Moscow, St Petersburg, Kazan and Novgorod are Russia’s most populated and prosperous cities, however just three hours south of Kazan is the lovely city of Simbirsk. Its history dates back to the mid-1600s and it played a significant role in the civil war during Catherine the Great’s reign.
It’s also the birth city of Vladimir Ulyanov, better known as Lenin. In 1924, the city officially changed its name to Ulyanovsk to honor the leader, but people still refer to the city by the former name of Simbirsk.
Though off the beaten path, it’s a city well worth the trip.
The best time to visit is during the summer months when tourism is high. In the warmer months, the lake is filled with boats, the flowers are in bloom and the Park Avenue cafes are crowded with people getting outside and enjoying the sun. Popular tourist destinations are the Lenin Memorial Center, the Goncharov Museum and the Historical Cultural Center where visitors will learn more about this fascinatingly historical town.
During the winter months, you’ll find temperatures well below zero. It’s a Doctor Zhivago ice capade! However, in spite of the extremely cold and often harsh weather conditions, this part of Russia sees its share of visitors mainly due to cross country skiing and frozen lake ice skating.
Should you choose to wander down the road to Simbirsk, you’ll want to step inside and rest your head at the Hotel Imperial Club Deluxe.
You’ll be transported back to an era long ago when the Czars ruled and noble elegance abounded. The sweeping marble floors, gold-gilded accents and the grand staircase are all reminiscent of Russia’s Imperial period. Situated in Aleksandrovsky Park, the Hotel Imperial Club Deluxe delivers pristine services for the discerning traveler. Guest rooms are very well appointed and tastefully decorated in stylish traditional furnishings, fine linens and draperies and plush comfy carpeting. Separate sitting and dining areas provide enough room for relaxing. Spacious bathrooms, bathed in mosaic tiles and marble, feature a Jacuzzi soaking tub, shower, toilet with a heated seat and a bidet. The heated marble floor keeps your feet warm and cozy. Beyond the windows, guests are treated to spectacular views of the Volga River, Ulitsa Goncharova and Aleksandrovsky Park.
The hotel allows you to savor authentic Russian cuisine at Restaurant Romanovsky in an atmosphere that inspires guests to stay and sample a few of the delicacies of the past. One of the best kept local secrets is their Sunday Brunch. Shtolts Bar, named after Oblomov by Goncharov, offers a European cigar bar setting with a Russian feel that creates an energetic ambiance for business dinners and entertaining. Café Balcon is infused in the mysterious romance of Russia, and an environment to mingle with friends and colleagues under a grand chandelier.
After a day out on the lake, or on the ice, the Edelweiss Spa is a welcome retreat to warm, soothe, rejuvenate and refresh you with one of the treatments or a massage. Specializing in invasive massage therapy and European facials, Edelweiss will leave you feeling restored and ready for another day of Simbirsk.
- Address: Alexandrovskaya 60, 432066 Ulyanovsk
- Rooms: 16
- On site: One restaurant, two bars, one cafe, Edelweiss Spa
- Reservations: +7-8422-240-240
- Price: $$$
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