The luxurious Grand Hotel Europe in St. Petersburg, Russia – owned and operated by the legendary Orient-Express, has re-opened ten historic suites after a painstaking restoration project.
Located on the hotel’s Historic Floor, each suite has its own Russian historic name, with an interior to match, and reflects the rich history of both the hotel and St. Petersburg. Themes include Pavarotti, Stravinsky, Faberge and Romanov.
All of the suites are spacious, with an area of 55 to 97 square metres and 4.3 metre-high ceilings.
Each has a vestibule, a living room, a bedroom and a large bathroom. Their windows look out onto the most picturesque spot in the historic centre of St. Petersburg – Arts Square, with its monument dedicated to the great poet, Alexander Pushkin, and the building of the Noble Assembly.
The historic suites have retained their original 19th century features and style, thanks to restoration work carried out by French designer Michel Jouannet, who is renowned for his work at Hotel Cipriani in Venice and the Copacabana Palace in Rio-de-Janeiro.
The Grand Hotel Europe is classified as a national and cultural landmark and is under a preservation order as a historical monument.
Suite No. 105: The Pavarotti Suite is the room in which the celebrated Italian tenor stayed during his final tour in 2004. This suite has always been a favourite with musicians due to the antique grand piano that stands in the living room. The interior is stylised in the spirit of the finest opera houses in the world – the Opera Garnier in Paris and La Scala in Italy. The colour scheme is dominated by hues of gold and red, and the bathroom will be finished in contrasting types of black and pink marble.
No. 107: The Dostoevsky Suite is named after Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky, who was a frequent guest of the hotel. To capture the mood of this great Russian writer, the designer has chosen tones that are fresh, yet deep and serious. The walls are decorated with wallpaper featuring a 19th century style pattern, and the living room contains a large desk for literary work.
No. 109: The Imperial Yacht Suite is named after the Russian royal yacht, the Derzhava, which stunned contemporaries with the unprecedented opulence of its interiors. Shades of marine colours dominate the colour scheme of the suite, while the bathroom is decorated in green and cream marble.
No. 112: The Faberge Suite is named in honour of the renowned Russian jeweller, Carl Faberge. The interior is designed in the finest traditions, embodying his works of art. The colour scheme is centred around shades of pink, lilac and golden tones, and the suite is furnished with light, almost white coloured furniture encrusted with precious stones and patina.
No. 113: The Mariinsky Suite is named in honour of the celebrated Mariinsky Theatre and its celebrated guests such as Anna Pavlova and the great choreographer, Marius Petipa. Other illustrious guests connected with the world of music and ballet, who have stayed at the hotel, include; Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Johann Strauss, Sergei Prokofiev and Dmitry Shostakovich. The suite is decorated in light blue tones to match those of the interior of the Mariinsky Theatre, and has a theatrical ambience to it.
No. 119: The Stravinsky Suite is named after the great composer Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky, for whom the Evropeiskaya Hotel, as the Grand Hotel Europe was then known, was the first port of call when he returned to Russia 48 years after emigrating. His music is associated with spring and general awakening, and so the interior has joyful hues of spring-like green and the bathroom is also decorated in green marble.
No. 121: The Romanov Suite is named in honour of the Imperial Russian dynasty, members of which regularly frequented the hotel. The last tsar, Emperor Nicholas II, held diplomatic receptions in the hotel. This suite has a truly palatial atmosphere and is furnished with antique furniture featuring decorative gold moulding.
No. 123: The Rossi Suite is named after the architect Carlo Rossi, who is closely linked to the hotel, since he designed both the hotel’s façade and the architectural ensemble of the adjacent Arts Square and Mikhailovskaya Ulitsa, on which the hotel is located. The Rossi Suite is decorated in classic “Rossi” white and yellow – the colours that are used in many of the architect’s masterpieces around St. Petersburg.
No. 125: The Amber Suite is named in honor of the famous Amber room at the Catherine Palace in Tsarskoye Selo, which is often referred to as ‘the eighth wonder of the world’. It features warm amber tones, in keeping with its name, and the bathroom is made with pink and yellow marble.
No. 127: The Lidval Suite is named in honour of Fyodor Ivanovich Lidval, one of the greatest architects working in St. Petersburg at the beginning of the 20th century, and an outstanding master of the Art Nouveau style. Lidval also helped to redesign the interiors at Grand Hotel Europe from 1908 to 1914. The suite consists of a large living room with a winter garden on a small, glass-covered veranda.
The historic suites start from RUB 51,480 (approx. US$ 1,655) per room per night.