One of Moscow’s most luxurious hotels, the Ritz-Carlton, with its stunning view of Red Square, was renamed Carlton Moscow on Monday after its parent company Marriott International suspended operations in Russia due to the offensive against Ukraine.
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Located on Moscow’s central Tverskaya Avenue, the hotel offers a bird’s-eye view of the Kremlin, its gardens and Red Square. The hotel has a new logo and website, but no financial transaction has been announced.
It will operate “as a standalone hotel,” while until then it was managed by the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, a subsidiary of the Marriott group, according to a statement quoted by Russian news outlets.
Asked by AFP on Monday, Oksana Leonenko, acting director of the Carlton Moscow, admitted that her establishment’s foreign clientele, particularly Europeans, had fallen sharply since the sanctions.
“I am sure that if the situation improves, as everyone hopes, the borders will open again (…) and foreign customers will come back to visit us,” she said.
She is currently not lacking in the luxury products offered in the hotel such as “shampoos in the rooms, cosmetics in the spa, drinks”. But his team is still looking for “other suppliers” just in case.
In March, hotel giant Marriott closed its offices and froze new projects. Then, on June 3, he announced that he was ceasing all his activities in the Russian market as he considered it “impossible” due to “the restrictions announced by the United States, the United Kingdom and the EU” in the last few months to punish Russia for its attack on Ukraine.
This withdrawal comes in addition to those of many other Western giants who have withdrawn from Russia since it attacked its neighbor. These include McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Nike, Starbucks and Renault.
The impact of the sanctions on Russia is still difficult to gauge, but sectors that employ hundreds of thousands of Russians are already facing serious logistical and financial problems.
For their part, the Russian authorities believe that Russia has withstood the sanctions well and that, on the contrary, European countries, due to their energy dependence on Russia, will suffer the most from their own punishment economically.