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My family and I had just arrived in Moscow, and it was cold. We were tired, Russia had recently been in the news, and we were growing unsure about what we had just gotten ourselves into.
“Why couldn’t we have visited an island?” my brother, who is testy about taking his vacation time, complained.
Thankfully, our first stop was Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow, where our guardedness dissolved with every new experience.
First, the folks at the front desk greeted us with genuine warmth and helpfulness. They were quick to suggest spots for dinner that night, too.
My parents — and even my brother — instantly warmed up when we entered our bedrooms. We gobbled up welcome treats, made espressos using our Illy machine, resisted the lure of soft linens and geeked out on the handsome, custom-made decor of the room. In addition to the room’s smart technology (including a control unit for temperature, lighting, drapes and more at each side of the bed), we loved the mirrored and marbled bathroom, complete with a shower, a tub and heated flooring. Throughout our trip — which was in cold, rainy weather — this was my favorite cozy retreat.
Sleek, modern design is everywhere at Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow, from the cylindrical glass elevator that acts like an artery through the hotel to the well-appointed Quantum Fitness gym. We didn’t expect such a well-maintained gym with impressive workout tools (including a Technogym Kinesis apparatus, programmed with more than 250 exercises), but we found that wellness is easy to maintain here — plus there’s an indoor pool and a spa offering traditional Russian bath treatments.
Especially of note is the hotel’s newly renovated two-story penthouse. Designed by architect Tony Chi (who was also responsible for the hotel’s other 206 guestrooms and suites), the penthouse duplex is equipped with all the goods needed for holding a decadent cocktail party. Think intricate mirror work in the foyer, a grand bar, white arabescato marble and a killer view of the Moscow cityscape.
Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow’s ideal client is sophisticated and interested in culture, art and design. // © 2015 Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow
Rooms feature heated bathroom flooring, coffee machines and other fine touches. // © 2015 Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow
Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow’s brand-new penthouse is perfect for hosting guests. // © 2015 Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow
The bedroom inside the penthouse // © 2015 Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow
The Conservatory Lounge & Bar is open year-round. // © 2015 Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow
Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow is within walking distance to the Bolshoi Theatre, the Red Square and more. // © 2015 Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow
But the penthouse isn’t the only spot to enjoy Moscow’s skyline. One of the best views of Moscow — in the entire city — is at the hotel’s Conservatory Lounge & Bar on the 10th floor, named one of the most stunning rooftop bars in the world by CNN Travel. From our seats on the outdoor terrace, we caught our first glimpse of the Red Square and were offered caviar and champagne from a rolling table. As we watched the sunset, we cheered over very strong vodka cocktails and soaked it all in. The bar is a great place to people watch, as it’s also a popular spot among Moscow’s fashionistas and politicians.
The privileged view (and crowd) has to do with the hotel’s central location, which is within walking distance to the Red Square, the Kremlin, GUM shopping center, the Bolshoi Theatre and numerous dining options.
We walked around plenty but always opted to eat at The Park, the hotel’s breakfast spot, for delicious cappuccinos, egg dishes, fresh bread and Russian specialties. After a busy day of sightseeing, it was nice to know that the hotel also offers Japanese food at Enoki; snacks and liquor at the Neglinka Lounge atrium bar; and Armenian specialties at Cafe Ararat, an ode to the building’s original function as an Armenian restaurant during the Soviet period.
But we often just made a beeline to the Conservatory Lounge & Bar for another martini — when in Russia, after all.