W St. Petersburg

Apr 1, 2012
2012 / April 2012

Arrival/Check-In: In keeping with its self-consciously stylish image — “luxury meets cutting-edge cool” — a simple W on an exterior wall of the renovated structure dating from 1775 is all that announces you’ve found St. Petersburg’s trendy W Hotel. Young men uniformed in jersey shirts open the doors, and a narrow purple carpet leads to the reception area where efficient clerks are stationed at glowing desks in front of a crackled-glass wall. While the clerks do the paperwork, guests nibble on chewy peanut candies and sip refreshing water flavored with citrus and mint.

Guest Quarters: Guestrooms are graded: Wonderful, Marvelous, Spectacular, Fabulous, Mega — leading up to the suites modestly titled W, Fantastic, WOW, and E(xtremely) WOW. My Fabulous category rates a full wall of windows admitting maximum light from the inner courtyard, with a pane that opens to admit fresh air. A wide white desk is equipped with multiple outlets, a cordless IP phone and an iPod docking station. A broad upholstered bench at the base of the bed provides additional storage, and the bed itself is a tour de force with pillow-top mattress, goose down duvet and 350-count cotton linens. Floor-to-ceiling marble, the bathroom has a roomy shower and a Bliss Spa Sinkside Six amenity kit.

Services/Amenities: In a hotel where the elevator television continuously streams the World Fashion Channel, everything is guaranteed for the WOW factor. Business Center services are gratis, and someone ran downstairs from the front desk to help when I had trouble operating the printer. Slot windows in the SWEAT fitness center look onto the sleek WET pool area that has a smooth, white marble floor (step carefully; it is very slippery when wet). Bliss Spa offers a full range of options from massages and slimming treatments to nail care and eyelash extensions.

A key point of pride is the 24-hour meal and drink service in the Living Room, miX in St. Petersburg restaurant, miXup bar and room service, with all foods envisioned and overseen by ultra-chef Alain Ducasse. Porsche vehicles are provided as part of the Whatever/ Whenever concierge service.

The Experience: Newly opened, the W has some kinks to work out. Most troubling is the battery-operated key card system that required returning to reception for a new card or battery almost every time I tried to enter. The steam room was tepidly underheated when I tried it out at 7 a.m., and Chef Ducasse’s option to require waitress service for the breakfast buffet is an inconvenient nicety. But the staff is commendably responsive and eager to please, and this is bound to become a favorite of ultra-chic visitors who can afford the steep room rates.

GT Checklist

  • Doorman/valet
  • Arrival-to-room time
  • Separate tub and shower
  • Large vanity
  • High-quality towels
  • Large, flat-screen television
  • Large desk with convenient outlets
  • Ample lighting
  • Quality bed linens
  • Choice of pillows
  • Powerful, unattached hair dryer
  • Easy-to-set alarm clock
  • On-site restaurant and bar
  • 24-hour room service
  • Coffeemaker in room
  • Large, complimentary laptop safe

W St. Petersburg

6 Voznesensky Prospect
St. Petersburg 190000
Russia
tel 7 812 610 6161
W St. Petersburg

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