What are the benefits of renting a vacation apartment in St. Petersburg?

The benefits of renting an apartment include space, privacy, value and comfort. Unless you are travelling alone, vacation apartments nearly always represent better value for money than even budget hotels, particularly for longer stays in the city, while for families and groups of friends an apartment rental is likely to be considerably cheaper than booking several hotel rooms even for a single night. Full self-catering facilities also bring down costs significantly, and give you greater freedom to eat what you want when you want, as well as the opportunity to entertain friends.

Why book a vacation apartment with Saint-Petersburg.Com?

Our apartment rental service among the largest in St. Petersburg designed for foreign travellers. We feature apartments from a number of private landlords and letting agencies, giving you the best choice of available apartments. We also go beyond the remit of most booking services, working to provide you with accurate and up-to-date information about the apartments you can rent, and providing an extra layer of support and security for our customers.

Can all apartments listed on this website be booked with Saint-Petersburg.Com?

All apartments listed in our catalog of vacation apartments can be booked when available using our apartment reservation system. When you search for apartments available for a specific date, however, you may see some results for St. Petersburg apartments available from different sources. We provide these to give you greater choice of apartment accommodation for your dates. Be aware, however, that our booking terms and conditions (as well as the information in these FAQ) do not apply to apartments available from other sources. Before booking such apartments, you will directed away from this site, and will be able to see the relevant booking and conditions before confirming your reservation.

What are the minimum and maximum terms for renting an apartment?

The minimum term is 1 night and the maximum term is unlimited.

Who owns the apartment I'm booking?

The apartments advertised on our site are owned by private landlords and letting agencies. We do not personally own or manage any of the properties listed on this website, but we do work with individuals and companies that are known to us and trusted by us. It is important for us that our partners have adequate experience in the short-term rental market, fully understand the requirements of foreign travellers, and have a large enough portfolio of properties to provide alternatives if there is an unexpected problem with your chosen apartment.

How well are the apartments equipped?

All apartments are fully furnished and equipped with china, cutlery, glassware, kitchen utensils, bed linen, towels, TV, telephone, a stove (gas or electric) and a refrigerator. The property description will mention if there are other appliances such as washing machines, microwaves, DVD players and so on. We suggest that you bring your own hairdryer (with an adapter if necessary - local electric current is 220V 50Hz).

How can I get Internet access in my vacation apartment?

Not all vacation apartments have hi-speed Wi-Fi Internet connections, so please check the description of apartments before you make a reservation if this important to you. If you are having difficulty finding an apartment with Internet access, it is now very easy to purchase a 3G or 4G modem from St. Petersburg's mobile operators and get connected to the Internet relatively cheaply from anywhere in the city.

Will I be able to make phone calls from my vacation apartment?

The landline in your vacation apartment will normally be available for local calls free-of-charge. Intercity and international calls are not normally permitted in vacation apartments, as these can be expensive and there is no easy way for landlords to bill you for phone use. If you need to make long-distance calls from the phone in your vacation apartment, the simplest solution is to buy IP phone cards, which are available in mobile communications stores and post offices branches throughout the city.

Will there be things like air-conditioning or power showers in the vacation apartment?

Appliances like these will be mentioned in the apartment description. If they are not mentioned, the apartment does not have them. Air-conditioning particularly is unusual in St. Petersburg, as the northern climate means that it is rarely necessary.

Does the rental price of the apartment include everything or do I have to pay additional expenses for electricity, water, etc.?

For short-term apartment rentals, all costs for utilities (electricity, hot and cold water, heating and, where applicable, gas) are included in the rental price of the apartment. Please be aware that during the summer months (May to September), central heating is not available in nearly all residential buildings in St. Petersburg. This is because, like most Russian cities, St. Petersburg has a centralized heating system that is turned off by local authorities once the weather is considered warm enough.

It is also not unusual, particularly in older buildings in the city centre, for there to be occasional interruptions in the hot (and sometimes even cold) water supplies for maintenance and repair work. If this happens during your stay and the interruption lasts for more than a few hours, you should contact the landlord or letting agency for assistance.

What services does Saint-Petersburg.Com provide?

We provide a paid advertising service for letting agencies and private landlords offering vacation apartments for foreign visitors to St. Petersburg. We inspect apartments before featuring them on our site. We ensure that apartments are described in accurate English and illustrated with good quality photographs. We liaise with apartment owners and managers to ensure we have up-to-date information on our website. We also handle bookings, helping our clients to find suitable apartments and processing card payments.

Who do I contract with when I rent an apartment?

Your short-term rental contract is signed between you and the landlord (private landlord or letting agency) and not with Saint-Petersburg.Com. Your legal relationship with Saint-Petersburg.Com as a booking service is described in the Apartment Rental Service Agreement, which you must read before submitting your reservation request. Under Russian law, a contract must be signed between the two parties of a rental agreement, even if you are only staying in an apartment for one night. It is, of course, the responsibility of the landlord (or letting agency) to draw up the contract and present it to you for your signature. The terms of the contract you sign with the landlord may vary from apartment to apartment, but a sample of the short-term rental contract that we recommend that our partners use can be downloaded here.

When do I have to pay for my apartment?

Under normal circumstances, you will pay for your apartment in two parts. When we confirm your apartment reservation, we will draw on your card for a deposit (5% of the total rental payment for your booking, but not less than the cost of one night in your chosen apartment) and our non-refundable service fee ($20). The outstanding balance will be drawn on your card five working days before you take up occupancy in the apartment. If you book less than five working days before arrival, we will charge the whole sum of the booking to your card immediately. If you would prefer an alternative payment system (cash, bank transfer, or wire transfer), please contact us and we will see if it is possible.

Why do I have to pay Saint-Petersburg.Com?

First, not all landlords have the technology to process card payments. Second, our payment system gives you extra security, as we hold the funds paid for your apartment rental until we are confident that you, the customer, are satisfied with your chosen apartment (normally until after you have vacated the apartment at the end of your stay). Only then do we pass the funds to the apartment owner.

Why do I have to pay a deposit?

The deposit is designed to discourage people from booking apartments before they have confirmed their travel plans. Apartment owners are either private individuals or small companies, and their business model relies on nearly full occupancy, particularly during high tourist season. A late cancellation normally means the loss of hundreds - if not thousands - of dollars. Your deposit is kept to a minimum, and is only forfeit in the case of no-shows or if you fail to cancel your booking within the free cancellation period.

Why do I have to pay a reservation service fee?

Saint-Petersburg.Com offers its clients a considerably more extensive service than most booking agencies. This includes actively searching for suitable properties in St. Petersburg to give our customers more choice, inspecting, photographing and describing the apartments featured on this site ourselves, maintaining a proactive relationship with partner landlords and letting agencies to ensure the information we provide is up-to-date, offering detailed advice by phone or email to customers unsure about which apartment to book, and acting as a mediator in the rare cases of disputes between tenants and landlords.

We also ensure that you have a number you can call with English-speaking staff in case of emergencies while in St. Petersburg. For all this, we ask only a small service fee of $20.

Can I cancel my apartment booking?

You can cancel your apartment booking at any time up to five working days before you plan to take up occupancy. Provided you cancel your booking on time, the deposit will automatically be refunded to you (but not the reservation service fee of $20).

What if there is a problem with my rented apartment?

If, for whatever reason, you are not satisfied with the condition of your apartment when you arrive or if you discover a problem with the apartment during your stay, you should first contact the landlord or letting agency with whom you signed the contract for the apartment. If they are unable to resolve the situation to your satisfaction, you can also contact Saint-Petersburg.Com , and we will do our best to mediate the situation and find a satisfactory solution for you.

Why is the apartment I booked not available?

It is possible that, after your apartment reservation has been confirmed, circumstances will arise which mean that your chosen apartment is not available for occupancy. This will only occur if there is a serious problem, such as flooding in the apartment, lack of water or electricity supply, or if the previous tenants have caused severe damage to the furnishings and fittings.

If this does happen, the landlord of your chosen apartment and Saint-Petersburg.Com will do everything they can to ensure you are accommodated satisfactorily. Please understand, however, that every apartment is unique and that specific features of your chosen apartment may not be the same in the alternative you are offered. If the alternative apartment offered is of lower standard and price than the apartment you chose, you will be refunded the price difference as soon as we have confirmation from you and the landlord.

You also have the right to refuse any alternatives offered and make your own accommodation arrangements, in which case you will be fully refunded, including your deposit (but not the reservation service fee).

I've been looking at one apartment for several days and the price has changed...why?

Pricing policy for the apartments on our website is decided by the apartment owners/managers. They are able to change the prices of their apartments whenever they want to. Many of the apartment owners/managers operate a pricing policy based on overall demand for their properties. In other words, as more apartments are booked for a given period, so they increase the price for their remaining properties.

N.B. Please be aware that the price for the apartment is only guaranteed when you submit your reservation. If you like the price of an apartment, but are not absolutely sure about your travel plans, remember that you can book now and cancel later. Provided you follow our cancellation policy, you will only forfeit our $20 service fee.

Are the photos and descriptions of apartments on this website accurate?

Before we publish new apartments on this website, we make sure that all the featured photos are current, and that the information concerning features and facilities is accurate. In the vast majority of cases we visit the apartments ourselves before they are featured on the website. We also encourage our partner landlords and letting agencies to keep us informed of any changes to their properties. However, we cannot guarantee that minor changes have not been made to the equipment in apartments since we checked them, and guests should also allow for reasonable wear and tear, particularly in less expensive apartments. If you stay in one of the apartments and think that our description needs changing, do please let us know.

If you can't find the answers to your question above, simply fill out the e-mail form to contact us.