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Czech Republic Hotels

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
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Alchymist Grand Hotel & Spa
19 Trziste
Prague
Czech Republic 11800
Tel: 420 257 286 011
www.alchymisthotel.com

Like a vision of Baroque Prague injected with over-the-top Vegas style, this independent hotel of just 46 rooms drops cherubim, silk brocades, carved wood, and gilded plasterwork throughout the perfectly restored "House of the Jesus Child," a Mala Strana landmark that dates back to 1591. The first tip-off that the owners have an Italian eye for luxury is the downstairs café, Barocco Veneziano, adorned with even more statuary and gold and the source of rich, house-made cake and one of the city's best macchiatos. Basic doubles have flat-screen TVs, DVD players, and complimentary high-speed Internet connections. And for once, that fluffy bathrobe comes in handy outside of your room: The downstairs day spa offers Balinese massage, beauty treatments, a sunken swimming pool, and one of the city's best sushi bars. It's all truly decadent, in the very best way. Because the next-door Irish, U.S., and German embassies have 24-hour police patrols, the Alchymist (and nearby Aria) probably have the most secure locations in town, but the real advantage here is the quick access to the winding cobblestone lanes of Mala Strana.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
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Aria Hotel
9 Trziste
Prague
Czech Republic 11800
Tel: 420 225 334 111
stay@aria.cz
www.ariahotel.net

Opened in 2003 by Henry Kallan of Manhattan's Hotel Gansevoort fame, the music-themed Aria has only gotten stronger since it was sold to Czech investors in 2005. Each of the four floors in this hotel is dedicated to a music genre: classical, opera, jazz, and contemporary. Furthermore, each of the 52 rooms invokes a different composer, musician, or performer. So if there's only one room left, and it's the Led Zeppelin, and you're Bryn Terfel…tough. But the music theme is no gimmick. An in-room computer displays the designated musician's biography and holds his (they are mostly men, though Billie is represented) entire oeuvre. Rich wall hangings and artwork also reference the requisite era, and those Versace flourishes? They're no accident—the place was designed by the late Gianni's decorator, Rocco Magnoli. On top of all this, the red-and-tan leather Music Salon has a library of music books; the Music Library has a vast collection of CDs and DVDs (to play in the plush, soundproof Music Box); the Winter Garden has a concert-quality Petrov grand; and musicologist Ivana Stehlikova, Ph.D., is on staff to tell you which concerts to catch. As a coda, a trendy restaurant of the same name has a roof terrace from which to spy on the Mala Strana's rooftop symphony; there's also a fitness center with a steam bath. It's the kind of place travelers in the mood for a little local color along with their opulent appointments gravitate toward; plus, Mala Strana is the quietest part of old Prague, away from the larger crowds (and attractions) of Old Town.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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The Augustine
12/33 Letenská
Prague
Czech Republic 11800 1
Tel: 42 266 11 22 33
info.augustine@roccofortecollection.com
www.theaugustine.com

The location of this new property from hotelier Rocco Forte—in an ancient Augustinian monastery in the scenic Malá Strana district, between soaring Prague Castle and the calm Vltava River—is its best selling point. Numerous cultural and archaeological concerns delayed the 101-room hotel's opening for years, but the result is worth the wait: The accommodations may be in the former monks' quarters, but instead of monastic austerity there's a tasteful sense of modern luxe. Rooms are done in rich fabrics in warm earth tones and dressed up with elements of local design, such as reproductions of Pavel Janak's angular Cubist timber chairs and elegant chaise longues from designer Adolf Loos. The Augustinians retain ownership of the buildings, and guests can take a tour of the historic library, monastery, and chapel with one of the monks who still live in the separate monastic quarters. One downside to the great location: A tram line right outside the courtyard gate means there's practically no sidewalk in front of the hotel, making for an awkward, traffic-dodging exit on foot.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Buddha Bar Hotel
Jakubská 649/8
Prague
Czech Republic 110 00
Tel: 420 221 776 300
buddha-bar-hotel.cz

Featuring the same pan-Asian decorative exoticism as the original Buddha-Bar restaurant, in Paris, the first Buddha-Bar hotel brings its dramatic flair to the Old Town. The 39-room property, in a renovated Art Nouveau building, got off to a whiz-bang start when it opened in January, becoming a one-stop shop for jet set weekenders with its trendy restaurant, bar, and café. The 13 Superior Rooms, like the pricier Premier Rooms and suites, have immense mosaic-encrusted bathtubs, Bang & Olufsen TVs, seductive scarlet-on-black decor, and a TV hidden behind a bathroom mirror. The fitness center, Jacuzzi, and hammam/steam room are all small, but no one appears to use them: This is a place to eat and sleep, and to sip a cucumber-sake cocktail in the two-story bar/restaurant.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
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Carlo IV
13 Senovazne Namesti
Prague
Czech Republic 11000
Tel: 420 224 593 111
www.boscolohotels.com/hotel.cfm?SectionId=946

Housed in a former bank, the Carlo IV announces itself with a soaring, 19th-century facade and stately neoclassical columns. Its location on a residential square in the center of New Town is something of a drawback, since the only thing right out the front door is the main train station, but it's quiet, and you're just steps from the Na Prikope shopping strip. Plus, it feels less like a tourist zone and more like an actual, living part of the city. Inside, the vast, marble-lined lobby with small tables and plump couches recalls an era when public buildings were designed to impress, if not completely overwhelm. But the antique public face is only half of it: The hotel occupies two buildings, though only rooms and suites in the older building have high ceilings and views worth mentioning. All 152 rooms have Internet connectivity (for a fee), and many are decked out with period furniture and artwork. Boldface names will appreciate the discreet VIP entrance, and there's a subterranean health club, swimming pool, and Jacuzzi between the massive building's support pillars.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Four Seasons Hotel Prague
2a/1098 Veleslavínova
Prague
Czech Republic 11000
Tel: 420 221 427 000
Tel: 800 819 5053
www.fourseasons.com/prague

This 161-room hotel—composed of Baroque, neo-Renaissance, neoclassical, and modern buildings—sits on the Vltava, practically on top of Charles Bridge. Eight room grades and five suite types render it impossible to describe a typical room, especially when they land in different buildings; suffice to say that the smallest are a very respectable 350 square feet, and all have king-size beds and big tubs in the marble bathrooms. If you economize with a "Superior" (the second cheapest), book one on the seventh floor for vaulted ceilings and south-facing windows. The decor throughout is standard Four Seasons: deluxe and undemanding, in muted beige and green hues, though a recent redesign has brought a palette of vibrant blues and cool slate to the remodeled Renaissance wing; other buildings are set for renovation through 2009. Service is the thing here, and it's as impeccable as ever. There's a small gym with a sauna, a microspa (you can get in-room massages, too), and the Michelin-starred pan-Italian Allegro restaurant—one of the best this side of the Alps—which has a riverside terrace with absolutely incomparable views of Prague Castle. Favored by travelers seeking an international standard, the Four Seasons was good enough for a recent stay by Madonna, who probably recognized the advantages of having one foot on Charles Bridge: easy access to both Mala Strana and Old Town, as well as a surprisingly quiet riverbank park between the hotel and Manes Bridge, just to the north.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
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Hilton Prague Old Town
7 V Celnici
Prague
Czech Republic 11121
Tel: 420 221 822 100
Tel: 800 445 8667
www.hiltonpragueoldtown.com

Don't confuse this place with the original Hilton in Prague: Hilton Prague Old Town is newer, smaller, and better located. Taking the place of a former Renaissance hotel, this Hilton opened in late 2007 with 303 brand-new rooms and suites. Hilton enlisted big names to oversee the design, including Alexandra Champalimaud and David Collins (who designed the public spaces and the restaurant). The decor was inspired by the golden age of Czech Cubist design, reflected everywhere from the angular marble fireplace in the lobby to multifaceted images on throw pillows. The rooms are spacious by Prague standards—they start at about 300 square feet—and decorated in relaxing sand, camel, and foam-green tones. Many of the executive suites on the ninth floor have outstanding views of the Secession-era Municipal House and Gothic-era Powder Tower; but our top choice is room 918, a two-level penthouse with a breathtaking 180°-perspective over Vitkov hill and the rooftops of eastern Old Town. There is no spa, but the fitness center includes a gym, sauna, and indoor pool. The hotel's cocktail lounge, a modern black-and-white space with touches of gold, has an extensive list of libations such as apple and sage martinis.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
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Hotel Jalta
45 Vaclavske Namesti
Prague
Czech Republic 11000
Tel: 420 222 822 111
booking@hoteljalta.com
www.hoteljalta.com

The rebirth of this onetime eyesore is a beacon for the rest of the city's Communist-era architecture. A Stalinist monstrosity just a few years back, the Jalta is now positively vibrant, down to the authentic Warhol print of Franz Kafka in the lobby. Even the smaller rooms manage to feel quite plush: Double beds are piled with eight fluffy pillows, and all of the 94 rooms open onto balconies. If you can stand a few imperfections (crooked prints on the walls, cracks in the new plaster, indifferent but not unfriendly service), the Jalta is a good value. Its location on gritty-by-night Wenceslas Square is convenient to the city center, tramlines, and the metro, making the Jalta one of the best-connected addresses in town, and especially advantageous for exploring New Town, Vinohrady, or Zizkov. The pan-Asian and Czech food at the downstairs restaurant, Hot, can go hot or cold, but the decor and atmosphere—especially the terrace facing the action in Wenceslas Square—are among the best in New Town.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
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Hotel Josef
20 Rybná
Prague
Czech Republic 11000
Tel: 420 221 700 111
Tel: 800 337 4685
office@hoteljosef.com
www.hoteljosef.com

The city's highest style quotient—or most self-conscious design statement—belongs to this 2003-vintage place five minutes' walk from Old Town Square near Josefov (Old Town's Jewish quarter). Czech-born architect Eva Jiricna was responsible for everything: the two buildings called "Pink" and "Orange" facing a quiet courtyard with a manicured lawn, and the post–Space Age lobby/bar, where every texture of white is illuminated by white halogen spots. In fact, the 109 rooms are also all-white, with hits of color from tangerine or olive cotton throws and boxy armchairs. In the Superior rooms, what appear at first to be giant glass-walled closets are actually the bathrooms. (Do not book one with a new date.) There's no denying the glamour and impact of all this, but most rooms are small and have views only of the interior courtyard. Rooms 704 and 801, on the other hand, have castle and rooftop views and terraces. A sister hotel, the Maximilian, brings the same style to even newer digs a couple of blocks away (Haštalská 14; 420-225-303-111; www.maximilianhotel.com).

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Kings Court
3 U Obecniho Domu
Prague
Czech Republic 11000
Tel: 420 224 222 888
info@hotelkingscourt.cz
www.hotelkingscourt.cz

Opened in 2009, in a 1904 building that formerly housed the Czechoslovak Chamber of Commerce, the Hotel Kings Court has a history-laden atmosphere similar to that of its venerable next-door neighbor, the Hotel Paris. The Kings Court complements its great location (on Náměstí Republiky, central Republic Square) with 133 well-designed rooms that echo the glorious early years of the 20th century and the city's flourishing culture between the two world wars. There are generous doses of heady, period colors like purple and ocher as well as elements of Czech Cubist design visible in the lamps, chairs, and other furnishings. The uncomfortably named but otherwise excellent mEating Point restaurant serves very good Continental and international fare, and there's excellent people-watching from the outdoor terrace in warm weather. There is a swimming pool on-site, though it has more architectural interest than exercise potential: The exposed stone walls surrounding the tiny pool area are part of the city's 1,000-year-old fortifications. All in all, this is an attractive, locally owned hotel that offers lodging and services at the standard of the big international luxury chains, at prices that are often a good deal lower.—Evan Rail

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
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Hotel Neruda
44 Nerudova
Prague
Czech Republic 11800
Tel: 420 257 535 557
info@hotelneruda.cz
www.hotelneruda.cz

This sensitive reconstruction of a 1348 building just under Prague Castle stands on the main drag of Mala Strana's castle district—the same street that the great author Jan Neruda once called home. A few stone walls have been left here for ambience, but the flagstone floors and white archways in the public areas are all new, as are the slipcovered dining chairs and the dark-stained, built-in minimalist furniture in the 42 bedrooms. The spaces tend to be minimalist in size as well, and some bathrooms lack tubs. Despite the occasional ecclesiastical antique or rococo chair, the overall effect is highly modern and nicely designed. And the good prices, terrific location, helpful staff, and rooftop deck counteract the Neruda's few drawbacks.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hotel Paris
1 U Obecniho Domu
Prague
Czech Republic 11000
Tel: 420 222 195 195
www.hotel-paris.cz

With views over Old Town, the 86-room Hotel Paris (a.k.a. Hotel Pariz) has been a celebrated fixture of the city since its arrival in 1904. It's a sui generis Art Nouveau five-star filled to the rafters with luxe antique touches, from brass filigree lamps and period wallpaper to sound-insulating double doors. If your tastes run to ultramodern, try the Hotel Josef instead—the Paris's charming rooms, the regular haunts of locals like Eva Herzigova and the Havels, are straight out of Old Prague. For bigger budgets, the duplex rooftop Tower Suite—home to moody rocker Nick Cave when he's in town—has a 360-degree panorama of Old Town.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Hotel Yasmin
913/12 Politickych Veznu
Prague
Czech Republic 11000
Tel: 420 234 100 100
www.hotel-yasmin.cz

In a city of Gothic spires and Baroque curlicues, the Yasmin is a retro-futuristic option. While there are no fluffy robes or fancy vanities, the 198 rooms have pleasing touches such as a sage-and-sand color scheme, funky light fixtures, and jasmine-leaf motifs, and the restaurant Noodles' furry orange sculptures and silver globes create a Seuss-like atmosphere. Despite its low price, the Yasmin feels like it could cost twice as much, with a great location near Wenceslas Square and excellent service. One exception is the extortionate $35 charge for high-speed Internet access. 

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
The Icon Hotel
6 V Jámé
Prague
Czech Republic 11000
Tel: 420 221 634 100
reservation@iconhotel.eu
www.iconhotel.eu/en/contacts.php

At first glance, it's hard to see beyond the high-tech surface of this refurbished Art Nouveau building just south of Wenceslas Square, where all 31 sleekly designed rooms feature Skype phones, free Wi-Fi as well as ADSL Internet, and biometric safes that unlock with a fingerprint. Despite the high-tech gadgets, the hotel maintains a calm residential feel, and its tastefully minimalist decor, comfortable beds with hypoallergenic linens, professional staff, and moderate prices make it an excellent value in a city with an increasing number of luxe options. Considering the tech appeal and the cool in-house bar and lounge, it's no surprise that the crowd here tends to be youthful and ready to mingle. In recognition of the late nights, breakfast is served until 11 nightly.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Kempinski Hybernská
12 Hybernská
Prague
Czech Republic 110 00
Tel: 801 426 3135 (toll-free)
Tel: 420 226 226 111
www.kempinski-prague.com

Just steps from Republic Square and its fabulously Art Nouveau Municipal House, the Kempinski Hybernská occupies a fifteenth-century palace, and still has the nobleman's parklike private garden as its backyard. The newly renovated building has 62 mini-kitchen-equipped suites and 13 smaller Superior rooms, although all contain plush touches: high ceilings, hardwood floors, soft carpets in decadent deep purple, heavy damask curtains, as well as works of art and decorative bowls and vases. Eight of the suites are apartment-sized duplexes, and a pair of two-bedroom suites have private terraces overlooking Prague's celebrated rooftops. Primarily recruited from the local five-star competition, the staff are remarkably helpful and self-assuredly attentive to the clientele of well-established Alpine types enjoying the city's moment on Europe's luxury stage.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Mandarin Oriental, Prague
459/1 Nebovidska
Prague
Czech Republic 11800
Tel: 420 233 088 888
www.mandarinoriental.com/prague/

In a "quiet and secluded" location in the Mala Strana district, the hotel is a Renaissance-Baroque-contemporary mélange built around a 14th-century monastery—the spa's glass floor reveals the ruins of the former chapel. Perfect-scoring rooms have high ceilings and are individually furnished, though all come with parquet floors, woven rugs, and polished limestone bathrooms. Service goes "beyond expectations." Essensia mixes Asian and European influences in contemporary preparations such as Beskydy Mountain veal ossobucco.

(99 rooms)

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Maximilian Hotel
14 Haštalská
Prague
Czech Republic 11000
Tel: 420 225 303 118
reservations@maximilianhotel.com
maximilianhotel.com

With a superb location five minutes from Old Town Square, the renovated 71-room Maximilian is all about smart design. Czech-born architect Eva Jiricna has created attractive and useful communal spaces—a library, an honor bar, a small business center, and a glass-roofed breakfast room—that stir trendy travelers out of their chambers. The rooms are pretty swell, though, with high ceilings, neo-Cubist furniture, and great lighting—both recessed and on adjustable headboard stalks for reading in bed. For a real escape, there's the Floating Center—a room with a huge tub for relaxing in total silence. If you want something a bit less extreme, various Thai massages are on offer.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.