THE “COSMOS” HOTEL (CHISINAU)
The Cosmos Hotel is situated in the city center, where Constantin Negruzzi Boulevard and Dimitrie Cantemir Boulevard meet. By withdrawing from the alignment, a small square was created in front of the building, in which the equestrian statue of Kotovski is located. A controversial personality, the communist activist Grigory Ivanovich Kotovski (1881-1925) is for some a Bolshevik hero, and for others a worthless man.
The construction work of the Cosmos Hotel lasted for nine years, from 1974 to 1983, when it was put into use. The labor unions of the Republic of Moldova, which owned two other smaller hotels, “Tourist” and “Doina” at that time, funded what was to become the country’s largest hotel – Cosmos. The building was designed by the architects B. Banykin and Irina Kolbayeva.
The hotel consists of ground floor and 19 floors above it and during the socialist period was one of the largest hotels in Moldova. The materials used in its construction include reinforced concrete structures and prefabricated elements. The ground floor and the mezzanine are developed horizontally and include several annexes with different purposes, beside the accommodation facilities: catering spaces, a casino and a business center with conference rooms.
The building site was intended to be a strategic location, since it has been built close to the only rail station, near the central square and next to the bus station, 11 km away from Chisinau International Airport.
Due to the fact that vacation opportunities of the 1980s were often limited to the Soviet Union borders, Moldova was a very popular touristic destination. In this period, the hotel occupancy rate reached 90% during the summer season and often 100% from September to November.
With the political changes following 1990, the business status of the largest hotel in Moldova changed and the number of tourists decreasing drastically. In order to use the hotel at its full potential, considering the strategic location of the building, the administration decided to lease rooms as office spaces and the lobby as area for commercial spaces.
Between 1997 and 2004, a series of investments were made at the “Cosmos” Hotel, in order to increase the economic efficiency and the quality of the services provided. Following its modernization, the hotel went from a two-star classification to a three-star one. Some major investments were carried out in the rooms’ renovation, including carpentry changes, wall-finishing repairs, bathroom reconditioning and plumbing replacements.
In 1992, the hotel was property of the state company Tourist Hotel Complex “Cosmos”, which was part of the Union Tourism Association “Concediu”, an association that eventually led to the formation of the “Moldsindtur” Concern, subsequently renamed “Moldsindbalneotur” Holding.
In 2000, according to state documents, the complex was registered in the property of “Moldsindtur” Concern SRL, whose founder had been the General Federation of Trade Unions of Moldova.
In 2007 the Cosmos Hotel was sold without auction to the investor “Delma Grup” SRL and later, in 2011, the property was re-sold to the company “Infotom-com” SRL, whose founder is “Ghermivali”.
Currently, the hotel is not operating at full capacity. The finishes are deteriorated in most of the accommodation rooms, the ceramic tiling and sanitary facilities in the bathrooms are degraded, while the public spaces on the ground floor and at the mezzanine level are in better conditions.
Next to the Cosmos Hotel building, a number of parasite constructions have been built (Grand Hall Commercial complex– built in 2002, further extended in 2011, a Casino built in 2008 and other commercial spaces that replaced Disco PEOPLE, which initially appeared in 2005). Those extensions represent a negative example of commercialization of space, neglecting the initial function provided by Cosmos complex. In addition to these considerations, there is also a stylistic inconsistency between socialist modernist period and the latest add-ons.
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