September turned out to be surprisingly cold in Moscow and the Sybaritic Single found himself in the luxurious lobby of Lotte Hotel that he always wanted to explore. It reminded him of the flagship Lotte in Seoul: lots of crystal, polished wood, glossy marble, a few ostentatious art pieces and a live band playing in the lounge – a bit over the top but in a nice way. Lotte tend to invest into their lobbies more than into anything else: even elevator handrails are filled with crystals.
Korea’s largest hotel chain got its name from Charlotte, the young lady from Goethe’s “The Sorrows of Young Werther” – the novel was infamously banned in some parts of Europe due to its potential to inspire suicidal behaviour in young men. The Sybaritic Single almost killed himself once he discovered the hotel served by far the most expensive Champagne: from $70 for a sad glass of Taittinger, which had always reminded him of Emirates business class ca. 2010. Nevertheless, the wine list is among the strongest in the capital and there is a choice of three Champagne labels, Moët-Tattinger-Clicquot, in each of the 300 minibars. Lotte rooms also carry the most impressive selection of teas, an ode to the Far East: in Moscow, each room got a variety of 10 top-quality options by Ronnefeldt. Other subtle touches are TOTO washlets, heated toilet seats, Bose music stations plus a Bechstein piano – in the royal suite.
In early 2015, Pierre Gagnaire was forced to close his restaurant at the hotel: the Western food embargo made it difficult to obtain many ingredients on the menu. Today, the space of Les Menus is an all-day dining with the most impressive breakfast (“Best in Europe” by Prix Villégiature) with free-flowing blanc and rosé bubbles every morning. Upgrade to a bottle of Krug – and the breakfast is complimentary.
With his hair perfected by an Aldo Coppolo professional in the comfort of his room, the Sybaritic Single hurried to the rub with his right hand the belly of a glass carp in one of the chandeliers before leaving. According to the luxury hotel, the particular glass fish is magical and makes dreams come true, though only one wish a year is officially allowed.