On our group tours in Russia, we use hotels with the emphasis on comfort and functionality rather than putting on the Ritz. We use 3 star accommodation as classified by the Russian Ministry of Tourism. However, please be aware that the 3 star standards throughout Russia vary greatly and cannot be compared to hotels of a similar standard in Western Europe or, and in particular, Northern America.
Today, Russia suffers from a severe shortage of quality 3 star hotels. Tourism is relatively new and the demand for accommodation is often far higher than the supply. With demand being as high as it is, hoteliers have unified with massive price increases, so much so that Moscow is now regarded to have the most expensive hotel accommodation in the world and the city of St Petersburg is not far behind the likes of London, Tokyo and New York.
In Russia we have taken great lengths to locate the best quality hotels at realistic prices in each of the cities we travel to. All the hotels we provide are clean, comfortable and functional, as well as being within close proximity to public transport, amenities and local sights. While the choice in provincial Russia is very, very limited, we’ve done our homework and have chosen hotels that factor in comfort and convenience - such as restaurants and shops. All hotel guest rooms offer en suite bathrooms, a television, sometimes a fridge and more importantly, air conditioning. Many of our selected hotels offer a range of guest facilities such as a restaurant or somewhere to eat and sometimes additional facilities such as bars, shops and ATM machines. Some may even offer a nightclub, snooker facilities or casino.
In Moscow we stay at a conventional, purpose-built 3 star hotel. Our hotel formed part of the athletes village at the 1980 Summer Olympic games. Tall and distinctively Russian, the hotel blocks are appropriately named alpha, beta, delta and gamma, following the Greek Olympic tradition.
Beautifully located on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, our St Petersburg group tour hotel (from April 2012 onwards) offers comfortable modern accommodation, a variety of restaurants and bars, a fitness centre and wellness Spa, and direct access to the city’s largest water park. The city centre is easily reached by a free shuttle bus.
Although the Moscow and St Petersburg group tour hotels are large, as most Russian hotels are, you will find the staff are warm, friendly and more willing to cater for passenger needs. In the provinces of Pskov and Novgorod hotels take on a more provincial and rustic feel and are often located in a beautiful rural setting.
Trains are a pleasant and cost effective mode of transport in Russia and ideal for overnight travel between St Petersburg, Moscow and Yekaterinburg. Many of our group tours include a comfortable overnight train journey. Travelling by train offers an authentic Russian experience plus allows us to venture into the provincial heartland of the region. Russian trains are solid, utilitarian and reliable. On many of our tours we reserve open sleeper cabins. Cabins are semi enclosed (without a door), fitted in a 6 berth sleeping arrangement offering fresh-laundered linen and heating. It is possible to upgrade to a 4 or 2 berth sleeper cabin on most of the train routes we take, on request.
If you’re after luxury, then Russia won’t disappoint, offering some fantastic heritage hotels with grand architectural features and plenty of modern brand name properties of the finest reputation in the best locations. Since hotel ratings in Russia may differ to what one expects as the standard in the West, on all tailor-made quotations, we will provide Western standard ratings for all hotels featured; be it a three, four, five or five star deluxe rating.
For a relaxing holiday consider cruising along the Russian waterways. Using a series of rivers, canals and waterways it is possible to cruise between Moscow and St Petersburg, exploring Russia’s ancient riverside cities along the way. Our river cruisers are similar to that of a 3 star hotel; having a lounge, restaurant and bar, whilst your well–appointed, air-conditioned cabin offers a private bathroom and modern facilities. The boat deck offers plenty of space for relaxation and enjoying the fresh country air. Sightseeing visits are made en route and in the evening, low–key entertainment is on hand. All meals are included, buffet style. The captain’s cocktail party is a must. Treat yourself and escape to the top deck for panoramic views of small waterside villages and the sun setting upon the Volga River. Breathtaking, a river cruise in Russia is one to be remembered.