Design Hotel Josef
Rybná 20, Prague, Praha 110 00, Czech Republic
Cool, clean, white lines dominate the decor of this ultra-hip modern boutique hotel designed by London-based Czech architect Eva Jiricna. There are no suites, only single and double rooms, so the sizes range from small to smaller, but Jiricna knows how to manipulate space, glass, and color to make even the smallest space breathable. There is free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel and in the rooms.
The rooms are crisp and modern, but still boast large, comfy beds. The rooms with balconies have good views of the Old Town. Some have the latest tech add-ons, like Nespresso machines and i-Pod docking stations, but all offer free Wi-Fi and many deals also, unusually, include a free mini-bar, particularly if booked through the website.
If you can book it, go for Room 801, which has an exquisite view of Prague's Old Town.
Bathrooms are either private and in limestone, or a little more open and glass-walled. The cosmetics are by Orla Kiely.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The glass bathrooms are a little like marmite--you either love the chance to wave to your other half while conducting your morning ablutions or hate the lack of privacy.
The lobby, in keeping with the rest of the hotel, is chic and modern, with sweeping clean lines and lots of glass.
The hotel has a sauna.
A small rooftop fitness studio with balcony does the job quite nicely, and there's even an in-house personal trainer, Lukas, who has trained Olympic weightlifters and holds a Guinness World Record. Or you can join staff on a jog through Old Town a couple of mornings a week.
There's a wide range of tasty options for breakfast and the chefs at the onsite bakery have even been known to make special extras for guests who have particularly enjoyed them previously (for example, almond croissants).
Unsurprisingly, the bar at the Hotel Josef is hip and modern, full of well-heeled bearded trendies supping the cocktail of the moment. It's attached to the lobby, though, so it isn't super private.
Almost all of the city's main attractions are within walking distance--although the castle might feel like a bit of a push at around 25 minutes, with the hill at the end--but you are also close to the Náměstí Republiky tram and metro stops.
Once a printing works, now V Kolkovně (4-minute walk) offers unpasteurised Pilsner and tasty Czech food at reasonable prices despite its central location. Or Bakeshop Praha (4-minute walk) provides reliably fresh, tasty bagels and cakes in a black-and-white tiled retro setting.
Part nightclub, part performance space, the warehouse chic of the Roxy (1-minute walk) is also right on your doorstep. For a more sophisticated tipple, Tretter's (5-minute walk) has great cocktails and a swanky feel.
WHY WE LIKE IT
You can get great deals at this sleek, individual hotel, meaning you are staying in what feels like one of central Prague's hippest spaces for the price of a lackluster chain. The on-site bakery ensures that the breakfast is fresh and delicious, and nothing is too much trouble for the young, trendy staff.
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