Easily explored on foot, the capital of the Czech Republic is high up there among Europe’s most stunning cities, with mighty city squares, cobbled lanes and ornate churches to explore. There are legendary time-warp cafes, restaurants and thrumming beer halls. Take a cruise on the river or a ride on the funicular; climb up to the hilltop castle or one of the city’s many towers for a panoramic view across historic spires and bridges. And, when you’re ready to rest your feet, make sure you’ve booked one of the best hotels in Prague to return to.
Opened in 2015 on a quiet back street among the colourful houses and looming gothic vibe of Prague’s old town, clean lines and contemporary decor are keynotes in BoHo’s brand of understated luxury. Light-filled rooms favour shades of slate and charcoal with glass-walled en-suites and large black-and-white photos of the cityscape outside. The spa is sophisticated, the staff are attentive, and the Instagram-worthy 15th-century Powder Tower is only a 3-minute walk away.
Modern design with an art-deco flavour fills this renovated early-20th-century affair, lined with striking works by more than 20 artists. Generous communal lounges compensate for the snug bedrooms, so pitch up on a sofa in the Games Room to play Scrabble and Monopoly – or an armchair in the Fumoir, with its self-service bar and library. There’s even a hidden room behind a bookshelf, a rooftop Jacuzzi-terrace and an opulent steakhouse-style restaurant, serving lobster salad or innovative cocktails like lavender whisky sours. You’ll be tempted to stay put the whole visit.
No two rooms are alike at the Grand Mark, but they mostly have a maximalist flavour with big, colourful abstracts and swags of silk and brocade. There are spacious family suites and duplexes, where a spiral stairway winds up to the bedroom. Special-occasion weekend? Consider the two-bedded penthouse Bohemia, with views across the city’s spire-studded skyline. The dining scene likes to propose similarly elegant decadence: rich seasonal menus use king oyster mushrooms, blackcurrants, venison and lashings of romance-conducive chocolate.
Sandwiched between the baroque Nostitz Palace and the Czech Museum of Music, this five-star oasis overlooks the narrow, cobbled streets and hidden gardens of the left-bank Malá Strana area. The structure, once a Dominican monastery, retains architectural features from six centuries and some of the 99 stylish rooms and suites reveal spellbinding views of Prague’s ancient castle. With a two-floor spa and barbecue on the terrace, the Mandarin Oriental is an ideal base from which to embark on strolls through Kampa Park to the wide Vltava River.
Hardwood floors, marble bathrooms, art-nouveau details and flamboyant Italian chairs furnish the older, fancier suites in this late-19th-century Renaissance-revival palace. Only a 5-minute walk from the edge of Prague’s Old Town, the hotel has a modern wing of simpler rooms in warm, calming neutral colours. Relax like a royal under fluted columns and ornate plasterwork in the palatial lobby – or maybe in the soft-lit, vaulted spa with its 20-meter-long (66ft) heated pool and steam room. Parking is limited and costs extra, but there’s a Metro station over the road, while the central station is a short stroll away through Vrchlického Garden.
In the shadow of Prague’s vast Bohemian castle, the 16th-century Golden Well backs onto the creeper-draped, steep-terraced royal gardens that rise to its ancient walls. (In summer, guests can go through a private rooftop doorway.) From the terrace of the hotel’s fourth-floor Italian-designed restaurant, diners have unbeatable views across the city of a hundred spires. The foodie-friendly menu features creamy Czech kulajda soup, venison with rowan berries and a scrumptious pumpkin cheesecake.
Overlooking the Vltava River and iconic medieval Charles Bridge, with boat trips leaving just steps away from the hotel entrance, this grand outpost of the international Four Seasons label has fancy rooms: some in old-school chandelier-hung cream and pale gold, others in more contemporary designs. The hotel spreads over four buildings, showcasing the city’s distinct architectural eras, from vaulted baroque to 21st-century cool, via a neo-classical factory and Renaissance-revival fish merchant’s mansion. Something for everyone to love – and photograph for the folks back home.
Every space in the Alchymist, a baroque 16th-century building, is a study in opulence. From the courtyard, cascading with flowers and ivy, to the rooms, overflowing with fringed brocade and rococo gilding. A lavish Italian restaurant and palatial spa complete the glitzy picture. The surrounding Malá Strana area is all picturesque alleys, rose-washed mansions and quirky galleries. You can check out Soviet memorabilia at the KGB Museum or stuffed cats and books of spells at the magic Museum of Alchemy.
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