Prague is one of the most gorgeous cities in Europe — so much so that the historic town center is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Art Nouveau buildings line medieval squares and green copper statues and gothic cathedrals dot the city’s landscape. With its architecture, art and beer (Plzeň, birthplace of pilsner beer is located a mere 50 miles away), it has a beauty and charm all its own, in a relatively small city center. The city is divided by the Vlatava River, with the Old Town on the east and the castle on the west. The fourteenth century pedestrian-only Charles Bridge connects the two sides. Central Prague is easily walkable and compact with many of the city’s main sites located in the Old Town (which you may recognize from this INXS video), so having a centrally-located hotel makes exploring the city a breeze.
K+K Hotel Central is a luxury boutique hotel located in a beautiful Art Deco building (one of the oldest in Prague) that dates from 1900. It is only ten minutes from the Josefov (old Jewish ghetto), Old Town Square and Mucha Museum, twenty minutes from the Charles Bridge and a scenic thirty-minute stroll through the heart of Prague from the castle. The exterior and interior of the hotel scream opulence, and it is not hard to imagine what the elevator and lobby looked like at the turn of the last century. The hotel boasts over one hundred spacious (for Europe) rooms and suites, all with free wi-fi and a TV with some English-language programming. There is a bar and restaurant on site as well as a free gym featuring workout equipment and a sauna.
The stunning decor, friendly and helpful service, great location and reasonable rates would make opting to stay here a slam-dunk, but to sweeten the deal even further, the hotel throws in a free breakfast buffet. I know what you are thinking when you see the word “buffet.” I also know that combining it with “free” and “hotel” and “breakfast” is going to conjure up images of soggy croissants, warm orange juice and runny scrambled eggs. But things are different here. This is breakfast buffet is nothing short of amazing. It is served from 6:30am to 11am (noon on weekends and holidays) in a mezzanine underneath skylights. So you can wander down when you feel like it, or grab your breakfast early before you set out for the day’s adventures. When you arrive, you are seated at a table with a crisp white linen tablecloth. The buffet features meats, cheeses, breads, fruits, vegetables, desserts,pastries, breads, sparkling wine, juices and of course, coffee. The spread is very impressive and even more so when you consider it is included in your room rate. You will be tempted to try everything. I say go for it. After all, breakfast is the most important thing (of the things we eat).
Getting to Hotel Central can be easy, but be sure and bring a map and compass because the medieval street plan wreaks havoc on your American sense of direction. The hotel is around the corner from the train station and close to the Námêsti Republicy Metro station where the Cedaz bus to the airport stops. From the airport (formerly called Prague Ruzyně Airport; it was renamed Václav Havel Airport Prague in 2012), buy a ticket for the bus in the arrivals hall or from the driver. It is 150 Kč (about $7.50) each way. Buses depart every thirty minutes from 7:30am to 7pm and the trip takes about twenty minutes. From the bus stop, it is a five-minute walk to the hotel-if you use your compass and map.
Though tourism in the last two decades has increased the cost of visiting the Czech Republic, prices are still relatively low and a stay at Hotel Central would run you two or three times more in western Europe.