Saint Petersburg is exhausting…
… if you’re a traveler oon a limited schedule. In seven days you’ll glimpse the magnificence of this city, but it will take much more longer to get under its skin. Admiring the stupendous beauty of The Hermitage before moving onto the mosaic brilliance of The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is too much to take in over the course of a day, let alone a week. The history fused into the fabric of these buildings, a nuanced interplay of hieroglyphs, iconography, sweeping arches, and magnificent masonry, is awe-inspiring.
Saint Petersburg’s historic centre is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This part of the city is traversed by ribbons of canals and a criss-cross of streets that encourage the traveler to wander. Nevsky Prospekt runs through the core and many of the top hotels are located steps from the busy thoroughfare. I had the pleasure of touring these hotels and meeting with many lovely Russians along the way. While my photos don’t do them justice, the professional ones that accompany my words on the history and interiors of the top five hotels can be viewed here, on Qantas Insider:Best Luxury Hotels | St Petersburg | Qantas Travel Insider.
Here are some of my happy snaps.
Hotel Astoria, seen from the top of St Isaac’s Cathedral.
The Imperial Porcelain Company created the Cobalt Square design of the cup and saucer especially for Hotel Astoria in the 1930s. It’s one of the most popular designs in Russia.
Corinthia’s magnificent lobby
Kempinski’s glorious rooftop overlooking The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood.
Restaurant in the Belmond Grand Hotel Europe
Night view from the Four Seasons of St Isaac’s Cathedral.