Hotels in Kiev and Ukraine
Saying goodbye to the old and rather infamous "Intourist" hotels of the Communist period, the era of post-Soviet hotels began in 1997 in Dnepropetrovsk with the re-opening of the Grand Hotel Ukraine. Originally built in 1910 in the Ukrainian modern style, the hotel is now considered an architectural relic, but it was the first western-style hotel in Ukraine offering luxury services mainly to business people coming to Dnepropetrovsk.
Now, 11 years later, the era of international five star hotels has truly arrived. The opening of the 5-star Premier Palace Hotel in Kiev in 2003 gave visitors to the city their first true luxury accommodations in the city, and the success of the hotel continues to this day, with more rooms, restaurants and other services for its guests.
Then in September 2005, the first Radisson SAS in Ukraine opened in Kiev's city center. Like many hotels in Ukraine's history, the 4-star Radisson SAS experienced delays to its official opening, but it set new standards with respect to staff friendliness and service quality.
Recently, the 5-star Hyatt Regency Kyiv Saint Sophia opened in one of the most scenic and historic quarters in Kiev, nestled in among the other turn-of-the-century buildings separating St. Sophia's Cathedral from which Hyatt's Kiev showpiece takes its name and St. Michael’s church and monastery just a bit a bit further a field.
The Hyatt Regency currently sets the standard in Ukraine by which all other hotels can be measured. The hotel offers 284 rooms including 25 suites and a presidential suite recently used by outgoing U.S. President George Bush upon his recent visit to the capital, the suite featuring a private terrace looking out over the golden domes that are the hallmark of Kiev. Clearly, the clientele is expected to be mostly businesseprsons as the prices start from 330 euros per night (not including breakfast!).
The long-awaited appearance of international brands like Radisson or Hyatt in Kiev signalizes the country’s development and how attractive it has become to foreign investors in recent years. Now the city will eagerly await western weekend-type tourists who have yet to discover the green heart of the ancient Kievan Rus civilization.
Now that Ukraine boasts luxury hotels in virtually all major cities, the country still lacks enough hotel rooms to accommodate most western travelers’ needs. While luxury remains the byword of the day among Ukrainian hotel operators, quality mid- and economy-priced hotels remain out of sight or out of mind for most travelers, who more often than not find lodging in Kiev and other cities by renting refurbished private apartments for the duration of their stay. Go2Kiev offers a selection of such hotels on the previous page, with links to small thumbnail or banner ads to many more just a mouse click away.
Back to hotels, the Opera Hotel - a boutique luxury hotel - opened its doors in December 2006. Since March 2007 the Opera Hotel has been a member of the prestigious Leading Hotels of the World Association, which only accepts members that meet very high international standards. Believe it or not, the Opera was the first hotel in the country to introduce weekend rates. The Opera Hotel is owned by System Capital Management, a Donetsk industrial corporation that also owns the 5-star Donbass Palace in Donetsk.The Donbass Palace opened in 2004 and until the arrival of the Hyatt Regency Kyiv Saint Sophia had been widely considered Ukraine’s best hotel.
Kiev's latest hotel development, the 4-star Hotel Riviera, opened in spring 2007 in Podol, close to the funicular. It is also owned by a major local industrial concern.
In the outlying regions of the country, the choice of hoels is far more limited, though improving rapidly. These include the Londonskaya and Mozart in Odessa, the Cosmopolit Art Hotel in Kharkov and the Grand Hotel in Lvov.
Part of the move to improve existing hotels and build new ones stems from the preparations for the 2012 European Football Championships, which Ukraine will co-host with neighboring Poland. Euro 2012 is easily the biggest building and development challenge the country's travel and tourism industry has yet faced. If handled well, the build-up to the championship could give Ukraine a chance to prove it is truly the welcoming and hospitable nation it claims to be. At Go2Kiev, we welcome new visitors to see for themselves and make their own judgments in advance of such a major international sporting event!