Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow, Moscow $$$$
Concierge.com's insider take:
The Park Hyatt hotel is in a terrific location—around the corner from the Bolshoi Theatre and within a few minutes' walk of Red Square and the Kremlin—and until the Ritz-Carlton opened in 2007, it was the best hotel in Moscow. Inside, it's modern, with glass-and-steel elevators and 216 light-filled, beige-on-white rooms; the huge bathrooms feature black-granite heated floors, roomy showers, and soaking tubs. As at the Ritz-Carlton, the least expensive rooms start at more than $1,000 a night; booking a Park Deluxe room with a kitchenette can save on extras, such as nearly $60 for a hot breakfast (or nearly $50 for a cold one) at the Park Restaurant. The hotel was built on the site of a legendary Soviet-era Armenian restaurant, and it recalls its predecessor not only in name but also with ethnic touches: artwork by contemporary Armenian artists, a depiction of an Armenian fertility goddess in the atrium, an Armenian chapel with a priest on call, and, of course, Café Ararat, which dishes up satisfying Armenian fare (bonus: Sunday brunch in winter includes unlimited Veuve Clicquot Champagne). Sushi bars are mandatory in today's Moscow: The Park Hyatt's is called Enoki. The tenth-floor Conservatory Lounge and Bar has a splendid view (although not quite as spectacular as the vista over the Kremlin from the Ritz-Carlton's rooftop bar), and the Ararat's spa includes a 45-foot-long swimming pool and a choice of Finnish sauna, Russian banya, and hammam. The service is unobtrusive but friendly—and though it's unusual for Moscow, the staff actually smiles.