St. Petersburg, Russia
It’s no wonder blackout shades were invented in Russia!
Okay fine, that’s not true – but the annual White Nights phenomenon in Saint Petersburg would seem to be an ultimate marketing angle for them. Given that the sun never really sets and the entire city is indulging in what appeared to be a month-long, late-night festival of street and riverboat revelers, sleep was a precious and rare commodity during my brief sojourn.Which, was rather unfortunate considering the plushness of the W bed in my Marvelous Room at the new W St. Petersburg.
Rather than sleep, I enjoyed an amazing tour of one of my newfound, favorite urban locales. As guests we were treated to excellent rooftop and marina-side dining, a Soviet Union-era ballet performance and the baroque-style Mariinsky Theater and private tours of precious sights like the Hermitage, Peterhof and the Church of Spilled Blood. (A rather grim name for an unbelievably beautiful church).
With such a magnificently orchestrated tour and great group of fellow travelers, I find myself still smiling, even days, after my return. From the premiere party and its Russian cousin, whose people-stalking, er watching opportunities were enviable, to the multiple boat tours on the River Neva and through the city’s wide canals, the trip left me uncharacteristically satisfied with an initial visit to a city.
No doubt, I shall return and perhaps with a more finite focus on the massive Art and antique collections throughout the city. However, until then, I am beyond grateful for having visited and particularly during, what I can only imagine to be, the best time of year to visit. After all, who the heck needs sleep?