The “Grand Hotel Europe” or "Hotel D' Europe" opened its doors to the public on 28 January 1875, replacing an earlier inn situated on the same site. It stands on Nevsky Prospekt, adjacent to Arts Square, among the St Petersburg's great architectural treasures.

In the 1910s, it was remodeled in the Art Nouveau style to designs by Fyodor Lidval and Leon Benois. The latest major renovation was carried out between 1989 and 1991. In 1905, the Restaurant “L’Europe” was established within the hotel, the first in Russia to have electric lights. Its interior designs are all originals.

As dining in public became socially acceptable for polite society at the start of the 20th century, “L’Europe” became the only place in St. Petersburg where it was fashionable for the Russian upper classes to dine in public. Prior to 1914, famous people could be seen there, including Rasputin. He was a wandering peasant and self-styled holy man. He became a favorite of Tsar Nicholas and Empress Alexandra in 1905 after he laid hands on their son Alexei, reducing the pains caused by hemophilia.

After the 1917 revolution, the “Grand Hotel Europe” closed and was used for social housing. In the 1930’s it reopened for the new upper classes of Soviet Russia. The "Grand Hotel Europe" is protected by the Russian Government as a national monument.

This working 5-star hotel was renamed the 'Belmond Grand Hotel Europe' in 2014 when its parent company, Orient-Express Hotels, was renamed Belmond Ltd.

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