Moscow: 5 Places to Stay

Golden Apple

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Discreet and distinguished, this little-advertised hotel exudes serenity in the heart of a city on a 24-hour coffee buzz. Its façade resembles a revamped 19th-century manor, but within, the ultramodern reigns, from the Philippe Starck bathroom fixtures to the tapas and sushi on demand in the bar. The 92 rooms are ready for Russia's crisp winters and abbreviated summer nights, with heated floors in the bathrooms and heavy drapes to block out an early dawn. The enormous golden apple in the lobby — an admittedly unfortunate design element — doesn't detract from the cool atmosphere and unobtrusive service. Courtyard-facing rooms offer a more hushed stay and pristine view (others look out on a nondescript avenue often jammed with cars). The surrounding streets lead to the Bolshoi and other renowned theaters, but a close look reveals that many hotel guests and passersby are here to make pilgrimages to the neighborhood's couture boutiques.

Insider Tip: If you reserve in advance, you can get spa treatments whenever you like, 24-7.

Room to Book: The Chekhov Suite, a split-level fantasy in black, white, and fire-engine red.

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