George Hotel is a hotel-legend.
Photo of “De La Rus” hotel (1890)
George Hotel is an elegant architectural monument dating back to the times of the Austrian-Hungarian monarchy. Wide stairs still remember the gorgeousness of that world. This hotel was always distinguished by the refinement of architectural solutions and design of the interior, lobby, corridors and staircases, which impress by their greatness and spaciousness. Being proud of its aristocratic sophistication, George Hotel kindly invites guests. The hotel guests get an opportunity to fully feel the charm of the romantic city.
In the middle of the 17th century there was a sluice, regulating water flow from the Poltva River, on the place of modern George Hotel. The best Galician restaurant “Under Three Hooks” was located here. In 1793 its owners decided to rebuild it fundamentally and open a new hotel. Three years later ''De La Rus'' hotel was built, which got its name due to being the main coaching inn for all the travellers from all over the world.
Owner of “De La Rus” hotel, George Hoffmann, a businessman and landlord, native of Bavaria, laid out a beautiful garden; the hotel had two entrance gates from the direction of the central square.
Hoffmann could offer his customers not only exquisite dishes and beverages, but also comfortable rooms, concerts, entertainments, fireworks.
In 1875 architect Edmund Keler erected a theater hall in the garden for the German society “Frozinn”, where various carnivals, exhibitions and meetings, expositions of works of art took place. Decorated pavilions and pergolas in the form of antique temple could be found by the river.
Later, in the middle of the 19th century, the hotel was called “George” after the name of its founder.
Hoffmann’s business succeeded and the family decided to develop the hotel. It happened in the year of 1899, when the city was rapidly growing. The time was very successful for the development of the hotel business, and one Lviv lady, an owner of a big laundry-house, decided to invest money in land lease with the right of the further hotel development
Rebuilding of the “De la Rus” hotel
Next year the architectural-building alliance of architects Ivan Levynskyy and Yuzef Tsybulskyy built a luxurious beautiful hotel in the style of Neo-Renaissance according to the project of famous Vienna architects Herman Helmer and Ferdinand Felner. Odessa Opera Theater and theaters in Vienna and Turin were designed by them as well. New George Hotel was officially opened on January 8th, 1901. On the corners of the newly-built edifice four allegoric statues of different parts of the world, Europe, Asia, America and Africa, arose.
The entrance was decorated by the bas-relief with St.George or George the Dragon Fighter by a prominent sculptor Anthony Popel, previously modelled by Leonardo Marconi.
This image of the heavenly patron of George Hoffmann still serves as a logo of the hotel.
Photo of the hotel ( by the project of famous Vienna architects Herman Helmer and Ferdinand Felner)
At that time this was a high-class hotel, which corresponded to the contemporary five-star one: more than one hundred years ago there was round-the-clock hot and cold water supply, bathrooms, telephones, central heating system and electrical elevator. There were 93 rooms at the hotel, Suites comprised 32 of them. Standard room costed 6-12 zloty per day, Suite costed 13-24 zloty.
First-class restaurant and coffee house enjoyed popularity as they satisfied the needs of the highest rank guests by their cuisine and service. Ground floor of the building was occupied by numerous elegant stores for magnates, hairdresser’s and perfume salons, fancy-goods shop.
The restaurant reputation at that time achieved the same level when it was considered to be fashionable and prestigious place to visit . Formerly there was not only just a restaurant, but also a bookstore, where the Ukrainian and Polish intellectuals would gather. Evening parties, balls and the celebrations of the city significant events always filled the luxurious halls of the hotel restaurant. At that glorious times champagne flowed like water at George Hotel for Lviv bohemia. The most well-to-do landowners and landlords, political elite, cavalry officers, generals, fashionable literary men, Ukrainian writers, gramma school professors belonged to the intellectuals circles of the hotel visitors and guests.
“George” restaurant(the begining of the 20 century).
George Hotel unique winery attracted the restaurant guests. Moreover, coffee house of the hotel was considered to be the newest European facility of Lviv. Round tables, which did not restrict the number of visitors, made this coffe house outstanding.
Before WWI George Hotel became the property of the union of private enterprises, concession on the hotel and the restaurant belonged to the triumvirate of L.Pir, S. and M. Borowsky, W.Ozhekhovsky.
Beginning from 1940 George Hotel has become a part of the “Intourist” hotels chain.
At present George Hotel is one of the most exquisite and ancient hotels of Ukraine and Europe, which absorbed many-sided range of spirits, starting from the ancient traditions of the city up to extraordinarity of contemprorary Lviv.