The hotel where Nikolai and Marya are staying is pretentious yet dirty and dingy. Marya is embarrassed by the sight of Kitty. Levin goes in to see him first alone. Nikolai looks terrible: the room is disgusting, and Nikolai has entirely wasted away. As soon as he can, Levin leaves to see Kitty, and Kitty insists on coming with him to see Nikolai. When she does, she immediately takes over the situation, insisting that the room be cleaned. Levin has been thoroughly shaken, but Kitty remains completely collected and in command.
The hotel is all the worse for pretending to have the best that modern society offers, rather than the honest dirtiness of an old-fashioned place. The dilapidated, disgusting grandeur mirrors the state of disgrace that Nikolai has fallen into. Marya is ashamed and embarrassed by the presence of an honest wife in a socially accepted relationship. Meanwhile, Levin’s belief that Kitty won’t be able to handle the situation is the absolute opposite of the situation.