Hotel National, Moscow, a Luxury Collection Hotel
Real presidents stay in the Presidential Suite at the National—Moscow’s most vaunted historic hotel, set just across the street from the Kremlin. Despite having survived decades of revolution, tumult, and repression, the hotel’s ornate 1903 Art Nouveau building—partly owned by the Russian government—has retained its grandeur; inside, a recently completed renovation has refreshed the 206 small-but-carefully-appointed guest rooms. Now the parquet floors gleam, the high ceilings with their decorative motifs are newly painted, and the décor has been updated with honey-colored wood furnishings, jewel-toned brocade and velvet fabrics, and custom-made, upholstered Italian armchairs that mimic the style of a century ago. Traditional trumps trendy in the hotel’s common areas too—as well as in its cuisine. There’s no better spot in Moscow for indulging in blini with caviar and French champagne.
Tip: To go further back in Russia’s past, descend into the Archaeological Museum across the street, full of artifacts discovered around the Kremlin from epochs ago.
Room to Book: Room 107—if you’re a history buff. Legend has it that Vladimir Lenin stayed there while plotting revolution against the aristocrats who shared his taste for this hotel.