The first impression of the hotel was very good. A non-smoking bar in Russia. At check in I was informed that the entire hotel was non smoking and that information made me happy after lots of bad experiences with hotels smoking policy in the past.
The check in went easy as chain hotels always have your details in the system. I was escorted to a lovely W Suite where I stayed for 2 nights. The design was excellent and very typical W. W signature bed and bliss products in the bath room. It was a hotel without the local feel to it and where you could easily forget where you were in the world. I prefer the local experiences if the level is good enough, but that is hard to find in Russia.
In most chain hotels you will have to pay for everything. That’s the same with W St. Petersburg, but at the same time very overpriced. A bottled Fiji water costs 600 RUB (18.6 USD). The most expensive I have ever seen and I wonder if anyone would pay that. While it’s hard to test the quality of a Fiji water as it’s always the same, I could easily test the food. Their pasta is expensive, but was very good food. If I pay a lot I expect it to be good and W delivered on that point. The internet was slow during my stay and is a point that must be improved. While W is a lifestyle brand and not a business hotel, internet in 2011 is very important for everyone and there is nothing quite as irritating as a slow connection.
Russia has never been famous for service and that is the only reason this hotel don’t score a 10. Some staff was fantastic, but a lot of staff had difficulties with English and that is a problem when majority of the guests don’t speak Russian. If this can be improved and they can get more staff with the right mentality this can become one of the best W’s world wide. What gave the last good impression was the spa. Very quiet and peaceful and with a beautiful modern design. Like a good spa should be.
Overall it was probably the best of my 6 Russian hotels in the project. I was very impressed and if you like the W brand you will love St. Petersburg.
My opinion: Great+ experience.