The hotel industry is burgeoning in the world, and hotels themselves are not considered a temporary haven or harbor for a tired traveler where he can find a rest for the night and some food. A modern hotel is always a large recreation and business center, and some of them are magnificent architectural masterpieces. The hotel Burj Al Arab in Dubai looks like a giant sail, located on its own island away from the seashore. Many “colleagues” of the great sail also try to attract travelers offering some unique facilities or recreation. There are hotels built from ice; in Berlin there is a hotel where only women are allowed. In the United Kingdom the “Mad Bear” Hotel has champagne coming out of every tap instead of water.
These extravagancies show the bitter competition in this segment. As for Belarus, it has never boasted top-class four- and five-star hotels capable of providing bed and breakfast to the toffs. The only hotel certified to have four stars on its faзade has been the Hotel “Minsk”. But the situation is to change very soon, after three magnificent hotels open in the capital city at once. Below is the description of each one of them.
This five-star hotel will hang out the “Open” signboard for its first guests at the beginning of 2007. The hotel is located on the spot where there was once the famous “Penguin” cafй (and then “Blues” cafй) on Internatsionalnaya and Lenin Streets. The construction was started when the president ordered to build the country’s first five-star hotel. Minsk once had the Hotel “Europe” in early 20th century. The hotel was one of the best places for travelers to stay in the North-Western region of the Russian Empire. The five-storey building had 130 rooms, a luxury restaurant with electric lighting, shops, a library and a hairdresser’s parlor. Besides, the hotel had a water heating system and the first elevator in the city. The hotel did not survive WWII: it was demolished by Nazi invaders.
The modern “successor” of the Hotel “Europe” will become Belarus’ most luxurious hotel with state-of-the-art equipment, including an autonomous boiler-house, which will provide uninterrupted supply of hot water and heat (which is especially important in summer, when hot water is unavailable in Belarus for almost three weeks due to routine maintenance). There are 68 rooms in the new hotel, including a mind-boggling presidential suite. The hotel has a range of recreation facilities for the most exacting customers — a sauna, swimming pool, restaurant, bar, night club, beauty parlor, hair and nail salon and bodybuilding equipment. A spacious conference-room provides an excellent business environment. The designers paid special attention to comfort and equipped each suite with air-conditioning systems, heated floors, access to the Internet, a safe and exquisite furniture sets made from rich woods. The Hotel “Europe” also boasts unique elevators with all-round views and a cozy atrium with a winter garden.
Belarus’ second four-star hotel will soon open in Pobeditelei Avenue in the center of the city. History appears to repeat itself, just like it happened to the Hotel “Europe”: Minsk once had the “Victoria” in Zakharyevskaya and Cherankin Street and belonged to Kh.A.Shapiro. The modern building is located not far from Komsomolskoe Lake and can easily be classified as a high-tech facility for doing business. The key difference from the other four-star hotel of the country is that the “Victoria” is designed as part of a large business center.
The hotel has 169 rooms, including four special suites for wheelchair users, eight king-size suites and a presidential suite. Telephones will be installed not only in living rooms, but also in bathrooms. All rooms have mini-bars and mini-safes, as well as LCD televisions and an electronic wake-up call. There are plastic cards instead of keys, and the same cards may be used to pay for services. Guests will be able to have breakfast in the restaurant, which occupies the ground floor, and order food in their rooms. There is a special tablet with menus in each room; the visitor should just tick whatever he or she likes, and put the menu on the doorknob.
The restaurant with 134 seats is on the ground floor, and the banqueting hall for 56 seats is on the first floor. Besides, the visitors will be able to use a spa-parlor, workout room, vitamin bar and sauna with a pool. Businessmen will clearly be interested in special rooms for negotiations and a business center with copying-duplicating equipment, high-speed Internet access, laminating machines and bookbinders.
The Hotel “Victoria” will open the first set of facilities in 2007.
“Minsk Princess Hotel”
The former Hotel “Svisloch” on the bank of the river Svisloch opposite the Dinamo stadium will turn into a luxury five-star hotel called “Minsk Princess Hotel”, a link of the world famous Princess Group hotel chain. The hotel of this level offers everything that its visitors might wish to have and even a bit more. This five-star hotel will focus on recreation and entertainment, according to the executive director of the “Minsk Princess Hotel”, Sergey Yakutovich. The facilities of the hotel will be available both to the guests and regular Minsk citizens. A separate building will comprise several disco clubs, 13 bars, three restaurants, a cafй, a vaudeville house, two casinos and a playing machines lounge. The fitness center of the hotel will have a large swimming pool, and its beauty salon will be using exclusive equipment and technologies that are not used in Belarus yet. Vehicles will be delivered to the underground parking lot by special elevators.
The hotel has over 100 suites, of them two amazing two-storey VIP suites.
The designers and builders had an extremely difficult task of reproducing the design of the hotel built over 70 years ago. They restored stucco work and installed replicas of the Soviet chandeliers.
The “Minsk Princess Hotel” will be opened step-by-step. The first block of facilities to be opened will comprise a casino, cafй, restaurant and a conference-hall.