This episode of Girlahead picks up from a regular weekly article in LATTE, Signature Media’s luxury briefing for travel advisors in Australasia*. Here, read about Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow:
“I love every day of this business”, says Mattheos Georgiou, GM of the 205-key hotel. “It combines psychology, versatility, and creativity – I also give people a place to sleep, which is a very intimate task”.
Girlahead’s first visit to Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow was mid-winter. She was thoughtlessly wearing shiny-soled black boots and was about to slide, over ice, to Red Square. Immediately, a young managerial trainee rushed to help – that ‘good samaritan’ was Mattheos (Aki) Georgiou, on his first secondment to this signature property. But as well as staff anticipation, there are many other reasons for choosing this as your Moscow base. Take shopping. A just-launched exclusive partnership with the world-famous TSUM department store, only one block away, offers out-of-hours personalized retail. Go alone, or with a translator from the hotel, to a private VIP salon and, over a glass of bubbly, have your required brands, including Dior and Gucci, brought to you (all major credit cards work, of course). You are also a few minutes’ walk from the Bolshoi, and some of the world’s best live culture, and, similarly quick to get to, to the Kremlin and several museums, with VIP perks.
Unlike some Moscow counterparts, this is not an establishment that oozes the word Russia to you. Yes, you look out, from the terrace or your room, at Russia, or at least the very centre of Moscow – see the image above – but inside the hotel you feel contemporary internationalism. Up on the 10th floor terrace you have, thanks to its expat chef, the only authentic Japanese food in any Moscow hotel – the cuisine is paired with Italian. The bar here has been accoladed by the US-based Architectural Digest.
Reserve the tenth-floor 130 sq m Winter Garden Suite, designed by Hong Kong-based Tony Chi. You have an open air terrace with stunning views over Neglinaya Street to Red Square. Interior layout includes a walk-through closet and a big bathroom with orange-grey mottled marble from Zimbabwe, and a Toto washlet, from Japan. Toiletries are French (Le Labo).
Time to work out? There is a 24/7 fitness centre, with Kinesis and Technogym bits: the indoor pool, part of Quantum Spa, opens 5 a.m. through to midnight.
The lobby, incidentally, is two floors high, with three glass-sided elevators. Look to your right to Café Ararat, a reminder that this hotel belongs to Armenian investors. Open all day, Café Ararat, which is in fact an extension of the lobby, so to speak, is a non-stop magnet for locally-based Armenians. There are such Armenian dishes as crawfish kebab and the ingredients are non-disputably Armenian, flown in from Erevan twice a week. As if to stress the point that this could be an honorary satellite of Armenia, door #923 on the ninth floor in fact opens to a working chapel. There are occasional services there. ‘Yes, we can do weddings’, says Georgiou.
He is, by the way, fully aware of the importance of heritage. Last week he was back in his native Greece, drawing up plans to renovate his family’s rural house, built in 1870 in classic Ottoman style – it is now, with many hectares of fruitful olive groves, his to re-create. (*see another LATTE article, by Mary Gostelow, next Monday)
And now, as complete juxtoposition, Girlahead invites you to read this week’s Podcast: