Hotel Astoria, a Rocco Forte hotel

St Isaac's Square / Ul. Bolshaya Morskaya 39 
St. Petersburg ,  190000
Russia

What to do in St Petersburg

St Petersburg is a beautiful city, founded in 1703 by Peter the Great and built on the River Neva delta on the Gulf of Finland. The city is interspersed by picturesque canals and the varied architecture of the city’s 150 palaces. Many of the main attractions are within walking distance of the hotel, such as the famous Hermitage Museum.

Our Concierge desk will be delighted to assist with any questions you have regarding sightseeing opportunities or local information.

CITY GUIDE, SHOPPING, NEVSKY PROSPECT

The 'Champs Élysées' of St Petersburg, lined with fine buildings and shops and thronged with people during the midsummer 'white nights'. Famous Russians who have lived along the boulevard include Tchaikovsky, Turgenev and Dostoevsky. Numerous stores and shops fill Nevsky prospect from the Palace Square to the Alexander Nevsky Square.

DEPARTMENT STORES

BOLSHOY GOSTINY DVOR

This is a famous historical yellow building on Nevsky prospect has been one of St Petersburg’s biggest shopping centres since the 18th century. The first floor specializes in caviar, souvenirs, shoes, music and cosmetics. The second floor has clothes, designer boutiques, toys, furs and hats.

GRAND PALACE 

The city's elite shopping arcade. It has a range of designer boutiques, including Escada, Trussardi and Vanity, good cafes and restaurants.

PASSAZH (PASSAGE)

Passage features high-quality fashion for children, men and women, house wares, antiques, jewelry and souvenirs. It has a 180-metre long glass roof, and there is a top view from the coffee bar on the second floor. Open 10:00 - 9:00, Sun. 11:00 - 9:00.

 IRINA TANTSURINA FASHION HOUSE

Tantsurina is well-known name among Petersburg designers. She mainly works with natural fur and leather. The Fashion House is located a few meters off Nevsky prospect, near the Moika canal.

MARKETS

KUZNECHNY MARKET

Kuznetchny is one of the finest markets in town. Just walking down the aisles is an experience in itself, as different vendors do their best to attract your attention by yelling things out and waving knives with bits of fruit stuck on the end for you to try. You can taste fresh honey, Korean salads and even caviar.

PAITTING MARKET

Rain or snow, every day in front of Petersburg’s first Catholic Church you can buy paintings from Russian artists or let them draw your portrait or caricature. Artists sell their original work, although some also do good copies of Picasso and Repin, the Russian Rembrandt.

SOUVENIRS AND GIFTS

SOUVENIR SHOP IN THE ANGLETERRE HOTEL

The Souvenir shop is located on the ground floor of the Angleterre Hotel and has a fine selection of lovely folk art. Check it out when you pass to your hotel room or if you wish to bring a gift home to your loved ones.

STROGANOV PALACE ART STORE

Also known as Salon Stroganovsky, this large, centrally-located souvenir shop has a bit of everything from amber to matryoshkas. You can buy Russian folk costumes and traditional folk music CDs, too.

RED OCTOBER

Of course, you can not leave Russia without a matryoshka (nesting doll) or some other typical Russian souvenir. Red Oktober shop has good choice of little knick-knacks.

CITY ATTRACTIONS

HERMITAGE

The State Hermitage occupies six magnificent buildings situated along the embankment of the River Neva, right in the heart of St Petersburg. The leading role in this unique architectural ensemble is played by the Winter Palace, the residence of the Russian tsars that was built to the design of Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli in 1754-62.

ST ISAAC’S CATHEDRAL

Its golden dome which dominates the city skyline and which sits opposite Angleterre Hotel. The interior is decorated lavishly with marble and mosaic, and you can climb the 43-metre colonnade for breathtaking views of the city.

RUSSIAN MUSEUM

A must for those wanting to discover Russian art and learn more about the country's culture.

MARIINSKY THEATRE

The home of Russian ballet and opera since the 1860s, the Mariinsky Theatre (Former Kirov), is a cultural leader and one of the most illustrious and beautiful theaters in the world.

ALEKSANDRINSKY THEATRE

Italian architect Carlo Rossi designed this illustrious drama theater, which was built between 1828-1832. It is named after the wife of Tsar Nicholas I, Aleksandra Fyodorovna.

Location

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 center is itself a UNESCO World Heritage Site, alive with tradition and at the forefront of Russian commerce.
 
All the 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.
 
TOP 10 REASONS WHY TO VISIT ST PETERSBURG
  • Easy access – 2.5 hours from Frankfurt and Munich, 3 hours from London and 50 minutes from Helsinki.
  • Historic city – Founded in 1703 by Peter the Great, St Petersburg was first an imperial city, which survived a turbulent history and is today considered the second largest Russian city.
  • Cultural capital of Russia – St Petersburg boasts more than two hundred museums, historic places, renowned theaters, scientific and educational institutions as well as libraries.
  • UNESCO World Heritage – Set amongst a picturesque network of canals and bridges, the historic center of the “Venice of the North” is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Maritime city – Given its strategic location and an access to the Baltic Sea, St Petersburg is at the forefront of Russian commerce.
  • White nights – From late May to early July it doesn’t get dark in St Petersburg, so it’s possible to take a walk along the banks of the city’s rivers and canals in almost broad daylight, at any time of the day or night.
  • White days – During the mysterious and beautiful Russian winter, the snow-covered St Petersburg is hosting multiple art festivals and Christmas markets, which make it look like a fairytale town.
  • Mariinsky Theater – Have an unforgettable evening at the Mariinsky Theater watching one of the best Russian ballet performances from the private box of Rocco Forte’s Hotel Astoria.
  • Russian poetry – St Petersburg is a city of poetry and romance, which has inspired many writers, poets and artists.
  • Suburban attractions – From magnificent imperial palaces to relics of Northern Russia's medieval principalities, the city's surroundings are also rich in places of interest.

Interesting Facts about Hotel Astoria

1. In 1919 Lenin stayed in "Astoria".

2. It is located on Saint Isaac's Square, next to Saint Isaac's Cathedral and across from the historic Imperial German Embassy. The hotel was built in 1911—1912, designed by the famous St Petersburg architect Fyodor Lidval. 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.

3. During World War II, Adolf Hitler reportedly planned to hold a victory banquet in the hotel's Winter Garden. He was so convinced Leningrad would fall quickly, but it did not happen.

4. On the eve of Valentine's Day in 2007, Forbes magazine published a list of the most romantic hotels in the world. At the 9 th position is the only one hotel in Russia - "Astoria".

5. When the hotel "Astoria" bought new dishes, all were stylish, elegant things made in time for the Russia's best hotels by special order. Since then, the dishes from «Astoria», was shot several times in the movie. For example, in "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" two English gentlemen take their food those cutleries.

6. One of the major theater of St Petersburg – Mariinsky– offered exclusive private boxes for the Astoria guests as was the custom in Russia before Soviet times.

7. 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.

8. In design of interiors used several world’s famous brands:
a) LSA stylish handmade vases of glass and porcelain, which are produced in the UK. Masters of LSA Company operates using old methods of manufacturing environmentally friendly products made of glass, in which the entire process is done by hand.
b) William Yeoward handmade designer cushions are grouped in colors more enticing and beautiful than ever imaginable then layered with great textures, embroideries and appliqués. Sumptuous colorful velvets, crisp dry linens, jutes and cottons woven on traditional looms are the staples of this range. Each piece carries the Yeoward hallmarks of quality and is zipped and padded.
c) Lamps British brand Porta Romana already 20 years adorn the interiors of the best hotels in Europe, and now their lamps, chandeliers and sconces are used in "Astoria"
d) In the interior of the «Tsar Suite» are used furniture, decorative plates and wall panels of the English company OKA, which manufactures products for the luxury hotels.
e) Also in the interior of the «Tsar Suite» are used objects of decoration from the French company SIA one of the best producers of decor for premium class designs.  
f) Table and bed clothes, tapas napkins, laundry bags, towels and robes provided by famous English company - Volga Linen. They use natural linen with an elegant and timeless quality.
g) The interiors of the hotel «Astoria» is decorated with photos artistes of Mariinsky Theater, because hotel «Astoria» has a long-standing cooperation with it.
h) In the interior of the «Tsar Suite» used wallpaper of Min Hogg. She is founder of the company, and also the founder of the magazine "World Interiors" and for 20 years she was the editor and an expert of style, no one else understands the style, luxury and high-quality materials like she. All the knowledge she has invested in the production of high-quality wallpaper which made from natural materials.
i) "Imperial Porcelain" factory and artist Galina Shyliak created famous pattern "Cobalt cell" special for Astoria. Now this pattern is a part of the interior of the hotel and is widely used in the living room "Rotonda" during the daily tea parties.

9. "Tsar Suite" in Astoria is the largest suite in the St. Petersburg, with an area of 300 square meters.

10. In the hotel "Astoria" the largest number of suites in St. Petersburg – 86.

11. In the interiors of the lobby, restaurants and rooms are used antiques XVIII, XIX and XX centuries, preserved since 1912, from the year when the hotel opened. For example, virtually all the chandeliers, table lamps, floor lamps and sconces in the guest areas date from the second half of XIX and beginning of XX centuries.

12. After the large renovation the Constantine Palace returned numerous antiques of hotel "Astoria", which the keepers of the palace was carefully kept during the renovation of the historic hotel.

13. In every room our guests can find about a dozen books of Russian and foreign classics in English and Russian languages. In the "Tsar Suite" there is a library consisting of 300 books - Russian and foreign classics in English and Russian languages. It is very rare for hotels, because basically in various hotels around the world there are only periodicals.

14. The seventeenth part of the legendary «Bond’s stories» - Golden Eye - filmed in «Astoria»

15. The new restaurant at Hotel Astoria opened in April 2013 in cooperation with prominent chef and restaurateur Aram Mnatsakanov. The Astoria Café is a landmark restaurant offering modern Russian cuisine thanks to its new Russian Brasserie-style menu: fresh, light and trendy recipes are used even for classic dishes. Before or after Swan Lake, Astoria Café is the place for fine dining in comfortable luxury.

16. The wine cellar in Astoria Cafe restaurant, created 100 years ago, includes a collection of the best wines from around the world, as well as one of the best collections of champagne in St. Petersburg.

17. Astoria is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World.

18. Here was filmed an episode of the movie "The Incredible Adventures of Italians in Russia."

19. 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 whisky and fine cigars. The Lichfield Bar pays homage to the celebrated British photographer Patrick Lichfield and the walls are lined with his iconic prints.  

20. Hotel Astoria is ideally located in the center 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 Theater.

21. Interiors of Presidential suites decorated with copies of engravings from the Hermitage

22. Part of the world-famous novel by Mikhail Bulgakov "The Master and Margarita" was written by the writer in "Astoria".

23. 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 honored 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.

24. The hotel "Astoria" is one of the most interesting historic hotels in St. Petersburg, where Petersburg atmosphere of beauty and intelligence lives.

25. Mikhail Bulgakov and his "Margarita", Elena Sergeevna Nurnberg, spent their honeymoon in 1932 in Astoria. Bulgakov liked Astoria very much and always stayed there, when he was in St Petersburg, preferring numbers on the 4 floor. This fact was reflected in Master and Margarita: "...Got the answer (by Friday evening), that Rimskiy was found in the room 412 in Hotel Astoria, on the 4 floor, next to the room, where the Head of the Moscow Theater had been living during the concert tour in Leningrad, in the room, where, as everyone knows, the furniture is grey-blue and the bathroom is beautiful"

26. During the Civil War general Lavr Kornilov based his headquarters in Hotel Astoria. When Bol'sheviks braked into the hotel, they took all the wine, collected in Astoria's cellar, drank it, but most of the wine was poured onto the pavement.

27. Andrey Mironov, famous Russian actor, often lived in Astoria, when he was a little boy. Later, during the "Adventures of the Italians in Russia" filming, he made a very dangerous trick without a stunt man on Astoria's building front. The actor got outside out of the window and went down, holding the carpet.
 

10 Reasons for Choosing St Petersburg and Hotel Astoria

10 reasons for choosing St Petersburg
  • Easy access – 2.5 hours from Frankfurt and Munich, 3 hours from London and 50 minutes from Helsinki.
  • Historic city – Founded in 1703 by Peter the Great, St Petersburg was first an imperial city, which survived a turbulent history and is today considered the second largest Russian city.
  • Cultural capital of Russia – St Petersburg boasts more than two hundred museums, historic places, renowned theatres, scientific and educational institutions as well as libraries.
  • UNESCO World Heritage – Set amongst a picturesque network of canals and bridges, the historic centre of the “Venice of the North” is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Maritime city – Given its strategic location and an access to the Baltic Sea, St Petersburg is at the forefront of Russian commerce.
  • White nights – From late May to early July it doesn’t get dark in St Petersburg, so it’s possible to take a walk along the banks of the city’s rivers and canals in almost broad daylight, at any time of the day or night.
  • White days – During the mysterious and beautiful Russian winter, the snow-covered St Petersburg is hosting multiple art festivals and Christmas markets, which make it look like a fairytale town.
  • Mariinsky Theater – Have an unforgettable evening at the Mariinsky Theater watching one of the best Russian ballet performances from the private box of Rocco Forte’s Hotel Astoria.
  • Russian poetry – St Petersburg is a city of poetry and romance, which has inspired many writers, poets and artists.
  • Suburban attractions – From magnificent imperial palaces to relics of Northern Russia's medieval principalities, the city's surroundings are also rich in places of interest.
10 reasons for choosing Rocco Forte Hotel Astoria
  • Historic hotel – Opened in 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.
  • Key location – Ideally located in the centre of St Petersburg, Hotel Astoria is overlooking the landmark St Isaac’s Cathedral and within easy walking distance from the world famous Hermitage Museum and the Mariinsky Theatre.
  • High-class reputation – Not only is Hotel Astoria managed by the renowned Rocco Forte Hotel Group, it is also a member of The Leading Hotels of the World.
  • Luxurious accommodation – Newly refurbished in spring 2013, Hotel Astoria counts 83 rooms and 86 suites, including the incomparable Tsar Suite (with a total of 169 rooms).
  • Tradition – Hotel Astoria offers excellent standards of traditional Russian hospitality and a high level of service.
  • Conference, incentive and banqueting facilities – Hotel Astoria provides 2 banqueting halls and a banqueting foyer with original historical interiors, 6 modern-equipped meeting-rooms plus 4 meeting rooms and an amphitheatre conference hall in the neighboring Angleterre Hotel.
  • Astoria Café – With a spectacular view onto St Isaac’s Square and its floor-to-ceiling windows, Astoria Café offers modern Russian cuisine.
  • Lichfield Bar – The cocktail hour in St Petersburg is a popular time to come to Lichfield Bar and enjoy an original cocktail or sample our wide selection of appetizers.
  • Beauty, SPA and fitness services – Hotel Astoria offers a quantity of beauty treatments for the hair, face and body, all kind of sensual pleasures as well as a 24-hour gym and individual classes.
  • Favorite meeting place – Hotel Astoria has played host to politicians and celebrities for over 100 years.