First Hyatt hotel in Czechia opening in March in Prague’s Cukrovarnický palác

Basic renovations on the century-old landmark have been completed and rooms are now being finished.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 06.01.2022 14:05:00 (updated on 20.01.2022) Reading time: 3 minutes

The long-desolate Cukrovarnický palác at Prague’s Senovážné náměstí will reopen as Andaz Prague Hotel, with rooms available as of March 7. Austrian developer group UBM has approved the results of the century-old former office building’s renovation, which began in 2019. This will be the first hotel in the Czech Republic operated by U.S.-based Hyatt Hotels & Resorts.

Now that the building’s renovation has been accepted by the developer, the room interiors will be completed and restoration work will be finished. The building has been listed as a protected landmark since 1993, in addition to being part of the protected monument zone in Prague’s city center. Historical details had to be preserved during the renovation.

Andaz Prague Hotel. (Image:UBM)
Andaz Prague Hotel. (Image:UBM)

The 176-room hotel will have a fitness and wellness center, culinary facilities, and space for meetings and events. The original meeting room of the management of the Sugar Industry Insurance Association, located in the bridge leading to the Jindřišská Tower, will become a conference room. The ground floor will have a branch of Fio banka and a Relay convenience store. The cost of the renovation was not disclosed.

“Hotel Andaz Prague, the highest line of the multinational luxury hotel chain Hyatt, is our largest investment in the Czech Republic in almost 30 years of history – and we already have a number of large and demanding projects in the Czech Republic, such as the Anděl City multifunctional complex in Prague 5,” Josef Wiedermann, CEO of UBM Development Czechia, said in a press release.

Room at the Andaz Prague Hotel. (Image: UBM)
Deluxe suite at the Andaz Prague Hotel. (Image: UBM)

“We are very pleased that the Hyatt network has chosen our project for its entry into the Czech Republic. It considers the locations very carefully: it has only four other hotels in Europe – in Vienna, Munich, London, and Amsterdam. Prague will be the fifth,” he added.

The building has an irregular elongated five-sided floor plan. “During the construction of the Andaz Prague hotel, we mainly use our experience from the renovation of the historic building from 1897 in Zvonařka in Prague in Vinohrady into the luxury hotel Le Palais Art Prague,” UBM architect David Lukas said.

Penthouse suite at the Andaz Prague Hotel. (Image: UBM)
Penthouse suite at the Andaz Prague Hotel. (Image: UBM)

“Because the building of the original Sugar Palace on Senovážné náměstí is a cultural monument, our team of designers worked with it extremely sensitively. For example, we have preserved the original windows, doors, stucco decoration, and fireplaces in the hotel,” he added.

“We worked closely with conservationists during the reconstruction. The historical value of the building with its authentic atmosphere has thus been preserved while being adapted to the current lifestyle,” Lukas said.

The renovation is also sensitive to the environment. “For example, we use natural materials as much as possible: solid wood floors can be mentioned as an example. On the flat roofs in the courtyard, we have planted extensive greenery, which will help mitigate the effect of the city's heat island,” Lukas said.

Historical detail on the Sugar Palace. (Photo: Raymond Johnston)
Historical detail on the Sugar Palace. (Photo: Raymond Johnston)

The neoclassical Palace was built in 1912–16 for the Sugar Industry Insurance Association. The architects were Josef Zasche and Theodor Fischer, and the facade decoration is by German sculptor Franz Metzner. The building has two courtyards and attaches to Jindřišská Tower by an archway. The separate bell tower was built for a church across the street, and now houses a restaurant, a gallery, and shops.

The building in the communist era housed the Ministry of Nutrition and in 1968 briefly held the National Assembly. After 1989, it was used by Investiční a Poštovní banka. It was sold to J&T group in 2006, which planned to open a hotel. Renovation costs at the time were estimated at CZK 1.7 billion. Plans were dropped due to the financial crisis.

Sugar Palace in the film "Resistance."

The building was sold again in 2014 to a Russian-backed group and then again in 2017 to UBM. At that time it was announced that a hotel called W Prague, part of the Marriott network, would open in 2020. The plan was later changed to instead be a Hyatt hotel.

The building has also often been used as a backdrop to films, with historical banners and signs sometimes appearing on it. It was most recently seen in the 2020 war film “Resistance” starring Jesse Eisenberg as Marcel Marceau. It is featured heavily in the opening of the film trailer.

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