The Golden Well (U Zlate Studne)

Mala Strana, Prague, Czech Republic Book from Eur175

Reviewed by Laila Ram
Charming traditional retreat in 16th-century Emperor's residence, set beneath the walls of Prague Castle
Wander up the cobbled, traffic-free streets to The Golden Well (U Zlate Studne), clinging to the wall in the shadow of Prague Castle, and you will uncover one of the city's best kept secrets.

This modest collection of little inter-locking houses was once home to Emperor Rudolf II, and later the astronomer Tycho de Brahe. Sensitive renovation has created a cosy yet refined hotel. The result is a pleasing balance of mod cons and old style elegance.

The rooms, arranged over 4 floors, all offer exhilarating views over the "City of a Hundred Spires". Together with superb cuisine and fantastic service, it all adds up to a relaxing retreat that you won't want to leave.

Highs

  • Unbeatable location in Prague's historic centre, with views over the picturesque Mala Strana district
  • Top-floor restaurant: quality dining with a vista to die for
  • Direct access from restaurant terrace into Prague Castle (April to October)

Lows

  • The reproduction furniture and paintings lack character, giving the place a slightly corporate feel
  • No bar or public space for lounging around in - though the rooftop terrace is fabulous during the warmer months

Best time to go

There's always something going on in Prague. Spring and autumn are ideal. Bear in mind that the Czechs have serious winters, while summer in the city can be stifling.

Great for...

Family
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 19
  • Restaurant and bar
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
Room: Suite

Rooms

Spacious, high ceilinged rooms enhance the sensation of staying in the rooftops of the city. Most have great views over the historic centre or the garden.

Wooden floors are softened with thick rugs, while satellite TV is kept in discreet wooden cabinets (there's free WiFi, too). The textiles are matched by the marble in the sparkling bathrooms, all of which have baths and showers. Don't forget to snuggle up in the complimentary gown and slippers afterwards.

There are Superior a perfectly comfortable but lack views. Deluxe and Grand Deluxe rooms overlook the garden or the city, while the Suites are the largest with a separate living area and stunning views.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Cd player
  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet access
  • Ipod dock
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Toiletries
  • Tv
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet

Eating

Breakfast (additional cost) is a dignified affair, taken in the formal dining room accompanied by classical music. The spread includes fruit, yoghurt, cereal, cold cuts and cheese, washed down with a choice of juices and hot drinks. The black rye bread is a winner. Follow it up with grilled bacon, sausage and eggs (scrambled, fried or omelette) to prepare you for a full day in the capital.

The restaurant prepares delicious French-influenced dishes, served with a smile. The red and burnished gold theme provides an appropriately theatrical backdrop to the panoramic view.

For starters, tuck into salmon carpaccio with St Jacques mussels, sushi and ginger. Or plump for succulent snails baked with mushrooms with roasted chicory and potatoes.

Main courses include baked duck breast on red cabbage, drizzled with honey sauce and served with potato dumplings; and grilled tiger prawns on garlic butter, served with crab-filled puff pastries. For the carnivorous, there is succulent beef sirloin, while vegetarians are also well catered for.

Dinner can be taken on the terrace below the castle gardens, or in the restaurant itself. Restaurant and room service (take your pick from the restaurant menu) are available from 7am-11pm every day.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
Eating: Restaurant
Activity:

Activities

  • Prazsky Hrad is on your doorstep, so make the most of possibly the oldest castle in the world. Drop by the Castle Gallery for Titians, Tintorettos and Baroque Bohemian art. Rudolph II, the previous owner of U Zlate Studni, collected most of the works on display
  • Stroll to Staromestske Namesti, the Old Town Square, for a slice of history followed by a slice of cake
  • Peruse the varied architecture in Wenceslas Square before sampling the nightlife in Nove Mesto
  • Check out the Charles Bridge with its Gothic gateways, for over 400 years the only link between the two halves of the city
  • Lose the crowds on the island of Kampa, whose Museum Kampa is a spanking new gallery showcasing Czech art
  • Take in a matinee concert at the Romanesque St Martin in the Wall (every Saturday and Sunday)
  • Take the funicular up to Petrin Hill for sunset, then a spot of stargazing at Stefanikova hvezdárna, the Petrin Observatory
  • Say it with a statue: a little down Petrin Hill stands the bust of 19th century Romantic poet Karel Hynek Macha. Best known for his love poem "Maj" (May), couples pay homage on the first of that month

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cycling
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Swimming
  • Tennis

Kids

The hotel is children friendly: under 12s go free and cots are also available.

Best for:

Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

The twin rooms can be useful and extra beds can be fitted in the Suites (supplement cost).

Baby equipment:

Baby cots available on request

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kid Friendly:

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