Helvetia Hotel Saint Petersburg. Luxury in the style of the 19th century

“Helvetia”is a hotel for status persons: politicians, show business stars, businessmen, football players, opinion leaders and those who are in trend. They choose this place because of its good location, comfortable rooms, delicious food and colorful host-blogger, who claims a certain media status. Yunus Teymurkhanli admits that he knows many terrible secrets and bought apartments in this architectural monument back in the “dashing 90s”. Twenty years later, the old house turned into one of the best hotels in the northern capital.

Entering a cozy courtyard, you find yourself in a small corner of Switzerland – in the style of this country, the external entourage is made. At the reception, the guest is met by helpful staff and offer a compliment: a glass of champagne, juice or mineral water. Another feature is the pillow menu with a choice of 10 different models that will please even the most capricious celebrity. The corridors always smell of branded flavors, and the weather forecast for the next day is brought to the room. It is worth adding that the entire hotel is declared a non-smoking area.

VMASHA writes a review: “the hotel inside is in the style of “expensive-rich” with red carpets, mirrors in gilded frames and live orchids. In a tiny room (15 m2) everything sparkles with cleanliness. I liked the comfortable slippers – much better than in network establishments. The cheapest room has a rain shower and bidet. Towels and bathrobes are really snow-white. There is no mosquito net, but there is a fumigator. It’s very comfortable here – that’s a fact!”

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Location and history

« Helvetia» – this is an allegorical image of Switzerland, invented in the 17th century by the director of the play I.K. Weissenbach. Outwardly, she is an ancient woman with a spear and a shield, which depicts the same cross as on the flag of Switzerland. It is used as an image of this country in order not to give preference to any of the four official languages.

The hotel was officially opened in 2003. The mansion was built in 1828 by the architect Augusto Lange. In the same house is the Consulate General of Switzerland in Russia, so the patio is made in the Swiss style.

Yunus Teymurkhanli: “I am a person with a Soviet upbringing, as a result of which I am full of fears. Until 2013-14, as the owner of the hotel, I hid, believing that they would be stabbed, killed, taken away from the business, imprisoned. But then knowledgeable people convinced that it hurts business. That’s how I became a media blogger.”

A native of Baku, he came to St. Petersburg in times of change and was familiar with the right people. After 30 years, he calls himself not a hotelier, but the owner to whom guests come. This, according to Yunus, is the main difference between chain hotels and dynastic European hotels, where management is transferred from father to son. The hotel business brings a good income, but not enough to open new hotels. To do this, you need to take a large loan or enter into a share with other people, which he categorically does not accept. Therefore, Mr. Teymurkhanli invests in the renovation of issues and in his personal media status, blogging on YouTube and printing articles in well-known publications. Advertising himself, he adds fame to the hotel, which he gladly tells in numerous interviews.

«Helvetia» is located a hundred meters from three metro stations of the red, green and orange lines. Moskovsky Train Station is a 10-minute walk away. Nevsky Prospekt is literally across the house. Around a lot of restaurants and bars: with Italian, Japanese, Uzbek cuisine, etc. Near three museums: L.N.Gumilev, F.M.Dostoevsky, arctic and Antarctic. And of course, it is necessary to mention the majestic Vladimir Cathedral built in the mid-18th century, located 200 meters away. In which the famous writer, gambler and convict – F.M. Dostoevsky confessed his numerous sins.

Earle F. writes a review: “a nice hotel, located quite close to the Hermitage and attractions. Friendly staff and clean rooms. Almost all employees with knowledge of English. A large number of stars and famous people who stay in this place. I recommend it!”

Room stock

When reconstructing the hotel and choosing the concept of the premises, emphasis was placed on the style of the mansion of the 19th century, mixed with the design of modern materials. As a result, from the tsarist era, restored parquets, steps, stair railings, mosaic and granite floors remained. All the rest of the content is modern, but stylized under a single concept of the interior. In total, the mansion has been reconstructed 59 rooms available for guests.

Classic, compact, compact double – these rooms have a record small area for hotels of 4 stars: 15-21 m2. Equipped with plasma with smart set-top box, wi-fi, air conditioning, kettle, hairdryer and iron. Mini-bar is paid and includes a large selection of supplies: chocolate, juice, mineral water, snacks. A lot of alcohol: vodka, cognac, champagne, dry wine and beer. All products of the premium segment. Tea and coffee set is included in the price, as well as a bathrobe with slippers. In the bathroom there is a full bath with a shower and a cosmetic set. A pillow menu is also available, while a hypoallergenic pillow is provided by default. An important addition: there are rooms with windows to the bustling Marata Street and a quiet courtyard. It is recommended to take this point into account when booking for those who have a bad sleep time.

Superior room is slightly more spacious and occupies 23-24 m2. From the equipment is added coffee machine «Nespresso». The interiors in these small rooms are simple and unsophisticated. Design finishes with decorative elements, styling and lighting begin with the rooms of the next comfort class.

The deluxe occupies 28 m2 of space and accommodates two people. A coffee table with chairs is added here, and in some rooms there is also a separate sofa. The combined bathroom is twice as large in area as in the classic version. The decoration uses stucco, natural stone, expensive fabrics.

Junior Suite of 31 m2 accommodates three guests. Each such room is made in a unique style with furniture and interior items, individually selected by the designer. In the bathroom, instead of the usual set – natural cosmetics “Loccitane”.

The classic suite has an area of 40 m2 and can accommodate up to three people. It consists of a living room, a bedroom and a bathroom. A kitchenette with a set of kitchenware is also added. Each of the rooms has a desk for working with documents. The design of the suite is a classic in a modern design. Expensive fabrics, figured ceilings, chandeliers made of Murano glass. In the living room on the sofa you can lay another bed with a surcharge of 3500r. Otherwise, the equipment is the same as in the previous versions.

The Augusto Lange Suite is also 40 m2 and is designed for three people. It differs from the classic suite by interior design: parquet on the floor, glass entrance to the bathroom (with curtains), walls of light colors. Bathtub on legs and rain shower. There were no other differences.

Executive Suite is the most expensive room in the hotel. There are two of them – the first with an area of 70 m2, the second 90 m2. Accommodates three people. The “SPA zone” is added – this is a small sauna, a round jacuzzi bath with hydromassage. The spaces here have a unique interior with carefully selected decorative elements.

Dima Bilan: “Three things are important for me in the hotel: scales, delicious food and to hide from the “surveillance”. That’s why I choose Helvetia. In addition, Yunus is the soul of this place. I correspond with him, so he’s my friend. I hug everyone.”

Breakfast is served in the atrium of the Marius Restaurant or the Claret Café in buffet style. The choice is average, the dishes are standard: omelets, pancakes, cheesecakes, vegetables, fruits, snacks. There are also cuts: cheese, meat, fish. Milk, yogurt, sour cream. In general, it would be an ordinary buffet, if not for the wonderful desserts with pastries from the restaurant. Muffins, cakes, croissants – all excellent taste. With coffee beans comes with a bang. Well, perhaps, you can highlight the neat serving, beautiful design of food and the pleasant convenience of the place where breakfasts are held. For real aristocrats, champagne is poured into glasses, which is found mainly in the resort area.

Meals and restaurants

Beer restaurant “Marius” works around the clock, so that hotel guests can go down to eat or drink even in the dead of night. This is a drinking establishment with fusion cuisine “a la Russe”. Dishes of Russian cuisine prevail in a new version: Olivier with tongue, assorted cutlets, mushroom, pickles, pancakes with caviar, etc. Good sausages are served for beer: “Nuremberg”, “Prague”, “French”, etc. But there are many other popular dishes: Hungarian goulash soup, Swiss cheese soup, New York steak, etc.

Specialties from the chef are burger and Salad “Marius”.

Prices are average for the center of St. Petersburg. You can eat at 1000-1500r, but there are more expensive dishes.

Of alcohol, it should be noted an interesting selection of cocktails, especially the branded “Marius”: gin, elderberry syrup, liqueur, lemon juice and cucumber. Draught beer 300-500r per 0.5l. Varieties of Belgian, German, Czech beer predominate, there are English ale and Russian light.

Cafe “CLARET” is actually a full-fledged restaurant of haute cuisine with small portions and solid prices. Claims molecular cuisine: “trout marinated with beets and vodka”, “foam of parmesan and truffle”, “celery chips, emulsion of apples and spinach”. Average bill for food without drinks: 1500-2000r. The interior of the café is unusually bright, as if you get into a fairy tale. This is largely facilitated by furniture of bright colorful tones. Alcohol in the institution is presented in a wide variety and with prices three times higher than the store. Therefore, lovers of drinking and saving can use the service “bring alcohol with you” or “buy in the nearest store”.

Shop “Helvetia” is a sale of takeaway dishes and desserts prepared by the chef. It differs from the “wrap up” service in that the products are beautifully packaged and can be stored longer than regular food. For example, stew of rabbit, duck or lamb – 690r/270g. Or homemade chocolate with nuts or raspberries, dark or light for 430p per bar of 130g. A good gift to any sweet lover. There is also a pate, riet, gravlax. And of course handmade candies with hazelnuts.

Services, discounts, promotions

The hotel has a modern laundry and dry cleaning, luggage storage, free guarded parking only for guests of “Helvetia”.

Also, there are regularly held enticing promotions with discounts and gifts. For example, it is possible to increase the comfort level of the room for the same price. Acts as a surprise from the administration in case of incomplete loading of the hotel. The guest booked a compact, and settled in the improved. Or from junior suite to suite. It’s a trifle, but it’s nice.

Negotiation “Bern” can be rented for business meetings, interviews or negotiations. Can accommodate up to 6 people. Plasma is installed in 46 inches. You can note the pleasant modern design of the meeting room, the ability to order a coffee break with drinks and snacks.

Conference hall “Basel” has an area of 65 m2 and is designed for 80 people. Equipment includes a wall screen with LCD projector, microphone, LCD panel and climate control. After the conference, you can order a banquet in the restaurant.

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Alina Abramova

Be travelers, not tourists. Try new things, meet new people, and go beyond what's right in front of your nose. These are the keys to understanding this amazing world we live in. (c) Andrew Zimmern