This site's description of the interiors and architecture is accurate, but doesn't convey the "heavy" feel of the place. Location is good, but not nearly so as the Astoria and Angleterre (too far down Nevsky). The amenities of the hotel do not match those of the Astoria or any Four Seasons in quality. The devil is in the details which don't live up to a 5 star standard. Service is VERY Russian -- a somewhat foreign concept, still. Too often one's requests are met with a shrug of the shoulders and an "not possible," or "you must go to some other department." Restaurant service is slow and dismal. The people are just not that well-trained. A very doctrinaire division of responsibilities concept prevails. DO NOT use the concierge or the bell services for tickets or transport. At least 2-3X the real price. The hotel clearly takes a cut. $110 front row tickets to Giselle at the Mariinsky as compared to $250 for far less attractive seats from the concierge. As everything in St. Petersburg and Moscow, all is very over-priced. The only advantage of the Grand is that it is approximately $150/night less than the Astoria. I would give the Grand 4 stars, and only in relation to the other hotels in St. Petersberg -- not to 5 star hotels in other cities.