Everything from the sleek lobby to the Frette bed linen exudes comfort.
Barvikha Hotel & Spa, located within a luxury village, features a unique shopping area with boutiques of world-famous fashion and jewelry brands. The complex, designed by Antonio Citterio, comprises the hotel, boutiques, high-end restaurants and the best concert hall in Russia. The suites, decorated using sustainable materials like stone, marble, oak and cedar, have terraces. Espace Vitalité Chenot employs Dr. Henri Chenot’s method, based on forty years of research, for wellness and combating aging. Guests complete a bioenergy test and health evaluation, enabling therapists to design personalized treatments for one to seven days, including balneotherapy and tonic, remodeling and relaxing massages.
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Best Restaurant for a Celebration
Baccarat Cristal Room
On the second floor of a magnificent mansion, this Philippe-Stark-decorated fine-dining establishment serves French cuisine with a Russian accent. 19-21 Nikolskaya Ulitsa; (7-495) 933-3389; http://www.baccaratcristalroom.ru.
Best Cocktail with a View
At the top of the Lotte Plaza shopping center, this romantic spot offers creative cocktails; Japanese, Russian and European bites; and an incredible view of Moscow’s skyline. www.kalinabar.ru.
Lumiere Brothers Center of Photography
This arts center in a former confectionary factory is the hub of an up-and-coming art and fashion neighborhood of galleries, design studios, clubs and restaurants. 3 Marsh Quay; (7-495) 228-98-78; http://www.lumiere.ru.
Best Family Activity
Named after a famous clown, Moscow’s historic circus has updated its acts—and its amazing venue—for a new age, with an arena that fits two thousand people and top clowns, acrobats and tightrope walkers. 13 Tsvetnoy Blvd.; (7-495) 625-8970; www.circusnikulin.ru.
Best Restaurant Classic
Step back in time in this authentically furnished merchant’s residence in Zamoskvorechye, Moscow’s old quarter. Come for traditional Russian barbeque, European specialties and Oblomov’s own coffee blend (served in the third-floor café). 5, 1st Monetchikovsky Pereulok; (7-495) 953-6828.
Top Day Trip
47 miles (75 km) northeast of Moscow, this town’s 14th-century Holy Trinity Monastery serves as a crash course in Russian architecture, choral music and the Russian Orthodox religion. Fun fact: matroyshka nesting dolls were invented here. www.stsl.ru.
Top Architecture Find
A self-contained city with an array of palaces, armories, churches and a medieval fortress, this historic fortified complex on Red Square is the official residence of the President of the Russian Federation. www.kreml.ru.
What to Skip
The Lenin Mausoleum
Long lines and short opening hours mean that most visitors only get 10 minutes to visit Lenin’s resting place, making a visit much ado about not much. Red Square; (7-495) 623-5527; http://lenin.ru.
Formerly called Lenin Hills, this high point on the right bank of the Moskva offers lovely vistas; it’s also home to Moscow State University (once the tallest building in Europe).