils and a bunch of pillows to try... absolutely superb!
There is an abundance of roof top restaurants in Saint-Petersburg nowadays (I wish I could say the same for the ever-sunny Southern California)...in the summer months there are so many breath-taking-bird's-eye-view-terrace spots all around downtown. And Kempinski Hotel is once again right in the mix. It's Roof-top restaurant called Bellevue Brasserie has two outdoor terraces with great music (my DJ husband was very pleased:) where you can have a drink or smoke a cigar while enjoying the views of the Winter palace, Neva River and many famous cathedral domes. The food is exquisite and well worth a visit.
Kempinski was a perfect base to come back to every night after exploring the busy city. We absolutely fell in love with it and have since recommended it to many of our friends.
As I stood on my Juliet balcony for one last time, I was thinking how fun it is to be a tourist in my home town and how proud I am of this beautiful city's progress. Till the next time Saint-Pit...can't wait to see you again Kempinski Hotel Moika 22...
This post is a collaboration with Kempinski Moika 22, all opinions are my own.