Photo courtesy of Lotte Hotel Moscow

Sweet Dreams

When family or friends are coming to Moscow, the first thing they do is send off an e-mail to their "insider contacts" asking for hotel recommendations.

The problem is that insider contacts, or expats, live in Moscow apartments, visit their friends' apartments and only step in a hotel for a business meeting at the bar.

For all you insider contacts in Moscow, recommendations are easier than you think. If funds permit, send Great Aunt Sally to one of the top class hotels in the city center — either one of the restored historical hotels or a newly built hostelry. The service is guaranteed to be perfect; she'll be able to walk to many sights, restaurants and theaters; and you'll be able to enjoy a drink in an elegant lobby every time you come to visit her.

Conservative Uncle Jack, coming to Moscow for business, would probably prefer one of the Western chains. Designed for the business traveler, they have ample work space in the rooms, a plethora of meeting spaces, and are used to providing services around the clock to jet-lagged workaholics.

But send your best friends from university to one of the charming boutique hotels in the city. Depending on their taste and interests, they might like an avant-garde mini-hotel in an arty district, an art-nouveau masterpiece near the city's best museums, or a Soviet-style hotel complete with columns, chandeliers and portraits of Lenin.

Photo courtesy of Ararat Park Hayatt Moscow

Steps from the Kremlin

Metropol is a magnificent hotel opened in 1901 not only as Moscow's most modern hotel — with hot water, elevators, and telephones — but also as one of the finest examples of style moderne architecture in the country. After being requisitioned by the first Soviet government and housing foreign tourists during the later Soviet era, it was restored in a long and painstaking process that ended in 1991. The hotel has been refreshed under new management and offers every comfort that the upscale traveler expects. Perhaps best of all is the Metropol restaurant, a grand space under a glass dome with a marble fountain and wall mural. Here you can enjoy Russian and European cuisine from the hotel's new chef and imagine previous guests, such as Vladimir Lenin, Fyodor Shalyapin, Bernard Shaw and Michael Jackson, dining nearby.
2 Teatralny Proezd
+7 499 501 78 00
From 8,415 rubles

Hotel National
Hotel National was opened in 1903 right across the square from the Kremlin and was home to visiting dignitaries and royalty right up to the 1917 Revolution. Lenin liked it so much that he and his wife, Nadezhda Krupskaya, lived here when it housed the first Soviet government. Later it became a rather dreary hotel for foreigners, despite being decorated with antiques from a number of pre-Revolutionary palaces. In these years it was visited by Kay Thompson and immortalized in "Eloise in Moscow." After several restorations, it is part of the Luxury Collection of Starwood Hotels & Resorts — a truly elegant hotel, with impeccable service and tasteful luxury. What is better than waking up to a view of the Kremlin towers and stars?
15/1 Mokhovaya Ulitsa
+7 495 258 70 00
From 10,500 rubles

Ararat Park Hyatt
Ararat Park Hyatt is a modern and sleek hotel and has impeccable service and a particularly rich array of dining options, including the rooftop Conservatory Lounge and Bar with breathtaking views of the Kremlin and city center, and the Cafe Ararat, a restoration of a famous Armenian restaurant. The Ararat is nearly next to the Bolshoi, and a few minutes' walk to Red Square, in an upscale neighborhood of shops, restaurants and bars. It has a particularly fine spa area, with a heated pool, sauna, steam room and Roman bath.
4 Neglinnaya Ulitsa
+7 495 783 12 34
From about 12,800 rubles

Ritz-Carlton is one of Moscow's newer hotels, built in place of the dreary Intourist Hotel at the base of the capital's main street, Tverskaya. But the exterior has fit into the cityscape so neatly and the interior is so classically elegant that the hotel seems to have been here for decades. It offers more than 300 rooms of luxury; exquisite dining options; a famous spa center; and a fabulous, sleek rooftop bar, the O2 Lounge with an incomparable view of Red Square and the Kremlin.
3 Tverskaya Ulitsa
+7 495 225 88 88
From about 15,000 rubles 

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Coming To Town on Business

Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya
The historical Leningradskaya is the first Hilton-branded hotel in the city, a seamless blend of ornate Stalinist-classic decor — columns, brass and glass — and all the modern amenities and comforts a business traveler or tourist wants. Located next to three train stations, it is particularly convenient to travelers going to, or coming from, St. Petersburg. But its fine dining options, ample fitness center, extensive meeting facilities and 10-minute metro ride to Red Square make it an attractive space for any visitor to the capital.
21/40 Kalanchevskaya Ulitsa
+7 495 627 55 50
From about 5,500 rubles

Marriott Courtyard
All of Marriot's eight hotels in Moscow are excellent, but their Marriott Courtyard is a hidden gem. Located on a charming old-world side street a few blocks from the Kremlin, from the outside it looks like a tiny boutique hotel. Inside there are 218 modern rooms around an open, airy atrium. There is a good-sized fitness center and several restaurants — all less than a block from the main street, Tverskaya.
7 Voznesensky Pereulok
+7 495 981 33 00
From about 8,000 rubles

Radisson Blu Belorusskaya
The Radisson's newest Moscow hotel is a modern high-rise not far from Belorussky Station and Belorusskaya metro station. Located on a quirky street — quiet apartment buildings and the Golden Palace nightclub across the street — it is a terrific deal for business travelers and tourists who want comfort and service at a competitive rate. The hotel has a gym, restaurant, and ample meeting spaces, and is a few minutes' walk from the main street, Tverskaya.
26 3rd Ulitsa Yamskogo Polya
+7 495 660 49 00
From 5,280 rubles

Radisson Royal
The old Hotel Ukraina, one of Stalin's Seven Sisters, got its much needed restoration and modernization in 2010 without losing its extraordinary historical appeal. Now it is an enormous luxury hotel, with almost 500 rooms, several celebrated international and Russian dining options, and a huge fitness center and pool. The rooms are decorated in bright, stylish classical decor, and guests love the heated bathroom floors. It is just across the river from the Russian White House and is the only hotel in the city with its own fleet of river boats.
2/1 Kutuzovsky Prospekt, Bldg. 1
+7 495 221 55 55
From about 8,800 rubles

Swissotel Krasnye Holmy
Swissotel broke the Moscow luxury mold when it opened this sleekly modern 34-story Swissotel Krasnye Holmy hotel in 2005. Famous for its orientation to business travelers, with excellent meeting facilities, it is also a favorite with locals for the Pürovel spa and top-floor City Space Bar. Near the Paveletsky Station, it is a 10-minute metro ride to the sights in the city center.
52 Kosmodamiyanskaya Naberezhnaya, Bldg. 6
+7 495 787 98 00
From about 13,000 rubles

Photo courtesy of Ararat Park Hayatt Moscow

Boutique Hotels

Assambleya-Nikitskaya is a charming 30-room boutique hotel located a mere two blocks from the Kremlin in the former mansion of Prince Menshikov, Peter the Great's favorite. The interior decor is classical, with good-sized rooms and a cozy bar in the lobby. It is just down the street from the Moscow Conservatory and a block from the main street, Tverskaya.
12/2 Bolshaya Nikitskaya Ulitsa
+7 495 933 50 01
From about 5,900 rubles

Bentley Hotel
Bentley Hotel is a beautifully restored manor house with 16 modern rooms, a few blocks from the Kremlin in the heart of the city's shopping, dining and theater district. There is a nice lobby bar and, for those who miss Western food, a 24-hour American diner on the premises.
28/6 Ulitsa Pokrovka, Bldg. 3
+7 495 917 44 36
From about 4,250 rubles

Golden Apple
On the outside, this looks like a standard-issue, 19th-century Russian building. Inside, Golden Apple is a bright, minimalist, avant-garde, super-stylish hostelry. Everything is high-tech, down to the bathroom fixtures. It has a fine spa and fitness center, a cool bar and restaurant, and is all a block from the main street, Tverskaya, in the heart of the theatre and shopping district.
11 Malaya Dmitrovka Ulitsa
+7 495 980 70 00
From about 5,200 rubles

Kebur Palace

Kebur Palace is a small boutique hotel on one of Moscow's old aristocratic streets, now filled with cafes, shops and embassies. Some of the modern rooms overlook a patio filled with flowers and a fountain in the summer, others face a quiet lane. The hotel offers friendly, personalized service, a restaurant and business center, along with a spa-standard fitness club, pool and sauna. 
32 Ulitsa Ostozhenka
+7 495 733 90 70
From about 6,600 rubles

Sretenskaya Hotel

From the outside, the Sretenskaya Hotel is a small hotel (38 rooms) and looks like a cheerful medieval inn. Inside, the rooms are simple and modern, but the brightly painted lobby and restaurant continue the medieval Moscow meme. There is a tropical atrium that will bring cheer to the bleakest Moscow day, a sauna and a gym. It is located on a street with plenty of cafes and shops, and is about 20 minutes from Red Square on foot.
15 Ulitsa Sretenka
+7 495 933 55 44
From about 7,900 rubles

Sovietsky is a classic Stalinist-era hotel with spacious, rather old-fashioned rooms — Soviet grand style — located not far from the city center but between metro stations. Added value: a full range of services and the Yar restaurant.
32/2 Leningradsky Prospekt
+7 495 960 20 00
From about 4,800 rubles

Lifestyle Guide 2014
Lifestyle Guide 2014
The new issue of the Lifestyle Guide presents the best places in Moscow ― fine dining, bars, nightclubs, luxe spa salons, beauty centers and premium-class hotels.
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