Updated: Feb 5
The gem of Magheru Boulevard is shining again. Hotel Lido, the “Bucharest’s interwar emblem” recently reopened its doors, claiming the spotlight of Magheru Boulevard (known as Take Ionescu boulevard back in the time of the first opening).
The hotel holds a glamorous history which started early 20th century, on the effervescent map of a growing city. The hotel was first opened in 1930, in a time when Bucharest was reinventing itself, trying on a fresh, modernist style, with American art-deco influences, very popular after the ending of the 1st world war.
Simple and elegant new lines were replacing the outdated frippery of an older age. The wide, modernist, central boulevard was the perfect spot for a new modern hotel.
Years of neglect left it looking like a ruin, a grey and forgotten gem that managed to survive the difficult years of the 2nd world war and the long communist and post-communist époque. It was quietly waiting for brighter days to light up the glow.
2019 became a lucky number for the building at no 5-7 on Magheru Boulevard. Admiring the exterior is breath-taking, especially at night when the façade is lit up by architectural lighting, but the interior makes the visit become truly fascinating.
I had the pleasure of meeting the PR of the hotel, Irina Chiriac, a lovely ambassador of the new Lido universe. She answered some questions about the hotel, in between millions of appointments from different publications and partners.
What is the story of the new Lido hotel?
I’ll start by saying that the story of this hotel is exactly what drew me into this project, the project you call the “New Lido”. It’s known that the hotel was closed in 2010, after being taken over by the heirs of the initial owner. We rented it for 15 years, with the option of buying it afterwards.
The work here was done with a lot of passion in such a way as to ensure that the final result will reclaim the reputation that Lido had when it initially opened. We started from the idea of saving the heritage value that this hotel holds for tourism in Romania, and this is how we ended up with the launch of the reborn Lido Palace on the 28th of January 2019.
Did the hotel management want to preserve the vibes of the old interwar Lido? (modernist lines, luxury of American inspiration)
We have a great desire to keep the vibe of the old Lido because we are aware of the value of this palace, that has long been the symbol of Bucharest. We were amazed and extremely excited to receive inspiring guests in the first few days after the opening. There were locals who came to visit and share with us stories about special moments they lived at Lido long ago.
There were people who told us how they found their better half here, or how they used to spend the most beautiful moments with their friends at Lido. That's why we tried as much as possible to preserve as much as we could from the elements of the hotel.
What is the target audience of the new Lido?
Because of its central location, in the heart of Bucharest, just like other hotels in the area, we aim to attract business travellers. Aside from it, it’s worth mentioning that Lido is focusing on attracting guests from the leisure area as well. The purpose is to rebuild the image of the old hotel, which used to be a magnet for people interested in the exquisite, stylish and refined lifestyle.
How many rooms are there in the hotel and how do they differ in style from one another?
There are 115 rooms in total, 18 of them are apartments. The rooms were designed in a similar style, but none of them is thoroughly similar to another. The furniture comes in different shapes and colours and each room has different decorations. Two of the bathrooms are replicas of the old design, the rest are just unique in their own style.
Are there any areas created for special events or different activities such as workout or relaxation?
We have two conference rooms, a gym and a small spa center.
Are there any shops or restaurants available to customers only?
Inside the hotel there is a Brasserie and a restaurant and with time we think of exploiting any remaining space to provide other guests with the additional services.
Are there any plans to reopen the famous Lido pool with artificial waves that used to be the main attraction of Lido back in the 30s?
The reopening of LIDO pool is one of our main objectives, its fame was incredible during the interwar period.
How did the general public and the local press receive the news of Lido’s grand reopening?
Everyone received the news with joy. The press, our partners from the tourism industry and our future guests were all charmed by the news of Lido’s reopening. We organised a special Grand opening attended by hundreds of guests.
What is the most extravagant element / room / area in the hotel?
I don’t think there is one element that you can put at the top of extravaganza, and that’s because the first step is to acknowledge that you are in a very special place. The entire lobby is extravagant and filled with art and colour. There’s a piano of great value and a library where you can go to pick a book and enjoy it while staying at Lido. The presidential suite at the 6th floor is special on its own by design and impressive size all together.
Who did the design of the new Lido? A: We worked with a couple of Romanian and foreign designers because we wanted the result to be unique by joining different styles.
Are there any elements left from the original design of 1930 Lido?
Yes, the elevator is the original one. In two of the apartments we managed to conserve the 1930’s ceilings and also all of the original doors, which were reconditioned to look amazing again. In the Lobby we have the original “ruschita” marble (Romanian pink marble) on the floor, and the entire wooden reception has been reconditioned and preserved in the same shape it was originally designed by the architects who worked on the hotel back in the interwar period.
What is your favourite part of the hotel?
I am charmed every day by the corridor around the elevator, all the walls come alive, they are decorated in an unmistakable style.
A special thank you to Irina for taking the time to tell us the story of Lido.
Photo Credit goes to Cristian Negut @NegutCristiFoto