Clarion Grandhotel Zlatý Lev, which is a member of the CPI Hotels portfolio, presented the results of extensive renovation work in the value of 90 million crowns, which included not only restoration of the historic façade and the main entrance with terrace, but also renovation of the restaurant and social hall. The celebratory opening of the Anton Worf salon also symbolically concluded the building modifications, which restored the appearance of the Liberec Hotel to the appearance it had at the time of its completion in 1905 over the course of the last 10 months. University professor and former consultant to President Václav Havel, PhDr. Jan Šolc, opened the celebratory evening from the podium. He reminisced about the fame of Grandhotel Zlatý Lev when he was growing up and wished it all the best during its future business. Guests were also welcomed to Clarion Grandhotel Zlatý Lev by its manager, Miroslav Souček.
“Modernisation took place while the hotel was in full operation and it was a challenge to realise all the phases of restoration, while maintaining the high standards of services guests are used to. Liberec residents can be proud of the architecture of their city and I am very glad that the uniqueness and Art Nouveau beauty of our hotel contributes to this pride. I am also pleased that the hotel’s Art Nouveau charm is now combined with modern technologies, which are frequently invisible and which provide us with completely new opportunities. Several conferences and balls have already successfully taken place in the newly modernised hall, and I believe these will confirm my words,” he stated.
The Austro-Hungarian Emperor also attended the opening
The programme of the celebratory evening, which was attended by business partners and a number of cultural and social celebrities of the City of Liberec, was also enlivened by a visit by the Imperial ruler Franz Josef I and Elizabeth of Bavaria, also known as “Sissi”, in whose honour the historic ceremonial opening dance took place. It was the Austrian Emperor himself who ceremonially opened the hotel nearly 110 years ago. Guests were treated to the Spanish Waltz or Arch-duke Charles’ March and transported to the early 20th century when Grandhotel Zlatý Lev was one of the most modern and advanced hotels in Austro-Hungary. Guests were offered an extensive selection of delicacies from the kitchens of head chef Petr Lieber, whose cooking was also appreciated by President of the Czech Republic Miloš Zeman during a recent visit when he enjoyed the hospitality of the Clarion Grandhotel Zlatý Lev on his second official visit to the region. Over the 110 years it has been open the hotel has welcomed many prominent guests who have been cultural, sports and political celebrities. Famous polar explorer Roald Amundsen, writer Max Brod, composer Johann Strauss, Olympic winner Emil Zátopek and President Edvard Beneš have all stayed here.
110 years of the history of hospitality
Clarion Grandhotel Zlatý Lev has served its guests since 1906, when it was opened by Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Josef I on the occasion of the Czech-German exhibition. The hotel is situated in the park zone of the City of Liberec, in its historic area, in the neighbourhood of the Liberec Chateau. It currently offers accommodation in 112 rooms and 5 apartments, including the Art Deco style presidential apartment. The hotel has been under the administration of the CPI Hotels Company since 2007, which incorporated it under the Clarion brand of the America Choice Hotels International franchise network. In 2008 the hotel underwent its first major modernisation, expanded its accommodation services and, by merging with the neighbouring building, increased its capacity to the current 117 rooms. The visually most distinctive restoration work began in March 2014. The annex by the entrance to the hotel, which covered the original spacious summer terrace during the 1950s, was removed first of all. The hotel also acquired a new entrance with a decorative roof, the appearance of which was based on historic sources and available photographs. As well as a new façade and removal of the neon hotel sign, all the windows were replaced and a separate entrance to the restaurant from Gutenberg Street was renewed. Modernisation also affected the gastronomic facilities – the Benada Restaurant underwent transformation. The adjoining library, which is separated from the restaurant by the original sliding arched doors, was also restored. The last phase consisted of expansion of the congress areas. The Anton Worf Salon, which bears the name of the main architect of the hotel, also underwent major renovation. The cabaret podium, which was removed in 1957, was returned to the salon and other original elements, including glass sky-lights, decorated in the Art Nouveau style, or the fabric wall coverings, were also renewed.
The Anton Worf Salon is a popular venue for holding balls and conferences with a newly expanded capacity for up to 400 people. It was ceremonially opened in April 2015.