Gay Saint Petersburg Saint Petersburg Travel Guide

Curation by Yasmina Rodríguez, words by Laura Tucker

As the birthplace of some of the world’s greatest literature, music and visual art, and host to world-class opera and ballet productions, Saint Petersburg may be Russia’s second city but it is by no means an underdog. As well as high art and lavish architecture, natural phenomenon is also a prominent attraction. In the summer months, during White Nights festival, peachy twilight takes over and Saint Petersburg’s riverbanks bathe in romantic hues for hours on end. In winter meanwhile, the golden Cupolas of St. Isaac’s rise confidently out of the snow-blanketed skyline. LGBT visitors should be aware of rising anti-gay sentiment nationwide and use good common sense in public areas and caution when meeting through gay hook-up apps. Relative to the rest of Russia however, Saint Petersburg is a fairly liberal city and if you dare a trip you’re likely to be pleasantly surprised! Follow Mr Hudson’s Saint Petersburg travel guide for insight into the city’s best bits.

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The best hotels in Saint Petersburg

Pushing the definition of lavish to its limits is the city’s hotel scene. Out Saint Petersburg gay city guide starts with the Belmond Grand Hotel Europe, a showstopper designed by Italian architect Carlo Rossi back in the early 1900s, when royalty and cultural luminaries such as Tchaikovsky, Debussy and the Romanovs all graced the marble-floored, art-lined lobby. Now firmly Art Nouveau with its showpiece stained-glass windows, the Hotel Belmond, conveniently located just off Nevsky Prospekt, offers guests boutique shopping experiences, a caviar lounge and spacious rooms with original balconies.

Not to be upstaged is the Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace, on the site of a restored 19th-century imperial palace, where guests can enjoy the royal treatment. Within its dramatic heritage interiors, find grand suites with walk-in closets, marble bathtubs and open fireplaces, perhaps even a private balcony overlooking St. Isaac’s Cathedral. As an extra treat, try the on-site spa.

Photo: Evstratov

Photo: Evstratov

A relative newcomer in town is The State Hermitage Museum Official Hotel, an over-the-top neoclassical homage giving the city’s long-time icons a run for their money. Inspired by the museum of the same name, the hotel’s opulent features include a soaring atrium, replica bronze castings and period artwork throughout. Enjoy calming cream and pastel yellows right through to your gilded chamber suite, styled in Greek marble with handmade Italian furnishings. Over on the banks of the Mokya river, in the heart of the city’s business and culture district is Lotte Hotel St. Petersburg. Boasting rather more understated luxury than the above, the Lotte Hotel instead wows guests with impeccable hospitality, delicious Japanese cuisine and buffet breakfasts, not to mention stunning views of St. Isaac’s from the rooftop bar. After a day of exploring, get sweaty in the hotel’s fitness centre before relaxing in their authentic Balinese spa.

One last lodging worth a mention is Boutique Hotel Albora, offering unique luxury rooms each inspired by Mariinsky Theater’s legendary ballet performances. As well as a beautiful concept, guests also benefit from the spa, fitness centre, refined restaurant and a secluded location in an historical part of the city.

Boutique Hotel Albora 3 Saint Petersburg

Boutique Hotel Albora

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