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BEST of the BEST 2014 | Journeys | Hotels: Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace St. Petersburg

  • Bailey S. Barnard

Following nearly a decade of renovations, the Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace St. Petersburg (+7.812.339.8000, www.fourseasons.com) opened last July as the Russian city’s premier address. The five-story hotel—first constructed in the early 19th century as an apartment building for Russian nobility—is located in the heart of St. Petersburg: along the Neva River, adjacent to St. Isaac’s Cathedral, and a short walk from the State Hermitage Museum. Of the 157 rooms and 26 suites, the 1,636-square-foot Lobanov Presidential Suite—named for the palace’s original owners, Prince and Princess Lobanov-Rostovsky—best preserves the property’s imperial provenance, with a sprawling marble bathroom and a garden terrace overlooking the historic Admiralty Tower. The regal guest experience at the hotel is facilitated by a team of guides and concierges who can arrange private tours of the city’s famed museums and procure last-minute tickets to the ballet and opera houses. ($342–$14,325)