Ritz-Carlton, Moscow, Moscow
Tel: 7 495 225 8888
From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
Perhaps it's fitting that a Ritz-Carlton has risen from the ashes of one of the grimmest examples of Soviet-era hospitality, the Intourist hotel, and to complete the break from the past, it's charging hedge-fund-high rates for the privilege of staying right off Red Square. There's more than a bit of czarist Russia in the faux classical facade and chandeliered lobby, but it's the sleek rooftop bar, O2 Lounge, that's the standout here, serving up a sweeping view of the Kremlin along with sushi and shots of oxygen. Gustatory offerings include a vodka sommelier in the lobby lounge and one of the capital's most popular restaurants, Jeroboam; a full-service spa and a glass-domed indoor pool are available on the lower level for morning-after penance. The 334 spacious guest roomsthe smallest measuring 450 square feetare decorated in polished cherrywood and feature the requisite Frette linens and feather bedding; bathrooms have heated marble floors and separate showers and tubs. The fluent-in-English staff's attentiveness is a refreshing antidote to the gruffness most foreign visitors encounter elsewhere. Moscow's reputation as the world's most expensive travel destination won't change with the Ritz-Carlton's arrivaldepending on the date, the standard room rate is as high as $1,000.2008 Hot List
When to go: Spring through early fall, for the best weather and daylight hours.
Which room to book: The Deluxe rooms, which are about $85 a night more than Superior rooms, guarantee a more pleasing view.