January 01, 2011

Travel Notes



Moscow’s airports are at a breaking point. The two largest – Domodedovo and Sheremetyevo – both need new landing strips. But infrastructure like landing strips are state-owned, requiring a government decision to proceed. Sheremetyevo and the smaller Vnukovo airports are state-owned, while Domodedovo (located to the south of the city) is not.  

Both airports are increasingly cramped, an issue which takes on added significance in light of the looming 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi and the 2018 World Cup, both of which are expected to bring a surge of foreign tourists through the capital. If the government decides to expand the notoriously overcrowded and queue-plagued Sheremetyevo, this might give it an upper hand and lead some airlines to leave the larger, more modern Domodedovo. Meanwhile, Vnukovo and Sheremetyevo declared an alliance, Kommersant reported, and will allow airlines to switch more freely between the two facilities. 

Moscow’s Radisson Royal, formerly the Ukraine Hotel (featured in our story on Moscow highrises, page 42), has been named Russia’s leading luxury hotel by World Travel Awards, a tourism industry rating group. The riverside hotel re-opened in 2010 after three years of renovation and features $350 rooms, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, an Iranian restaurant and year-round river cruises (boats are equipped with ice breakers in the winter months).


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