Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, has stirred worldwide ripples that a capital city could most envy. The launch of Vilnius’ new advertising campaign under the eye-catching yet controversial slogan “Vilnius – G-Spot of Europe” had people talking from Melbourne in Australia to London in the UK about Vilnius’ new introduction to the world. The advertisement shows a woman lying on a bed clutching a sheet printed with a map of Europe. The ad reads: “Nobody knows where it is, but when you find it – it’s amazing”.
The rehabilitation of historic piles into modern hotels often results in slick modern interiors with absolutely no sense of the building’s storied past. A round of applause then for architect Saulius Mikštas and YES.design.architecture studio for their admirable work on turning this grand 17th-century baroque mansion into Hotel Pacai in Vilnius’ Old Town.
Anchored by a dramatically proportioned 500sqm courtyard, the public spaces and 104 rooms all feature a handsome palette of deep grey walls and drapes, tufted leather finishes, marble benches and slender-limbed midcentury furniture, but what catches the eye are the mansion’s textured old bones which peek out like an architectural palimpsest at unexpected moments – a wall of exposed original bricks and barn timber here, cracked pilasters and a patch of ancient frescos there.
The best room in the house is the Pacai Suite with views of the Old Town, but we’re equally impressed by in-house brasserie 14 Horses, which harnesses local produce in its Lithuanian- and Baltic-inspired menu.