Grand Hotel Rodina
A luxurious refurbishment of a stalin-era villa, the 40-room Rodina is set on manicured grounds with a private beachfront in the year-round resort town of Sochi. Russian Hotels, an arm of billionaire aluminum oligarch Oleg Deripaska’s empire, has imparted a postmodern patrician style: soaring ceilings, acres of creamy marble, exposed wood beams, and velvet- and leather-covered furniture. The hotel makes much of the local culture, with antique Cyrillic-language editions of Tolstoy and Pushkin in the library, and original iron doors painted with hammers and sickles in the lobby. Following the announcement that Sochi—between the Black Sea and Caucasus foothills—will be hosting the Winter Olympic Games in 2014, the hotel is sprucing up for its moment in the spotlight. Among the additions is a spa—complete with a traditional banya, or Russian bath—and an enormous indoor pool, part of the planned complex, is already open to guests.