Barvikha, Russia

Photo: Barvikha Hotel & Spa

When this is all over, you need a reward. The last few months have been hard. There’s still no end in sight. So something to look forward to would be a big help right now. You want to be indulged, pampered, and spoiled. A lot.

You’ll be treated like royalty at Barvikha Hotel & Spa. First, a Bentley will pick you up at Sheremetyevo International Airport, the busiest airport in Russia. You’ll be driven south, along the western edge of Moscow and through a nature reserve filled with pine trees, into the village of Barvikha. This is where Germans created castles in the 19th century, government officials built dachas (summer villas) during the Soviet era, and the president of Russia now owns a sanatorium (a medical center with a spa vibe). Barvikha Luxury Village—comprised of a concert hall, gourmet restaurants, and upscale shopping—is here, too. That’s where you’ll find this elegant hotel.

Barvikha Hotel & Spa is a suburban retreat. Though only 18 miles outside of the Russian capital, it can take more than an hour to reach the city. So you’ll get to Moscow eventually. It’s not your immediate focus. You want to relax first. This is the perfect place to do that. The three-story building was designed by a Milanese architect. He filled the interior with huge windows, natural stone and wood, and earth tones. The lobby looks like a ski chalet. It features an open fireplace, cozy seating, and a chic bar. The restaurant, Anatoly Komm, elevates traditional Russian dishes (borscht, herring, pelmeni, stroganoff). While minimal suites are full of high-tech gadgets.

The most important part of the hotel is the spa, though. Spa Club is massive. Multiple swimming pools, hot and cold plunge pools, Russian baths, saunas, and steam rooms fill its 2,000 square meters. Spa Espace Vitalité Chenot offers detoxing and rejuvenating treatments. There’s a beauty salon, a phyto bar, a fitness center, and plenty of relaxation areas, too. Plus a healthy biolight menu highlights lots of fresh fruit and vegetables in its low-calorie dishes. Your reward will be waiting for you.

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