My experience in Moscow

My travels to Russia

I never, ever, thought I would travel to Russia. Russia is a gigantic country. The first time I flew there, it was the dead of winter and as cold as anything I had ever been to. The first time I stayed there, I stayed at the Marriott Royal Aurora hotel. The hotel is gorgeous – but we paid a premium. Over $600 a night – and it came with butler service. Having never had a butler, I was a bit taken aback when he called to my room to ask if I wanted help unpacking my bags. Er, no thanks. The restaurant was fantastic, but once again, we were paying a serious premium.

They use “currency units” at the hotel instead of rubles. What this means is that the exchange rate may be 30 rubles / $1 – but the hotel uses 36 rubles to one currency unit. You end up paying much more for everything.

You can’t beat the proximity to the Red Square, but taking a taxi anywhere was a nightmare given the location.

The second time I stayed in Moscow, I stayed instead at the Marriott Renaissance Hotel. The price was $450 a night, but the hotel is in the middle of nowhere (at least by walking distance). It does have three different restaurants on location which was very nice. However, they had no air conditioning, just a fan!!

The next time I stayed in Moscow, I found my favorite hotel by far. It’s the Holiday Inn Lesnaya. I got rooms at $250 a night or less. The hotel is brand new, and situated just off the main Tverskaya boulevard and right by the Belaruskaya subway station. There are plenty of top notch restaurants within walking distance of the Holiday Inn Lesnaya. I would highly recommend this hotel if you’re planning on staying in Moscow. Be sure and book well in advance as hotel space is at a premium for a good quality Western hotel.

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