June 17 2011
Things are abuzz on the far eastern shores of the Baltic, where Peter the Great’s patrician city has quietly been upping the style stakes. First was last year’s opening of Erarta (www.erarta.com), St Petersburg’s new modern art museum, focusing on 20th-century stalwarts and up-and-coming contemporary talents; this followed the arrival of The Loft Project (www.loftprojectetagi.ru), a complex housing a trio of galleries which host international exhibitions.
Now there’s the new W St Petersburg (pictured, www.starwoodhotels.com, from £212), poised to turn visitors’ expectations of gracious empire and neoclassical surroundings neatly on their heads. A super-sleek edifice in glass, stone and steel by Antonio Citterio houses all the by-now familiar W amenities, from Bliss bath products (and nail bar) to public spaces that double-time as groovy lounges, seemingly at all hours, to some top-floor WOW suites which, in this case, genuinely do deliver a robust “wow” factor, with floor-to-ceiling sheet-glass walls, oak floors, and low-slung Citterio-designed furniture.
The Mix bar and restaurant takes the “Anything, anytime, anywhere” brand mantra to heart – but traditionalists can of course still get their vodka glacially cold, served neat.