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HomeHOTEL REVIEWSClub CarlsonRadisson Sonya St. Petersburg: KGB? A Sauna In My Room? TPOL on...

Radisson Sonya St. Petersburg: KGB? A Sauna In My Room? TPOL on TV?

Radisson St Petersburg Hotel Review is part of the Quest Around the Globe Trip Report.

I’ve stayed in some interesting hotels in my life (see Hotel Reviews). This one was by far the strangest.

1. KGB 

The taxi driver dropped me off at the hotel and before I got out, he asked me if I was familiar with the KGB. I didn’t know where he was going with that question nor did I want to broach that subject. He said, “The building across from your hotel is KGB. Keep your window shades down.” I thanked him for the ride, got out, and took a photo of the hotel at night. a building with lights on a building with a sign on it a building with a sign on it

a man taking a selfie in a city
Who could it be? KGB?

2. A Hotel for Writers

A peculiar theme throughout the hotel was the tribute to authors. Each room had a quote from a famous literary work.

a sign on a wall a sign on a walla sign on a wall a glass sign with a number on it

Even the bathroom curtains were book covers.

a row of books in a window a display of books in a window

3. Stairs to the Bunker 

KGB or no KGB, I felt safe in this underground bunker. a staircase with a handrail and a door

4. A Sauna in My Room

The third and by far the oddest feature was the sauna amenity in my bedroom. This was a first for me. a bathroom with a wooden saunaa wooden bench with towels and bottles on it

a wooden bench with towels and bottles of liquid

5. The Art 

Judging by the design of the hallway, the welcome letter, or the art in the room, this hotel is either a place for the creative types or an insane asylum for them.

a stack of books on a shelf

a stack of books on a wall

a hallway with a carpeted floor a white envelope with blue writing on it a room with a table and chairsa colorful floral pattern on a carpeta lamp next to a couch a lamp shade with a picture of a girl a lamp shade with a picture of a girla lamp with a circular shade

6. TPOL on TV

If things weren’t crazy enough, imagine my surprise when I saw myself on TV (see Behind the Scenes: TPOL’s Interview with Richard Quest). Perhaps one day one of the quotes from my book will be outside of a door (purchase Everyone’s Advice Is Wrong . . . Including Mine). Wouldn’t that be fitting?

a man standing in front of a television

Besides that, everything was normal.


a desk with a lamp and a microwave a group of bottles on a table a coffee maker next to a coffee pot a coffee mug and tea bag on a plate

a refrigerator with drinks and snacks
I was expecting absinthe in the mini bar.


a tv on the wall a bed with two lamps on ita bed with two pillows

a white bathrobe wrapped in a black label


Apart from the sauna, the bathroom was ordinary.

a bathroom with a black sink and bathtub a black sink with white towels on top

a pair of glasses on a table a white towel with a bag of soap a group of white bottles on a white box a shower with a shower head a shower with water running down the ceiling

Living Room 

a mirror with a gold frame and curtainsa couch with a lamp in a room

Perhaps the living room was a bit strange.


The mental patients escaped their straight jackets and gathered for a normal breakfast.

a group of people sitting at tables in a room with glass walls a building with many banners from the ceiling a building with a skylighta group of people eating at a restauranta group of bottles of juice and other beverages a basket of bread in a bakery a block of butter on a cutting board a group of pastries on a tray a buckets of pickles and olivesa jar of sour cream and a spoon a group of fish with scissors on a paper a cheese and scissors on a tray a plate of food with a bowl of sauce a plate of omelette with mushrooms and tomatoes

The Hotel Itself 

I really wondered what other guests thought of the hotel and its one of a kind ambiance. Were they all in on this ruse?

a group of people sitting in a lobbya room with a bar and people sitting at tables a shelf full of colorful nesting dolls a shelf with books and papers a shelf with objects on it

Nothing to See Here 

After a weird night, it was time to go explore St. Petersburg. From the outside, the hotel looks completely normal. One would never know what was happening within this hotel, except, perhaps, the KGB headquartered across the street.

a group of buildings with a person walking on the street

a small coffee stand on a sidewalk a small coffee kiosk on a sidewalk


St. Petersburg has plenty to see and do (see Guns & Butter: St. Petersburg Travel Guide). I did not think that the hotel would be one of the best attractions.

Radisson St Petersburg Hotel Review is part of the Quest Around the Globe Trip Report.



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