The Iron Gate

Old Town, Prague, Czech Republic Book from Book from £261 per night

Prague's finest historic conversion hotel, set in the medieval heart of the Old Town
After a day pounding Prague's medieval cobbles, it seems fitting to wind up at the Iron Gate for the night. Local artists were leaving their marks upon these very walls back in the days when not-so-good King Wenceslas was earning Bohemia a reputation for debauchery. Today the building is divided into 48 very individual and luxurious suites, which surround a tranquil courtyard just strides from the Old Town Square.

Rooms are softly lit and earthy, though there are concessions to modernity in the form of spacious Jacuzzi tubs (in larger suites). Original murals, painted beams and later Baroque additions have been integrated into the design. Each suite has its surprise: a pair of plump cherubs daubed playfully across the ceiling, perhaps, or a depiction of Joseph's seduction by the wife of Potiphar. The perfect place to indulge.

Highs

  • The Iron Gate has been lauded by the Prague Heritage Department as the finest historic conversion of any of Prague's hotels
  • In addition to this, it's centrally placed, just a stone's throw from the Old Town Square
  • Considering its position, the hotel is wonderfully quiet and secluded
  • Every room is unique

Lows

  • For the price (especially the eye-watering rates of the 2 top suites), you might expect a bit more of a high gloss factor
  • Some rooms have small windows and, even with all the lights on, it can be a touch gloomy after dark
  • The mattresses were very soft when we visited, though some might like this
  • The breakfast buffet can be a bit repetitive

Best time to go

Avoid July and August if you have a problem jostling with the tourist crowds. September can be a good time to visit: the crowds are thinning and the warm weather lingers. Under a sprinkling of snow, Prague can be a magical place to visit, so don't rule out wintertime. Again though, Christmas time and New Year can be over-busy.

Great for...

City Style
Wedding
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 48
  • Breakfast (+ café)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Indoor 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: Deluxe Room

Rooms

Each of the 48 rooms and suites are unique in layout and design, many feature original 14th-century frescoes, antique furnishings, vaulted ceilings, and painted wooden beams as focal points.

The Deluxe Rooms are the most basic with a small seating area in the bedroom - we felt these lacked the character of the suites. Junior Royal Suites, though similar in layout to the rooms, feature original frescoes. Deluxe Suites are larger and have separate living and sleeping areas. The Royal Suites and the Family Suite Royal are much more spacious, and are set over 2 levels with bedrooms on the mezzanine and Jacuzzi tubs in the bathrooms. The Family Suite Royal has a second bedroom. In the second wing, the Tower Suite Royal occupies 3 floors of a 17th-century tower. It's about as nest-like as you could hope for, with a huge heart-shaped bed, a Jacuzzi tub for 2, a small roof terrace and a turret study with panoramic views of the Prague skyline.

Though all these rooms come at a price, don't expect too much in the way of gadgetry, at least not on the surface; you'll find no CD player, no bedside radio, and only a meagre selection of TV channels. However, the bathrooms are smart and modern with mosaic tiles and an array of toiletries.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet access
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Satellite TV
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

The breakfast buffet (fruits, yoghurts, cereals, cold meats, eggs, bacon, pancakes) is served in its grotto-like interior of the Iron Gate Café, or out in the courtyard (April-October). Throughout the day there is also a menu of light snacks and drinks, such as baguettes, pasta dishes and salads.

Room service is available 24-hours a day. Restaurants abound in the surrounding streets. We found nearby Klub Architectu to be a good bet, with its summer courtyard for al fresco dining.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
Eating: Iron Gate Cafe
Activity:

Activities

  • The narrow cobbled lanes of Prague's Stare Mesto (Old Town), which surround the Iron Gate Hotel, are perfectly orientated for exploration on foot. Just metres away is the Old Town Square, with its Astronomical Clock and an impressive ensemble of medieval buildings

  • Just to the north of the Old Town Square is Josefov, the old Jewish Quarter, today home to a clutch of restaurants and one of the world's finest Jewish Museums

  • Five minutes walk to the west of the hotel is the elegant Charles Bridge, with its line of beautiful carved statues and trinket stalls. Rowing boats and pedalos can be hired from Zofin, one of 3 small islands which sit downstream of Charles Bridge

  • A few blocks south of the Iron Gate are the markets and shopping precincts of the Nové Mesto ('New Town', though it's hardly new). Here you'll find plenty of bars, traditional beer halls and restaurants. Plus there's the riverside National Theatre (which stages opera, mainly) and the National Museum

  • Looming down from the other side of the Vltava River is Prague Castle, the city's number one tourist attraction and the largest castle complex in the world

  • Prague is a city of music, with people handing out flyers for classical concerts on every street corner. The jazz scene isn't bad either

  • Forested Petrin Hill, to the west of the town centre (though still within walking distance), provides the best escape from the crowds. If you haven't the energy to climb the hill yourself, there's a funicular railway to take you to the summit. There are wonderful views across the whole of Prague from various lookout points. And don't miss the Strahov Monastery, which turns out some potent ales for general consumption

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Shopping / markets

Kids

The hotel will provide cots and can arrange baby-sitting if required. Extra beds can be provided for children, who stay free of charge up to 10 years old. However, this isn't the sort of place that will particularly appeal to younger children.

Family friendly accommodation:

The Family Suite Royal has 2 bedrooms, and can fit an extra bed or a baby cot. However, as it is set over 2 floors and has a number of steep steps, it may not be suitable for younger children. Most other suites can fit an extra bed or baby cot.

Babysitting:

Babysitting available by arrangement

Baby equipment:

Baby cots available on request

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

Kid Friendly: Royal Suite

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