Where to stay in Prague
What's so special
The building that is now home to Le Palais was built in 1841. For the next 150 years it was the home of Prague’s main butcher – the final sausages were sold in 1991. Today it is a beautiful boutique hotel with original features, including a mosaic floor in the hall that dates from 1897. This is a great base for exploring the attractions of Prague.
How they rate it
This “stately villa” is “on the radar of film producers from London to Los Angeles for its spoiling ways and Renoir-movie feel – yet it never feels glitzy or overly exclusive,” says Will Tizard in The Daily Telegraph. In the bedrooms “you trade size for character and history but it’s a good swap”. There are generous tubs, free minibars, balconies, fireplaces and ceiling frescoes by Czech painter Ludek Marold.
The in-house restaurant, Le Papillon, “regularly features in aspirational Czech lifestyle glossies”. The tasting menus include leg of hare confit and curry tempura prawns.
A double room costs from £119. Visit www.vi-hotels.com, or call 00 420 234 634 111.
What's so special
This small hotel is even older than Le Palais, dating from the 17th century. It is a beautifully restored piece of architectural history within walking distance of Prague’s main tourist spots.
How they rate it
“Squeezed among the Baroque row of houses created in the 17th century by Prague’s Italian builders, the Santini evokes a Dickensian hideout,” says The Sunday Times Travel Magazine. “Its vertical spaces are light-years from the city’s innumerable boring chain hotels.” Several of the ten bedrooms have “beautifully decorated roof beams”, while “the uppermost gain character from sloping roofs, antique furnishings and steep-stair access. Most reassuringly, they’re quiet, despite the steady foot traffic to Prague Castle in the streets of Mala Strana below.” The staff are fond “of dispensing insights into the churches, palaces, galleries and cafes moments from the front door”.
The hotel’s cafe restaurant serves sandwiches and cakes throughout the day, but you will have to venture elsewhere for dinner.
A double room costs from £102. Find out more at www.santiniresidence.com or call 00 420 257 195 111.
The world’s best art hotels
Enjoy fine art from your bed at one of these hotels, says Laura Holt in The Independent.
Au Vieux Panier (pictured) in Marseille looks like an “unassuming townhouse” from the outside, but “hides five mad-cap rooms that function as part B&B, part blank canvas… A new batch of artists is drafted in each year to paint the spaces afresh.” Doubles start from €90, including breakfast (Auvieuxpanier.com).
The South Place Hotel in London has just opened and each of its 80 rooms features modern art by London-based artists.The work of ceramicist Zemer Peled is currently on display. Doubles start from £176 (Southplacehotel.com).
The Cullen in Melbourne takes its name from Australian artist Adam Cullen, “theenfant terrible of the grunge scene”. It has two sister hotels, the Olsen, based on abstract muralist John Olsen in South Yarra, and the Blackman based on figurative painter Charles Blackman, also in Melbourne. Double rooms costs from £159 (Artserieshotels.com.au).
Each of the 37 rooms at The Gladstone in Toronto was designed by a different local artist, including the ‘Canadia’, which leads to a “kitsch, whimsical woodland”; and the sculptural ‘Offset’, with reflective surfaces and angular beams. The building was home to Toronto’s first hotel in 1889. Rooms start from £125 (Gladstonehotel.com).