Monday, 28 May 2007

Review: Kak Na Kanarakh (Как На Канарах)

Opening Hours: 7 Days, noon-last guest
Category: Summer, Lounge
Feis Kontrol Rating: Light- 2/5
Address: Pushkinskaya Nab., right next to the Andreevsky pedestrian bridge. M: Leninskiy Prospekt
Phone: +7 (495) 223 1758
Website: N/A

Kak Na Kanarakh ("Just like the Canary Islands") is one of Moscow's first beach clubs to open this summer. It is a floating deck moored just off the Pushkinskaya Nab., with two swimming pools, a delightful open deck area, and a covered dining/lounge area. It's open on almost all sides to spectacular views of the Moscow River and nearby bridge and park.

It's located behind Gorky Park, and can be reached either from Leninskiy Prospekt or over the Andreevsky pedestrian bridge from Frunzenskaya Nab. Either way will require a bit of a walk, unless you have a car and ask the guard (if present) to open the gate for you from Leninskiy Prospect and let them know you're going to Kak Na Kanarakh. Otherwise, you'll have to walk the last half kilometre yourself.

Upon arrival, some sweeping concrete driveways lead you down to a wide open space dotted with tents and lounges and a bar on your left, while on your right lie the scenic portable toilets, and a ramp leading down to the floating pontoons. The first pontoon contains a large covered area of tables and sofas, where people can dine or drink in the shade, while the second contains two good-sized swimming pools and a number of lounges for people to recline and enjoy the sun. The restaurant has an interesting and reasonably priced menu.

Kak Na Kanarakh has been open for a couple of weeks, but had its launch party to announce itself as an evening destination on Saturday.

Unfortunately, it was nothing like the Canary Islands (or maybe it was- in which case I don't plan to be vacationing in the Canary Islands anytime soon).

Given its design and location, Kak Na Kanarakh is destined to become a daytime location to pleasantly while away the hours in the sun, but if it seriously hopes to be an evening venue with any pull, it has a LONG way to go.

To start with, the long walk from Leninsky Prospekt is unlit and I feel sorry for any poor devushka trying to negotiating the hill and distance in her kabluki in the darkness.

The venue lacked any atmosphere whatsoever. While the crowd was a well-connected set of Moscow party people, the faint sounds from a poorly-chosen music mix located on the shore barely penetrated the lounge or pool area, leaving people looking genuinely bored (rather than just affecting boredom).

The bar staff were poorly trained, could not make several basic drinks even early in the evening, and ran out of alcohol completely shortly after midnight.

An ill-placed laser conspired to blind people coming from the lounge to pool area, causing them to nearly fall in the water, while the pools themselves (a perfect location for cool lighting effects) were practically unlit.

Should the music, alcohol, and lighting situation be fixed, there is some hope for Kak Na Kanarakh as an evening venue, and a planned ferry service may assist, but until I hear favorable reviews from those brave enough to make the trek, I'll be staying away.


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