W St Petersburg, Russia [Master Thread]

Old May 3, 11, 5:12 am
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W St Petersburg, Russia [Master Thread]

I had a three night stay in the recently opened W St Petersburg. Decided to write a miniTR.

The hotel is not yet fully operational and three floors are still to be completed. At the time of check-in, I was told that since they are quite full, I can't be upgraded to a suite and instead I will be upgraded to a Spectacular room from Marvelous room. The room we got was on the first floor, overlooking a rubbish dump. I checked the reservation and discovered that I had in fact booked a spectacular room which as per spg.com should have panoramic views of the city and cathedral and should be on a high floor. I went and complained to the front desk, and after some toing and froing I was told that they were full that night and that we will be moved to another room the next day. We were moved to a similar room on the fifth floor next day.

The only platinum recognition in the property is the standard welcome gift.

The hotel has a coffee shop and a restaurant. There are not too many options on the restaurant menu, however the hotel is very centrally located and there are plenty of restaurants within 5-10 mins of walking distance. There are a couple of Indian restaurants just next to the hotel, and we ended up eating there a few times.

The staff are very friendly and helpful, however are new and were stressed out as we were there during the long Russian holiday weekend and they were quite full (one of the front desk girls told my wife that the hotel that weekend was full of rude Russians from Moscow and that somebody swore at her in the morning for telling him that breakfast ended at 11am and that he will have to eat in the cafe rather than the main restaurant as it was closed for breakfast).

The property still has teething troubles- we were locked out of our room as the key card was not working, and the engineer had to come and remove the lock unit and replace it with a new one before we could get in. We wanted to watch an in-room movie, but the in-room movie function was disabled and we had to make several phone calls to whatever whenever, which became very hilarious towards the end as there were six people in our room trying to get the system working, until somebody figured out that the reception has to enable In-room movie option for someone to watch movies.
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Old May 3, 11, 6:17 am
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Sounds like normal problems for newly opened properties. Any photos?
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Old May 3, 11, 6:31 am
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LonH -- Thanks for the report, but could you give us an idea of how the rooms are furnished, how large they are, how close the hotel is to the sites, etc?
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Old May 3, 11, 1:04 pm
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Originally Posted by NJUPINTHEAIR View Post
LonH -- Thanks for the report, but could you give us an idea of how the rooms are furnished, how large they are, how close the hotel is to the sites, etc?
The rooms are on the smaller side- I booked one of the largest rooms, which was quite small IMO. I had a look at the fabulous rooms as well which are the biggest rooms, but only marginally bigger.

Standard W furnishing and room amenities including Nespresso machine, floor to ceiling windows- I have some photos which I will load later when I charge up the iphone.

The property is close to all attractions- 5 mins walking to Hermitage Museum, Nevsky Prospect etc. An added benefit is that it is on a quiet square but still very central.

It should take only 10 mins to train station by taxi, but we had to go in circles in a taxi for almost an hour as there is no sign to indicate that there is a hotel at that address- we passed the address several times (the driver even went and knocked on the door to see if there is anybody), there was no sign, no doorman, no indication of any activity etc. The manager has promised to put up a sign very soon.
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Old May 3, 11, 4:33 pm
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Is there a good bar at the property? We will be in St Petersburg at the end of May and decided to go with Novotel. I am interested in checking out the W bar, if its a good scene and design.

As a loud rude Russian from Moscow I will try not to cause too much trouble to the apparently sensitive local staff.
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Old May 3, 11, 7:47 pm
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It never ceases to amaze me that a snazzy theme is enough to get people to put up with some of the smallest rooms in the industry. Just not my style, but I'm probably an old fuddy-duddy!
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Old May 4, 11, 1:42 am
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Originally Posted by asnovici View Post
Is there a good bar at the property? We will be in St Petersburg at the end of May and decided to go with Novotel. I am interested in checking out the W bar, if its a good scene and design.

As a loud rude Russian from Moscow I will try not to cause too much trouble to the apparently sensitive local staff.
They have a small lobby bar-just a few tables and chairs, nothing great. There is supposed to be one on the top floor, but it is not operational yet.
Until this trip, I was not aware of the friction between the old and new capitals..
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Old Jun 3, 11, 9:52 pm
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I stayed there last week for three nights and would absolutely stay again (especially given the alternatives in the city). Agree that the rooms are rather small, but they are well appointed and the bathrooms are great (particularly the showers).

Shaquira was staying there after her concert in St. Petersburg, and when I got home at 3am I could hear the after party in the 8th floor bar from my room on 4 through the vents . I emailed the manager, suggesting that they look into this for future events and that perhaps the offending guests would like to cover my room for the night, as it was they (not the hotel) who disrupted my stay.

The staff was fantastic and the manager, who is awesome, sat down with me for a half hour the next day just to hear my take on the hotel in general. I told them I didn't expect compensation from the hotel, it wasn't their fault, and that guests (regardless of celeb status) still owe it to other guests to behave. When I got home I found 6k Starpoints in my account (half of one night's stay). The entire staff was very friendly and helpful and most were female and adorable .

Didn't drink in the rooftop bar, but it looked nice and it's open now, though the outside deck is still under construction.

As I said, would stay again in a second and all hotels should be opened by a manager like this.
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Old Jun 9, 11, 4:00 am
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Smile Nice Property

Just went to Russia just to stay here. Nice amenities and location. It just seems a little out of place for St Petersburg. The service is excellent and my platinum upgrade got me to their lowest suite. The staff at Bliss are practically begging you to give them some business. I just wish I was there a few days earlier to see Shakira. Mods. I have not seen a master thread for this location yet? Thanks
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Old Jul 7, 11, 11:28 pm
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Hotel tried to sneak in extra "registration fee"

The hotel is now fully operational, and the staff was very accommodating and helpful. But the rate listed on my check-in form was about $30 higher than quoted on my reservation. When I questioned this, I was told that the hotel adds a 400 ruble fee (about $15) per person to cover Russian registration formalities. The hotel reluctantly removed it from my bill when I insisted they honor the rate quoted on my reservation.
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Old Jul 14, 11, 7:51 am
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Originally Posted by kurjan View Post
The hotel is now fully operational, and the staff was very accommodating and helpful. But the rate listed on my check-in form was about $30 higher than quoted on my reservation. When I questioned this, I was told that the hotel adds a 400 ruble fee (about $15) per person to cover Russian registration formalities. The hotel reluctantly removed it from my bill when I insisted they honor the rate quoted on my reservation.
Isn't the registration fee fairly typical? I was under the impression that every hotel charges this. No?
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Old Jul 19, 11, 10:22 am
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Originally Posted by onfo View Post
Isn't the registration fee fairly typical? I was under the impression that every hotel charges this. No?
That was my impression as well; it's just the hotel passing "gov't relations" costs on to the guest as I understand it, and hotels don't really view it as part of the price since it's a pretty uniform thing throughout the country. Unlike taxes, I think this is a flat fee and has something to do with the voucher issued in order to obtain a Russian entry visa.

I agree that it should be part of the quote, but I think this may be an issue for Starwood corporate, not the individual hotel, in terms of maintaining consistency.
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Old Sep 5, 11, 5:36 am
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Originally Posted by JumboD View Post
That was my impression as well; it's just the hotel passing "gov't relations" costs on to the guest as I understand it, and hotels don't really view it as part of the price since it's a pretty uniform thing throughout the country. Unlike taxes, I think this is a flat fee and has something to do with the voucher issued in order to obtain a Russian entry visa.

I agree that it should be part of the quote, but I think this may be an issue for Starwood corporate, not the individual hotel, in terms of maintaining consistency.
Not all hotels in Russia charged me the registration fee.

Back to W St. Petersburg. It was a great W experience. Service could be better, especially the English level is a problem. The design was fantastic. I took a video og my W Suite if this can be of any interest http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1DELY4mUZw
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Old Oct 24, 11, 2:45 pm
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Originally Posted by henrikfromdenmark View Post

...Back to W St. Petersburg. It was a great W experience. Service could be better, especially the English level is a problem. The design was fantastic. I took a video of my W Suite if this can be of any interest http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1DELY4mUZw
The W St Petersburg is fantastic. It is a brand new hotel in the typical W modern style, but not as exaggerated as some. The hallways are well lighted and, at least in my room, the bathroom facilities, including the bathtub, shower, and toilet are fully separate from the bedroom, with a separating wall and door that can be closed (and no window between the bathroom and bedroom). Thatís the way my home is and thatís the way I like hotels to be. The staff are friendly and very helpful, in the informal W way. The restaurant, which features Alain Ducasse cuisine, serves a great breakfast with delicious omelets, fine croissants, pastries, and breads. I found the level of knowledge of English in the hotel to be uniformly outstanding, contrary to the experience of the last poster to this thread. English is even used in the Wís kitchen between the French chef and his Russian assistants. The hotel is located in the historical centre, less than five minutes by foot from the Hermitage, St. Isaacís Cathedral, the equestrian statue of Peter the Great, Victory Square, Nevsky Prospekt, etc. SPG Platinum treatment is outstanding Ė I was assigned a full suite (exactly the same one as in the video in the last post) without having to negotiate at check-in.
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Old Oct 24, 11, 7:53 pm
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Stayed there this past August for a night on C+P and had an exceptional stay. I was taking an 11 PM train to Moscow, and they let me check out at 10 PM. Unbelievable!

Otherwise, helpful staff and gorgeous rooms.
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