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Orient-Express Hotels acquires the majority interest in The Grand Hotel Europe, St. Petersburg (Russie)

Orient-Express Hotels acquires the majority interest in The Grand Hotel Europe, St. Petersburg (Russie)

Catégorie : Europe - Russie - Économie du secteur - Rachats groupes ou hôtels
Ceci est un communiqué de presse sélectionné par notre comité éditorial et mis en ligne gratuitement le 06-08-2009

Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. announced today its first hotel acquisition in Russia. The company has acquired the majority interest in the 301 room Grand Hotel Europe, St. Petersburg’s leading hotel, along with full management and operational control.

The Grand Hotel Europe was Russia’s first five-star hotel. An historical landmark dating from 1824, the building’s magnificent baroque façade was designed by the Italian architect Rossi and contrasts beautifully with the elegant flowing lines of the later 19th century art nouveau interior.

The hotel is in the heart of St. Petersburg, across from the Shostakovich Philharmonic, next to the Russian Museum and the Moussorgsky opera and ballet theatre and within walking distance of the Hermitage Museum and the Winter Palace Square.

Known as the Venice of the North, St. Petersburg is Europe’s 4th largest city and one of its richest in cultural and tourist attractions, attracting 4 million foreign tourists each year. St. Petersburg has direct air connections to major world cities including London, New York and Frankfurt. The city has grand avenues and bridges crossing elegant canals, leading to the mighty Neva River which is lined with majestic palaces and striking baroque architecture.

Commenting on the announcement, Simon Sherwood, President of Orient-Express Hotels, said “This is a major acquisition in a city which is a tourist magnet. It has a strong business combination – corporate travellers in the winter months and leisure visitors in the summer. There is much to do and see, from the Hermitage Museum and the Marinsky Theatre to the cathedrals, palaces and parks. The hotel is comparable to our hotels Ritz Madrid and Copacabana Palace, Rio, where royalty, celebrities, business leaders and political dignitaries choose to stay.”

The hotel’s 301 rooms include 89 suites, 17 of which have terraces overlooking the Russian Museum in Arts Square, from which it is possible to see the twisting, multicoloured domes and gilded bell tower of the Church of the Resurrection.

The Grand Hotel Europe’s seven restaurants and bars include the art nouveau splendour of L’Europe, serving French and European specialities beneath an original stained glass ceiling. In addition to Italian and Chinese restaurants, there is a Caviar Bar & Restaurant serving Russian specialities and Sadko’s, a casual restaurant opening onto St. Petersburg’s main thoroughfare, Nevsky Prospekt. The Lobby and Piano Bars are popular meeting places throughout the day and evening.

The Grand Hotel Europe also boasts St. Petersburg’s most comprehensive meeting facilities from the Kryscha Ballroom and distinctive Billiard room to conference rooms named after the cream of Russian society, many of whom have frequented the hotel and will always be associated with its history: Tschaikovsky, Gorky, Pushkin, Dostoevsky.

Other famous guests include: Shostakovich, Luciano Pavarotti, Elton John, Sir Paul McCartney, Bill Clinton and Andre Agassi.

Originally built in 1824 and opened in 1991 in its present form after a three year renovation project, the hotel was an orphanage in 1917 during the Bolshevik Revolution and a hospital during the siege of Leningrad from 1941-1944. The building is classified as a national and cultural landmark and is under a preservation order as an historical monument.

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