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Travel: Russia Like a Romanov

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For many people, traveling to Russia is a once in a lifetime opportunity. If you’re lucky enough to be able to take the trip, it’s likely one that you’ll remember for the rest of your life.

While you can definitely do Russia on a budget, few countries seem to understand the perks of cold hard cash like Russia.

If you’re going to Russia and you’re a big spender, there are some things you absolutely must do while you’re there.

If you just feel like splurging on a great vacation and putting a little luxury into your life, Russia is a great place to do it.

Hotels

Sitting Area in the Presidential Suite at the Mamaison Pokrovka Suites

While it might have the name Hyatt attached to it, the Ararat Park Hyatt, located right next to the Bolshoi ballet is anything but a cookie cutter hotel chain.

On premises, you’ll find four restaurants that are open most of the day – all of which get rave reviews from locals – a spa and fitness center and a whole slew of guest services you won’t see at your average hotel.

Expect to spend about $300 per night for a standard room during peak travel dates.

If you’re looking for something a bit more modern and unique, try the Mamaison Pokrovka Suites in Moscow. With only 84 rooms, this boutique hotel wouldn’t feel out of place in a city like Los Angeles or New York with its lush gardens and ultra-premium attitude.

The Mamaison Pokrovka Suites are also centrally located right near the Kremlin and Red Square. Expect to spend a minimum of $250 for a standard room.

Fight that Winter Weather

If you’re going to Russia in the winter months, you already know it’s going to be downright freezing, and chances are you’ve never felt anything quite like a Russian winter.

Before you head out the door to get on that plane, make sure you get yourself a coat that will let you see the sights in comfort and style.

During the spring/summer 2013 fashion week show, there were major designer standouts that you should take a look at before you go to Russia.

If you need an all-around jacket that you can wear during the day or at night, try one of the new biker jackets from Belstaff.

Made with classic European flare with just a little bit of that American leather look, the Belstaff biker jacket is a just-above-the-knee-length coat that can be worn for any occasion and layered to keep you warm.

Of course, luxury comes at a price. While this jacket won’t cost you the $12,000 to $15,000 that a Dior fur might – which is another option if you’re really ready to go nuts – the Belstaff line starts around $1,695.

The good news is that you might actually be able to buy one off the rack from a fine department store or online. You’ll also find matching hats and gloves to really complete your look.

Transportation

It’s pretty easy to get around most parts of Russia using a combination of public transportation and taxis, and chances are you’ll end up using the taxis if you go out at night. After all, who wants to wait around in the freezing weather for a bus?

But if you really want to do Russia like a Romanov, you need to hire a car service. While car services are changing all the time in Russia, just like they are in the United States, hiring a car service is relatively safe.

Before you go on your trip, ask the hotel where you’re booking your stay about a reliable car service. It’s really the only way to see Russia in style.

If you don’t want to wait until you get to Russia to hire a car service, companies like First Class Chauffeur and Limousine Service, which has been around since 2003, offers private Mercedes-Benz rentals, with or without a driver, and fully-stocked stretch limos. You can even hire security service through First Class.

Private Tours

There’s an incredible amount of culture and history in Russia, and if you’re visiting for the first time, you’ll likely want to see it all.

If you want to do it in style, you need to hire a private tour guide that really knows the ins and outs of the country.

When luxury tours in Russia come to mind, there’s pretty much only one company that locals will tell you about. That’s Artisans of Leisure.

Artisans of Leisure offer an all-inclusive package that includes the finest hotel suites, private car and limo service and private access to museums, special galleries and even palaces.

You’ll also get express clearance through customs on your way in and out of the country.

Now that’s luxury!

Author: Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer in the Los Angeles area and a language tutor helping her students learn Russian and Spanish. Her articles focus on living well and health.

 

 

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