I check in. Grand Hotel Europe is an Orient-Express Hotel and one of the grand dames in the field. I feel instantly at home. A quick call to reception lets me know that, yes, there’s a spa. I call and book a manicure/pedicure and massage. Naturally I want to see what these will be like in Russia.
The facility is just okay. You have to go through the pool area to get to the fitness area and through the fitness area to get to the solarium, and through the salon to get to the locker room, etc. Looks like a result of adding on rooms haphazardly. But the skill of the therapists made up for all of this. My pedicure was more of a medical pedicure and was simply outstanding. My massage was performed by a gentleman who likely had medical training as they all do here.
A few nuances: The nail therapist scooped everything out of jars using a sea shell; I was offered a choice of neck pillows with different aromatherapy scents (which she would later heat); and the spa used several product lines: Kerstin Florian, a line from Bali, and a line from Austria, which I thought was quite interesting. The rooms had candles. The menu was quite extensive. One staff member spoke English and served as interpreter for any non-Russian-speaking guests. I believe there were only two other spa guests while I was there.