Russia’s most elegant and graceful city. 300 years ago, Peter the Great chose this site at the head of the Gulf of Finland for his namesake imperial city and “window on the West”. Filled with museums, public monuments, and princely palaces, this is where Pavlova danced, Pushkin dueled, and revolutionaries plotted. In 1764 Catherine the Great founded in St. Petersburg one of the world’s great art collections—the Hermitage.
34 Bolshaya Morskaya Ulitsa, St. Petersburg, Russia
Once a grand mansion, then communal Soviet-era apartments, it is now a 5-suite romantic hotel with large rooms, antiques, and a helpful, friendly staff. Great location, this boutique hotel is a short walk from the major sites including the Winter Palace and the Hermitage.
59 Naberezhnaya Reki Moiki (River Embankment), St. Petersburg, Russia
Once the mansion of a powerful czarist-era merchant family, it is now an elegant old-world club hotel (it houses the Taleon Club & Casino). Ask for a room with river views. In 2008 the hotel underwent an expansion from 29 rooms to 90 rooms.
Black Sea beaches backed by the Caucasas mountains; this is where Soviet leaders retreated from Moscow to their summertime dachas. The Russian Riveria includes Sochi, host of the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Grand Hotel Regina
3 Vinogradnaya St., Sochi, Russia
A 2006 make-over of a Soviet-era dacha, this romantic Russian hotel is owned by a Russian oligarch and managed by a European boutique hotel group, The white villa features soaring ceilings and a private beach.
Is Sibera romantic? Well, we confess a soft spot for places located at the ends of the world, especially those with dark, deep lakes, raging weather that makes you feel fully alive, and inhabited by Buddhists and shamans. One of it’s lake islands, Baikal Island, is the world’s deepest and largest freshwater lake.