Step out of Moscow’s urban jungle and into Moss Boutique Hotel, a luxurious Eden of industrial-chic in the trendy Chistye Prudy district. This five-star hotel stylishly mixes the raw, natural, and comfortable, with smooth, concrete-finished furnishings offset by the giant living walls and immersive nature soundscapes.
The design strikes an eclectic balance between art gallery, warehouse, and cosy, Scandinavian-style boutique hotel; the interiors are mostly made from natural materials, including driftwood suspended mid-air and sinks carved into granite blocks.
Each of Moss’ 31 rooms features one-off furniture and artwork, including lamps made from old Soviet car parts. All the artwork is for sale, so if you think one of the paintings would look great in your house, you can, quite literally, pay to take it home and hang it in the living room. Another pleasing touch is the set of gently-scented bathroom products made for Moss by Israeli fragrance makers Zielinski & Rozen in every bathroom.
A platform for Moscow’s emerging creative talent, Moss collaborates with local designers and brands. Pay attention to the playlist you hear in the lobby — it was put together by the guys over at the Russian music label Leveldva.
— Sophisticated cuisine, lux interiors, affordable prices, and a view to the Kremlin — Grand-Café Dr. Zhivago doesn’t want for much. The chef’s specialty is traditional Russian dishes with a modern twist: try the Siberian white salmon blini and sip an “Evening Moscow” cocktail while you admire the stylised paintings on the wall.
— Bookworms and marble-enthusiasts: make time to wander around “Leninka”, or the Russian State Library, named after Vladimir Lenin. The library houses the world’s largest collection of Russian books, which are set among mahogany-panelled walls, alabaster-spangled columns, and occasional portraits of the library’s namesake. The pièce de résistance is undoubtedly the main hall.
—Lose yourself in VDNKh, a sprawling 136-hectare park and exhibition site in the north of Moscow. The complex was initially built to host an agricultural exhibition in 1939, but over the years, its purpose has shifted. Practically abandoned during the 90s, over the last five years the park has experienced a radical makeover, reemerging as an important creative hub. Wander the Stalinist monuments, iconic modernist buildings, and multiple exhibition pavilions. You won’t be disappointed.