Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Review of Holiday Inn Suchovsky Hotel in Moscow, Russia

I happened to stay here while I was holidaying in Moscow, Russia with a friend. The travel agency booked us a room in the Holiday Inn Suchovsky in the north-western part of city, as part of a group booking. Here is my review of the hotel.

Holiday Inn Suchovsky Review

Well, I have traveled a lot and stayed in many hotels, and I can say that this hotel was pretty good. In fact, the quality of the rooms and service was much better than I expected for the ‘3-4 star hotel’ notified by the travel agency. Proximity to Transport: While the Holiday Inn Suchovsky hotel is pretty far from Vnukovo International Airport where our plane landed, it was near to the Leningradsky Railway station from where we took the Sapsan train to St. Petersburg. There was a metro station (Rizhskaya) about 5 minutes from the hotel, and the hotel staff at the reception told us how to reach it. You have to use the subway on the left side of the hotel, and walk about 350 metres under the road, till you come out in front of the metro.

Comfort: The room had a comfortable bed with four soft fluffy pillows, a dressing table, and small cupboard with hangers for clothes. The décor was modern, plush and business-like. The window was huge, and offered a view of the city, the Moscow TV tower and the Rizhskaya railway station. There was an armchair and a few other chairs in the room, and some simple paintings on the wall. The bathroom had a bathtub and shower, 24-hours hot water and a hairdryer. All lights and air-conditioning worked fine.

In fact, the arrangement in the room reminded me of a room I had stayed in at the Taj Aguada in Goa. There was a mini-bar, which we did not use. The room also had a code-protected heavy safe and an electric coffee maker (which we found useful for making instant noodles). The large plasma TV screen showed mostly Russian channels and news channels for free. If you wanted to watch other channels, there was an extra charge. As we were out viewing the city sights almost every day, we did not have time to watch any television.

Safety and Convenience: The room keys we were given had to be entered into a slot in the lift console, and we could only press the button to get to the floor on which our room was. This ensured that anyone with misguided intentions could not get up to a room, unless they had a key. The hotel was also environmentally friendly – the lights in the hallway would come on only when someone walked through them, thus saving a lot of electricity.

Cleanliness: The pillows and sheets in the room were very clean. The cleaning staff was very good, and the whole room was tidied up, with each thing arranged in its proper place while we were out. In fact, I’ve certainly got to mention this, the maid at the Holiday Inn Suchovsky even went to the extent of folding my scattered clothes and arranging them on the armchair. I’m just so sorry I forgot to leave a tip.

Food: The buffet breakfast every morning was awesome. It was held in the hotel restaurant ‘Fleur Café’ from 7.00 am onwards, and there was a nice selection of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian items. There was also a variety of fruits, including succulent peaches, tangerines, oranges and another grey fruit (I don’t know what it’s called), which were delicious. I was not able to have lunch or dinner here, as I generally came back to the hotel very late at night.

Money Exchange: The hotel has two currency exchange machines, which while giving a lower rate than other places, is pretty convenient if you need rubles in a hurry. There is an option to view instructions in English, and it is simple to operate, as the hotel staff showed us. The only problem is it gives large notes (5000r notes), and does not give any small change that it should (you’ll only get a 5000r note if you should be getting 5055r, while the remaining can be transferred to your hotel account to pay for other services).

Other Things: The souvenir shop at the hotel sells high-end beautiful souvenirs and is pretty pricey, but offers good stuff if you have the money to pay for it. The reception collects the passports of every guest on arrival, and records details according to government rules. The passport has to be asked for the next morning and collected by either you or the tour manager. City guides are available at the reception for free. The hotel offers free Wi-Fi of a fixed bandwidth per day, which is quite fast – and allows you to make a few calls on WhatsApp and upload a few photos on Facebook. If you want more MBs, you have to pay extra.

Proximity to Restaurants

There is a 24-hour Mini-Mart (24 Chasa) just a few metres from the Holiday Inn Suchovsky Hotel, when you turn to the right. It rained heavily one evening when we were planning to go to the nearby ‘Tibet Himalaya’ restaurant for dinner, and we were forced to take shelter here. We ended up buying some instant noodles, bread, cheese, strawberries and so on, which we later ate in the hotel room. There is a Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) outlet near the Rizhskaya metro station, and a shawarma shop which also sells sausage wraps (for the low budget traveler) that are quite filling. The hotel is two metro stops from the VDNKh exhibition, which we managed to see one evening.

I hope you liked reading my review of Hotel Holiday Inn Suchovsky in Moscow. I shall certainly stay here again, if I get another opportunity to come to the Russian Federation.

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