The Charm of Bygone Days
Once upon a time, the glorious aristocratic residence so delightfully decorated with frescos and sculptures by Italian artists Giovanni Battista Frediani, Giovanni Pietro Perti and Michelangelo Palloni belonged to the Pacai family. Back then, Vilnius’ high society frequented the building. However, the ups and downs of the 20th century and the decades during which Estonia was annexed by the Soviet Union left a real mark on the palatial premises. In 2018, a step into the future was taken: Under the careful eye of architect Saulius Mikštas the Baroque building was stored and modernized. Mikštas was able to rely on the historical building plans to recreate the palace’s original structure, as the focus was primarily on as far as possible preserving the edifice’s historical charm. This also included first and foremost using traditional materials such as clay, tin, stone, marble or wood. In this way, old and new can blend smoothly.
Much indirect lighting also serves to bring out the best of the expansive frescos, niches, sculptures, and ornamentation. Impressive vaulted ceilings, flanked by stately pillars, lead to the 104 rooms and suites. In the interior, parts of the brick walls have been left exposed and now, along with the modern colors of anthracite and egg-shell white chosen for the walls form a lively contrast to the Baroque glory. Floors boasting herringbone parquet and marble, covers in velvet or leather, and details in precious metals round out the sense of elegance. Moreover, each year, the large inner courtyard, around which the building’s wings are grouped, hosts countless cultural events.
Each room is individually outfitted. The bathrooms feature from floor to ceiling three kinds of marble, from white to grey to dark green. With the glass showers and standalone washbasins, they are reminiscent of luxurious bathhouses. And anyone seeking a little more relaxation can head for the hotel’s own spa and hammam that is linked directly to the building. There, Saulius Mikštas selected a stunning cladding for the facades: vertical metal louvers hat and wall shingles in red and black. Dinner afterwards can then be taken the Pacai Hotel’s “14 Horses” brasserie or its “Nineteen18” restaurant. There, Claus Meyer, co-owner of the “Noma” restaurant in Copenhagen (which boasts two Michelin stars) serves a modern interpretation of Lithuanian cuisine.