No bids for Hotel Imperial at CZK 2.15bn

Published: 16. 04. 2024

In an announcement that shocked no one, the confederation of unions received no bids for the Imperial Hotel in central Prague. If anything was shocking, according to hotel specialists, it was the asking CZK 2.15 billion asking price for the 120-room establishment, which the local press always describe as the “famous” Imperial Hotel. Frankly, when applied to buildings, the word ‘famous’ usually refers to an outdated building with an uncertain future. The owners of such buildings tend to have overly ambitious, nostalgia-fueled price expectations. In this case, the price appears to be a off by a few hundred million at the least. And it’s no surprise, given the ravages of Covid, the difficulty in finding hotel staff and the capital expenditures you’d guess are needed to bring the 110 year-old building up to ESG.

If the building’s still famous, it’s thanks to the celebrity chef Zdeněk Polreich who runs Café Imperial on the ground floor. But even that doesn’t appear to have whet the appetite of investors. “We didn’t receive any offers that met the conditions of the tender,” said Jiří Bulan, who is in charge of the sale for the unions. The boss of one of the unions, Roma Ďurča, was more specific. “As far as I know, no one applied to the tender,” he revealed, according to Seznam Zpravy, which also quoted him as saying the unions shouldn’t sell yet.

“We’re not taking part in the tender because it’s too expensive,” said Jaroslav Svoboda, owner of the Czech Inn Hotels, who SZ quoted in brutal fashion. “Compared to the price, the hotel doesn’t produce enough. Only someone who can afford to leave money there can buy it. You couldn’t borrow on it at a bank, you’d go out of business.”

Jan Adámek (Jan Hospitality) also spoke frankly. “It’s an interesting location,” he told SZ. “On the other hand, the building is in a busy location that’s relatively noisy, the hotel isn’t that big and didn’t doesn’t even have a large conference space. I’d think a price of roughly CZK 1.5 billion to CZK 1.7 billion would be more realistic.”

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