Revel in the eye-watering opulence of Tsarist Russia with Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Admire the Impressionists at the Pushkin Museum in Moscow before knocking back a chilled vodka with a zakuska (little bite) of beluga caviar in an Arbat restaurant.
Luxury city breaks in Russia
Take the hydrofoil along the Neva from St Petersburg’s Hermitage to the ornate palace and gardens of Peterhof. Glowing amber beads are the pick of the museum shop at Moscow’s Hermitage, or a lacquered palekh box depicting a Russian fairy tale. Browse Manolo Blahnik and other exclusive boutiques at Moscow’s Patriarch’s Ponds, and pick up wooden nests of Russian dolls (matryoshkas) at Izmailovsky Market.
Luxury palaces and castles in Russia
Empress Elizabeth commissioned the decoration of the vast blue, white and gold palace of Tsarskoe Selo in Pushkin. The exterior used 100kg of gold, and its Golden Enfilade of state rooms sparkles in rococo style. The exterior of St Petersburg’s neoclassical Pavlovsk is more restrained, but Catherine the Great’s Chinese Palace Oranienbaum glows with rich tapestries.
Luxury retreats in the Russian countryside
From Moscow, take a cruise on the meandering Volga to Uglich, one of the ancient Golden Ring towns of the Zalesye region. Sail past the blue, gold and red of Ivan the Terrible’s church of St Demetrios on the Blood. On the Trans-Siberian railway, visit Ekaterinburg’s simple memorial to the Romanov family. Stop for a swim at Novosibirsk’s enormous Ob Sea, or join a rafting trip on the pale green Katun River in the Altay mountains.
Holiday in Russia with Small Luxury Hotels of the World for a taste for imperial magnificence. Indulge in a steamy afternoon in Moscow’s fin-de-siècle Sandunovskiye Baths, and watch the spirit of Nijinsky being kept alive at St Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre.