For sheer glamour there’s nothing to touch the O2 Lounge right at the top of Moscow’s smartest hotel, the Ritz-Carlton. Take the special lift to the 12th floor and step into a huge open space under a vast dome of glass and steel. There are white-leather studded banquettes, red-velvet cocoon chairs which will make you think of Fabergé eggs, oversized lampshades and glass doors which open onto a large outdoor terrace with unrivalled 360° views over the city and into Red Square and the Kremlin.
Fashionable Muscovites are obsessed with Japanese food, and the O2 Lounge has enticed high-profile chef Seiji Kusano to set up a super deluxe seafood bar with sushi, sashimi, oysters, lobsters and fresh fish flown in from the world’s best and largest fish market, Tsukiji in Tokyo. There is also robust grilled food such as US prime New York strip steak, Australian lamb chops and skewered jumbo prawns and meaty shashlik.
The cocktail barmen put on quite a show, making their own syrups, sprays, foams and freshly squeezed juices to go with prestige spirits such as Louis XIII Black Pearl cognac, Johnnie Walker Gold Label whisky, Tanqueray 10 gin and Beluga vodka, which flow like water. Too impatient to wait for cocktails? There’s a knock-out Champagne menu including large sizes that make everyone in the room sit up and take notice. For the ultimate show-stopper, you can slice the cork off a bottle with a genuine hussar’s sabre. (Best tried under supervision, perhaps?)
There’s music with famous DJs and a polished black dance floor for the Beautiful People. In winter the terrace is a snowy wonderland with a huge ice bar for fur-clad Anna Karenina and Vronsky types. In summer le tout Moscow wants to party well into the long white nights, surging onto the illuminated dance floor outside or retreating to a quiet corner to try a hubble-bubble pipe made from lavish Bohemian crystal.
The Ritz-Carlton Moscow, 3 Tverskaya Ulitsa, 125009 Moscow,
+7 495 222 888; ritzcarlton.com