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SPIEF-2014: St. Petersburg gets ready to meet VIP-guests


Preparations for the Forum had started well in advance. Where will its participant stay, what dishes they will enjoy and how are they planning to move about in the city? Professionals are handling every little matter. Mariya Marchenko takes a look at the level of VIP-treatment


Two-room apartment worth 300 thousand rubles per day is waiting for its guest. You can start your stay immediately. Here, everything is just like the beginning of XX-century craftsman Fedor Lidval created it – antique furniture, authentic art pieces, marble bathroom. The atmosphere of luxury and comfort.

Ekaterina Andreeva, sales and marketing director at a hotel: “There’s even a pillow menu. Our guest can choose the one to sleep on – a lavender-scented one, hypo allergic or made of buckwheat shells”

This bed was used by Bill Clinton, the Danish Queen Margrete the 2nd, the “Prodigy” lead singer and Alla Pugacheva. Which guest of the forum will enjoy a lavender pillow is kept secret, but this guest has modest demands – fresh fruit, odorless flowers, mineral water and Wi-Fi.

Mediterranean cuisine restaurant within the “Lenexpo” works all year round, but – it seems – these days are its prime goal. For SPIEF’s participants the menu is special – juicy beef steak, profiteroles and grilled sea wolf.

Zoro Radovic, chef: “A side dish of spinach and potato. This is delicious. The dish is ready. Bon appetite!”

These are hot times for Savo Cirovic. His phone keeps ringing – press-secretaries of ministers and heads of companies are tearing it apart. Mikhail Prokhorov, Sergey Sobyanin and German Gref will have a dinner here – their tables have already been reserved. Chefs know their tastes like one’s own

Savo Cirovic, manager of the restaurant: “Miller doesn’t eat tomatoes at all. Vegetables must be steamed, little salt and oil”

Evenings best pastime – water trips down the Neva. All boats and yachts are booked 6 months in advance.

Andrey Goloshapov, director of boat selling and maintenance company: “Boats are rented together with the crew. Guests are only having a rest here”

But cars to VIP-clients are offered free of charge – 350 brand new “Mercedes” were given by the manufacturer. A fine scent of leather feels the interiors. Covers from the seats will be removed a night before the forum. Bosses and top-managers must know that no one had driven those before them – they are the 1st passengers.

Igor Pavlov, deputy director of the SPIEF fund: “There are always fresh newspapers inside the cars, necessary materials. We also put water and umbrellas”

Drivers in black suits, welcoming smile and fluent English

Inside the “Lenexpo” decorations for the main economic event of the year are being mounted for a month already – pavilions for business meetings, cantinas and cafes. An entire city of its own with brands of the Northen Capital all over it. Sculptures of Venus Milosskaya and Diana-the huntress are yet wrapped in plastic, but being sent to the Letniy Garden

Mariya Marchenko, reporter: “Even lawns at the “Lenexpo” are not authentic. They were rolled in and brought from a farm in the Leningrad region. Those have been carefully grown and taken are of for 2 years so that the Forum has the best lawn in the city”

The fountain at the square reminds of Peterhof. It was installed here for 3 days only – so that guests can drop a coin in it. And come back next year.