Moscow’s President Hotel

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During the darkest part of winter, we escaped to Moscow for a few days. It was the first time we’d stayed in a hotel since arriving here. The school frowns on trips (as my coworker was told, “you came here to work, not to travel”) and trips that involve hotels are especially awkward since they involve re-registering visas. Still, the school was closed for 11 days, long enough to justify spending a few days out of town. My husband wanted to make the most of it by staying in a hotel within walking distance of Moscow’s biggest attractions.

View of Moscow river from the back of the President Hotel.

One of the coolest parts of the hotel was a walkway filled with framed photos of past guests, like Chuck Norris, Fidel Castro, Richard Nixon, Boris Yeltsin, Daniel Ortega, Mikhail Gorbachev, Bashar Assad, Sean Connery, Hugo Chavez, and Xi Jinping… which ties right in with the name of the hotel. (Chuck Norris and Sean Connery probably should be world leaders, haha.)

Some photos visible on the far wall.

The entire hotel was enclosed by a big black gate and it took us a while to figure out how to enter. Each time we wanted to get in or out, we had to walk through a small guardhouse in the parking lot and scan our room keys.

Gated roundabout in front of the hotel.

When passing through Moscow in previous years, we stayed at the SkyPoint hotel near the Sheremetyevo airport. There’s a non-stop free shuttle, free breakfast, and rooms for under $50 a night. That’s where I wanted to stay for this trip but D pointed out that it would take a long time to get downtown: first a shuttle back to the airport, then aeroexpress to the city center. There would be much more exploring time if we tried a new hotel so he found the President Hotel on

This was the fanciest hotel I’ve ever stayed in. It felt heavy, ornate, and somber. Here’s what you see as soon as you walk into the building.

Once upstairs, though, things looked a bit more like other old Soviet hotels. (The President Hotel opened in 1983.)

Hallway on our floor.
The lobby on our floor.

The room itself? Just a standard hotel room… but the walk downstairs to breakfast every morning was incredible.

The Bolshoy Petrovsky Hall, one of the hotel’s 19 conference halls.
There are two restaurants on-site: a fancy one on the 14th floor and a breakfast/lunch place on the 2nd floor. The room cost just under $100 a night and included a large buffet every morning.
New Year’s decor at breakfast.

We never fully explored the President Hotel- it has a swimming pool, a gym, a bar lobby, a souvenir shop, and a spa- because there was so much to see outside. Moscow is quite a contrast to Chelyabinsk:

Downtown Chelyabinsk in December.

Moscow glittered with frost and holiday ornaments, people strolled everywhere.

Walking along the Moscow river.
Inside GUM.
View of Red Square from Patriarshy Bridge.
Nikolskaya street.

I hope to share more pictures from Moscow soon (like visiting the Space Pavilion at VDNH!) but in the meantime, take a look at Kidding Herself’s amazing photos of The Moscow New Year Street Party on Tverskaya.

Have you ever heard of the President Hotel before? Is there a specific hotel you would recommend in Moscow?

6 Responses

  1. Donna
    | Reply

    That hotel looks amazing! Good to know about the SkyPoint too, I’ll keep that one in mind.

    • Katherine
      | Reply

      Hi Donna! SkyPoint is super convenient if you have a flight at Sheremetyevo. The shuttle runs every 15-30 minutes and it’s only a 15-minute drive to the hotel. For $5, you can upgrade to a room with a window. Some rooms face a forest, which is nice to see after a long flight. There’s free hot/cold water in the halls and now they’re adding tea kettles to many rooms. Decent restaurant upstairs too. The only thing that isn’t so great is the breakfast. It used to be amazing- tables and tables of Russian foods and Chinese dishes- but they seem to have cut back on the variety recently. Still have an omelette bar though. 🙂

  2. Liz
    | Reply

    I can’t wait to see more pictures from
    Moscow! This hotel reminded me a lot of a hotel I stayed at in Moscow in 2014, the hotel Cosmos. It was much more dated than this one, but had a similar heavy, somber vibe.

    • Katherine
      | Reply

      Wow, that’s so cool you stayed in that hotel, Liz! I noticed it when we visited VDNH- it really stood out. I hope my husband and I can stay there someday. 🙂

  3. J.T.
    | Reply

    What a wonderful view of Peter Columbus… *shudders*

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