Hotels in Russia with MIR Corp. Tour

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<p>I’d like input on experiences with MIR Corporation’s “Classic Western Russia: Moscow, Novgorod &amp; St. Petersburg”. Their itinerary sounds great. However, the hotels (Park Inn Sadu in Moscow, Beresta Palace in Novgorod, and Helevetica in St. Petersburg) don’t have very great reviews. Since travel with MIR is a little on the high side, I would expect booking in somewhat better hotels. I would appreciate comments from anyone who has made this trip with MIR, or alternative tours you recommend that do a good job in Moscow &amp; St. Petersburg. Thank you. </p>

I know a couple of these hotels - the Park Inn Sadu in Moscow is at best an upper 3 star hotel - it's new, built in 2008 and is used a lot by business people. There is a restaurant, and the rooms are o.k. but nothing fancy. The Helvetia in St Petersburg is run by a Swiss consortium, it's in a fair neighborhood in the center of the city ,is small, also an upper 3 star hotel with a Swiss style restaurant and good rooms. I am surprised MIR is using these hotels - I would have expected at least 4 star hotels from them.