Alchymist Grand Hotel & Spa, Prague $$$$
Concierge.com's insider take:
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.
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