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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 rally and 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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Thursday, Apr. 24


Learn more about Denmark during the Danish Business Delegation’s visit to SPIBA this evening starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Danish Culture Institute. Danish Consul general Klaus Sorensen will be in attendance and the buffet following a presentation on Danish companies in Russia will be the perfect opportunity to network with the assembled businessmen.


AmCham’s Human Resources Committee Meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. this morning in their St. Petersburg office. Check their website for more details.



Friday, Apr. 25


Light Music presents the main events for their Cultural Kitchen project at Loft-Project Etagi today. A B2B event that focuses on Finnish food, arts, travel, music and design, the evening will conclude with a dinner by chef Jyrki Tsutsunen and dancing to music by Aino Venna. The event, which began yesterday with presentations by tourism and cultural institutions, concludes today with a preview of Finland’s Flow festival and other musical events. Invitations are available from www.culturalkitchen.fi.



Saturday, Apr. 26


At 6 p.m. this evening, stylist Liliana Modigliani offers 50 simple ways to up your style quotient with beauty tips at the Galeria shopping center on Ligovsky Prospekt. The event is part of the final day of the shopping mall’s Fashion Saturday sales event, this week focusing on top brands located on the ground floor as well as presentation from fashion experts on sprucing up your spring look.



Sunday, Apr. 27


Families shouldn’t miss Childhood Planet 2014, the trade fair that started yesterday and concludes today at LenExpo. Not only will goods and services be provided for children and families but the event hopes to promote Russian brands and eco-friendly products using the latest technology available in the childcare industry.



Monday, Apr. 28


The Hotel Indigo will be the site of SPIBA’s Acting Skills for HR and Other Managers master class this morning starting at 9 a.m. The event will begin with coffee before moving on to the class itself and conclude with a tour of the recently opened hotel. Confirm attendance by Apr. 24.



Tuesday, Apr. 29


Improve your English at the British Book Center’s Interactive English Lesson tonight at 6 p.m. Students at pre-intermediate and intermediate levels are welcome discuss topics that are selected to help learners master the more difficult aspects of English grammar and vocabulary.