When Peter the Great founded St Petersburg in 1703, he wanted to create a city that would impress the world, so he employed some of the greatest architects of the day to create a “Window on the West”. The result is a stunning city of Baroque, Rococo and Neo-Classic masterpieces with gilded cupolas, stucco plaster work and marble columns.Ê Rocco Forte’s Hotel Astoria is very much a part of that heritage, being an Art Nouveau hotel situated on St Isaac’s Square, which lies at the very heart of the city and includes the impressive architecture of St Isaac’s cathedral.During the 18th century, under the Tsars of Russia, the elegant city of St Petersburg came into its own during the winter months.Ê As the nights drew in, the Russian aristocracy gathered together to enjoy themselves in a social whirl of theatre, balls and concerts.Ê In the 21st century, a series of cultural events takes place from November through to March every year to replicate this magical era.Ê Highlights include the International Ballet Festival at the Mariinsky theatre, the International Maslenitsa (or Pancake) Festival and the Arts Square Festival.Ê
Hotel Astoria has created a White Days package that offers visitors to modern-day St Petersburg the opportunity to re-visit that earlier age of elegance and romance.Ê But it’s not just for the White Days events that guests should visit the city in winter.
Winter is also the perfect time to visit St Petersburg to tour the art collections of the Hermitage and the amber room of St Catherine’s Palace, so as to avoid the large crowds that flood into the city in summer.Ê Spend the days touring some of the city’s 125 museums and galleries, which range from the Artillery Museum to the Zoological Museum, before taking your seats for a cultural extravaganza in the evening.
St Petersburg certainly has a distinct charm when its architecture is powdered with snow and the winter sun is reflecting off the city’s canals.Ê Find the time to also take a traditional Russian troika ride through the parks of tsars and the Dr Zhivago image is complete!
The White Days package includes ? Three nights’ accommodation ? Buffet breakfast every morning ? Transfers from/to the airport or railway station ? A ticket to the Mariinsky Theatre performance ? Dinner in Hotel Astoria’s elegant Davidov Restaurant
Cost: €550 per person in a Court double room.