The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow

    Few hotels better represent recent social, political, cultural, and economic changes than the Ritz-Carlton, Moscow, which opened in July 2007 within spying distance of Red Square, the Kremlin, and Lenin’s tomb. The Ritz-Carlton’s rack rate is one of several high-flying figures—a $19,000 presidential suite, a $700 Tsar’s Breakfast (with bowls of caviar and a bottle of Cristal), $400 shots of 1969 Macallan single malt—at the hotel. But with a crowd of sheikhs and oligarchs already frequenting the property, the Ritz appears to be in keeping with modern Moscow. Guest rooms at the hotel are the city’s largest, at 450 square feet or more, and those facing the Kremlin are well worth their premium for the views of Red Square’s gold domes and spires. Culinary purists will prefer the Ritz’s Jeroboam restaurant, which serves chef Heinz Winkler’s Slavic-influenced cuisine in a light-drenched Dining room that opens onto Tverskaya. For those who venture out onto Tverskaya and beyond, the hotel’s charming, impressively cool-headed concierges manage to transform what remains one of Europe’s most confusing capitals into a near-hassle-free joy. Accommodations The 334 rooms include 65 suites located in a newly built, imperial palace–style structure filled with 1,800 Russian antiques. Kremlin-view rooms in the main hotel building are an even better option. Facilities The ground floor is home to retailers including jeweler Helen Yarmak. Dining Jeroboam serves healthy dishes from Bavarian chef Heinz Winkler, Caviarterra features international cuisine, and the Bar & Lobby Lounge offers Champagne and vodka flights. Concierge Recommends Take the Moscow Metro. Built in the 1930s, the system is not only the world’s busiest, but also its most beautiful. Maneuver onto the First or the Zamoskvoretskaya lines and hop from station to station to see an underground realm of stained glass, crystal chandeliers, and towering carved columns. Rates From about $1,000 to $19,000.

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