Hand-made arts, crafts and souvenirs are in abundance in St Petersburg, but so too is the finest in quality shopping. Nevsky Prospect, where the hotel is located, offers the best stores in the entire city, including the largest department store, the Gostiny Dvor, while Bolshoi Prospect on Vasilyevsky Island offers another good selection.
The Eliseev Food Store is a treasure trove of local Russian treats like caviar and vodka, but if you want more informal shopping, head for the flea market on Kanal Griboedova (summer months only), where the most popular souvenirs are beautiful hand-made lacquer boxes for jewellery or curios. Always avoid the plastic variety, particularly if there is a tacky postcard glued to the top.
Many stores accept credit cards here, but if you are paying in cash, you will need to use rubles, which you can buy from currency exchange points (obmenni punkti) throughout the city. You're likely to get the best exchange rates on Nevsky Prospect but do be sure to bring your passport as ID.