In Sherlock’s words, “data data data” is all that matters, even when you’re booking a hotel. So that’s what I did- collected all the information I needed before I picked this hotel; for two main reasons- it’s a business hotel chain (and naturally comes with certain quality standards approved by the brand) and it’s location, a mere 2-kilometre walk from the Red Square. Given it’s proximity from the city centre, I figured a cab ride couldn’t cost much either.
Location and Ambience:
On both accounts, I was disappointed. Park Inn turned out to be a tiny hotel located inside a one-way street, one you would probably end up driving past if you weren’t using a GPS. As my cab pulled outside the hotel at the side of the street (there is no entrance, just the main hotel door and reception abruptly on the street), I was surprised to find how dull and depressing the hotel looked. The reception area was small and badly lit, there was no lobby to speak of, and there was limited seating. The lifts are immediately opposite the entrance, there is no foyer and the hotel is not equipped to handle large crowds.
The hotel is located into a one-way street which makes it quite a detour for a cab taking you to the city centre. This location that I expected would be an advantage ended up become quite the expensive fare as I found myself spending over 400 roubles one way to the city centre, a distance of approximately 2-3 kilometres.
There’s a supermarket right outside the hotel, plenty roof top bars around the area and a Burger King within 900 meters from the hotel.
But then again, it’s a business hotel and thus one would find this excusable. That assumption led me to excuse the room size for the terribly tiny room I was led into. Given that I was traveling with two other people and we booked a trip room, we expected the room to be far more spacious than it was. In fact, we had booking a business room- one above their standard room, but the room was cramped and claustrophobic and hardly fit even for a base category room let alone a one-up from the base category. I was a little surprised to find there was no kettle, nor a tea/coffee maker in the room- a basic expectation from a 4 star business hotel. The most dismal thing that happened to me at that hotel was the third rollaway bed provided to us. That bed could barely fit a 10 year old, and had been handed to us for a third adult. Upon our request to change the bed, we were told there were none available.
The new room was fresh and spacious and beautiful, with new furnishings and refreshing aura to it. The window opened onto the street and with the sunlight pouring in, it was a lot more positive than the first one we had walked into. The washrooms are extremely small though.
Staff and customer service:
Luckily though, after I expressed my concerns to their manager, the situation improved. He moved us to a larger room and got us a regular-size rollaway bed. He seemed to understand our problem and along with him and their team on Twitter (I had written to them by then) I was able to get all the help I needed. I spoke with their marketing team numerous times for the tea and coffee maker and they were happy to eventually oblige us with a few coupons to use at the cafe for tea (since they could arrange for a kettle or tea maker). They did their best to make us comfortable for every request we made and any help we needed, and their customer service so far has been far better than any I’ve come across in Russia.
Breakfast and Room Service:
Breakfast at this hotel is unbelievably limited. I stayed here for three days and they served the very same dishes day after day. There’s a choice of cereal, juice, pre-made eggs, sausages, bread and food. The breakfast hardly provides even the bare minimum and most of the food looks tired and old.
The dishes in the menu are far too limited, but when the food arrives, it arrives fresh. The quantities are adequate and the food was delicious. The room service and housekeeping staff are more than helpful.
In all, this hotel is the right choice for you if you’re looking for something basic and if you’re traveling for work. In fact, given it’s price and location (if you’re up for walking) it’s fit for two people as well; but it isn’t a family hotel and you would be hugely disappointed if you pick this hotel for a vacation. Though everyone in the staff I’ve interacted with has been helpful- right from the lady behind the reception to their manager, marketing folks and their team on twitter; there’s little they can do to improve the interiors of a hotel that is built on such limited space.