Where to stay in Prague

Historic palace versus a Renaissance town house in the Czech capital.

Pachtuv Palace

What's so special

This former palace is home to history and legends. One story claims Mozart was locked in a room by former owner Earl Hubert Karel Pachta, until he'd finished a concerto.

How they rate it

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"Rooms in the newer front building (a mere 100 years old, contemporary by Prague's standards) are expansive and nicely understated, with herringbone floors, subdued but stately furnishings and the occasional burst of flamboyance in four-poster beds and glass chandeliers," says Paul Sullivan in The Sunday Times Travel Magazine. "You're so close to the Vltava river, you could almost dive in from your window, and stirring views take in Charles Bridge and Mala Strana, the castle looming benevolently in the distance." Why not book a room in the original palace? "It's at the rear so the outlook isn't great, but you do get original decorative features: the restored ceiling frescoes in room 102 are corkers."

The menu

The "only downside is breakfast a vague mix of options, with not an egg in sight (although they are, apparently, available on request)".

The cost

Doubles start from £130, B&B. For more information visit Mamaison.com, or call 00 420 234 705 111.


U Zlate Studne

What's so special

The former home of the 16th-century court astronomer Tycho Brahe is packed with interesting features, including wood-panelled interiors and an old fountain that lends it its name, which translates as The Golden Well'.

How they rate it

"The feel of a royal retreat runs throughout these cosy, yet classic 17 guest rooms laid out in a labyrinth that ascends the Hradcany hill," says Will Tizard in The Daily Telegraph. "Architecture and character trump consistency in room size and shape, but touches such as Renaissance-style clay wall sections, in-room iPods and Jacuzzi baths blend remarkably well with the historic setting."

Staff are "young but capable" and are happy to help "make things happen", from providing DVDs for quiet nights in to running aromatic oil baths for you.

The menu

The hotel restaurant is on the top floor and is "a destination itself for its magnificent views of the pantiled roofs and its delicate treatment of seafood and Bohemian game dishes". The terrace used in summer "is arguably worth planning a Prague trip around".

The cost

Room rates start from £199, room only. Find out more at www.goldenwell.cz, or call 00 420 257 011213.

Three of the best places to eat in Prague

La Degustation Bohme Bourgeoiseis nestled on a "romantic back street in the Old Town", says Will Tizard in The Daily Telegraph. It has become a "culinary shrine", complete with Michelin star, thanks to its "unique style of parading precious locally sourced courses to the table, ranging from trout in Moravian wine sauce to langoustine with horseradish and raspberries". The restaurant also offers "the finest local pinots and sauvignons". Expect to pay from £75 for a fixed-price menu.


"Gourmet seafood and the best tableside views of Charles Bridge" have been winning Kampa Park"rave reviews from heavy-hitter foreign critics for over a decade", says Time Out. "After the likes of lobster tail or seared scallops and capers for starters, it only gets better with the mains, from turbot and pumpkin pure to wild mushroom risotto with garlic foam." A "slick bar-room scene... acts as a celebrity lightning rod, while drawing presidents and Hollywood heart-throbs". Main courses start from £14.

Film stars "tend to be a fussy lot", says Tizard, but they flock to Divinisfor "chef Zdenek Pohlreich's fabulous creations, such as guinea hen with olive or duck and chicory risotto, served up expertly with a glass of good pinot grigio from Trentino". It's an intimate restaurant, so book at least a week ahead. Mains start from £12.