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Hotel PACAI in Vilnius outranks hotels Designed by Zaha Hadid, Dayana Lee, Neri & Hu in Surface Travel Awards

Hotel PACAI
The 17th-century mansion-turned-hotel located in Vilnius Old Town was named the winner in the large international hotels’ category of this year’s Surface Travel Awards. The hotel was praised for being “a model for integrating historical authenticity with contemporary design.”


Hotel PACAI, located in Vilnius, Lithuania, was named the winner of this year’s Surface Travel Awards in the category of large international hotels. The 104-room Hotel PACAI was selected out of seven short-listed hotels, and it was the only one listed that is not located in a traditional tourist destination or a metropolis.    

Nate Storey, Features Director at Surface Media, highlighted the impression the historical details and modern design left upon the award jury.  

“The jury was extraordinarily impressed by Hotel Pacai’s immaculate balance of historical details and contemporary additions,” said Storey. “It’s a testament to the architect Saulius Mikštas and interior designers Indre Barsauskaite and Greta Valikone, and the unexpected location in Vilnius made it a true discovery in every sense of the word. The best part of the Surface Travel Awards, now in its third year, is getting to reward the amazing design work happening in all corners of the world. Pacai is a great example of how a special hotel can inspire us to visit a new place.”  

The hotel PACAI staff were caught off-guard when they heard the news, said Rūta Pulkaunikaitė- Macikė, director of PACAI hotel. “We are thrilled and humbled by winning this award,” commented Rūta Pulkaunikaitė- Macikė. “Pacai always strives to deliver that one-of-a-kind hotel experience, but we are also aware of the competition we were facing. Being selected from all these amazing hotels that were created by world-famous architects is also a testament to our local creators. We are most happy for the appreciation of the design and architectural work that was put in creating the hotel. The architect and the designers did a fantastic job, to say the least.”  

Indeed, hotels created by world-famous architects Zaha Hadid, Dayna Lee and Neri & Hu Design were among the short-listed nominees, making this recognition additionally impressing.  

Formerly the palace of Lithuanian aristocrats by the name of Pacai, built in the 16th century, the hotel prides itself in preserving many restored Baroque elements on its premises, including the red-tile roof and vaulted stone ceilings. All rooms are decorated in a palette of native Baltic grey, with green marble bathrooms, exposed walls, cracked ancient pilasters and restored frescoes from other centuries, whenever possible.  

Sleek modern furniture, marble benches, artwork by a local Lithuanian painter and sophisticated lighting mix well with centuries-old historic details that create an unexpected feeling of elegant luxury and cultured sophistication.  

The original palace, exploited by various administrative governments in the past two centuries, comes back for the new life, and aims to impress the modern traveler who is curious, sophisticated and appreciative of architecture, art, design and history.

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