Les Clefs D'Or
Les Clefs D'Or

Your Key To Moscow, a City of Past and Present – 2019 Les Clefs d’Or Award Nominee – Russia

When I first moved to Moscow, I was stunned by how the different architectural styles and the different people get along in this 12-million megapolis. Moscow is 870 years old, but the last 100 years have probably brought the biggest changes to the city. New political powers shifted mindsets and ideology and, inevitably, affected the way Moscow looked. It was the capital of the USSR, the biggest country on the planet in the XX century, and had to look accordingly. I invite you for a trip to see the present and try to imagine the past and to feel the unique vibe of Moscow. This city should remain not only on your pictures but in your hearts.

Most people know the heart of Moscow is, of course, the Red Square. This is where we will head as well, but we will do it a little differently. We will take VR glasses that will bring to life the projects of Soviet architects that existed only on paper. You will discover that an enormous white pyramid could be placed on the site of the Mausoleum and the beautiful shopping center GUM could have been demolished to make a way for a skyscraper. We will then move to the main Orthodox cathedral – Christ the Savior and will discover that it was planned to replace it with 495-meter high Palace of Unions crowned by a statue of Lenin with a library in his head.

Speaking about library, let me show you the biggest library in continental Europe – the Russian State Library. Its central fund keeps more than 29 million books, brochures, magazines and various documents. The rarest handwritten books completed on paper and parchments are carefully stored. You can hold in your hands books that belonged to Russian tsars, manuscripts of Tolstoy, Bulgakov and Dostoevsky and psalms that Ivan the Terrible used to pray.

Now how about some art? You cannot leave Moscow without visiting the Bolshoi theatre. Its dancing troupe is among the most famous in the world. Would you like to go behind the scenes? The Bolshoi theatre will unlock the mysteries: you will be able to see the second stage situated over the main one. Being the same size, it is used for rehearsals only. If you are lucky, you will visit the sewing workshop and see the costumes the leading opera and theatre artists perform in onstage. Sometimes you can even learn about the details of the costumes, which will sparkle in a performance in only a few hours.

Are you hungry? How about cooking your own dinner? We can head to a cozy cooking studio where an experienced chef will show you how to cook famous beetroot soup borsch, chicken Kiev and gingerbread in traditional hand carved wooden form. Finish the master class by tasting some of our Russian wines or other drinks with various degrees of strength according to your preferences.

Moscow has so many things to offer and it’s waiting for you!

Evgenia is a candidate for the 2019 Les Clefs d’Or Award. This article has been published in its original form.

Meet the Author
Evgenia Zhikhareva

My home city is Saint Petersburg, one of the most beautiful cities on earth. I’ve grown up with a thought that you need to know and love the city you live in. This has translated to Moscow when I moved here after graduation from University Center Cesar Ritz in Switzerland where I studied hospitality. I have spent time in museums or simply walking along its streets and finally fell in love with the city. I love travelling and discovering new places, I believe that the most important in travel is the experience and memories you get that will stay with you forever. I have been with Ritz-Carlton, Moscow for almost 10 years now and feel that it’s my second family.

The Ritz-Carlton Moscow

The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow is located just off Red Square, next to the Kremlin, in the heart of cultural and business center of Moscow. The hotel features ones of the largest guest rooms and suites providing cutting edge technological amenities. The hotel’s prime location is ideally suitable both for tourism and business purposes.

The facade of the 11-storey building is reminiscent of the Russian classicism époque (second half of the 18th – 19th centuries) and ideally fits into the historical setting of Tverskaya Street. Classic interiors reflect the imperial style for which Russia was well known in the 19th century. Rooms and suites are decorated with light and dark cherry wood; all bathrooms are finished with marble from Altai and Portugal.

The rooftop restaurant O2 Lounge with open terrace offers magnificent views of Red Square, the Kremlin and Tverskaya Street. It is an upscale casual destination for live seafood, sushi and caviar coupled with innovative award-winning cocktails and a selective wine list. Stunning lighting, music and events set the stage for an upbeat and lively day, evening and late night experience. The Ritz-Carlton Spa is a contemporary haven of wellbeing, using only the finest decorative materials. Light-colored marble, polished venge wood, Bisazza mosaic tiles and discreet and refined lighting have created a very spiritual atmosphere. The swimming pool is lit by colored fibro-optic Swarovski crystals, while the base is decorated with black and golden mosaics creating a “bottomless effect”. Lifestyle Showers are also lit by Swarovski crystals with the Tropical Rain shower offering a warm, soft cascade of water, lifted with the scent of a tropical rain forest, whilst the Cold Rain shower refreshing with a light mist, with a soothing mint aroma.


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