Radison Royale (Moscow)
Every time I have visited Moscow I was always fascinated by the “Seven Sisters”, these legendary Stalinist style palatial skyscrapers that make the city look like Moscow. I was always wondering what was happening in these gigantic architectural marvels. After reading about it, I learned they were built under Stalin in the late 1940s to host different affectations: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Moscow State University, private apartments, administration and… a hotel, originally called Hotel Ukraina. With more than 88’000 square meters and a height of 206 meters it was Europe’s largest hotel when it opened in 1957. A half-century later, the hotel got completely modernised (to the tune of $300 million) while returning to its original look. The Soviet symbols on the exterior of the Ukraina Hotel have long lost their political value by now and have become a stylistic flavour. But not just modernised and renamed Radisson Royal Hotel, it has as well become one of the most luxurious hotel in the world. And in this case, it is not a formula.
Balmain and Rolls-Royce for sale in its stores; Veuve Clicquot in your glass at breakfast. It is also an exercise in superlatives: the world’s biggest hotel art collection (some 1,200 paintings), one of the world’s largest arrays of marble (10 different kinds), and the only Moscow hotel to own icebreaking yachts for cruising the river in winter. There’s also a 3,500-volume library, five restaurants (Mediterranean, Russian, Iranian, International), two bars, and a spa and gym with an Olympic-size pool. At the very top of the building is located the Wedding Dome where there is only a table for two where you can possibly experience the most romantic dinner in Moscow. I got a chance to spend one night in the fantasy hotel. Neo-Baroque furniture and upholstery fabrics of toile and raw silk in soft palettes (mint and lemon, or indigo and toffee) give the 505 guest rooms a lived-in opulence. The hotel offers two floors for very VIP guests that includes bullet-proof windows, a 24hrs buffet and a discrete check-in. Every single detail of the Radisson Royal Hotel is pure perfection. If you don’t try The Radisson Royal Hotel you will never be able to imagine that such a palace can exist in real life.
-Yvan Rodic (Facehunter) -2011
2/1 Kutuzovsky Prospekt,
8 (495) 221-55-55