Eight Unusual Hotels in Russia

PHOTO by caucasus.ru
Hotel and travel site OneTwo Trip has been on hand to find eight of Russia’s most unusual hotels

LEAPrus Eco Hotel

At 4000 m above sea level, the LEAPrus hotel on the southern slope of Mount Elbrus is one of the world’s highest-altitude guesthouses. Made of four hotel modules - which were designed in Italy and and resemble spaceship capsules – the hotel can sleep up to 49 climbers, in bedrooms for 12-18 people if necessary. As well as sleeping cabins, there is a living room, a restaurant and a kitchen, as well as comfortable lavatories and shower rooms. Magnificent mountain views compliment the hotel’s minimalistic design. The hotel’s architects aimed for self-sufficiency and minimal environmental impact. Melted snow is used to clear sewage, generate electricity, and clean waste water, while heated floors make the hotel comfortable even during the coldest season. The keywords behind the hotel’s design truly are elegance, functionality, and longevity. The hotel welcomed its first guests in September 2013, but if you manage to book a room here you’re in luck: they often sell out very quickly. How much: from $30.

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Mountain Territory Igloo Hotel

Russia’s first and only igloo hotel is located an hour from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky at the foot of Vilyuchinsky Volcano. Guest cottages are built of snow cubes and have a traditional Northern design.

The settlement is comprised of two small Eskimo huts and one larger space with a bar and an ice fireplace. The hotel offers ice beds covered with fur rugs, and also boasts an open-air thermal heated swimming-pool. It’s the only warm spot in the hotel according to its guests, although there is a heated dining room, shower room and lavatory. Buildings have both electricity and power sockets, and the air temperature in the huts does not go below 0 C (32 F), no matter how cold it is outside. Just remember to keep your nose warm: according to the hotel’s founders, ‘my nose is cold’ is the most frequent complaint they get.

The hotel opened only a month ago, but it is fully booked for several weeks to come. The ice hotel will operate until the middle of May. How much: A day in a double igloo will cost $90, while staying in the larger hut will cost $300. Meals are not included: venison and whale meat breakfasts, lunches and dinners cost $31.60 per day.

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The State Hermitage Museum Official Hotel

The hotel is not located in the museum itself, but it is a seamless extension of the State Hermitage Museum. The world’s only hotel operating under a museum brand, the building’s design is incredibly impressive: an Empire-style entrance and lobby, rococo and baroque bedrooms, and design elements alluding to the Winter Palace and the New Hermitage interiors. The luxurious hotel rooms bring to mind the residence of the Russian emperors and provide a great opportunity to keep exploring the museum’s collection within the hotel. There are 126 rooms and every one of them is unique.

Opened in October 2014, The State Hermitage Museum Official Hotel is located in a building first built in the 1830s. It has since suffered numerous extensions and reconstructions, and, after having been significantly damaged by fire in 2005, the building was purchased and carefully reconstructed by the museum. How much: The opportunity to feel like an emperor costs from $210 per night.

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Om Dom Mountain Eco Hotel

This fairy tale house is located in a beautiful spot at the foot of the Mount Aibg in Krasnaya Polyana. A spacious observation deck on the roof opens up a perfect view of the mountain tops. While LEAPrus on Elbrus is a hi-tech spaceship, Om Dom is a kind of traditional chalet: common throughout Chamonix, yet so rare in Russia.

Lost among the mountain tops, the small Om Dom Eco Hotel has only 10 guestrooms, each with a unique design concept. And including ‘eco’ in the name is no marketing stunt: the chalet is built of natural materials such as clay, straw, wood, oil, and wax. Service is excellent, and guests can request a large thermos flask of delicious mountain herb tea to enjoy. All in all, it’s a home away from home. Each room has a balcony and, in the summer, there are yoga classes on the roof.

How much: from $61.30 per night.

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Stadium Hotel

The best thing about the three-star Stadium Hotel in Kazan is its location. It’s Russia’s first hotel built within a stadium itself, namely on the eastern terrace of Kazan-Arena. It’s an idea that is already popular in the USA and in Canada, where you can find about 350 stadium hotels across the continent. Guests can stay in one of the twelve rooms with a view of the enormous stadium bowl. Rooms also double up as VIP boxes during sports events or concerts – perfect for when the stadium hosts the Football World Cup in 2018.

On regular days, the Kazan-Arena is a city within a city: it is a great place for a weekend with the children, a business meeting or just a pleasant outing for a sporting or cultural event.

How much: The hotel will be welcoming its first guests this summer. Price per day is estimated at $60-120.50.

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Dream Castle Hotel

This hotel just outside Moscow does indeed resemble a dream castle. Each of its six rooms has a striking and unique design: The Lagoon Apartment for example, is designed to transport guests to the bottom of the sea in a bed crafted to be a huge white seashell with golden seahorses. Some may find it garish, but others will be simply thrilled. The Garage room has a bed inserted into a red carriage; The Game room is designed as to resemble a game of dominoes. While the bed in the Heaven Room is a large fluffy cloud, in The Hay Barn you’ll snooze in a cart surrounded by sunflowers. The eeriest room of all is located in the dream castle tower- and has to be seen to be believed. How much: A night in the Dream Castle will cost you from $70 to $120.50.

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Emperor Paul Bastion

The story of the hotel has to begin with its history. Built in 1797 in what is now the town of Pavlovsk, the building’s construction was ordered by the emperor himself. After being razed to the ground in 1944, the fortress would have remained in ruins if not for the St. Petersburg-based Gutsait Group.

They transformed the two-storey building into a hotel, where the atmosphere of an imperial residence has been reconstructed to the smallest detail. The twenty-two rooms, including the bedroom of Paul I himself, all have red brick decorations and antique interior design.

Massive copper bathtubs, real fireplaces and hidden staircases make the space feel authentic, while the beautiful garden surrounding the castle lets you escape into tranquility. For those wishing to really live the imperial experience, the hotel can even be booked in its entirety.

If you don’t fancy a stay, the hotel restaurant is worth visiting too. The copper oven was constructed in accordance with old blueprints and can now be used to cook traditional tsarist delicacies.

How much: from $180.70 per night.

Bastion

The Library

The secret of this literary hotel in Vologda is revealed in its name. All rooms here are referred to as volumes and are designed to bring classical masterpieces to mind. You can stay inside Master and Margarita, Eugene Onegin or The Great Gatsby, share the adventures of Alice in Wonderland, or breathe in the summer air of Dandelion Wine. If you want to revisit some of the classic novels that inspired the guest house, or just enjoy a new book, you can borrow copies or exchange them for a volume you bring along yourself.

How much: $52.70 per night.

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