Explore Russia like a Football Star this summer with these luxury stays on Booking.com
In the summer of 2018, Russia will take center stage as host to one of the most exciting global sporting events. With over 1 in 10 travellers globally travelling for sport in the last year*, not only is this a chance for football fans around the world to witness their favourite team in action, but it’s also an amazing opportunity to see Russia in all its beauty.
Booking.com, the global leader in connecting travellers with the widest choice of incredible places to stay, has prepared a list of luxury properties to help you not just cheer for your favourite football stars but stay like one in some of the most sumptuous accommodations and fascination destinations that Russia has to offer.
Luxury is abundant in Moscow, with a wide variety of chic restaurants, posh hotels and luxury shopping malls. Take a walk around the city’s main square, Red Square, and take in the amazing sights of St. Basil’s Cathedral, which will give visitors a general idea of how Russians can impress. Along the eastern side of Red Square spreads a 794 feet façade of GUM, not just one of the largest department stores in the world, but also a beautiful architectural gem. It is home to multiple luxury brands and boasts a glass ceiling as well as a unique style reminiscent of a 19th-century London railway station.
Where to stay: Offering self-catered apartments and a spa centre with sauna and beauty treatments, Apartments by Palmira Business Club is situated in the Donskoy district in Moscow. Guests can enjoy a drink at the MaxLevel Bar and Lounge, located on the 12th floor before exploring the city. Nagatinskaya, Tulskaya and Paveletskaya Metro stations are within walking distance making it easy to not only get to the iconic landmarks in Moscow, but also to the football stadiums that will be hosting exciting matches.
In the so-called Venice of the north, historical landmarks and architectural masterpieces will make you stop and stare with every step. After a long day of football-watching, culture-buffs should not miss an opportunity to visit a mecca of Russian ballet – the Mariinsky Theatre. Founded in 1783, this legendary place launched the careers of many world-famous ballet dancers, including Anna Pavlova and Mikhail Baryshnikov, and still represents elegance, grace and unshakable foundations of the Russian traditions.
Where to stay: Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace boasts luxury interiors in Russian Empire style. It is located in the heart of Saint Petersburg, a 15-minute walk from the Mariinsky Theatre. The hotel rooms are decorated in an elegant style and overlook another architectural marvel of the city, St. Isaac’s Cathedral.
Kazan is a multiethnic centre of the country. It has a lot to offer to travellers with its striking Kremlin and enormous Kul Sharif mosque, while it’s also known as a haven for foodies. Traditional local dishes were influenced by both Russian and Eastern cuisine. During a break between matches don’t forget to sample traditional Tatar chak-chak, a prized sweet made from baked dough and honey. As a symbol of delicious local cuisine, a new wedding palace – Kazan Family Center – has recently been built here in the shape of a huge cooking pot.
Where to stay: Located in the heart of Kazan city, the DoubleTree by Hilton Kazan City Center is a 5-minute walk from historic sites such as the Kazan Kremlin and the National Museum of Tatarstan. Guests can enjoy European, Russian and Tatar cuisines at the hotel’s restaurant or unwind at the lobby bar with a wide selection of wine, whisky and cocktails at the end of a busy day.
Since 2014, when Sochi hosted another international sporting event, the city’s beautiful beaches and breathtaking mountain scenery have been a magnet for tourists from all over the world. But for Russians, it’s already been a favourite holiday destination for decades. Rosa Khutor, an alpine resort area nestled in the Caucasus Mountains, is a one-hour drive east from Sochi. Get there by taxi or train – the panoramic road winds through the untouched mountains and forests. In winter it’s a number one destination for skiers, but in summer it’s a popular getaway to enjoy nature and hiking.
Where to stay: Rodina Grand Hotel & SPA, a luxury 5-star hotel, is located on the Black Sea coast and surrounded by 15-hectare sub-tropical gardens, which make it a perfect getaway from the noisy crowds attracted to the city by major international sporting events. Its private beach provides an opportunity to get refreshed after cheering on your favorite team.
Volgograd is imbued with Russian history from the previous century. It is the site of one of the most well-known battles of WWII, the Battle of Stalingrad. Mamaev Kurgan (or Hill 102) is now a memorial to the soldiers of the soviet army, topped by a 72 metre-high statue of Mother Russia holding a sword. The complex is less than 5 km north from the city centre and can be reached by a high-speed tram. It is also one station away from the main football arena.
Where to stay: Located 3.2 km from Motherland Monument, Sobranie hotel features spacious rooms overlooking the city. For visitors heading to a football match, the Volgograd arena area is about 3.5 km from the property.
*According to data collected by Booking.com with 12,781 respondents across 13 markets in September 2016. Respondents had to be 18 years of age or older, had to have travelled at least once in 2016 and had to be planning at least one trip for 2017. All respondents had to consider themselves part of their travel decision-making process.