Hotel Astoria (Saint Petersburg)

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Hotel Astoria
Rfhotelastoria.jpg
Astoria Hotel SPB.jpg
General information
Location Saint Petersburg, Russia
Opening December 23, 1912
Owner Rocco Forte Hotels
Management Rocco Forte Hotels
Design and construction
Architect Fyodor Lidval
Developer Palace Hotel Company
Other information
Number of rooms 213
Number of suites 52
Number of restaurants 2
Website
thehotelastoria.com

Hotel Astoria (Russian: гости́ница «Асто́рия») is a five-star hotel in Saint Petersburg, Russia opened in December 1912. It has 213 bedrooms, including 52 suites and is located on Saint Isaac's Square, next to Saint Isaac's Cathedral and across from the historic Imperial German Embassy. Hotel Astoria, along with its neighboring sister hotel, Hotel Angleterre, is owned and managed by Rocco Forte Hotels and is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World. The hotel underwent a complete refurbishment in 2002.

History[edit]

The Astoria was commissioned in 1910 by the Palace Hotel Company, based in the UK, which owned the land. It was designed by Russo-Swedish architect Fyodor Lidval, who developed a style based on art nouveau and also influenced by neo-classicism, and was constructed by the German firm of Wais and Freitag.[1] It was built to host tourists visiting Russia for the Romanov tercentenary, a huge celebration of 300 years of Russian royal rule in May 1913. It opened on December 23, 1912.[2]

The luxurious hotel was used during the celebrations to house guests of the royal family, and was afterwards popular with the aristocracy.[3] Rasputin was said to stay there with some of his married lovers.[4]

The Angleterre and Astoria in 1930

The Astoria soon proved such a success that the neighboring Angleterre Hotel was set for demolition for a huge expansion of the Astoria designed by Lidval, mirroring the existing building. However the outbreak of World War I prevented this.[5]

After the Russian Revolution, the Hotel Astoria housed members of the Communist Party. Lenin spoke from its balcony in 1919.[6] During World War II, the hotel served as a field hospital during the Siege of Leningrad.[7] Adolf Hitler reportedly planned to hold a victory banquet in the hotel's Winter Garden. He was so convinced Leningrad would fall quickly that invitations to the event were printed in advance.[8]

The hotel was managed by the state-run Intourist group during the Soviet period, until it closed in 1987 for renovations. It reopened in 1989, completely restored. Rocco Forte Hotels purchased the hotel in December 1997[9] and spent $20 million on further renovations.[10] The hotel was again renovated in 2012 for its centennial.[11]

Rocco Forte Hotels also owns and manages the adjacent Angleterre Hotel. It is marketed as the business-class wing of its more luxurious sister, the Astoria. The upper guest room floors of the two hotels are connected.

Famous guests[edit]

The hotel's many famous guests have included Lenin, Isadora Duncan, H.G. Wells, Prince Charles, Luciano Pavarotti, Madonna, Elton John, Jack Nicholson,[12] Vladimir Putin, Alain Delon, Gina Lollobrigida, Marcello Mastroianni, Pierre Cardin, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Margaret Thatcher, Jacques Chirac, Tony Blair and U.S. President George W. Bush.[13]

Writer Mikhail Bulgakov spent his honeymoon at the hotel in 1932 and is said to have written parts of The Master and Margarita in room 412.[14]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 59°55′59″N 30°18′32″E / 59.933°N 30.309°E / 59.933; 30.309