We are heading to Moscow to find old world luxury, see the Red Square in style, visit Bolshoi Theatre for a magnificent ballet and taste some of the real Russian black caviar.
We decided to make Baltschug Kempinski hotel our home for the stay and it was a fabulous idea.
Baltschug Kempinski is located on the Moskva river and only 5 min walk away from the Red Square and the Kremlin. This hotel exudes the old world charm and elegance; Kempinski hotels are well known for it worldwide.
Arrival: Like we have mentioned above, the location is spectacular, however we weren’t greeted at the door by any staff and had to take the luggage into the hotel ourselves. A little odd for a 5 star hotel. However the check in was very quick and we were promptly escorted to the suite.
The hotel lobby is open and understated, and is home to an elegant high tea offered daily.
The hotel had upgraded us to a Deluxe Design Suite – a very spacious suite that was created from 2 rooms (615 & 616) during the latest refurbishment. This suite is excellent for families – it felt like our daughter had her own quarters and we had ours.
The suites are open and bright, with large windows overlooking the Moskva river, Red Square and the Kremlin. However, the décor of the suite is a little tired and some of the features were not quite right. For example the ipod music dock was not working, they sent up 2 technicians who couldn’t fix it and were unable to replace it. Even though we had two bathrooms, they were very small, with combined shower/bath setup that only offered warmish water. Showers that lacked decent water pressure – not a 5 star showering experience.
I think the suites would benefit greatly from a décor redesign in the near future.
The hallways from lifts to rooms on the floors are also very simple looking, a little out of keeping with the lobby level.
Breakfast is served downstairs in the hotel restaurant adjacent to the tea room in the lobby. The staff great you warmly for breakfast and get you ready for your morning feast. I was hoping for real Russian delicacies but found a standard international buffet on offer; wonderful in its own right.
The hotel restaurant, Baltschug Grill was nice, again pushing the old world charm but unfortunately it feel more old than old world. That being said, the staff and service was excellent, with everyone going out of their way to help and make you feel welcome.
The swimming pool at the hotel is gorgeous and is a rare find in the middle of the city. Perfect addition to an already wonderful hotel.
What did TLT love:
1. Great location, this hotel is right on the river and within 500m of Red Square and the Kremlin.
2. Sweet touches - hotel staff had even setup our daughter room with an ice bucket filled with M&M, gummy bears and macaroons and left her a sweet note and a doll on her bed.
3. Lots of real black caviar on offer – absolute luxury!
4. An imperial caviar gift box available for all guests to purchase before they leave – the best way to remember Moscow and Russia!
5. Afternoon high tea is a stylish affair at the Tea Rooms downstairs – don’t miss it!
What TLT did not like: Ageing decor
If you can put up with that, Baltschug is a wonderful hotel and we do recommend it to all luxury travellers to Moscow.
Tips for visiting Moscow:
Don’t miss a spectacular Russian ballet at the Bolshoi Theatre. It is one of the best in the world. The theatre is spectacular and the artists are the best you’ll find in the world. Magical night out!
For art lovers don’t miss Tretyakov Gallery - it contains more than 170 000 works by Russian artists from the early religious paintings to the modern art objects.
As not many Russian people speak English you will have a much more pleasant experience touring with your personal tour guide. It can be easily arranged through the concierge.
Book lunch or dinner at one of the numerous roof top restaurants in the centre – you’ll get the best view of town without being right in the middle of a busy city.
Be adventurous and try the traditional Russian food – it is absolutely delicious! Russians know how to eat well!
Enjoy this beautiful city and all the wonderful things it has to offer!