Hotel Sretenskaya, Moscow $$$$
Concierge.com's insider take:
One of Moscow's first "boutique" hotels, the Hotel Sretenskaya opened in 2000 in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood (usually called Sretenka) two subway stops from Red Square. It's not luxurious, but has a B&Bstyle homeyness that stands out in Moscow's over-the-top hotel scene and attracts older British and American travelers. The theme (in the public areas at least) is Russian fairy tale: Painted pastel filigree and carved wood and plaster moldings decorate the lobby and restaurant, and a glass atrium soars above the lobby bar's junglelike winter garden. The 38 rooms are considerably less fanciful: You get a bed (comfortable), a dated TV (English-language channels, though), and a bathroom (shower stalls only). On the other hand, there is a nice sauna that can be reserved for private use. Note that the layout of some suites is Russian provincial stylelarge living rooms for entertaining plus a tiny bedroom. There's no nighttime room service, so after the restaurant and bar close at 11 pm, your next chance to eat is at the filling breakfast buffet (including blini and cereal), which is included in the room price. If you're on a budget, check for weekend discounts and note that Wi-Fi is free in the lobby and bar, although it can be very slow.
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