ST PETERSBURG’S 301 room Grand Hotel Europe, claimed to be the finest hotel in that famous city, has been acquired by Orient-Express Hotels Ltd.
The Grand Hotel was Russia”s first five star hotel.
The building”s magnificent baroque fa”ade was designed by the Italian architect Rossi and contrasts beautifully with the elegant flowing lines of the later 19th century art nouveau interior.
The hotel is in the heart of St Petersburg, across from the Shostakovich Philharmonic, next to the Russian Museum and the Moussorgsky opera and ballet theatre and within walking distance of the Hermitage Museum and the Winter Palace Square.
Originally built in 1824 and opened in 1991 in its present form after a three year renovation project, the hotel was an orphanage in 1917 during the Bolshevik Revolution and a hospital during the siege of Leningrad from 1941-1944.
The building is classified as a national and cultural landmark and is under a preservation order as an historical monument.