Complex Made Simple

Hotel Review: Ritz-Carlton, Moscow

This is the newest super-luxury hotel in a European capital and brings standards of hospitality in Moscow to a higher level. The location, just behind Red Square, was formerly the site of an Intourist hotel that was demolished to make way for the 334-room Ritz-Carlton which opened a year ago.

Yet this looks like the refurbishment of an old neo-classical building with a grand facade, glorious lobby lounge and even a nightclub added under the atrium roof and spilling onto a terrace.

This is a hotel in which to be seen and to do business, as well as a wonderful location for the ultimate Moscow weekend break.

Stay on the Club floors to benefit from the splendidly opulent club room with its own terrace looking down onto Red Square, St Basil’s cathedral and the Kremlin.

This executive room also offers club guests a choice of five presentations of the chef’s finest snacks, which actually make very adequate small meals, and unlimited beverages from an extensive range.

Traditional interiors

The Ritz-Carlton Moscow has interior decoration typical of this chain with an accent on dark wood pannelling and traditional furniture styles, set off with a proliferation of crystal chandeliers and marble.

The room sizes are very spacious and offer refinements from complimentary wireless internet to automatic curtain closure.

In the evening you should head up to the O2 nightclub and bar on the top floor for a cocktail if you are not staying on the club level. Then you have a choice of Moscow’s only Michelin three-star restaurant Jeroboam, or Caviarterra serving traditional Russian and Georgian specialities.

Arab guests will doubtless appreciate the huge lobby lounge with its library area at the rear and live musicians. You can easily pass the hours here seeing the who’s-who of Moscow walk by without stirring from your seat.

But do not miss out on a visit to the spa where there is both an extensive range of massage treatments available and a full gymnasium, sauna, large hot-tub and swimming pool. This time the design is minimalist chic.

Top level service

The Ritz-Carlton is of course as much about excellent service as hotel interiors. In Moscow the ladies and gentlemen are both attentive and fast to react to their guests, almost an exact reversal of the usual expectation for service in Russia and perhaps that is the intention.

Indeed, this hotel is almost a microcosm of the New Russia: Business friendly, opulent and frankly very rich.

It also sets out to be a fashionable place and succeeds in spades with interior spaces and external views that are unmatched in Moscow.

Finding fault is difficult. But the courtesy car service is excessively expensive and some guests might not appreciate this imposition. Some of the mark ups on ordinary items like a bottle of Evian water also seem unnecessary given the room rates.

That said this is a hotel for the rich, or those playing at being rich, and you certainly get an outstanding experience of the New Russia if you stay at the Ritz-Carlton.