The Premier Palace Hotel, Kiev

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“Premier Palace is the Ukraine’s first 5-star hotel and it’s just drenched in history and tradition, quite beautiful.”

Hotel Essence Photography

Premier Palace Hotel, Kiev, Ukraine

Hotel photography:

The attention to detail, the relationship between management and staff, the cold climate against the warm, cosy interiors, the brandy, the cuisine and the shoe-shine service are some of the essential elements of the Premier Palace that needed to be captured to promote this gem of a hotel; Hotel Essence recently worked with Andreas Augustin, author of The Most Famous Hotels in the World series, to produce contemporary photography for a book on the history of the hotel. The photoshoot included images of the hotel’s many details, set against the backdrop of the city’s emblematic landmarks, including the gold-domed churches.

The hotel experience:

Guests need only step into the Premier Palace Hotel to understand its five-star rating and status as one of Kiev’s historical sites. Despite its luxury, the hotel prides itself on being a home away from home for its guests, and states that “guests can enjoy its atmosphere of European comfort and luxury, where traditional hospitality meets contemporary style.” The Hotel Essence team were met with exactly this impression; rich, dark fabrics are paired with Art Deco furniture, all offset by the clean marble and contemporary lighting of the vast main atrium. The range of its guests is reflected in the choice of rooms, from standard to presidential suites.

At breakfast, guests are treated to an array of buffet options, with everything from Mediterranean, classic European and Ukrainian, to Asian cuisines. The hotel also provides a Fresh Organic Ukrainian concept, which uses responsibly sourced local produce to make typical Ukrainian and regional dishes. The award-winning rooftop restaurant is renowned as Kiev’s best international restaurant. Its specialism is new interpretations of Mediterranean cuisine, combining Italian dishes with the truly Slavic hospitality of Ukrainians. Guests’ dining experiences are topped by with stunning views of Khreshchatyk, and a menu of over 260 wines expertly selected by a sommelier.

The Premier Palace is immediately recognisable as a classic, grand hotel, but its innovative dining and sleek contemporary additions produce a truly modern hotel experience in the heart of the city.

Hotel’s history:

The Premier Palace Hotel was built in 1909, and opened its doors to guests as The Palast Hôtel in 1912. It was designed to be the flagship of the Premier Hotel Group. Sitting on the corner of Pushkin Street and Shevchenko Boulevard, it is famously Kiev’s only historic hotel.

Towards the end of the First World War, a decree was issued to close the hotel and reoccupy it as the German embassy and consulate to Ukraine. Throughout the twenty-first century, the hotel served numerous functions reflecting the political landscape of Ukraine; struck by artillery bombs aimed at the nearby Ukrainian parliament (1915); nationalised in the aftermath of the Revolution; housing the All-Ukrainian Department of Arts; and hosting meetings of the Democratic Bloc which paved the way for Ukraine’s independence.  

After the Second World War, the hotel was patriotically renamed Hotel Ukraina and received its five-star rating. In 1999, it underwent significant changes; the corner was rebuilt, and a new modern structure was added to the heart of the building – this atrium remains today. Renovations were finally completed in 2005 and the Premier Palace Hotel was born, with the confident slogan ‘nomen est omen’ (‘the name is a sign’). The hotel’s magnificent development was recognized in 2006 when it was admitted as a Select Member of The Most Famous Hotels in the World.

Premier Palace Hotel’s vast guestbook includes famous singers, actors, models, politicians and footballers, from Prince Michael of Kent to Steven Spielberg, David Beckham to Christina Aguilera, and Sir Elton John. Kiev-born singer Alexander Vertinskiy also stayed at the hotel for several weeks while filming Flame of Sorrow in 1955, and suite 439 has been renamed after him. Another of the ten suites named after famous people and themes is that named after Russian film star Lubov Orlova, who stayed there in 1962.

Between 2009 and 2012, the hotel celebrated its centenary of Building the Legend with a three-year memorial celebrating its status as Kiev’s first ‘modern hotel’.