The Hotel Dajti has long been considered the best hotel in Tirana, Albania. It is located in the city center right on the main boulevard and is named after Tirana's local mountain Dajti. Unfortenately the hotel is not in use anymore. It was designed in the early 1940s by Italian architect Gherardo Bosio, head of the Tirana Central Bureau of Construction and Urban Planning, while parts of the furnishings are by Gio Ponti.
Gherardo Bosio was in charge of the General Regulatory Plan for Tirana and the detailed design of the Viale dell’Impero, today Martyrs of the nation Boulevard (Bulevardi Deshmoret e Kombit). The hotel was created as part of a redesign of the Albanian capital by the Italians under the direction of Bosio who had died before the opening in April 1942. The hotel was to follow the design criteria of all the other buildings along the boulevard and was considered one of the best houses on the whole Balkans.
Since 2007 it is listed as a cultural monument. After the Second World War, hotel served for a short time as the seat of the communist government. For a long time it was the only hotel for foreign guests in Tirana. From the 1970s, the Hotel Dajti was reserved for public and business travelers only. After the collapse of the communism it remained in state ownership and lost importance because the lack of investment in the 1990s. Several attempts to sell the hotel failed so it was finally closed in 2002. The ruined house was used now and then for art exhibitions. The Albanian central bank bought the building in 2010 for € 30 million and used the building while its headquarters at Skanderbeg Square was restored.
Description Of The Building
Bosio designed the hotel using a restrained and elegant architectural language. The legibility of this building is based on the contrast of pure volumes on different scales: first, this contrast is created by the distribution of the main corps containing the main programs of the hotel, and on a smaller scale, by carving solids and voids such as balconies and loggias at the level of facades. A large staircase covered by a shelter which bears the hotel sign marks the entrance. While the base part is of marble, the upper body is plastered. To enhance and animate the appearance of the boulevard, the opening of continuous loggias on the top floors was advised.
On the ground floor next to the entrance hall and the bar was a large ballroom. On the side facing away from the road there is a terrace and a small, quiet garden. The three upper floors house around 85 guest rooms - all with balconies. The upper floors are much simpler in terms of structure and style than the sumptuous, marble-clad ground floor, which is explained by the declining funds in the war years.
The interior, especially its public areas, reveal the complete modernity of the project and its elegance which is characterized by rational organization of the spaces and clear legibility of the structures. The main hall impresses with light coming from the front and evokes a sense of eternity. Its double volume supported by pillars gives an impression of spatial grandeur. On the left side of the hall is the staircase to the upper floor. The gallery overlooking the mezzanine floor, used for management offices, is clearly visible. The hotel also contains a basement where many services were located, including a late-night bar internally connected with the ground floor bar.
At that time, “Dajti” Hotel had everything it takes to be considered an avant-garde hotel. According to Gazeta Tomori (in Giusti 2006), with its 91 rooms and 125 beds, running water, bathrooms and all other amenities including a lift and dumbwaiters, “Dajti” was one of the largest hotels in the Balkans and most modern in Europe.