We haven't covered the Czech Republic in some time, but our editor visited in the winter off-season when tourism typically slows. What he found was a city that felt true to itself. He made reservations at four properties, two on each side of the river and came away with two new recommendations to add to the two we already recommend there, the Four Seasons in Staré Město and the Aria Hotel in Malá Strana.
With a central location rivaled only by the Four Seasons, this 68-room palace hotel stands a minute’s walk south of the Charles Bridge in Staré Město. The Smetana’s rather unremarkable neoclassical façade gives way to two spacious courtyards surrounded by more dynamic baroque architecture. Nevertheless, accommodations at the front have both period character as well as memorable views. In addition to a newly remodeled bar and a traditional café, the hotel currently contains Bellevue, an acclaimed Czech-French fusion restaurant we have long recommended. There is also a small spa amid the atmospheric brick vaults of its cellar, including a sauna and a couples treatment room. The level of service does not rise to that of the Four Seasons, but then, neither do the prices.
From the editor: “From the bedroom of our Deluxe Suite River View on the fourth and highest floor, we could see the Vltava and red-roofed Malá Strana neighborhood, and if we looked a little to the right, the stone arches of Charles Bridge and Gothic spires of St. Vitus crowning Prague Castle. It was an extraordinary panorama.”
Read more about Smetana Hotel.
This eight-room hotel occupies a 15th-century mansion on a quiet little square just outside the main tourist circuit in Malá Strana. Few of the ornate lounges or guest rooms lack an oversize crystal chandelier. Even the cellar fitness room, the couple’s massage treatment room and the adjacent vaulted chamber housing a private Jacuzzi (request a complimentary bath in advance) were festooned with these glittering fixtures. In comfortable Deluxe Rooms, large crystal chandeliers sparkle beneath polychrome-wood-beamed ceilings, illuminating dramatic four-poster beds with fluted gilt columns.
From the editor: “Travelers who ascribe to a more international definition of luxury décor and service should consider one of our alternative recommendations in the city.”
Read more about Alchymist Prague Castle Suites.