Where to Stay: Prague's Best Hotels
When choosing a hotel for your first visit to Prague, you'll likely want to stay in the historic city center. Much of central Prague is walkable, and most hotels are a short, safe walk from public transportation. The central district boasts a massive number of hotels, from the almost-hidden "gem" of Hotel Jewel to the grandiose and unmistakable Hotel Paris.
Located 2 minutes from Metro Mustek and just a 5-minute walk to Old Town Prague, Hotel Jewel is a boutique hotel with plenty of character. Its 11 rooms are named after precious stones and minerals, such as The Diamond and The Pearl. The interior has as much jewel-toned character as you would expect with sparkling murals and dazzling contemporary art throughout. At the end of each day, a snack and a Czech bedtime story will await you in your room.
Close to everything, but slightly off the beaten path, is the Aria Hotel -- a music-themed luxury hotel with some unusual amenities. Each floor reflects a genre of music that guests can choose from -- contemporary, classical, opera or jazz. Rooms have beautiful views ranging from private gardens to the city of Prague, with views of the cupola of St. Nicholas Cathedral. The hotel also boasts a gigantic CD library, which guests can access in their rooms via Apple TV, a private listening booth and a screening room. Aria offers 50 themed rooms named after composers and genres and, not surprisingly, live music in the hotel bar with different musicians 6 nights a week.
Golden Well Hotel
For a truly hidden treasure, seek out the Golden Well Hotel -- a hotel nestled quite literally within the walls of Prague Castle. This hotel is made up of interlocking homes that once housed Emperor Rudolf II and famed astronomer Tycho Brahe. This 19-room hotel offers great views of the city and castle hills, a terrace restaurant and a private passageway to the castle. The higher the room, the better the view—so check the website for a clear map of which rooms offer the best views before booking. Bring a map and allow extra time for taxis. Many drivers will have difficulty finding this one, but it's worth the effort.
Romantik Hotel U Raka
For a taste of true Czech country home living, seek out the Romantik Hotel U Raka, a 6-room, owner-operated hotel on a cobblestone cul-de-sac. This small country home-turned hotel is just walking distance to the Charles Bridge on the "fringe" of Prague's central district. True to its name, the hotel is quite romantic and includes 1 room that offers a fireplace, wishing well and winter garden. Staying at the Romantik Hotel U Raka is more like staying with friends than booking a Prague hotel room. For a true treat, ask the owner for a tour of Prague in his 1931 Model A Ford, imported from Ohio (for 2000 CZK per hour). Or entertain up to 8 guests with a traditional Czech barbeque in the garden.
Alchymist Grand Hotel and Spa
For a taste of opulence, book a room at the Alchymist Grand Hotel and Spa, a 46-bedroom property situated in a privately owned mansion. The hotel overflows with incredible baroque décor, a patisserie, restaurant, bar, spa and private butler for guests—who enjoy tranquility, personal attention and hot cloths at seemingly every turn. Guests are invited to a complimentary wine and cheese tasting each evening.
Hotel Paris is a beautifully preserved, ornate art deco dream. In fact, everything in the hotel is art deco, from the stickers on the toilet paper to the architecture of the hotel itself. Declared a historical monument in 1984, Hotel Paris is a treat for the senses and a special delight for art lovers. The 86-room hotel is located conveniently next to the Nam Republiky Metro Stop, with an authentic Parisian café that is ideal for leisurely people-watching.
Hotel Kings Court
Those traveling on a dime can still experience luxury within the Hotel Kings Court. For a reasonable upcharge, "executive" rooms come with access to a private lounge, complete with computer access, snacks throughout the day, espresso, soft drinks, wine and a full bar—all complimentary. Coupled with the hotel's bar, a generous free breakfast in the restaurant, spa and bright, modern interior, it's almost difficult to leave this hotel for a day of sightseeing.