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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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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBA’s ongoing “Breakfast with the Director” series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at “Sounds of the Universe,” a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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