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LUXURY HOTELS: The State Hermitage Hotel, St Petersburg, Russia

A visit to the State Hermitage Musuem has to be on every art-lovers wish list. Now one of the world's greatest museums will have a hotel to match its grandeur. The only official hotel of the State Hermitage Museum opens in St Petersburg this July.

Without doubt St. Petersburg is Russia's cultural capital so a new luxury hotel inspired by the museum is an exciting prospect. The idea was to create a five star hotel with the 'culture and atmosphere' of the Hermitage in all its elegance and grandeur. Early renderings show the hotel will have a classical feel with enough brocade and gilt to satisfy the most luxury-loving guest.

luxury hotel the state hermitage hotel, Russia

The hotel is located in the City Centre District, on Pravda Street in the heart of Dostoevsky's St. Petersburg, so it will be surrounded by the literary heritage of Russia, as well as the most historical part of the city.

The hotel is housed in a building which was   originally created   as a residence for the Lobov Family, a local merchant. Later on it was turned into a Cultural centre with a theatre and was the centre of culture and performing arts, where singers such as Vladimir Vysotskiy regularly performed. More lately the building had fallen into decay. The restoration has preserved its magnificent   original facade restoring the glory of the landmark building.

Guest will be greeted an impressive lobby with a columned atrium and a massive crystal chandelier. The interior design was inspired by the architectural features and elements of the Winter Palace, without actually copying them, however in this way the designers were able to 'establish a spiritual relationship with the ceremonial halls of the museum'.   A sneak peak at a junior suite shows while columns ,elegant drapes and   hints of gold everywhere.   All of the 126 rooms and suites rooms of the luxury hotel have    hardwood floors, soft lighting a colour scheme inspired by the interior of the State Hermitage Museum.

The relationship between the Hotel and the Museum is also reflected in the names of the multiple banquet and meeting rooms. For example, the Carlo Rossi ballroom, with its gold ceiling roses was named after the architect which designed the staff building of the Hermitage.   Staff uniforms will be inspired by the original uniforms used at the Winter Palace and guest will eat off china inspired by the palace porcelain.

Because of its special relationship with the museum the hotel will be offering a number of facilities such as a free shuttle service between the hotel   and the Museum. Guests will also be able to review all activities which are going on in the Museum and plan their visit there by looking at the permanent Hermitage Museum TV channel which will be shown in the rooms as well as in some parts of the lobby. They can even buy their tickets for the entrance of the State Hermitage or any of its activities directly at the Hermitage Centre in the lobby of the hotel. This is also the place where

guest may sign up as a member of the 'Friends of the Hermitage' Society.   If all that culture gets too much guest can retreat to the tranquil surrounding of the hotel's neva spa.

The main restaurant is named after Catherine the Great - the founder of the Hermitage. It promises to become a mecca for connoisseurs of dishes inspired by the menus which were once served at the Winter Palace.   The Michelangelo Boutique Café, will offer an Italian Cuisine and has direct access to the street, is sure to become the place to meet friends and enjoy a   traditional Russian tea or an    Italian Coffee. All reminiscent of the days when Saint Petersburg was the capital of the Russian Empire, and 'grace and elegance were the main criteria of true luxury'.

Luxury Location: The Official State Hermitage Hotel, Pravda Street, 10, St. Petersburg 191119, Russia
Luxury Hotels Link: www.thehermitagehotel.ru

Lisa Edwards 12/5/13

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