If one can overlook its many Old Master copies and phony antiques, the Taleon Imperial is an important luxury hotel occupying a czarist-era palace, the Eliseev, overlooking the Moika River. The high security is an indicator of its style—Russian money likes this address (the hotel is part of a private club for high rollers). While there's no faulting Taleon's service, finish, or the square footage of the 29 rooms and suites, it lacks little of the soul you might expect of a historic property. Still, you can't complain about the amenities: 24-hour room service, a spa, two restaurants, a café in the central atrium, and an atmospheric wood-lined cigar lounge. From $735 to $2,805. At 59 Naberezhnaya Reki Moiki; 7-812/324-9944; eliseevpalacehotel.com.
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