Accommodations in St. Petersburg range from grim and expensive to opulent and very expensive. Some prominent hotels are unsafe—plagued by robberies and prostitution rings, but for those that use good judgment, there is rarely an issue. Never invite a stranger to your room or open the door to someone you do not know. Newer boutique-hotels opened in historic buildings are usually very good and safe, and offer value.
Other options include bed-and-breakfasts, apartment-hotels, private apartments and homestays, which can be arranged prior to arrival. (We strongly recommend a homestay experience if you want to get to know Russians.)
Advance reservations are highly recommended in the summer, especially in June during the White Nights. Hotel rates are also higher then. Also note that foreigners pay several times the rate paid by Russians.
There are several classes of hotels (two-, three-, four- and five-star), which must be specified when booking. Three-star properties, in most cases, are sufficiently comfortable. New to the country are deluxe hotels that truly meet international standards. They are generally run in conjunction with foreign management.
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