Hotel Review: M-Hotel St. Petersburg, Russia – the perfect mid-range sightseeing hotel

Hotel Review: M-Hotel St. Petersburg, Russia – the perfect mid-range sightseeing hotel

My first trip to Russia post-Socialism took me, quite fittingly, to the imperial city of St. Petersburg, the Hero city of Leningrad, the modern city of St. Petersburg with its rich history and countless works or art. And where would be a better place to stay than as close as possible to its attraction and excellent public transport hubs? Enter the M-Hotel St. Petersburg.

I had a somewhat limited choice of hotels as the visa-free rule I was travelling under stated that I had to book my hotel through the ferry company St Peter Line. I wanted somewhere central, with good reviews, and private facilities, and the M-Hotel St. Petersburg is one of  handful hotels on their books that fulfils exactly these criteria.

LOCATION OF M-Hotel St. Petersburg

For a perfect mix between buzzing commercial centre and the sights of St Petersburg, you cannot do much better than the Western End of the Nevsky Prospect, close the the Metro Station by the same name.

The M-Hotel St. Petersburg is accessed from a small side street off Sadovaya Street, about 100m from Nevsky Prospect. The hotels’s address is Sadovaya St, 22/2.

You’ll find the Majestic Hotel at this address, facing Sadovaya Street. I think they are quite used to directing lost guests to the M-Hotel, and kindly directed me through their hotel into the courtyard where the M-hotel is in “second row” in the courtyard. I think they belong to the same company, though! The “correct” entrance is through a tiny passageway in Pereulok Krylova, but you’ll need loops to find the hotel entrance and bell – once you know, you know, but I think I wasn’t the first one taking the route through the Majestic Hotel. The only disadvantage of staying in this area is that you want to keep a good eye on your belongings, as pickpocketing in tourist areas is rife.

Nevsky Propect near the M-Hotel, Russia, St. Petersburg
A rainy Nevsky Prospect, about 200m from the M-Hotel St. Petersburg
Russia, St. Petersburg
Gostiny Dvor, one of the worlds oldest department stores. Today it has a mix of food shops, souvenirs and jewellery. It’s okay but not that exciting
Singer Building, St. Petersburg
Former Russian Offices of the Singer Sewing Machine Company, this has been a book store for many years. The church of Spilled Blood is in the background, about 15min walk from the M-Hotel St. Petersburg
Russia, St. Petersburg
Mikhailovsky Theatre, the “less famous” of the St Petersburg musical venues – but a performance here was excellent

THE M-HOTEL ST. PETERSBURG

The M-Hotel St. Petersburg looks rather plain from the outside but for such a central location, it’s extraordinarily green and quiet. There’s a 24h Reception, small sitting area with a PC, small bar, and a breakfast room right when you enter, all plain and functional. To my great delight, my room was ready when I arrived around noon, and the very friendly English-speaking receptionist registered me. It is quite normal that they might keep your passport for an hour or so. From what I could see, there were quite a few tourists staying but given its amenities, and a whole floor of single rooms, this is more of a mid-range business hotel.

Russia, St. Petersburg, M-hotel
M-Hotel, front entrance

MY ROOM

My single room was on the second floor facing the quiet courtyard. Furnished in an unexciting beige-brown, everything was exceptionally clean. As someone who’s  a bit weary about hygiene, I especially appreciated the washable (and freshly laundered) blanket and the laminate/tiled floor.

The single bed was comfortable enough, though a bit on the soft/slightly worn side. The no-nonsense functional theme continued in the small tiled bathroom. No interior design magic, but pretty inoffensive and again, super clean

Russia, St. Petersburg, M-hotel
My second floor single room: a symphony in brown
Russia, St. Petersburg, M-hotel
The brown opus continues in the functional bathroom

Was there anything that wasn’t great? Just minor things, really!

Now it may seem pretty obvious this is not the place to romance your beloved. Given the temperatures, an extra blanket wouldn’t have gone amiss, or at least some instructions how to heat the room a bit. I eventually managed, through the air-con but the Soviet-style radiators were not yet on, so it was a little chilly in the room the entire time. It could have been my fault to take a nap between 15.00 and 17.00, but my room  wasn’t serviced between my arrival and departure.  I’m pretty tidy and didn’t mind but I soon ran out of supplies which consisted of a single teabag and a small sachet of shampoo and shower gel.

FACILITIES

On my floor there was an ironing room where pressing and steam irons were available, if you’re into that sort of thing. It also had water dispensers on every floor, as the drinking water in St Petersburg may be safe for drinking, but from what I understood its generally not really recommended.

The bar serves drinks and snacks in the evening, but was usually empty when I passed it.

Adjacent to the bar is a smallish breakfast room. At first, breakfast did not look too impressive. In fact, the ready -cooked dishes were somewhat unappetising, but there were plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, decent dark bread and nice cheese. They also cooked eggs to order which they didn’t exactly advertise, but once you know… and let’s not forget the luridly coloured pastries form the “Sever” Patisserie, which belongs to the same group as the hotel – they tasted pretty good!

But they had a fully automated espresso/coffee machine which delivered good coffee.I didn’t use much else here other than the internet, which was fast and reliable. It’s normal in Russia to verify yourself before using any kind of WiFi network, either by receiving a call or receiving a code by SMS – this is normal.

Russia, St. Petersburg, M-hotel
Breakfast at the M-Hotel: not bad, not bad… and decent coffee
Russia, St. Petersburg, M-hotel
M-Hotel Breakfast No.2, featuring some rather good brown bread

SPECIAL TREATS

Its clean, it’s central, its safe and comfortable – this is the M-Hotel in a nut shell.

Russia, St Peter Line, St. Petersburg, visa-free Russia
With a spring in your step, you can walk from the hotel to here in 20-30minutes

TRANSPORT FROM  THE PORT, AIRPORT AND TRAIN STATIONS

From the airport (Pulkovo – unlike Moscow, there is only one major airport!), take a city bus 39/39Ex or share taxi to Moskovskaya in the Southern suburbs then Metro Line 2 to Nevsky Prospect The hotel is about 300m from the metro. Bus and shared taxi should cost 40 roubles, a metro journey 45. Buses usually have conductors, so no need to purchase  a ticket in advance. For the metro, you can buy single anbd multiple tokens at vending machines in stations, or a magnetic smartcard.

If arriving by train from Moscow, you’re lucky, as Moscow station is a couple kilometers down the road near Nevsky Prospect and can be reached by any bus going down Nevsky westwards. Alternatively take the Metro (Green Line) one stop from Mayakowskaya/Ploschad Vosstaniya to Gostiny Dvor/Nevsky Prospect. Coming from Helsinki, take the Metro Line1 two stops to Ploschad Vosstaniya and change onto Line 3.

If you arrive, like me, by ferry from the Morskoy Vokzal on Vassilievsky Island, try to get a small amount of roubles beforehand, walk out of the Port (200m) and catch a Line 10 or 11 Bus which will take you all the way to Gostiny Dvor 200m from the hotel.

Cabin B2, Russia, St Peter Line, St. Petersburg, visa-free Russia
My mode of transport to SPB: by ferry
Russia, St Peter Line, St. Petersburg, visa-free Russia
Visa-free trip made possible by travelling on St. Peter Line

WHY STAY AT THE M-HOTEL WHEN VISITING ST. PETERSBURG?

If you read the above, I admit it all sounds rather meh, then let me point out this is one of a few hotels I’ve been to in St Petersburg, and what it delivers for the price, is really decent, plus you are less than 200m away from the excellent transport hub with two metro lines, a tram and numerous buses!  With a spring in your step. you can walk to the Hermitage Museum and the Admirality in 20-30minutes. The Russian Museum, Mikhailovsky Theatre and Philharmonic Hall are a mere 10 minutes walk away. If you haven’t been to St Petersburg before, and want to rely on walking and public transport to see as much as possible, this is an excellent choice of hotel on a mid-range budget.

Russia, St. Petersburg
The green-domes Art Nouveau Building is Eliseev Emporium, a fine 19th Century Delicatessen – literally across the road from the hotel

OTHER RECOMMENDED HOTELS

Budget

Pale Royal  (2 stars) might sound grand, but you can stay there for as little as 30EURO for a double. Housed in a grand old building in a really lovely part of town, this is still central but away from anything too touristy. You have several bus lines at your door step, but the metro is at least one km away. Rooms are super comfortable and cosy. This is one when you like taking public transport, cosy cafes off the beaten track and don’t mind walking a bit.

MarLen is a guesthouse in the same part of town as Pale Royal (Tsentralny), still a bit futher off the beaten track, but has the advantage of a metro station (Tschernishevskaya) a couple of blocks away, as well as s stunning and quiet location right by the beautiful Transfiguration Cathedral.

Mid-Range

How about a hotel in a stately mansion on the banks of the Moika river, and less than a minute walk from the Winter Palace, for under 100EURO per night? Try the four-star Pushka Inn. Its Russian-style ornate inside while the exterior is classicist-restrained, but price and location are unbeatable.

For something cheaper and quirky, try the Baby Lemonade Hotel and Hostel. We’re staying in Tsentralny, this time just a short stroll from Nevsky Prospect Metro, but just off the convenient Sadovaya street with is very convenient tram line and a stop right outside the hotel. It has pop music themed modern rooms starting from about 55EURO, and also hotel beds from 11EURO.

Luxury

Belmond Grand Hotel Europe is a historic 5-star hotel super central just of Nevsky Prospect, yet quietly located in a  side street.  The Russian Museum, Mikhailovsky Theatre and Philharmonic Hall all less than a minute walk away. A true European “Grand Hotel Style hotel with all the chintz and marble, it would by my choice if travelling as a couple. Where else can you stay at a Grand Hotel for about 150EURO per night? Admittedly this would be in the low season, but the chintz and gold are all the same.

M-HOTEL DETAILS

Address:  Sadovaya St, 22/2, St Petersburg, Russia, 191023.

Telephone: +7 (812) 448-83-83

Hotel Website: www.mhotelspb.ru

I paid 170 EURO in September for two nights in a standard single room, booked through Moby/St Peter Line due to visa-free rule. Normally I use I reserved this room on Booking.com

Nearest Airport: St. Petersburg Pulkovo

Features: Quiet, functional, Ironing room, small bar, WiFi, fairly  decent breakfast with good coffee.

Doesn’t have: bags of atmosphere

Disclosure: This trip was entirely self funded. I will only review and recommend places that I have stayed in myself or that I have at least visited. You can trust me for the whole, unbiased truth. I have received no monetary or non-monetary rewards for linking aside from some affiliate links.  In this case, this post contains some affiliate links to Booking.com. This means that I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you  book through the affiliate links. More details on my affiliate link policy are here

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