Ten hotels fit for an oligarch

Where do Eastern Europe's rich and powerful stay when they holiday close to home? Danielle Demetriou reveals the most luxurious addresses ...

1. A touch of glass for the literati

Amid Prague's historic spires sits stark, modern Hotel Josef. Set in the Jewish Quarter, it eschews the surrounding architectural opulence for bold, contemporary design and white, minimalist decor. A staircase consists of a sculptural swirl of glass and metal; a circle of clear glass set against a stone wall is your bathroom sink. Be warned, the bathroom sits in an exposed glass cubicle in the corner of the room.

Bling factor: One for the cultural oligarch. The Hotel Josef is a favourite with the literati, with visitors ranging from Irvine Welsh to Howard Brenton - the hotel has close ties with the annual Prague Writers' Festival. Check them out debating poetry while sipping Becherovka at the hotel bar.

Bottom line: Doubles at Hotel Josef (00 420 221 700 111; hoteljosef.com) from €156 (£105).

2. Grand opulence and infamy

When Hitler plotted the fall of Leningrad, he made meticulous plans to address the crowds in St Isaac's Square from the imperial balcony at the Hotel Astoria. Few hotels may boast such infamy, yet one can understand how a hotel of such old-school grandeur might easily prompt overly grandiose plans. Now in the hands of Sir Rocco Forte and his designer sister Olga Polizzi, the hotel in modern-day St Petersburg has been refurbished but remains an opulent retreat.

Bling factor: One for the xenophobic oligarch. Russian stars who've stayed the night have included writers Maxim Gorky and Mikhail

Bulgakov, the Fabergé family, and the cellist Mstislav Rostropovich. Foreign interlopers have included Bill Clinton, Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair.

Bottom line: Hotel Astoria (00 7812 494 575; astoria .spb.ru) has doubles from €218 (£218), room only.

3. Go starry-eyed on the roof

Wander down the tiny cobbled street of Kanonicza - the oldest in this Polish city of Krakow - and you'll find the Hotel Copernicus. A beautifully restored medieval residence, with portals, wooden frescos and mosaics dating from the Renaissance, it has 29 rooms and suites, most with views of the nearby Royal Castle. Yet it isn't stuck in the past; modern flourishes enhance these medieval roots, including a vaulted subterranean swimming pool in the basement and a rooftop sun terrace, linked by a glass elevator.

Bling factor: One for oligarchs with a world view. Named after a former guest, the 16th-century Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, the residence famously hosted philosophers and intellectuals of the Enlightenment. Today's visitors are no less influential. They include George Bush and Prince Charles, and Helmut Kohl who has dined here.

Bottom line: Hotel Copernicus (00 48 12 424 3400; hotel.com.pl) offers doubles from PLN850 (£144).

4. Join the A-listers at this vast spa

In its Soviet-era heyday as a sanatorium, the Black Sea resort of Sochi hosted a raft of starry guests, including the cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. The Grand Hotel Rodina reopened earlier this year after extensive refurbishment - and there are few echoes of the spartan Soviet era in the stylish design of its 42 bedrooms and vast spa. A subtropical climate has made Sochi a favourite with Russia's wealthy élite. President Putin has plans to turn the destination into a contender for the next Winter Olympics.

Bling factor: One for movie-star-struck

oligarchs. The A-list will be flocking here for the annual film festival.

Bottom line: Doubles at the Grand Hotel Rodina (00 7 8622 539 000; grandhotelrodina.com) start at RUB7,500 (£148), room only.

5. Rub shoulders with Roman

Taking pride of place within the old city walls, the Pucic Palace is the only hotel for any self-respecting oligarch visiting Dubrovnik in Croatia. The tone is regal in this restored Renaissance palace, which spoils guests in its glamorous 19 bedrooms with hand-woven rugs, draped brocade curtains and Turkish antique furnishings.

Bling factor: One for the oligarch wishing to rub shoulders with the ultimate oligarch. Roman Abramovich frequently sails his yacht along these shores and has dropped in for dinner at the Pucic Palace. Lesser mortals who have stayed at the hotel include Eastern bloc politicians and Russian businessmen, Hollywood starlets and British playwrights.

Bottom line: The Pucic Palace (00 385 20 324 826; thepucicpalace .com) offers doubles from €302 (£203), including breakfast.

6. Back to nature at an eco-resort

Get back to nature among the waterways and wild forests where the Danube splits before reaching the Black Sea. The Delta Nature Resort is a five-star retreat in Romania offering a natural yet luxurious escape. The 30-cabin eco-resort, built in the style of a local fishing village, sits on the banks of Lake Somova, offering distant views of Moldova and the Ukraine. The wetland reserve is a World Heritage Site and its subtropical forests are home to thousands of species of birds, including 3,000 pairs of pelicans.Kayaking, sailing, cycling and walking are among the favoured activities of more energetic guests.

Bling factor: One for the oligarch twitcher. A retreat for well-connected environmentalists, the hotel was opened last year by the entrepreneur and investment banker Diwaker Singh.

Bottom line: Delta Nature Resort (004 031 710 0334; deltaresort.com) offers doubles, full board, from €140 (£95) per person.

7. Watch out for the royals

The best address in this old town of Vilnius in Lithuania is 7 Ganao St, in the ancient Jewish quarter. Here, Hotel Stikliai offers a cosy touch of old-school glamour in a 17th-century former private residence. Now endorsed by Relais & Chateaux, its 44 bedrooms are graced with four-poster beds and sumptuous soft furnishings. The restaurant is housed in the inner courtyard and there is also a vaulted indoor pool and a winter garden. This summer more apartments in a neighbouring nobleman's mansion were opened.

Bling factor: One for the royalist oligarch. The place of choice for visiting princes and princesses from Denmark, Sweden, Britain, Monaco and Luxembourg.

Bottom line: Doubles at Hotel Stikliai (00 800 2000 00 02; stikliaihotel.lt) cost from €185 (£132), including breakfast.

8. The place to flash the cash

The rich and famous flock to Poland's summer capital, Sopot, each year - and much of the action takes place at the seafront playground, the Grand Hotel. Dating from the 1920s, it has 127 bedrooms,an art deco restaurant, a jewellery shop, a rather decadent ballroom and a casino for those intent on truly flashing the cash. Guests also come here for the beautiful forests and the stunning views across the Bay of Gdansk.

Bling factor: This is one for the oligarch who is seeking world domination. It is not widely advertised that Adolf Hitler spent the weekend at the hotel during the invasion of Poland in 1939. Moving on, more recent leaders have included Charles de Gaulle and the Shah of Iran.

Bottom line: Double rooms at the Grand Hotel (0048 58520 6000; orbis.pl) start at €137 (£92), including breakfast.

9. The best townhouse hotel: Joined at the hip

The Three Sisters Hotel in Tallinn, Estonia, is a chic choice. The style-conscious are drawn to the three 14th-century merchant houses. Inspired by the theory that no three sisters are alike, each of the 23 guest rooms, joined by a network of chambers and secret staircases has its own personality.One for oligarchs seeking powerful Eurofriends: Horst Köhler, the German president, and Mikhail Fradkov, prime minister of Russia, stay. The hotel (00 372 6306 300; threesistershotel.com) has doubles from €357 (£240).

10. The best Art Deco fantasy: The belle of the ball

The Hotel Rialto, Warsaw's first boutique hotel threw open its doors in 2003, in a stylishly restored 1920s townhouse. This is a carefully choreographed celebration of Art Deco, from the stained glass and mother-of-pearl elevator to the African masks on the wall.Kurt Scheller, Poland's favourite celebrity chef, is here. One for the sporty oligarch, it became a favourite with top women tennis players during the city's annual J&S Cup. Doubles at the Hotel Rialto (0048 22 584 8700; hotelrialto.com.pl) from €139 (£93), room only.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Happy in his hat: Pharrell Williams
Life and Style
Visitors look at a drone equipped with cameras on a police car at the Gitex Technology week in Dubai
peopleExclusive: Maryum and Hana Ali share their stories of the family man behind the boxing gloves
i100(More than you think)
Arts and Entertainment
John Hurt will voice Prince Bolkonsky in Radio 4's War and Peace
radioRadio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities

Lincoln MP Karl McCartney 'denied all knowledge' of the Twitter activity

Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
filmDirector said film would 'never have been financed' with ethnic minority actors in key roles
The author PD James, who died on 27 November 2014

Detective novelist who wrote Death comes to Pemberley passed away peacefully at her home, aged 94

Arts and Entertainment
Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
arts + ents
Life and Style

Sites using the popular Gigya comment platform were attacked by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA)

Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    h2 Recruit Ltd: Sales Manager - Holiday Homes - £100,000 OTE

    £40000 - £60000 per annum + £100,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: Birmingham, Derby, L...

    Investigo: Finance Manager - Global Leisure Business

    £55000 - £65000 per annum: Investigo: My client, a global leader in their fiel...

    Investigo: Senior Finance Analyst - Global Leisure Business

    £45000 - £52000 per annum + bonus+bens : Investigo: My client, a global leader...

    Investigo: Financial reporting Accountant

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits : Investigo: One of the fastest growing g...

    Day In a Page

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
    Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

    Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

    The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
    Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

    Sarkozy returns

    The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
    Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

    Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

    Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
    Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

    Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

    Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
    There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

    In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

    The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
    UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

    UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

    It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
    Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

    Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

    It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
    The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

    Staying connected: The King's School

    The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
    Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

    Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

    Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
    Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

    Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

    The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
    Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

    When two worlds collide

    Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
    Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

    Putin’s far-right ambition

    Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
    Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

    Escape to Moominland

    What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?