Hotel Boosts Neediest Sector
Published: November 21, 2012 (Issue # 1736)
ALEXANDER BELENKY / SPT
Each floor at the new three-star Red Stars hotel features street art inspired by New York, London, Tokyo or Rio de Janeiro.
The city’s much-lamented mid-range hotel sector got a boost last week with the opening of the three-star Red Stars hotel at 30 Naberezhnaya Reki Pryazhki.
The area is one of the most up-and-coming districts of the city for hotel development, with one of St. Petersburg’s major attractions, the Mariinsky Theater, located nearby.
The interior of the Red Stars hotel has been decorated in a street art style by local graffiti artists. The four residential floors are labeled New York, Tokyo, London and Rio de Janeiro, and the graffiti on each floor has been done in a corresponding style.
The walls of the hotel are fitted with plasma panels and media-art installations that show views of those cities on constant rotation, making the hotel reminiscent of a modern art gallery.
The design of the hotel is aimed at recreating a “young people’s environment,” said Alexander Zhukov, the hotel’s co-owner and creative director.
“Street art seems to have occupied quite a niche in modern art; it’s turned from a hooligan’s pasttime into quite a mainstream art movement. There are trends in life that we are simply obliged to embrace,” Zhukov said, explaining the hotel’s design concept.
“In this hotel, we’ve let the city atmosphere into the hotel,” Zhukov said, adding that they had chosen graffiti from cities across the world that are best known for interesting graffiti art.
Zhukov said that the hotel offers street art professionals from all over the world the opportunity to add their paintings to the hotel.
“We’ve saved space for such artists where they can leave their work on the walls to potentially turn our hotel into a contemporary art museum,” he said.
Zhukov said that the hotel is focused not only on its design, but also on modern conveniences including tap water that is safe for drinking and free Wi-Fi in the rooms.
“I think for young people, free Wi-Fi in the rooms is very important. I get irritated myself when some hotels have free Wi-Fi only in the reception area,” Zhukov said, adding that although the hotel positions itself as a three-star hotel, it provides four-star services.
Zhukov said they had decided to open a three-star hotel because it was well known that St. Petersburg has a major lack of hotels in that category.
In low season, prices at the hotel start at 3,400 rubles ($110) per person, while in summer the prices are higher.
Yelena Snezhurova, the hotel’s director, said the sixth floor of the hotel building also houses a hostel where people can stay for 450 rubles ($14) per night.
The hotel, which has been open to guests since May last year, has also hosted several modern art seminars.
The biggest tourism website, Tripadvisor.com, has included Red Stars on its list of St. Petersburg’s ten best hotels.
Tatyana Gavrilova, head of the Northwest branch of the Russian Tourism Union, said the opening of Red Stars was “good news,” as the city is still in need of three-star hotels, which currently make up 34 percent of all hotels in the city. Four-star hotels account for 52 percent of the local market and five-star hotels occupy 14 percent of it.
Gavrilova said the demand for three-star hotels in St. Petersburg was so high that this year hotels in this category had raised their prices on average by 29 percent.
At the same time, the occupancy rate of three-star hotels was 67-69 percent in the third quarter of the year compared to 65-67 percent in four-star hotels and 60-62 percent in five-star establishments, she said.