East Meets West, Defining Five-Star Perfection
A stunning tribute to engineering and technological excellence accompanied by luxury in hospitality is the Lotte Hotel, standing sleek and exquisitely tall in the heart of Moscow’s shopping and financial districts. Lotte, a prestigious brand, swelling in international admiration, festooned this recently-built five-star gem with every imaginable luxurious appointment. Nothing escaped the attention of designers who adorned what many consider Moscow’s best hotel with sparkling elegance throughout its 300 rooms and suites, two premier restaurants, a superb spa, and other first-class amenities.
Located on Moscow’s busy Garden Ring, the ten-story hotel offers a serene resting place for travelers, business guests, and anyone seeking refreshment in a posh, yet comfortable environment. From a distance, looking at its exterior, the impression one receives of this $350 million jewel is that of a modern palace, set in the midst of several historic Moscow architectural monuments, known as the Seven Sisters. Indeed, the Lotte makes all seven jealous of her charms.
Greeting us at the glimmering revolving door entrance, a smiling valet in white suit and broad-brimmed white hat took our luggage and escorted us through the breath-taking lobby. After passing under and gazing upward at the spectacular, gargantuan chandelier—Lotte is famous for its exquisite chandeliers!—situated between two immense, cathedral-sized columns, we were enthusiastically greeted at the reception desk. Fifty feet away, across the brilliant marble floor, a lavish, sweeping staircase beckoned, where a photographer happened to be taking pictures of a soon-to-be bride in her wedding dress. What a memorable location!
The Moscow Lotte opened in September 2010, less than three years before our visit, yet it felt as though we were part of its Grand Opening. Everything was sparkling, fresh and seemingly new, from fresh flowers throughout the hotel to the smallest details in our room.
The Lotte Group is one of the top ten global enterprises in Asia, with a diverse portfolio of some 50 businesses, employing 40,000 individuals, and valued at over sixty billion U.S. dollars. The consortium owns businesses in the food, distribution, tourism, petrochemical, construction and manufacturing industries, as well as finance. Seven of its hotels are located in South Korea, while Moscow and Saigon are currently the only two hotels located outside the country. Though its premier 1100-room luxury hotel in Seoul which opened in 1979 is considered its flagship establishment, some believe the Moscow Lotte is even more sumptuous and deserving of the title. Moscow’s Lotte deservedly gained the attention of hotel cognoscenti and prestigious trade publications, such as Condé Nast, whose Traveler magazine awarded Lotte its Best City Hotel in Russia in 2012. Yet other awards in hospitality grace its showcase of achievements, confirming its prestigious place in the pantheon known as The Leading Hotels of the World, and also affirmed by a panoply of guests including celebrities such as Maria Sharapova, and potentates ranging from Arab sheiks to figureheads of nations, such as the King of Spain, and heads of state throughout Asia and Europe. Confidentiality prohibits disclosure of even more recognizable personalities who consider Lotte to be Moscow’s premier luxury hotel establishment.
Lotte boasts a three-star Michelin chef, Pierre Gagnaire, whose creative flair is on display in the hotel’s signature restaurant Les Menus. No one should pass up the opportunity to savor the exquisite fare offered by M. Gagnaire and his Paris-trained staff. His magnificent creations and innovative experiments in the culinary arts have led him to be regarded as a world-class chef. We were fortunate to obtain a seating for lunch and savored a cornucopia of dishes rivaling the best cuisine we’ve ever tasted.
Lotte also features a world-famous restaurant name, Megu, known particularly in New York for its superior Japanese fusion cuisine. More about this in our accompanying review.
Lotte’s convention and banquet facilities are top-notch and its Balinese Mandara Spa is world-famous. (See our separate review on the Spa). It also boasts a state-of-the-art Fitness Club open to members and hotel guests, a 21-meter swimming pool, a Jacuzzi spa with a pair of sunken lounging areas to enjoy massaging jets while you recline, and an executive business center.
Lotte Hotel Moscow offers 239 spacious rooms starting at a whopping 42 square meters (452 square feet and 61 gigantic suites beginning at 70 square meters (753 square feet). The tenth floor features the colossal 490 square meter (5,274 square feet) Royal Suite, with a room rate of 490,000 rubles (nearly $15,000 USD). Used by royalty and dignitaries from embassies worldwide, the Royal Suite, largest in Moscow, features a gourmet kitchen, sumptuous wetbar, a formal dining room that seats up to fourteen people, a Bechstein grand piano, 62-inch plasma screen TV, private sauna, winter garden, library, and an array of rooms including space for staff personnel, all surrounded by bullet-proof glass.
Rooms at the Lotte start with Superior (481 s.f.), and continue with Deluxe (556 s.f.), and Luxury (695 s.f.). More elite units are the Executive Suite (781 s.f.), Junior Suite (909 s.f.), the signature Charlotte Suite (1177 s.f.), Presidential Suite (1904 s.f.) and of course, the palatial Royal Suite (5274 s.f.). We found many wonderful amenities and surprises in our Deluxe Room that featured a 42-inch LCD TV, minibar, free WiFi, and a Samsung portable sound system capable of playing your cell phone’s music library from either the docking station or via Bluetooth. We enjoyed this sound system so much we purchased one online and had it waiting for us when we got home! The sumptuous bathroom featured a Toto heated toilet seat with an array of controls such as “rear cleansing,” “front cleansing,” and “dryer” with options for water pressure and an “oscillating” button. Behind another glass door there was a huge, non-jetted soaking tub, as well as a separate shower featuring an overhead rain shower as well as a hand-held unit. Bath amenities included Molton-Brown products imported from London. A well-stocked drawer provided bathroom amenities you may have neglected to bring, such as a razor, toothbrush, sewing kit, etc. It was a pleasure to find a 240-volt tea kettle for heating water so we could enjoy coffee or tea anytime of day. Although there was a French Press coffee maker we tried using, the coffee packets supplied by the hotel did not do the job. The hotel was kind enough to bring up a Keurig-type single-cup coffee maker with an assortment of coffee pods.
The “East meets West” theme is subtle but evident throughout the hotel, in each of its 300 rooms and throughout the hotel’s public areas with soft colors, bold patterns, and contemporary styling. Les Menu’s French cuisine is balanced elegantly by Megu’s Japanese fusion and the Mandara Spa is staffed by therapists from Bali who provide Asian as well as Western styles of massage.
The name Lotte in itself is a byword for passionate love, but the individual who bears the name is also a curious figure in Western literature, inspiring the Korean hoteliers to adopt her distinctive name for their conglomerate. In 1774, when he was just 24, Johann Goethe wrote The Sorrows of Young Werther, a story about a young man who falls in love with a married woman, Charlotte, from whom the Lotte Group takes its name. The short book, written as a series of letters, made Goethe an overnight success in Romantic literature, and even Napolean hailed it as a great work in the history of Western literature. The story of unrequited love ends in the suicide of the young man who can never win Lotte’s hand. Evidently, this story wielded such a powerful influence on members of the Lotte Group, that they found it desirable to re-print hardbound copies of Goethe’s book, leaving a copy in every room. Yes, in two evenings I was able to finish reading the book, but was left wondering why these particular Korean businessmen were so taken with a nearly 250-year-old German Romantic novel. Without going too deeply into the story, one might see that if Lotte means “passionate love,” then this gorgeous hotel bearing her name must reflect the deep passion felt by its designers for detail and luxury in every appointment. That kind of passion shows throughout every square inch of this extraordinary hotel and flows through its superlative staff who provide impeccable service.
Novinskiy Boulevard, Building 2, 8
Moscow 121099, Russia
Fax : +7 495 287 0555
Phone: 011 7 495 287-05-00