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Hoteliers Reflect on Success

Published: February 26, 2014 (Issue # 1799)



  • The Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace St. Petersburg was one of several luxury hotels to open in St. Petersburg in 2013.
    Photo: Yekaterina Kuzmina / Vedomosti

  • W St. Petersburg cites international events as helping keep occupation rates up.
    Photo: w St. Petersburg / starwood

2013 has been acknowledged by St. Petersburg hotels as their most successful year to date following the difficult times the industry has faced since 2008. The revenue per available room, or RevPAR, in local hotels has increased to upwards of 15 percent across all categories from economy- to luxury-class properties. As a result, hoteliers and owners seem upbeat heading into 2014 and beyond.

By the end of 2013, the hospitality industry of St. Petersburg included 134 hotels operating in the city with a total of about 19,200 rooms, according to data from Colliers International. This figure does not include mini-hotels, government-run hotels or hostels.

Related: Hotel Market Greets Good Times With New Trends

Four new hotels opened in St. Petersburg in 2013, three of which were five-star properties. Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace St. Petersburg was the first to open, quickly followed by the Hermitage Hotel, which is the official hotel of the State Hermitage Museum. The boutique hotel Trezzini Palace rounded out the new offerings at the top end of the spectrum, bringing the total number of rooms across all three hotels to 367.

2013 was a successful year for the hotels in St. Petersburg, including W St. Petersburg, Mario Habicher, the General Manager of W St. Petersburg, told The St. Petersburg Times.

Related: Cornelia Brinkman: The One With the Wings

International events such as the Economic Forum, the Stars of the White Nights [a festival at the Mariinsky Theater], the international Gumball 3000 motor rallyand others helped make the summer such a success, said Habicher. Honestly, even the winter season exceeded all our expectations. St. Petersburg has become a fashionable winter destination for Europeans.

Overcoming seasonality, to which St. Petersburg is particularly sensitive, is an important milestone in the development of the industry. Occupancy rates typically fall to 20 percent in the autumn and winter from a high of 90 percent during the summer season.

This was an exceptional summer season for the city and there was an additional boost in September as the city hosted the G20 meeting, said David Jenkins, Head of the Hotels and Hospitality Group for Russia and the CIS at Jones Lang LaSalle. RevPAR in September was almost double the usual rate for many hotels evidence that as a host city for major events, St. Petersburg has an adequate amount of accommodation for each level of quality.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Aug. 28


Learn more about the citys upcoming municipal elections during the presentation of the project Road Map for the Municipal Elections being presented this evening in the conference hall on the third floor of Biblioteka at 21 Nevsky Prospekt. Steve Kaddins, a coordinator for Beautiful St. Petersburg, which gives residents an online forum to lodge complaints about infrastructure problems in the city, will be on hand to answer any questions. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. and is open to all.



Friday, Aug. 29


Park Pobedy will feature the sights and sounds of the world outside of Russia during the Open Art International Festival today. Taste foreign cuisine, learn how to make tea like the Chinese or relax in a hammock during the free event. Although entrance is free, you must register beforehand if you wish to attend.



Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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