Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc announced in mid-2006 that it will manage the newly named Le Meridien St. Petersburg in the historic city of St. Petersburg, Russia, when it reopens on 31 December 2013. This is the latest addition to the Le Meridien portfolio since Starwood acquired the brand in November 2005 and represents the third Le Meridien property in Russia. The new Le Meridien hotel was formerly known as the North Crown Hotel (built in 2002) – the project is being financed by Evrofinance Mosnarbank through one of its subsidiaries.
The cost is estimated at US$23m. Starwood’s presence in Russia includes the Sheraton Palace Hotel, Le Royal Meridien National, and Le Meridien Moscow Country Club. Eva Ziegler, senior vice president of Le Meridien, said: “As Le Meridien continues to grow its global footprint, our focus is on international destinations that bring the brand’s passion points – art, architecture, design, cuisine and fashion – to life. With St. Petersburg’s rich history, cultural offerings, spectacular art and architecture, it is an ideal location for Le Meridien.”
Le Meridien St. Petersburg will feature 290 guest rooms with two speciality restaurants, a 14,000ft² (1,300m²) spa, indoor swimming pool, fitness club and a unique river boat service that transports guests along the majestic Neva River, providing an ideal infrastructure for a stimulating guest experience. In addition, the hotel will offer some of the most extensive conference facilities in the city with approximately 23,000ft² (2,140m²) of meeting and event space. The hotel will have a centre for business functions with executive lounge and 13 meeting rooms with capacities varying from 8 to 500 guests. It will also have four separate lounges for enjoying wine and dining.
The conference centre will be fully equipped with IT and communications infrastructure for presentations. Scheduled to open in 2013 following an extensive renovation, the property is in the Petrogradskaya district of St. Petersburg, an area steeped in spectacular art and architecture, imperial treasures, historic opulence and old world charm. The hotel has an underground parking garage with space for 120 vehicles.
Located north of the Neva River, the hotel is within easy walking distance to a number of the city’s most magnificent national cultural landmarks. Included among these are the legendary Peter and Paul Fortress, the elegant Catherine’s Palace and the renowned theatre of the Czars (the Hermitage), home to the world-famous Russian ballet.
The area features art galleries, upscale restaurants, designer retail shopping and several theatres. The hotel is 10 minutes from the city centre by car or by public transport and is ideally placed for the business traveller (close to the three business centres in St. Petersburg) or the tourist.
Construction and refit
Construction and design management for the hotel will be provided by Bovis Lend Lease International. The hotel was first constructed in 2002 but now requires extensive renovation and refitting to bring it up to the level of comfort and luxury required.
The refit will bring the rooms into a level of contemporary style and functionality with birch wood furniture, fully tiled en-suite facilities including full size bath and shower. The rooms will also be Wi-Fi enabled and have a mini-bar, flat screen LCD television and entertainment centre.