Travel Information: Covid19 Notice

30 June 2015

Press Release

WELCOME TO HOTEL ASTORIA

Considered Russia’s cultural capital and set amongst a picturesque network of canals and bridges, St Petersburg is a city rich in art and culture, charming visitors, and with a dramatic past that is waiting to be explored. The historic city centre is itself a UNESCO World Heritage Site, alive with tradition and at the forefront of Russian commerce.
All year round, tourists come to St Petersburg to admire the lavish architecture and rich traditions that have inspired such great art and literature, to discover palaces and cathedrals and visit the city’s incredible museums.

Since 1912, Hotel Astoria has lived through the 1917 Bolshevik revolution, two world wars, the Perestroika, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the formation of the new Russian economy. A truly historic property, Hotel Astoria offers a century of tradition combined with contemporary style and amenities. Stylish rooms and suites are complemented by upscale dining, spa services and meeting facilities.

Managed by the Rocco Forte Hotels Group since 1997, and member of The Leading Hotels of the World, this historic hotel continues to offer excellent standards of traditional Russian hospitality, a high level of service and luxurious accommodation.

Hotel Astoria is ideally located in the centre of St Petersburg, on St Isaac’s Square, overlooking St Isaac’s Cathedral and within easy walking distance from the Hermitage Museum and the Mariinsky Theatre.

Hotel Accommodation
Hotel Astoria has 169 bedrooms including 86 suites, four two-bedroom Presidential Suites, a two-bedroom Royal Suite and a Tsar Suite, many of them having views over St Isaac’s Square. All bedrooms and suites are designed in a graceful blend of Russian antiques and contemporary pieces, complemented by the requisite technological amenities, including air-conditioning, two telephone lines with voicemail messaging system, high speed internet connection, LCD flat screen TV with multi-channel entertainment, Video- and CD-on-demand, private bar and electronic safe.

  • 42 Classic Rooms, up to 38 sqm (409 sq.ft.)
  • 14 Deluxe Twin Rooms, 25 sqm (269 sq.ft.)
  • 15 Superior Deluxe Rooms, 25 sqm (269 sq.ft.)
  • 12 Studio Rooms, 44 sqm (474 sq.ft.)
  • 12 Classic Suites, 50 sqm (538 sq.ft.)
  • 20 Junior Suites, up to 50 sqm (538 sq.ft.)
  • 26 Deluxe Junior Suites, up to 50 sqm (up to 538 sq.ft.)
  • 6 Deluxe Suites, 50 sqm (538 sq.ft.)
  • 16 Ambassador Suites, 60 sqm (646 sq.ft.)
  • 4 Presidential Suites, 108 sqm (1162 sq.ft.)
    (Prokofiev, Rakhmaninov, Shostakovich and Stravinsky)
  • 1 Royal Suite, 108 sqm (1162 sq.ft.)
    (Tchaikovsky)
  • 1 Tsar Suite, up to 300 sqm (3229 sq.ft.)

Beauty, SPA & Fitness Services

La Maison de Beauté Carita Astoria

La Maison de Beauté Carita Astoria is located on the hotel’s ground floor, occupying 203 square meters. The beauty house possesses the same spirit and sensual atmosphere as the flagship salon in Paris, the interior decor perfectly corresponds to the stylistic standards of the Carita brand. The warm tones, natural lighting, and combination of decorative elements adorned with an alteration of mirrors in a frosted, shiny, or matte finish create a delightful, yet serene atmosphere.

La Maison de Beauté Carita Astoria offers a quantity of beauty treatments for the hair, face, and body based on the contemporary methods like the Rénovateur, Ideal Pro-lift, and Soin Capillaire. Several individual treatment rooms as well as a hairdressing room hosting up to six people are available for the guests. Moreover, La Maison de Beauté Carita Astoria offers a unique service – the express treatment room: it is a private room where a guest can have four different treatments simultaneously. This service will save time to the guests who come to St Petersburg for a short period of time.

To learn more about La Maison de Beauté Carita Astoria treatments, to consult with the salon’s specialists or to make an appointment, please call: +7 812 494 5835.

SPA Decléor
The best in St Petersburg, SPA Decléor centre was opened in Hotel Astoria in May 2011. The SPA Decléor is located on the hotel’s 7th floor and offers all kinds of sensual pleasures: aromatherapy, massage, body wraps, hydrotherapy, steambaths in sauna, sea salt exfoliation and crio wraps in hammam. Decléor SPA includes a wide choice of special treatments for men, based on the contemporary cosmetic products which were created especially for them.

The centre also provides a 24-hour gym, individual yoga and fitness classes, as well as nutrition and individual menu-development programs. Astoria guests can visit sauna and hammam free of charge. It is only necessary to make an appointment beforehand.

To learn more about the SPA Decléor treatments, to consult with the Decléor specialists or to make an appointment, please call: +7 812 494 5934.

Meeting and Events Facilities
Thanks to its extensive conference and banqueting facilities, the Hotel Astoria can arrange grand receptions hosting up to 450 guests, as well as private meeting for 3-5 persons.

  • The Ballroom (260 sq.m./2788 sq.ft.) is the perfect place for conferences as well as banquets and receptions. It combines elegant historic interior design with the opportunity to use the latest audio-visual technology and can accommodate up to 200 people.
  • The Winter Garden (170 sq.m./52.4 sq.ft.) has an ornate glass ceiling allowing for plenty of natural light and making it an ideal venue for celebrations. It can host up to 150 guests for a cocktail party.

The Ballroom and Winter Garden can be combined for grand receptions of up to 450 guests. The Banqueting Foyer adjacent to the Ballroom and Winter Garden is very convenient for welcome cocktails and guest registration.

Hotel Astoria also offers six meeting rooms providing the latest equipment, broadband access, wireless Internet connections and individual place settings for each guest.

  • Benois (72 sqm/775 sq.ft.)
  • Turgenev (41 sqm/416 sq.ft.)
  • Shaliapin (27 sqm/52.4 sq.ft.)
  • Repin (16 sqm/91.207 sq.ft.)
  • Lidval (111 sqm/1195 sq.ft.)

Can be divided into: Lidval 1 (58 sqm/624 sq.ft.)
Lidval 2 (53 sqm/571 sq.ft.)
Lidval 1 and Lidval 2 meeting rooms can be combined for events up to 70 guests. Additional meeting facilities are available within the neighbouring Angleterre Hotel. These include four meeting rooms for up to 100 guests and an auditorium for 200 people.

Restaurants

Astoria Café
Astoria Café is a landmark restaurant offering modern Russian cuisine with a French twist. Before or after Swan Lake, Astoria Café is the place for fine dining in comfortable luxury.

Borsalino Restaurant
An Italian restaurant is available in the neighboring Angleterre Hotel. Borsalino restaurant preserves homemade Italian cuisine and offers exquisite dishes cooked from original Italian recipes.

Bars

Lichfield Bar
Cocktail hour in St Petersburg is a popular time to come to the Lichfield Bar and enjoy an original cocktail or sample our wide selection of appetizers. There is a comprehensive choice of spirits, exclusive whiskies. The Lichfield Bar pays homage to the celebrated British photographer Patrick Lichfield and the walls are lined with his iconic prints.

Rotonda Lounge
Rotonda Lounge offers light meals and drinks throughout the day. Afternoon tea with desserts from our Astoria Chocolatier is a St Petersburg tradition.

History of Hotel Astoria
The hotel was built in 1911—1912, designed by the famous St Petersburg architect Fyodor Lidval. From the end of the 18th century, the site where the Astoria now stands was occupied by a three-story building which, having been passed from owner to owner, was bought by the noble Lvov family in the 1870s.

Count A. Lvov organized the First All-Russian Fire Brigade in 1892, and in this building on the corner of Bolshaya Morskaya Ulitsa, he housed the United Russian Fire Brigade Society, as well as the editorial offices of a newspaper, «Pozharnoe Delo» — literally «The Fire Business.» By 1903 the building had become the property of the Rossiya Insurance Society, before being snapped up by an English company, Palace Hotel, in 1910. It was this company that commissioned the German firm Wais and Freitag to build a hotel, and on December 23, 1912, the official opening of the establishment finally took place. The exterior of the building proved controversial, embodying the clear contours of the fashionable modern style and drawing mixed reactions from contemporary observers. Opinions on the interiors and technical specifications were divided, however.

The hotel was a model for the period: cork soundproofing, an electric light system for calling servants, an automated vacuuming system, steam-driven central heating, and city telephone lines. A particular source of pride for the owners was the establishment’s French restaurant, which never failed to attract compliments from guests. Close by, under a glass ceiling, was the Winter Garden and the banqueting hall. The glass partitions could easily be removed, and then all three rooms would be joined, forming a grandiose setting that could seat up to a thousand visitors. The notorious monk Grigory Rasputin dined here. In fact, Rasputin visited the hotel on several occasions. In 1915, on December 1, he arrived by car at the Astoria at three in the morning, visiting the 38-year-old Princess Stephanie Dolgorukaya, wife of a senior official at the imperial court. Rasputin remained with her until morning, unaware that this would be recorded for later generations of historians by the secret service agents paid to spy on him.

Soon after its opening, the Astoria became one of the most popular establishments in St Petersburg. In January 1914, the English writer H. G. Wells stayed here on his first trip to Russia. The First World War and the 1917 Revolution brought an end to many of the hotel’s plans, as well as to the serenity that ruled there. In 1917, brutal battles between the Bolshevik revolutionaries and the defenders of the previous regime were fought within the building itself. Then the Astoria was transformed into the Petrograd Military Hospital, before becoming the First House of the Petrograd Soviet in the following year. In March 1919, the ‘leader of the proletariat’, Vladimir Ulyanov — better known as Lenin — stayed at the hotel and gave a speech from the hotel’s distinctive 1st floor balcony. A new period in the history of the hotel had begun. The security services actively participated, or rather interfered, in the lives of visiting foreigners, even of Hugh Johnson, the ‘Red Dean’ of Canterbury and a tireless standard-bearer for Marxism.

In 1941, following the outbreak of the Second World War, a hospital was stationed at the Astoria in which writers, artists and musicians trapped in the city during the siege were treated. And it was here that Hitler planned to host a banquet celebrating the conquest of the city he besieged for three years, in the mistaken belief he could starve it into submission. The defenders of the city did all they could, however, to prevent that happening.

In 1987, the hotel was closed for reconstruction. Two years later, it reopened, totally renewed. Ten years later, in 1997, the management of the hotel was taken on by Rocco Forte Hotels. In order for the hotel to meet the standards of his chain, a further programme of reconstruction began. About $20 million were invested in the transformation, and as a result the hotel’s historic interiors were refreshed and enriched by contemporary elements, and the equipment and communications were replaced entirely. A fitness and a business centre appeared, both fully equipped with the latest hi-tech facilities. A decision was also taken to split up the Astoria and the Angleterre, returning the latter’s historical name.

The Astoria is now part of Rocco Forte Hotels, and in 2001 became a member of The Leading Hotels of the World. Every year, Astoria receives about 70,000 tourists from a vast number of countries. It is the preferred residence for many visiting politicians, entrepreneurs, scientists, and cultural and artistic figures. At the beginning of the last century, the Astoria played host to legendary figures such as the dancer Isadora Duncan and the singer Alexander Vertinsky. A list of more recent honoured guests is no less impressive — Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair, George and Laura Bush, Vladimir Putin, Garry Kasparov, Jacques Chirac, Madonna, Alain Delon, Elton John, Chuck Norris, the band Deep Purple, Gina Lollobrigida, Jack Nicholson, Luciano Pavarotti, Marcello Mastroiani, Pierre Cardin, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Prince Charles and Prince Michael of Kent. For many, it is with this hotel that they began their introduction to one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

St Petersburg’s iconic Rocco Forte Hotel Astoria celebrated its 100th birthday last year. From day one it was an hotel that made history, and it is still at the epicentre of all that is fashionable and influential in St Petersburg, a city experiencing a renaissance. Hotel Astoria’s 100th jubilee is a milestone that was celebrated by the city of St Petersburg throughout 2012 with a whole host of commemorative events. Within the anniversary campaign, Astoria launched a special programme for its guests who could benefit from free entrance to museums, backstage tours and many other special treats at the leading cultural institutions of St Petersburg such as the spectacular St Isaac’s Cathedral and Hermitage Museum. Two major theatres of St Petersburg – Mariinsky, Mikhailovsky and Alexandrinsky – offered exclusive private boxes for the Astoria guests as was the custom in Russia before Soviet times.

In spring 2013, Hotel Astoria also unveiled newly refurbished rooms and suites including Deluxe, Ambassador, Junior Suites and the incomparable Tsar Suite (with a total number of 169 rooms). June 2013 was marked with a splendid jubilee party bringing together guests from all over the world including politicians, fashion designers, artists, musicians, film stars, and other devoted connoisseurs of truly Russian luxury.

To walk into the Hotel Astoria in 2015, and to stay as a guest, is to walk into history, and to keep making history.

Company Overview
Rocco Forte Hotels was established in 1996 by a renowned hotelier, Sir Rocco Forte, to create a group of luxury properties in key European destinations operating under the positioning of ‘The Art of Simple Luxury’. Each of the hotels has its own personality, reflecting its location and nationality. As members of Rocco Forte Hotels, they share a high priority for stylish design and attention to detail, exemplary levels of service delivery and the latest technology. All have exercise facilities and several of them have sizeable spas and health clubs. The restaurants within the hotels have their own identity and serve food of the highest standard to both guests and local residents.

Sir Rocco’s sister, Olga Polizzi, oversees design for Rocco Forte Hotels and combines the tradition and locality of the cities the hotels are based in with modernity, using local artworks and furnishings to create a sense of place. The company also works with a selection of independent designers, who bring a local and fresh perspective to a particular hotel design.

Rocco Forte Hotels’ current portfolio consists in eleven properties and the company operates hotels in key European destinations such as Edinburgh, Brussels, Florence, Rome, London, Munich, Frankfurt, Berlin and St. Petersburg. Sir Rocco has also revealed plans to further extend beyond Europe and build the company’s presence in the Middle East and North Africa, signing management contracts to operate hotel in Jeddah.