Moscow Marriott Royal Aurora Hotel, Moscow $$$$
Concierge.com's insider take:
The official hotel of the Bolshoi, the Royal Aurora hotel is located a mere pirouette away from the theater on historic Petrovkaone of Moscow's oldest streets and home to a beautiful monastery founded in the 14th century. It's also just around the corner from the boutiques of Stoleshnikov Pereulok. At the end of 2008, the hotel's 230 air-conditioned rooms are slated for renovations, including an upgrade to plasma TVs. Each room has a different configuration, most are spacious, and some have arched windows thanks to the hotel's location in two 19th-century buildings; potted plants and pretty reproductions of 19th-century artwork soften the executive-style decor in wine-colored hues. Mansard-level rooms feel more like homey attic spaces than chain-hotel lodging although some might consider them cramped because of their unusual shape and low ceilings in certain spots; some also have just one small window instead of two large ones. For $115 per night on top of the regular rate, you get a room on the club floor, which includes butler service, access to a lounge, library, and meeting room, as well as breakfast and cheeses, tea, and desserts throughout the day. Prime beef is the specialty of the hotel's decent Polo Club Restaurant (try the Australian Wagyu or Argentine Angus steak). The staff is friendly and helpful, and the excellent concierge can usually snag you a couple of tickets to "sold out" performances (the Marriott Aurora is one of the Bolshoi's sponsors). The basement level has a Guerlain beauty salon and one of Moscow's best hotel fitness centers, open 24 hours, with a pool and two dozen exercise stations.
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