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Our review takes into account not just stars, but location and value-for-the-money, and this is where so many hotels flop. Our rating is merciless. If a hotel is not in the city center, it has to offer something trully unique to make it on our list. If it is located in the city center, but charges too much, it will not be on our list. If it has not behaved responsibly with customers when issues arose, it will also not make it to our list.
We service tens of thounsands of trips to Russia each year organizing some of the best package tours, both luxury and value, so we constantly overlook hotels and how they work to ensure that our customers get what they pay for. We have an office on the ground to take care of this.
Millions of travelers from around the world head to Russia during summer (very few people dare to see Russian winter). An army of governemnt officials, foreign officials, employees of transnational companies also tends to head to Russia in summers for various events and conferences. And, since everything is concentrated in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, there are simply not enough hotels to accomodate everyone, which causes prices to rise.
There are popular websites that offer reviews from "real" travelers to help you choose. For some reason, those reviews don't work very well for Russia. For, the highest rated hotels are usually business hotels that are located away from the city center that overcharge their customers (in our professional opinion). If those reviews worked as intended, we would not have to worry about creating our own review that takes into account important things - the location, the quality and the price.