What’s it like?
At 34 storeys, this hotel is one of the tallest buildings in Moscow. Open only for a few months, and partly because it’s a new-build, it is having teething problems with air conditioning and heating (it was too hot on our visit) and the service (the vast majority of employees are Russian, and training is an ongoing challenge for five-star hotels in Russia). The lobby is suitably dramatic: three storeys high and topped by a curved glass ceiling. Three huge crystal pendant light fixtures in spiral shapes are echoed in smaller versions around the lobby, while a series of large glass panels with an abstract, textured pattern like cracked ice add sparkle. The pale grey marble floors were not yet properly sealed, and so looked a little scruffy from the footfall.
Where is it?
On the eastern tip of Kremlin Island, between Moscow River and the Obvodny Channel and about a half-hour walk from the Kremlin. The hotel is conveniently located for the Moscow metro system, which is by far the easiest way of getting around the city. It is also only a few minutes’ walk to the Paveletsky station, which connects you to Domodedovo airport for British Airways (it’s less convenient for other European carriers such as Lufthansa and SAS). The hotel is part of a new development of offices and also contains the Moscow International House of Music (mmdm.ru/en/venue).
How many rooms?
235 rooms on levels five to 28, all of which have good views over surrounding Moscow areas (the upper stories have views of the entire city). The choice of rooms ranges from Swiss business advantage rooms, Swiss business executive rooms and panorama rooms to corner suites, executive suites and the presidential suite.
All the rooms are different because of the circular design of the building, with open bathrooms, plenty of storage – both in the bathrooms and in the wardrobes and drawers – and a large freestanding tub as the centrepiece. The shower is enclosed in glass walls, with grey and white marble, crisp white mosaic tiles and frosted mirror glass. Standard guestrooms have carpets while executive rooms and suites have wooden floors and rugs. Other room features include a flat-screen TV, good desks for working equipped with broadband internet access (wired and wireless), an ergonomic work chair, white bed linen and a duvet accented with an attractive throw.
Restaurants and bars
The fine dining Concerto Restaurant and Bar serves Italian cuisine, or you can opt for the hotel’s main restaurant, Café Suisse with its all-day dining menu of Swiss, international and Russian favourites. There is a lobby bar on the ground floor, but the City Space Bar and Lounge on the 34th floor is a must, with fabulous panoramic views of the city, a DJ (everywhere in Moscow seems to have extremely loud music: shops, restaurants and bars) and waitresses dressed in black sequinned full-length dresses. The prices for wines are simply breathtaking, as they are elsewhere in the city, costing E20 for a decent glass of white wine. I was told this was because of import taxes, but looking round the stores the next day, the prices seemed similar to those in London, so I can only conclude that the mark-up is way above the customary (and still astonishing) 300-400 per cent.
Business and meeting facilities
The hotel has a business centre located on the ground floor. There are also five meeting rooms and a board room that seats 10 people.
On the third floor the Amrita Spa and Health Club has a swimming pool, four private treatment rooms, a spa bath, solarium, sauna and relaxation room, and a workout area equipped with cardiovascular machines.
Full rate in a business advantage room is E425 plus E53 sales tax/VAT and 18 per cent VAT. Internet value rate for the same room type on a midweek stay in early December was E295 plus taxes and charges.
Swissotel Krasnye Holmy, Kosmodamianskaya Nab 52, Building 6, 115054, swissotel.com, tel +7 095 787 9800.