Time was, visitors to Moscow, however accustomed they were in Europe or North America to staying in small and stylish boutiques, were more or less out of luck. There were always the massive and impossibly opulent grand hotels, which are impressive in their own right, as nobody else has a feel for that superhuman scale quite like the Russians. But the Golden Apple proves there’s room for some contemporary style in Moscow’s hospitality scene.
The interiors, behind that conservative stone facade, are modern, slick and minimal. Lots of black and white and grey, set off against bold solid reds, yellows and greens, and lots of modernist furniture, including some truly inspired chairs. There’s a lobby bar that’s cheery and colorful, as against the Moscow style of dank and secretive old barrooms, and there’s a wide-open monochrome dining room serving (wait for it) some of the city’s finest fusion cuisine.
And if it all sounds rather like something you’ve already seen in London or New York, well, it sort of is, but this sort of thing is very new to Moscow. What’s special about the Golden Apple is very specific to its location — in this city it’s rare indeed to find a place that’s modestly sized, luxurious without being excessive, and stylish in a clever and restrained way. And don’t worry about feeling like you’ve seen it all already — Moscow’s version of the boutique hotel is exotic enough to throw more than a few surprises your way.
• Free Wi-Fi
• Hotel opened: 2004
• Architecture & Interiors: Raphael Shafir
• Unique: Each of the 7 guest floors matches a specific colour of the rainbow, which is further repeated in room design.