It may seem unbelievable, but even though the Thermal Hotel, the pride of Karlovy Vary, has been undergoing reconstruction since the beginning of January, when you step in, you still feel like you've been sucked into the past. Dust, dirt, and the noise of jackhammers are everywhere. And you can still see the faded communist glory around you. However, the first guests will be able to spend a night in the 4-star hotel as soon as 15 March.
The Thermal can boast the greatest modernization since its opening in 1977. However, director Vladimír Novák specifies that it doesn't concern the visual aspect, but the technical one that a regular guest has no chance to see. That might be why it still feels like time stopped in 1977 inside.
"The main goal of the modernization of the Thermal Hotel, which is currently underway, is to reduce energy consumption. We are changing the pumps, circulation heating, risers, water distribution, and above all, we are introducing consumption control, which will enable us to heat those areas that need to be heated and cool those areas that need to be cooled. We'll save up to 50% on costs,"
As the hotel also caters to festival fans, the room furnishings might surprise you. Don't expect any luxury. The furniture remains the same as before. You can even find bunk beds in some of the rooms.
"On one floor, where we want to focus more on families with children, we count with the possibility of installing bunk beds,"
In addition to the renovation of the rooms, the management wants to fit in the restoration of exteriors before the festival starts, so that the terraces, for example, would be suitable for social events. Similarly, the restoration of the public toilets next to the reception, which will remain visually the same, is to be completed.
The entire reconstruction worth 580 million crowns is dealing with complications from the side of the original architects of the Thermal. Or more precisely from the side of their grandchildren Marie and Jan Kordovský, who claim that nobody contacted their grandparents Věra and Vladimír Machonin about anything.
Obviously, Novák denies that, adding that negotiations did take place in the past and are supposed to continue. And that in the very least, the materials required by the Copyright Act were supplied during the modernization. According to Novák, the rooms are being restored with the highest sensitivity with regard to the original architecture of the Machonin couple.
He pointed out, among other things, the larch wood used in the hotel's interior tiles, or the hundreds of original chairs that were being restored and would be placed in the rooms. Samples of the original tiles were also found, according to which new ones are being acquired.
The legendary swimming pool is a separate chapter that could be closed as soon as this year. Apparently, the competition for the contract will begin in the summer, and the reconstruction will start in October. The first avid swimmers could dip their toes in the pool in the summer of 2021.