Fodor's Expert Review Jalta Hotel
Václavské nám. 45, Prague, Praha 110 00, Czech Republic See on Map
The Jalta is arguably the smartest, most interesting hotel on central Wenceslas Square, with a historically protected façade that dates to the 1950s in the socialist realist style. Inside, an Andy Warhol screen print of local boy Franz Kafka looks over the lobby.
There's a Cold War-era nuclear bunker under the hotel which you can visit with a guide. Don't miss it!
Rooms have been made over with a smart contemporary look, with Egyptian cotton linens. All the rooms have air-conditioning and free Wi-Fi. Try to get a balcony room fronting the square, with a dramatic view of the National Museum. Despite the central location, the excellent windows stifle street noise.
YOU SHOULD KNOW While the noise of the bustling square is unlikely to bother you, we'd advise avoiding straying off the main drag of the square too much, particularly on the opposite side of the square from the Jalta, where Prague's stag party legacy has left a trail of seedy strip bars.
The large bathrooms have a gold hue and pleasing lighting, with toiletries from L'Occitane.
Lifted above the norm of hotel lobbies with the bright print of Kafka, the lobby is the first hint at street-level that the Jalta is a cut above the other Wenceslas Square offerings.
Across the square you can see the balcony where Czech philosopher and independence hero Václav Havel spoke to crowds of protestors during the Velvet Revolution in 1989, precipitating the fall of communism.
The attached Como restaurant, with a pleasant outdoor terrace overlooking historic Wenceslas Square, is not bad.
Como cocktail bar, attached to the restaurant, is opulent and comfortable, with a wide range of drinks available and suitably efficient bar staff.
You are all set for transport - Wenceslas Square is something of a hub, with numerous tram stops and Můstek metro station all on the square itself.
For years, those with a late-night hankering for good Mexican food in Prague were out of luck. Then Burrito Loco (7-minute walk) opened up and now has seven branches across the city and 24-hour opening.
Old-school European favourites, and a midday menu, make Universal (14-minute walk) a good option if you're near the National Theatre, particularly as prices have barely changed since it opened decades ago.
You can pay a lot for a beer on touristy, busy Wenceslas Square, or you can walk to Pivovarský dům (10-minute walk) and sample beers brewed on the premises and often fused with interesting limited-edition ingredients like banana. Or stay on the square and sign in for the gimmicks: at Výtopna (1-minute walk), your beer comes delivered by miniature train.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Jalta could be a total tourist trap, but inside and out, it's a bit more interesting than that.
The decor is fresh, the attached bar is sceney, and the staff are kind and efficient. Plus, how many hotels can say they have a nuclear bunker in their basement?
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