“Unpretentious yet luxurious design hotel just a stone’s throw from Prague’s historic centre”
The 90 rooms are spread across 3 wings and spaced well apart - there was only one other room on our floor, so the hotel felt much more intimate than its size would suggest.
In a nutshell, there isn’t a bad room type. While some are bigger than others, they all follow a similar design formula: light grey walls, padded headboards, tall windows with floor-length curtains, desks, and large wooden cabinets for storage. Some overlook the terrace, others the street, and a handful have a partial view of the castle. Beds have super-comfy mattresses and crisp white linen topped with throws and cushions (in purple, orange or lime green, depending on which wing you’re in), although doubles have 2 single duvets, which we found a little peculiar. Bathrooms are lined with black tiles and come with fluffy towels, tonnes of toiletries and, in larger rooms, robes and slippers. Some of the more expensive rooms feature Quim Domene artwork.
We stayed in a Superior Room, the smallest category, but we still had just enough space to relax after a busy day of sightseeing. These rooms can be set up as twins and most have tubs with overhead showers; they're great if you’re on a budget, but it’s worth paying a little extra for a bigger Deluxe Room if you can, as they have sitting areas with an enticing sofa (which can be made up as an extra bed), plus separate baths and walk-in showers in many. The 1-Bedroom Suites and slightly larger Family Suites have separate lounges with 2 single sofabeds.
For those who really want to splurge, the 2 Deluxe Suites are breathtaking. Named after famous Czech authors (one, of course, is Franz Kafka, the other Milan Kundera), they’re located at the top of the old building and so benefit from high ceilings. They’re a great option for families or friends, as they have 2 bedrooms (a double and a twin, each with an ensuite with a freestanding tub and walk-in shower), plus a huge living/dining area with sofabeds.
The ground-floor restaurant and bar, Aliter, reminded us of an art-gallery café: low-hanging light installations, mismatched chairs, tables which vary in size and shape, and original prints on the walls. There’s also an adjoining terrace which is a lovely spot in warmer weather.
The breakfast buffet was a joy to wake up to, and was itself presented like a work of art. Hot plates of potatoes, eggs, mushrooms, bacon, sausages and pancakes were nestled on shelves built into the walls, while a huge variety of breads and pastries were arranged across an island unit. There was also a range of fresh fruits, cereals, yoghurts and juices. The spread varied slightly each day - a welcome touch for those staying for a few nights. Our only slight niggles were the coffee (from a help-yourself machine) and the toaster (which took more than 5 minutes to toast our bread).
Throughout the day and evening there’s a menu of European dishes with an international twist - it’s a developing concept and the choice could be considered as limited, but the food is good. We enjoyed baked goat’s cheese served on a crunchy salad of watercress, green apple and walnuts, followed by entrecote steak with butter sauce and then a berry cheesecake - all excellent. There were also a few delicious-sounding Czech dishes, including roast sirloin and dumplings in a cream sauce. The restaurant was relatively quiet when we visited, but we didn’t feel uncomfortable and would have been happy to linger with a bottle of wine.
There's also a daily changing, 3-course lunch menu available from Monday - Friday, as well an afternoon and evening menu of light meals, such as sandwiches and soups, for those who don't want anything too heavy. Coffee and cakes are available, too.
When it comes to eating out, there’s plenty of choice. The bar across the street, The Beer Museum, serves excellent drinks and tasting platters, and we had very tasty pasta at Ambiente Pasta Fresca, a 10-minute walk away.
Children of all ages are welcome and the relaxed atmosphere is well-suited to families, although there are no special facilities for kids.
Baby cots can be added to all rooms, and the sofas in the Deluxe Rooms, 1-Bedroom Suites and Family Suites can be made up as extra beds. If you can stretch to one of the Deluxe Suites, you’ll get 2 bedrooms (one a twin that’s ideal for kids), plus 2 ensuite bathrooms (both with tubs and separate showers) and a large living/dining area with sofabeds.