When Moscow’s new Ritz-Carlton Hotel opened in July, it brought the city a heady new level of luxury and sophistication. Its Michelin-rated restaurant quickly became a favorite spot for Kremlin bigwigs and business oligarchs to down late-night shots of vodka.
Few doubt the Ritz will fare better than the hotel it replaced. That hotel, the hulking steel and concrete Intourist, was built 37 years ago during the Soviet era. At the time, it was a symbol of foreign luxury and one of the few places in the city that accepted foreign currency. Even though it was centrally located close to Red Square, analysts said Intourist didn’t fare well in the new Russia. Read the full story from the November 2007 issue after the jump.