Moscow has many fine hotels which generally feel like poor value. However, now is a great time to take advantage of the ruble exchange rate and get good prices.
For sightseeing I always recommend staying as centrally as possible. Below, I list hotels in groups with emphasis on modernity and location:
A Four Seasons literally just opened at the Red Square, but I haven’t stayed there yet. Across the street are the National (Starwood-owned)and the Ritz, but I find them both a bit tired. The Ritz has a delightful sushi place called Novikov but I skip their other eateries. The Metropol is very well done and gives off an elegant vibe – this is a storied Moscow hotel also in the very heart. It feels quite cavernous inside, but is the only place to stay for old-world glamour. There is a St. Regis next door to the Metropol near Lubyanka but it is actually just a rebranded Kempinski. Up the street is the Ararat Park Hyatt– this hotel is a win for business travelers and has a rooftop restaurant.
Further up Tverskaya street but still central, we have some business travel cookie cutters, from which I would choose the Intercontinental first (newer hotel) and then the Marriott Grand. However, the location winner for this general area is the Courtyard by Marriott which I mention because it is nestled in quiet side streets near the Red Square. I might choose it for price:quality:location if I were sticking to a budget. Their restaurant is to be avoided, though!
On the west side of the city and popular among business travelers is the Lotte, which is newer than the Ritz, quite opulent, However, the location is not nearly as convenient –at Smolenskaya. Further west still, the Radisson Royal (also known by its Soviet name, the Ukraina), is on the side of a highway but is located in a Soviet skyscraper. Its’ rooftop restaurant has great views and for true privacy, there is a restaurant for two under the steeple. Balchug Kempinski is perfectly comfortable but the location by a bridge is not for everyone. Swissotel near Paveletskaya is only good if you have business in south central Moscow, but the views from the tower’s bar are spectacular.
What I truly miss in Moscow are high-quality boutique hotels and fancy bed and breakfasts. Airbnb is gaining traction but I haven’t used it in the city yet. There are English-speaking companies that provide serviced apartments such as Moscow Suites that provide better value for longer stays.
Hotel Metropol near the Red Square