Home to both royalty and revolution, Rocco Forte’sÂ Hotel Astoria in St. Petersburg has unveiled an elegant, new Czarâ€™s Suite as part of a multi-million dollar refurbishment timed to celebrate the hotelâ€™s 100thÂ anniversary. At more the 3,500 square feet itâ€™s a far cry from the garret where John Reed penned Ten Days That Shook The World, his eyewitness account of the Russian Revolution. (In the early days of glasnost I had the serendipitous thrill of finding myself in Reedâ€™s room, which more than made up for the cramped quarters; the bloody mob hit in the lobby â€¦ well, thatâ€™s a story for another time.) With a lounge overlooking St. Isaacâ€™s Square and its glorious cathedral, a library stocked with Russian classics, and a fully equipped kitchen with a 16-seat dining room that doubles as a boardroom itâ€™s not too hard to imagine what the Bolsheviks might make of such opulent surroundings. Antique pieces dating back to 1912, including gold lamps, candelabra, and red and gold striped arm chairs and sofas were returned to the hotel from President Putinâ€™s Konstantinovsky Palace and installed in the suite alongside contemporary classic pieces, such as dramatic black and white prints of the Mariinsky, which – culture mavens take note – is as conveniently located as the nearbyÂ Hermitage. All thatâ€™s missing is the beluga.