When W Hotels offered to send Ari Dein to any of their properties ...

When W Hotels offered to send Ari Dein to any of their properties in the world, I wasted no time to drop "St. Petersburg" into the lottery hat.  Enamored with the opulent history of Imperial Russia, the Ballet Russe, and of course, the Hermitage, I embarked with my team on a jaw dropping journey fit for a Romanov.  

Our hotel was modeled after a Faberge egg, which turned out to be an incredible metaphor for the city (and lingerie!): plain on the outside, and gilded to high heaven on the inside.  From the street view, St. Petersburg left much to the imagination.  Yet inside her crumbing Renaissance architecture, every ceiling was carved, every surface was a glistening mosaic.   Every room, piece of art, and musical phrase that we encountered was a crystal ball into the rich Paruski past.  

With champagne in hand, we watched Anna Karenina from a prime balcony seat at the Mariinsky Theatre.  One day, while visiting the Fortress of Peter and Paul along the banks of the Neva, a blue-gray sky draped romantically over a half frozen river.  There I began to fantasize about a Spring collection, inspired by St. Petersburg: delicate pinstripes, Prussian blue hues, and lace that would make Faberge swoon.

The Coveteur caught the whole experience on camera, lest we forget!  (We could never.)

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