Best of the Best 2008: Hotels: The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow
From the guest rooms at the Ritz-Carlton, Moscow, visitors can gaze across Red Square to the Kremlin, the city’s iconic onion domes, and other architectural remnants of this nation’s turbulent past. But inside the hotel itself, guests experience an extravagance unique to modern-day Moscow. A $350 million renovation has transformed a drab, Soviet-era auberge into the capital’s most exclusive hotel, where rates range from $1,100 to $18,250 per night, and room service delivers beluga caviar to some of Europe’s most lavishly appointed suites.
Guests confront the Ritz’s extravagance as they enter the sprawling lobby, a fusion of more than a dozen varieties of marble punctuated with gilded detail and sweeping staircases. The over-the-top ambience continues in the hotel’s suites and in its 21,500-square-foot spa, which includes a dome-capped swimming pool. Guests find equally ornate surroundings at Jeroboam, the Ritz’s main restaurant, where Michelin three-star chef Heinz Winkler puts an international spin on Slavic specialties.
On the Ritz-Carlton’s top floor is the aesthetically and architecturally memorable O2 lounge. The bar features a glass dome, reminiscent of the retro-cool control tower at Los Angeles International Airport, under which vodka flows, local bands play peculiar Russian "interpretations" of Western pop songs, and guests savor some of Moscow’s most enchanting views. ($1,100–$18,250)
The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow, +7.495.225.8888, www.ritzcarlton.com