Moscow: 5 Places to Stay

Le Royal Meridien National

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Real presidents stay in the Presidential Suite at the National — Moscow's most vaunted historic hotel, set just across the street from the Kremlin. Despite having survived decades of revolution, tumult, and repression, the hotel's ornate 1903 Art Nouveau building — partly owned by the Russian government — has retained its grandeur; inside, a recently completed renovation has refreshed the 206 small-but-carefully-appointed guest rooms. Now the parquet floors gleam, the high ceilings with their decorative motifs are newly painted, and the décor has been updated with honey-colored wood furnishings, jewel-toned brocade and velvet fabrics, and custom-made, upholstered Italian armchairs that mimic the style of a century ago. Traditional trumps trendy in the hotel's common areas too — as well as in its cuisine. There's no better spot in Moscow for indulging in blini with caviar and French champagne.

Insider Tip: To go further back in Russia's past, descend into the Archaeological Museum across the street, full of artifacts discovered around the Kremlin from epochs ago.

Room to Book: Room 107 — if you're a history buff. Legend has it that Vladimir Lenin stayed there while plotting revolution against the aristocrats who shared his taste for this hotel.

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