Nothing about Kiev was what I expected. Hummers, Bentleys and Ferraris and Paris Hilton-types clickety clicking along in their 5-inch stilettos replaced my image of a war-torn country, where old women in babushkas hobbled along the street hawking potatoes. This is a big city with 3 million people let loose from communism and enjoying the spoils of capitalism.
The Premier Palace Hotel was lovely, and the staff were pleasant, but the security were pretentious and obnoxious. Everywhere in the hotel we went, security visibly lurked. The Ritz in Paris and the Ville de Este on Lake Como in Italy are equally, if not more beautiful and exclusive, and while I'm certain they have a high level of security, they were invisible to the guest. We are well-traveled, almost always staying at 5-star hotels, and dress appropriately while at our hotel, as well as going out and about, whether day or night. One evening after returning from dinner, in which the men wore sport jackets, dress shirts and pants, and we women wore dresses, stockings and heels, we were given the once up and down and told that to enter the nightclub we would have to be dressed in "classic attire." We didn't understand what that meant, but we settled for a drink and dessert in the lounge. While we enjoyed our drinks, we witnessed two gentlemen come down from the nightclub in jeans and t-shirt. If that's "classic attire" to Ukrainians, then my mistake.
Enough grumbling. Our rooms were lovely. We had two premier king rooms, one with floor-to-ceiling windows with beautiful views to the street and overlooking Kiev, and the other an inside room. I recommend asking for a room overlooking the street. The noise was minimal. Internet service was good, which is always a problem for my husband, who works while on vacation and requires service capable of handling voice over IP. The breakfast buffet was delicious and bountiful and set on the 8th floor with views to the cathedral.
That said about the hotel, I highly recommend the tours provided free of charge by freetours.kiev.ua. The guides were exceptionally knowledgeable and personable. Two tours, at noon and 4 p.m., took in all the major sites to be seen and provided you with a good lay of the land, so to speak. The guides are available for reasonably priced individual tours, which we hired to take us to the Caves Monastery and the Military Museum, and my daughter and her boyfriend hired the same guide to take them bar and club hopping. A good guide can make or break an experience, and I can't say enough good things about our experiences with Free Tours Kiev.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Premier Palace Hotel located in the heart of Kiev is the most vibrant and luxurious hotel in the Ukrainian capital. The Premier Palace Hotel, built at the beginning of the 20th century in the heart of downtown Kyiv, is one of the city's architectural heritage sites. The only historic hotel among Kiev hotels had become Ukraine's first five-star hotel. Guests can enjoy its atmosphere of European comfort and luxury, where traditional hospitality meets contemporary style. We serve outstanding breakfast buffet with separate stations dedicated to Mediterranian, Classic European, Ukrainian and Asian cuisines. Dishes are updated everyday so you won't get bored. The pearl of the breakfast is the Premier Hotels' Fresh Organic Ukrainian concept - Ukrainian and typical Kyiv region dishes cooked from local eco products using unique recipes of our cooking team. We are always ready to say to you: "At your service!" The Hotel offers a variety of choices, from standard rooms to Presidential Apartments in Kiev. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Premier Palace Kiev
- Hotel Premier Palace