The Charles Bridge from the Four Seasons
The lowdown Given its cosy size, it would be tricky to stay in Prague and not be central, but the Four Seasons really does you put you bang in the heart of the city. And we mean heart, but a short stroll from the famed Charles Bridge (gargoyle fans will not be disappointed) and central tourist hub of Wenceslas Square, and with breathtakingly romantic views over the river to the Prague Castle opposite, you really can’t get much better located than here.
The hotel As it’s a Four Seasons, you know you are guaranteed to be spoilt in spectacular style. The hotel building itself is a mixture of new and old in its unique arrangement encompassing three buildings dating back to the Baroque, Neo-Renaissance and Neo-Classicist eras joined alongside a new modern building which links them all together. The rooms reflect this historic character and the décor of each reflects which era building you are housed in. The lobby is satisfyingly grand - do take a moment to check out the exquisitely clever flower arrangements on the central table. With 161 rooms and 20 suites, the hotel is one of the city’s biggest, and was the first luxury hotel to open in the city. If you’re looking for a romance-fuelled honeymoon, then do consider staying in one of their super gorgeous suites – for your first night they even customise the pillows with your new married moniker on for you to keep. How cute! The staff are all super charming and are brimming with maps and helpful advice on traversing the city’s tourist hotspots.
Dining Just off the lobby lies the Allegro dining room and bar (very cosy sofas, perfect for a late night cap). The restaurant is the only in the Czech Republic to hold a Michelin star, and really is a must visit. The food is largely Italian, with echoes of classic Mediterranean and Continental tastes thrown in alongside some local Bohemian specialities – so all should be satiated!
Whilst out in the city, Zatisi restaurant is perfect for a cosy dinner – think modern fusion - while if it’s traditional Czech cuisine you’re after, you can’t get much better than the super grand Wolesley-esque Café Imperial, a chic local hotspot.
InStyle recommends Prague is packed full of fascinating history, so a trip here is really about finding your inner geek rather than exercising your credit card. It’s a small city and very, very easy to navigate your way around on foot (or pop on a tram – which run throughout the city centre), and if you visit off season the crowds will be at a minimum (although do take note if venturing here in the heart of winter, it is intensely beautiful in the snow, but also exceptionally cold!). Walking really is the best way to soak up the spirit of the city, the centre is full of dreamy fairytale Disney-esque traditional style buildings and ornate squares - a beguiling mixture of Gothic, Romanesque and Baroque styles dating back as far as the 10th century. Since the Berlin Wall came down and the death of the Communist regime in the Czech Republic, families have worked hard to reclaim their property and possessions which were confiscated by the State. One such is the Lobkowicz family, formally part of the ruling class, they own several palaces through the country which are in various states of repair and ruin. Lobkowicz Palace, in the centre of Prague is an absolute must. Beautifully restored, the Palace features some incredible pieces – including Mozart’s hand written music scores, and Canaletto’s vistas of 18th century London. If you have time, then try and get in a visit to the ballet at the Opera House, and check in with the hotel for any exhibitions – the city is upping its game on the international art front, the Kampa Modern Art museum in Municipal house is well worth a visit, having recently staged a well-received retrospective on Modigliani. If you have time then do break out of the city and explore some of the dramatic countryside, a couple of hours out is the gothic Karlstejn 14th century castle, which is a spooky but riveting experience.
The details Rates at Four Seasons Hotel Prague start at £263 per room per night on a bed and breakfast basis, including taxes. Please visit www.fourseasons.com/prague or call 00800 6488 6488 for more information.
Getting there British Airways flights to Prague start from £176.60 return per person including taxes. To book visit www.britishairways.com
By Victoria Moss