Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace St. Petersburg

It only seems logical that the Four Seasons hotel chain has occupied a St. Petersburg mansion with the lions: a solid building for a solid hotel. The locals know all about this building anyway, but here’s some background for the guests.

The house of Lobanov-Rostovsky is a residence of nobility that was built by the great architect Auguste de Montferrand and decorated by the sculptor Paulo Triscornia over 200 years ago. It was built for Prince Alexander Lobanov-Rostovsky, and the building still carries his name. It’s hard to call this place a house – it is a giant structure with three separate addresses, that’s how much space it occupies. The prince himself never lived here – part of the building was rented out as living quarters, part was settled by his retinue, and another was leased out to various shops. Here’s how it was advertised in St. Petersburg Gazette: “At St. Isaac’s Square, in the house of aide-de-camp Prince Lobanov-Rostovsky, in addition to those marked for rent in the coming year, there are 6 cellars, 4 shops, and a first-floor apartment with a big chamber convenient for establishment of a club or some other congregation that will be completely decorated and delivered no later than 1 September, 1820, are available for rent…”

It should be noted that the people from the Four Seasons have been able to fill all this space. In addition to almost two hundred guest rooms, the Lion Palace hosts an Italian restaurant Percorso (part of the Great List guide), a pan-Asian restaurant Sentoho, Xander bar, a tearoom, the Montferrand ballroom for 200 people, a conference hall, a spa, and much else. It appears to be the case when you don’t really have to leave the hotel at all, but we, of course, are not going to recommend that to the visitors of Northern Venice.