Premier Palace Hotel remembers Kyiv the way it was 110 years ago

  • 24.06.2019

“Two hours are left before departure, advise what to see in Kiev during this time” - one of the most popular requirements that concierge of the Premier Palace Hotel Yury Lubenchenko receives. The main audience of the Premier hotel chain is business tourists, that’s why it is not surprising that many of them have to look for time to look through the city between meetings and conferences. However, Lubenchenko, probably, would not have been in the greatest guild of hotel concierges Les Clefs d'Or (Golden Keys), if he had not had the answers to such questions.

"To explore the general architectural ensemble of the old Kiev, is enough 90 minutes," - thinks Yuri. He advises to start a walk from Shevchenko Park, through Vladimirskaya Street to go to St. Andrew’s Church. Then turn to the Mikhailovsky Cathedral and through the Independence Square return to the Bessarabian market. “Your path will pass through the Opera House, the Golden Gate and Saint Sophia Cathedral. Agree, this is already a lot for one day,” the concierge is sure.

Interesting that the traveler who settled in the Palast-Hotel (the first name of the hotel) at the beginning of the twentieth century, was waiting for almost the same route. Is that the Opera House then was simply called the City, and the Bessarabian market was not so pleasing to the eye.

Premier Palace -  is the oldest of all existing hotels in Kiev. It began to work in 1909 ( then the main building was opened) and this year it celebrates 110 years.

The hotel at the corner of Pushkinskaya Str. and Bibikovsky Boulevard (exactly as Shevchenko Boulevard was called 110 years ago) became a place of students pilgrimage of architectural faculties from all over the empire. Its tall, smooth-faced and calm facade was a compromise between art nouveau, art deco and something completely new.

Palast-Hotel due to all of the standards of those times was considered a luxurious and fully self-contained hotel. Here was a huge restaurant, which stretched from an open cafe on the sidewalk through the entire first floor to a small extension in the courtyard. Thousands of people could have dinner here at the same time. In addition, the hotel had a dairy shop, a hairdresser, a pharmacy, a pastry shop, a beer tavern, a bakery, a hat salon and much more. The location of the hotel, as well as now, was perfect. On the eve of the Kiev All-Russian Exhibition of 1913, newspapers wrote: “The Palast-Hotel is located in the very center of the city, in a quiet and picturesque corner near Khreshchatyk. It is equipped with the latest technology and hygiene. “ The author of the material noted that the quality of service "Palast" can be compared with any well-known hotel in Europe (sure, this statement is still relevant).

To the historical heritage in the modern Premier Palace Hotel is responsible. For example, the company has a position of a full-time restorer. It keeps antique furniture and textiles in perfect condition. The walls and corridors of the hotel are decorated with 247 paintings (collectors estimate the cost of the collection at about $ 8 million). It is not surprising that most famous people who came to Ukraine over the last century, stayed here. Among them - Patricia Kaas, Sophia Loren, Ornella Muti, Jerzy Hoffman, Lennox Lewis, David Beckham, Jennifer Lopez, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Richard Branson, Isaac Adizes, Sophie Ellis Bextor, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Imagine Dragons, Jane Birkin and a lot others.

Lyubov Orlova, Alexander Vertinsky and Vladimir Vysotsky stayed at the hotel so often that they received nominal numbers. It is still possible to find their personal belongings here: the originals of the scores adorn the walls in the room of Alexander Vertinsky, a small suitcase in the style of the 30s - a bathroom in the room of Lyubov Orlova. Mikhail Bulgakov never stayed at the Premier Palace, but the luxury room number 719  on the seventh executive floor of the hotel was named with his name.

Such a story is worth a closer acquaintance. Even if you were lucky enough to live in Kiev all your life and there was no occasion to stay at the Premier Palace Hotel, you can feel its atmosphere, for example, during one of the jazz concerts at the Premier Hall. Several times a year, the legendary Alexei Kogan forms a new jazz band and a special program.