Four Seasons Hotel Prague
Veleslavinova 2a, Prague, Praha 110 00, Czech Republic
Though it has plenty of competition at the top end of the market, the Four Seasons luxury chain is keeping up, with renovations to the modern wing of the hotel (there are three buildings in all; the modern structure is joined by existing buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries). It's classic Four Seasons throughout: comfortable rooms, stellar views of the Castle and Charles Bridge, and formal, conscientious service.
Try to reserve well in advance (three months) to get a better rate.
Rooms are outfitted with flat-screen TVs, Eames desk chairs, a herringbone-patterned carpet, and more. The beds and pillows are exceedingly comfortable. In keeping with the exteriors of the buildings, some rooms are modern, some neo-classical; the river view rooms and suite are absolute knock-outs (and obviously come at a higher rate).
Bathrooms are luxurious and often large, with marble fixtures and pleasant old-fashioned style lighting.
The flower-filled lobby does the job as you would expect a Four Seasons lobby to do; it's large, fragrant and pleasant, although the patterned rugs are a bit outmoded.
There's a lovely, if not overly large, swimming pool, well-lit by curving windows, and complete with a historic fireplace.
The spa is predictably lavish, in gilt and stone, with a long roster of treatments and massages. The Czech-inspired aromatic baths are a nice touch--try the Karlovy Vary one, inspired by the famous spa town.
The hotel's health club, free for guests, is a 150-square meter facility with modern fitness equipment, massage rooms, an exercise area and separate saunas for men and women.
Cotto Crudo is one of the best restaurants in Prague, with great views over the Vltava inside and out and restrained, elegant decoration. It serves Mediterranean cuisine themed as cooked or raw, with a fancy mozzarella bar. Despite the fanciness, kids are welcome.
YOU SHOULD KNOW There's a lavish breakfast spread that, alas, is not included in the basic rate. The hotel has also recently started hosting a brunch at the weekends.
The hotel has its own wine cellar and cocktail bar. There's a newly opened lobby bar and lounge called The Gallery, which is a richly-patterned, velvet chairs kind of affair. Or taking your drinks out onto the hotel's gorgeous riverside terraces is a treat.
The hotel is in an absoutely prime location to access all of compact Prague's city center sights. But it's also close to Staroměstská Metro and tram stops.
If you aren't bored of the view by now (is that even possible in beautiful Prague?), then you can get a slightly different al-fresco angle on it on board the affordable, pleasant floating pizza restaurant, Grosetto Marina (2-minute walk). Or for modern Czech and international cooking, breezy restaurant Mistral Cafe (3-minute walk) is nearby.
For some fanciness, La Degustation (12-minute walk) offers inventive, fancy tasting menus inspired by Bohemian and European cooking in a private-dining style experience.
It sounds like it could be overrun with stag parties, but in the day it's actually quite a gentle place: the gimmick at The PUB (2-minute walk) is that your beer is self-service, via the taps on your table. So you can have little top-ups if you don't fancy a full beer, and (perhaps once you've sunk a few), you can compete to see which table in the restaurant, and acoss the country, is drinking the fastest.
Or for cocktails, tucked-away Hangar Bar (8-minute walk) has an aviation-theme and tasty, well-thought out drinks.
WHY WE LIKE IT
It's one of the big daddies of Prague's luxury hotel scene, and it's still up there with the best of them.
The river views are basically unbeatable (although they will cost you), the spa and pool are top-notch, and the hotel's Cotto Crudo restaurant is among the city's greatest culinary experiences. Staff are impeccably capable and friendly, too.
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