Formerly the residence of Prince A.Y. Lobanov-Rostovsky built between 1817-1820, the neoclassical empire style palace situated in the historic district of Admiralteysky, in the heart of St Petersburg, was meticulously restored to resurect in 2013 as one of the finest luxury hotels in the world, the Four Seasons Lion Palace.
The complex transformation of the palace building into a fully functional luxury hotel is probably one of the most complex undertakings by the Four Seasons chain demonstrating the exceptional know-how and expertize of the hotel group. Successfully integrating a glass roofed Spa with an indoor heated pool was probably one of biggest achievements
Upon entering the majestic entrance of the hotel, which is flanked by two imposing Medici lions, I felt immersed into a deeply residential atmosphere, a cocoon of comfort and intimacy. The aristocratic ambiance is naturally complemented by the Four Seasons‘ legendary service, making each and every guest feel genuinely special. I also experienced a rare sense of pride and privilige to be a guest of the palace hotel.
There is also a WOW factor which enhances the experience of this one-of-a-kind hotel. This is achieved through the strikingly contemporary interior design of the two restaurants which contrasts with the classic style of the rest of the hotel. The Japanese Sintoho Restaurant and the Italian Percorso Restaurant are not only impressive thanks to their sleek and chic atmosphere, but also because of the exceptional quality of the food and service. Xander Bar is yet another exquisite venue – a library atmosphere with a working fireplace make up for an ideal pre-dinner experience.
The 183 room count is also ideal to ensure to utmost personalized service througout the entire hotel. Rooms and incredibly comfortable and cozy, featuring the already signature Four Seasons bed and a large marble bathroom with separate walk in shower and bathtub. Apparently invisible, the housekeeping service was immaculate.
The Luceo Spa is constructed within a triangular courtyard of the original Lion Palace, being spread over 4 floors. One of the featured Spa brands is Santa Maria Novella, the historical beauty brand from Florence, Italy (established 1612) – what a great choice! I tried a Santa Maria Novella facial, which had an instant glowing effect. The Spa will impress you, not only with its stunning facilities but also the attentive and most efficient service provided by the staff.
The hotel is a great base to discover the cultural treasures of St Petersburg. The Concierge can organize the most diverse sightseeing tours, custom made to each guest, depending on the preferences and desires of each guest.
I took a privately accompanied tour with a hotel car, to see the city’s cultural landmarks but also an exclusive private visit to one of the city’s finest contemporary galleries, Maria Gisich. I was welcomed by the gallery owner for a visit of her studios and I also a glimpse into her private collection in her own apartment – an amazingly diverse collection by Russian contemporary artists! Make sure you don’t miss the recently opened Faberge Museum. My schedule was completed by a unique experience of the Gisele Ballet at the Mariinsky Theatre.
Be prepared to be pampered, spoiled and treated like Royalty! It is one of those rare experience of not wanting to leave.
Special thanks to General Manager, Martin Rhomberg, one of the best luxury hoteliers I have ever met!
Watch here a video preview of the Admirality Suite overlooking St Isaac’s Cathedral
Oliver Petcu in St Petersburg
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