Four Seasons Hotel Lions Palace Saint Petersburg, Russia – Review
While I’ve stayed in hotels that were former monasteries, post offices, and cotton processing plants, as well as some former palaces, I’ve never stayed in a palace immortalized by one of the world’s greatest writers and poets, Alexander Pushkin.
The Lions Palace, as it was and is known, served as a palace for a mere seven years before becoming a government office. It later became a hostel, a school, and subsequently returned to being a government office. After years of neglect, it was restored to its original grandeur and opened as the Four Seasons Lions Palace in the summer of 2013.
After a quick flight from Moscow in Transaero’s domestic Imperial Class cabin, my travel companion and I arrived – both for the first time – in Saint Petersburg. We were greeted by a driver, who filled us in about the city as we headed to the hotel where, upon arrival, we were both welcomed by name and check-in formalities took mere seconds.
Our Terrace Room was on the hotel’s top floor and one could simply not have a better introduction to the city than the view from the private terrace. Bells were ringing so we went out onto the terrace and there it was across the road: St. Isaac’s Cathedral, the largest orthodox basilica in the world, and one of the most beautiful, providing what seemed to be a private concert. The terrace has heated floors although it was not necessary to use them on such a warm spring day.
Each room and suite was designed to be evocative of one of the 19th century private apartment dating back to when the palace originally opened for Russian aristocrats.
The room was divided into two parts: an entry foyer with a bar and closet, as well as an illy espresso machine and, down a small staircase, the bedroom. The bed was flanked by large nightstands, one with a clock radio with alarm, the other with a room phone. The floor-to-ceiling windows gave it a very open and airy feel.