Looking For A Romantic City Break With The Festive Factor?

Looking For A Romantic City Break With The Festive Factor?

InStyle's Susan Henderson discovers a five-star sanctuary at the Four Seasons Hotel Prague, in the heart of the postcard-pretty Old Town...

First impressions?
Guest are greeted in the lobby with the most spectacular floral display EVER. (Why have one vase of flowers when you can have 20.) Interiors in the 157 rooms and suites are classic contemporary rather than super-modern – ask for one overlooking the river with views of the castle. As you’d expect from the Four Seasons, everything is in the best possible taste, from toiletries by Asprey of London in the limestone tiled bathroom and down pillows that make you go ‘Ahhhh’, to the totally covetable Bohemian crystal (the country has a centuries-old tradition of glassmaking) and paintings by local artists on display throughout the hotel.

What about the personal touch?
They know how to keep guests happy here. Forgot your toothbrush? No problem. One was delivered to my door in minutes. They’ve got this. Not sure what to wear? The handy ‘tomorrow’s weather’ card in your room will help solve any outfit dilemmas (though with all those cobbled streets to negotiate, you might want to rethink the heels). There’s even French perfume in the vacuum cleaner to scent your every step (for a/w it’s Amber, BTW).

How romantic...
Well, Prague (Praha to the locals) is THE dream romantic destination, especially in December. And tempting as it is to lose an afternoon in the seductive glow of the hotel bar, sipping on a glühwein or three, there’s so much on the hotel’s doorstep you’d be missing out on: traditional Christmas markets in the Old Town Square (and the seasonally apt Wenceslas Square), a tour in an open-top vintage car (sheepskin rugs included, fur hat recommended) or a gondola ride on the Vltava river.

What’s on the must-see list?
From the iconic 14th-century Charles Bridge and 600-year-old astronomical clock to the Gothic cathedral, the entire city is one big postcard-perfect insta opp with its skyline of fairytale turrets and spires. Meanwhile, back in the 21st century, the ultra-modern Palladium shopping mall – one of the country’s biggest – will keep shopaholics happy for hours.

I’ve shopped, now I’m ready to drop…
After a hard day’s pavement pounding, bliss out in the hotel’s new Ava spa. Wind down in the sauna and steam rooms, or just take time out to leaf through a few coffee table art books in the cosy lounge. The vitality pool’s massage jets will help soothe tired muscles but for a more hands-on remedy I’d recommend the La Boheme massage, using oil made from linden blossom, the country’s national tree. And the hydrotherapy bath menu, using naturally healing salts found locally, will melt away any aches and pains. Loved-up couples can amp up the romance with the spa’s Retreat for Two package.

What’s for dinner?
At the hotel’s restaurant, CottoCrudo (meaning cooked/raw), executive chef Leonardo serves up artfully plated modern Italian. Oriental touches, like Tuna Spaghetti (ie tuna expertly carved into ribbons) Marinated With Orange Emulsion, are a hint at the five years he spent in Tokyo. They take their food very seriously here, with fresh fish flown in from Italy three times a week. Want something more traditional? Head to the old town for a hearty helping of duck leg with red cabbage and potato dumplings. In summer, the Four Seasons offers the ultimate in romantic dining: a private table for two on the roof terrace overlooking the river ¬– just you and the views, serenaded by a string quartet. Better have that ring ready…

So would you visit again?
The hotel’s name says it all: Prague really is a city for all seasons. So that’s one down, three to go…

Rooms from about £290 per night. To book, visit Fourseasons.com/prague. Susan Henderson travelled as a guest of Czech Tourism (Czechtourism.com)


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