Luxury with a Rich Tradtion
The Grand Hotel Europe in St. Petersburg
Author: Kay Siering
Oligarchs worth billions, famous Hollywood stars and heavily guarded heads of state - the flock of guests of the Grand Hotel Europe certainly are the cream of the crop. 300 luxuriously furnished rooms and suites, individually equipped with valuable antiques, are available to the discerning guests. Located at St. Petersburg’s upscale Newsky Prospekt shopping street, this hotel steeped in a rich tradition is considered a microcosm of Russian society.
Since 1875 the Evropeyskaya has been the absolute hotel of choice in Russia. Peter Tchaikovsky spent his honeymoon at the Grand Hotel Europe, the poets Maxim Gorki and George Bernard Shaw enjoyed the affluent luxury - as did Dmitri Shostakovich, who played a sonata to Sergei Prokofjew in his suite.
Today, “security level 1” has been proclaimed behind the noble façade. Burly security guards and untold surveillance cameras ensure that Russian oilmen can feel at ease too. Many of them live permanently at the Grand Hotel Europe for security reasons.
Luxury as far as the eye can see: a staff of 800 serve the guests all the culinary delights and other treats they could possibly desire. In the Caviar Bar, the Vodka sommelier advises eager listeners as to what type of vodka is the perfect match for blinis with Beluga caviar. And in the restaurant L’Europe, Petersburg’s high society dines every Friday evening during “Tchaikovsky Night” to the sound of the hotel’s own orchestra.
Spiegel TV takes a look behind the scenes of Russia's most luxurious hotel. Previously unpublished archive images and interviews with contemporaries illustrate the unique history of this hotel with a glorious tradition. A documentary about star chefs high on caviar, porters with doctorates and spoilt millionaires.
year of production: 2007