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Raffles Europejski Warsaw

History: 
    Raffles Europejski Warsaw
 in WarsawHistory: 
    Raffles Europejski Warsaw
 in Warsaw

History

Raffles Europejski Warsaw dates back to 1857, when it was opened to the public as a luxurious hotel and social center of Warsaw. Italian-Polish architect Enrico Marconi designed the original Hotel Europejski in the Neoclassical Style to be the most extravagant hotel in the Russian Empire. As it gained reputation, the hotel’s glamorous parties were immortalized in the Polish 19th century classic, The Doll, by Bolesław Prus. Artists Józef Chełmoƒski and Stanisław Witkiewicz had studios in the hotel, and the patisserie was a well-known gathering spot for many writers and intellectuals. In 1907 the hotel was expanded and underwent a renovation to celebrate its 50th anniversary, after which it experienced a period of great success and was listed as the only hotel in Poland with a luxury status from 1924-1939.

During World War II in 1944, the hotel was severely damaged, unused for some time. After the war, the hotel was converted to a military school, Military Political Academy (Akademia Wojskowa Polityczna), and was re-designed by architect Bohdan Pniewski. The remaining balustrade was added to the top floor of the hotel and ruined sections of the exterior were recreated. However, many parts of the original interior were lost, such as hotel's the grand staircase and exquisite ballrooms, which were replaced with classrooms, dormitories, and a gymnasium. After the military academy's closure in 1954, the hotel was used as offices for the Polish Ministry of Transport, and by 1956, the hotel was used to house Jewish immigrants from the Soviet Union.

In 1959, ownership was transferred to Orbis, the state tourist company, and the building was converted back to a hotel. Bohdan Pniewski returned as lead architect and was assisted by Bohdan Kijowicz. Upon its completion, the hotel had 260 rooms, 13 suites, and was called the Orbis Hotel Europejski. It was reopened for business on July 2, 1962 and was operated by Orbis until 2005.

In 1993, the heirs of the original owners filed to reclaim the hotel. The case lasted for 12 years, though the heirs eventually won the lawsuit and the Orbis-owned hotel was closed on June 30, 2005. In 2012, Vera Michalski-Hoffman, an active patron of the arts and publisher, gained a majority stake in the hotel with the intention to showcase Polish and international modern art in a hotel that was as luxurious now as it was in its beginning stages. Reconstruction of the hotel began in 2013, under the ownership of Raffles Hotels & Resorts. Elements of the redesign created by WWAA Architecture firm and interior designed Boris Kudlicka include blackened oak floors, glossy veneer cupboard doors, bespoke Polish furniture, and immaculate lighting fixtures, all with references to Warsaw and its history. The original cornicing and ceiling roses from the 1800s, and intricate mosaic from the 1960s have been restored and remain in the hotel’s restaurants and spa. After its extensive renovation, the hotel reopened in 2018 as the Raffles Europejski Warsaw and continues to honor the Polish artistic tradition.

Raffles Europejski Warsaw, a member of Historic Hotels Worldwide since 2018, dates back to 1857.


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International Numbers

Austria 08000706176
Belgium 080081830
France 805542721
Germany 8007241217
Ireland 1800995320
Italy 800979444
Netherlands 08000200956
Norway 80054304
Spain 900814719
Switzerland 0800001798
UK 8009179622
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