First thing first: it's not big, it's not fancy, but it serves it purpose. It's one of the cheapest stays in St. Petersburg where my pal and I can have a room to ourselves, with a proper toilet and all. The room is big and comfortable enough, it is conveniently located near St. Petersburg - Moscow's railway station (we were travelling to and fro Moscow), and the breakfast is nice, homely and offers on-request fried eggs :P. Although it doesn't offer any nice view, and it's basically a floor of a domestic building of some sort, it has a local touch to it, and to be honest I quiet like my stay there. (oh and the door key is something rather interesting... check it our yourself)
I suppose my expectations shouldn't have been too high given how much I was spending...but there is a certain standard that is reasonable, and this place didn't meet it. As well, I've been in low prices hostels that were much better maintained than this!
The good - I'll start with this, as it is much shorter; the location is ideal for getting into town and seeing the sights. The breakfast (from what I heard from my travel companions - didn't try it myself) was decent. The wifi was great, partly because we were situated right next to the router.
The bad - Both rooms we booked had a musty smell to them. The bathroom had stains on it that made showering there very sketchy. Some of the sheets and mattresses in rooms had stains on them, the source of which we avoided guessing. Only 2 of 4 "concierges" that we saw at the desk knew English...so asking for advice etc. proved fruitless many times. The outside of the building is somewhat shady, and at night it feels even more so. All in all, I wouldn't consider this place ever again. Having stayed in accommodations both pricey and inexpensive, this is one of the worst places I've been at.
We chose to stay at the Idillia for our week-long visit to Saint-Petersburg because we wanted something not overly expensive, simple, clean, and local. We were not disappointed.
The guest-house is well located: close to Nevskii Prospekt and to the metro station Vladimirskaya.
There is a small super-market right at the corner.
The rooms are small but clean, and the furniture is simple. The beds are a bit short and the mattresses somewhat soft, but we slept quite well nevertheless. Don't expect a beautiful view from your window; to remedy this, just get up and about, and there will be plenty of beautiful things to gaze upon! Ask for a court-side room to avoid the noise from the street.
Our bathroom was equipped with a shower but no bathtub. Expect small towels for drying, but they were fine for my 6-foot frame, and they were changed daily.
There is a small television set, but all the programs are in Russian (anyway, who would go to Saint-Petersburg to watch TV?!)
There is no fridge in the room, but if you buy food and drinks, you can put them into a plastic bag and store them into one of the two fridges located in the breakfast room. No one touches them.
The breakfast room is quite small, and the offer consists of: white and dark toast-bread; hard-boiled eggs; Russian porridge made with butter; small hot-dog-style sausages; butter; jam; ham; cheese; instant coffee; and tea. You may order an omelette (quite tasteless) and rolled "Russian pancakes" filled with some sort of ground meat (Russian tourists seemed to love it, but we ordered "Russian pancakes" only once.)
I want to stress the fact that we had an excellent experience with the service provided by Elena. Since we decided to use public transportation to go from the airport to the Idillia, we wrote to Idillia beforehand to ask for directions. Elena sent us a very precise answer right away. Once we were there, she was always ready to help with any information we needed. I even got some free Russian language lessons from her :-)
Idillia is a mini hotel. You see signs for mini hotels all around St. Petersburg, and usually it means a grand old apartment was converted into several guest rooms plus some space for the reception area. I’ve been to several mini hotels, and thus far, Idillia seems to be the best, and the best value for money.
The rooms are high-ceilinged, furnished with a bed (or beds, depending on whether you stay in a single or in a double room), an armoire, a small desk, and an arm-chair or two, again depending on the intended occupancy, a night-stand and a TV set. After spending a couple of nights in another mini hotel in a room decorated entirely in blood red (even the lamp shade was red!), I came to appreciate Idillia’s neutral color scheme, too. Each room has its own private bathroom. It’s not fancy, but it’s a nice place to rest after a hard day. Some beds could be more comfortable, but this is my only quibble, really.
They have two large rooms which serve as breakfast facilities, and it is particularly appreciated since in other hotels, reception area also does double duty as breakfast space, and it’s rather inconvenient. Idillia serves hot breakfast, too, and this is a very nice touch. Tea and coffee are available 24/7 in the breakfast room.
The staff are very helpful, which seems to be typical of hotels only in St. Petersburg. For some reason, hotel staff I encountered were invariably nice, while the staff at other establishments, from cafes to museums, mostly seem to regard customers as an unwanted impediment in some greater life mission they are called on to achieve. So if you are used to obsequious or even simply friendly service, forget it and, once outside your hotel, be ready to be snapped or even yelled at everywhere from restaurants to the Hermitage.
Back to Idiallia, however. Its location is quite convenient. It’s a short walk to Moskovsky train station and to several subway stations. It’s a longer walk to the city center, but we did it a couple of times, and it’s a pleasant walk on Nevsky Prospect all by itself, even if takes from 40 minutes to an hour at a leisurely pace.
There are some nice eateries around. I particularly recommend Orient Express, a cafe in Marata Street (Ulitsa Marata), a small place with only 8 tables, good food, and shockingly low prices (at least by Moscow standards).
All in all, Idillia is a very nice little hotel to stay in.
Idillia is not Sheraton or Intercon and yet I gave it very high ratings because for its price you get: 1) good location, close to Nevsky Prospekt, cafes, Metro; 2) good service, friendly staff esp Anna; 3) they can assist in visa supporting doc (if you call them and the person who answers does not speak English, don't despair, call another time and hope that it will be an English-speakng staff who will answer; 4) simple but good breakfast plus use of dining room for lunch and dinner where there is ref for guests' food; 5) clean Rooms, big for its price.
What i would recommend for improvements are: better bed and pillows, bigger towels,