By Olga Sergeeva
This year promises to be a real breakthrough: recently, the five-star President Hotel opened and, by December, nine more new hotels should open their doors, as well as the renovated three-star Belarus Hotel. In total, about 40 projects are under development, at various stages, but will everything be finished in time?
Perhaps, the most discussed five-star projects are the hotels Pekin (Beijing — on the banks of the River Svisloch, near Krasnoarmeiskaya Street) and the Kempinski (on Nezavisimosti Avenue). The first is expected to be open in early 2014, while the second should launch in the fourth quarter of this year. The deadline for office buildings and the residential portion is 2014. Together, they are to cost over 100 million Euros, becoming part of European luxe hotel chains, featuring top class business centres, as well as comfortable rooms. Each site is witnessing great activity, with the facades taking shape.
The second 21-storey building of Victoria Hotel began its construction in 2011 and is due to open by December 31st this year. The facade is almost ready, with the interior now receiving attention. Its 220 rooms will enjoy four-star facilities, including a hall seating 300 for corporate events and a 25m swimming pool, as well as parking for 340 cars nearby.
The headquarters of the National Olympic Committee, with its office and hotel complex, will also be four-star. Its opening has been delayed somewhat, after some problems with funding. Chief engineer Vladimir Trofimovich assures us that the deadline will now be met, with the first stage (the main NOC building) complete within the next few weeks. The hotel will be ready in good time for the Championship. Most of the work is now taking place inside, although some stained-glass windows are yet to be fitted.
In autumn, two hotels with historical colour are opening: on the intersection of Kirill and Mefody Street and on Zamkovaya Street. The first should be ready by September: a monument of 17th-18th century architecture, where four-star comfort combines with atmosphere. A museum of monastic life, coaches and fire fighting is planned for within! The other celebrates 19th century design, opening in October.
Many criticise the fact that most hotels seem to be at the top end, rather than affordable. Accordingly, a three-star hotel is opening in Chizhovka and, in December, the Slavyansky Hotel complex will launch in Lebyazhy suburb. Also with three stars, the latter was originally to open in March 2014, but is ahead of schedule, giving plenty of time for minor corrections before the Ice Hockey Championship.
By the end of the year, three 9-storey hotels with one star are to welcome guests: on the streets of Narochanskaya and Timiryazev, Oleg Koshevoy and Korzhenevsky. Each will differ in appearance and colour design. Meanwhile, near Kuntsevshchina metro station, Voyazh Hotel has already opened. Yet to receive any stars, the six-storey building can sleep 65: single rooms cost Br300,000 (about $35) while doubles are priced at Br400,000 ($46). It is one of the most budget-priced in the capital.