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July 9, 2013updated Jul 16, 2013

First Four Seasons Opens in Russia

By Chris Boyle

By Miranda Katz

stpThe building that now houses the Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace St. Petersburg has been hosting the elite for nearly 200 years, but opened as a hotel for the first time on Sunday, July 7, 2013.

Once a 19th century palace known as the “House with Lions,” the hotel now blends modern luxury with the romantic charm of imperial life.

“Years of meticulous restoration and perfecting of the guest experience are setting the stage for a new era of style and luxury in St. Petersburg,” said Christopher Norton, Europe, Middle East and Africa president for Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. 

The 19th century aesthetic has been marvelously maintained through the restoration: The 151 guest rooms and 26 suites boast color palettes and furnishings reminiscent of that era, and the resulting look is authentic to the style of the period. Each room offers beautiful views of the city; the view of St. Isaac’s Cathedral from the southwest-facing rooms, however, is truly breathtaking.

Visual aesthetics are not the only factor at play in giving the hotel a historic and authentic feel. Guests can find Russian specialties at the Tea Lounge, which is styled as a winter garden and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Xander Bar offers dozens of fine international and Russian vodkas, served with appetizers and caviar and with the option of a tasting flight. Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace St.Petersburg also holds two international restaurants: Sintoho, which fuses cuisine from Singapore, Tokyo and Hong Kong, and Percorso, an Italian restaurant showcasing Michelin-starred Executive Chef Andrea Accordi.

The hotel will open its Luceo Spa in late 2013. With eight fitness rooms, a salon, a 24-hour fitness center and a glass-topped, year-round pool, the spa enclave, located within the triangular central space of the palace, will offer an intimate and indulgent experience. Guests who arrive before the spa’s opening can experience its massage, facial and body scrub offerings in the privacy of their own rooms.

Located in the heart of St. Petersburg, the hotel is within easy walking distance from attractions such as the HermitageMuseum, Nevsky Prospekt and the Mariinsky Theatre. Prospective guests can expect it to fill up quickly around the annual White Nights celebrations each June, but Chief Concierge Olga Kachalova promises an unforgettable stay no matter the time of the visit.

“Through the summer and fall, everyone gathers to watch the city’s famous bridges open each evening, and as we stroll along the waterways, we enjoy the best views of the most beautiful palaces and museums in St. Petersburg,” Kachalova said. “And just outside the city, history can be explored in the imperial palaces – my favourite is Peterhof, with its breathtaking fountains in the summer.”

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