Belmond Grand Hotel Europe, St. Petersburg, Russia

by Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Maria Semenova is the Clefs D’Or Concierge at the Belmond Grand Hotel Europe, a culinary and cultural landmark at the heart of Nevsky Prospekt, close to Arts Square, in St. Petersburg, Russia. The hotel has long cherished its connection to the worlds of theatre, music and dance. A truly iconic building, the hotel has played a central role in the life of the city for 140 years. Positioned adjacent to Arts Square, it is one of the most glamorous hotels in St Petersburg and offers a true taste of decadent Russia. For Maria, being a concierge is more than just a job: “It’s more like a lifestyle because I never stop learning,” she says. The main attraction of her work is meeting guests and helping them to get the most out of the city. Let’s hear what Siberian-born Maria recommends we do in the second-biggest city in Russia…

Maria Semenova.

Most popular request…

St. Petersburg is famed for its arts and culture, so naturally the most popular request is for theatre tickets for the ballet – the dancers are some of the most prestigious in the world and a performance is an absolute must when staying with us.

Favourite locale when enjoying a day off…

Taurida Garden – it has a lovely pond and lots of benches under the trees for passionate readers like myself to get comfortable with a good book.


Best coffee in the city…

I would say Double B, Mad Espresso Team, and Verle Garden, which also has lots of vegetarian options for snacks as well as great coffee.

Where we must go for lunch…

My recommendation would be ‘Hamlet + Jacks’ for modern gastro-Russian cuisine, or our bright and airy Mezzanine Cafe should you not want to leave the comfort of the hotel.

It’s a rainy day outside but we want to explore, what we should do…

A rainy day is the perfect time for a museum visit. The Russian Art Museum is situated just a two minute walk from the hotel and is fascinating, or you can try the Fabergé Museum, which tends to be less crowded than some of the other museums during the high season.

An absolute must-do or must-see before leaving St Petersburg… 

During the summer season, a romantic evening boat ride under the rising bridges is a wonderful experience. During winter, an evening at one of the historical ballet and opera theatres – such as Mariinsky or Mikhailovsky – is a real treat.

What Maria loves about her hotel…

I love the genuine history of the Belmond Grand Hotel Europe the most, the beauty of its architecture and interiors, and of course – my team!

Anything else we should know when visiting St Petersburg… 

Firstly, I would recommend that theatre-loving visitors travel in the winter, not summer, as during August the main theatre companies take a summer vacation and it is a real highlight for anyone coming to St Petersburg. Also, I would also say it is always worth checking museum opening times in advance to avoid missing out on our stunning exhibitions as closure times can vary.

 

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