24-Hour Room Service: Prague Inn Czech Republic

On the feast of Stephen (26 December), or any other day for that matter, the best place from which to look out onto Wenceslas Square will be the Prague Inn - specifically, from the bathroom of room 205. The view extends the 750m length of this narrow "square", with the statue of the good king himself aboard his horse outside the National Museum at the far end.

The hotel is so new that its only outward sign is a drooping banner proclaiming its name; it opened two months ago. Yet it occupies the oldest building on the square, the Golden Beehive, dating from the 15th century. The owners gutted the upper floors and created a clean, sharp interior - with the necessary security precautions in this crime-prone city. Each landing has its own chipcard access through heavy glazed doors leading off the grey stone stairwell.

One part of the building that was left largely in its original condition was the deep, ancient cellar. This is now the restaurant where an excellent breakfast (included in room rates) is served.

On my first morning, right on cue, the vault's plasma-screen TV offered MTV showing "Bohemian Rhapsody" to accompany the coffee and eggs. You can also eat outside at the street-level café, no matter how deep, crisp or even the snow may be, and watch the constant street theatre in the Bohemian capital.

LOCATION, LOCATION

At the south-east end of Wenceslas Square at 28 Rijna 378/15, Prague 1 (00 420 226 014 444; www.hotelpragueinn.cz). The hotel is 50m from Mustek metro station, where the A and B lines intersect. The location is schizophrenic; there are plenty of bars for the stag-weekenders, but high culture can be found around the corner at the Estates Theatre, where Mozart conducted the premiere of Don Giovanni in 1787. It is a five-minute walk from the Old Town Square with its Astronomical Clock, and a 10-minute stroll to the Charles Bridge for access to the castle and beyond.

Time from international airport: with clear roads and a good driver (ideally pre-booked at www.prague-airport-shuttle.com, to avoid rip-offs), you can make it from Prague's Ruzyne airport in 20 minutes flat, for a very reasonable 600kcs (£15). Otherwise, bus 119 from the airport takes you to the end of the metro line at Dejvicka, four stops from Mustek.

COMFORTABLE?

The 34 rooms are a decent size; their decor a good stab at designer chic. The effect is more Habitat than Conran, however - functional but not fizzing, and working hard for the four stars. The beds are comfortable, and the glazing keeps out the ambient noise from the square pretty effectively.

The loo with a view sits in a well-equipped bathroom even though the shower head does not extend above head height if you happen to be six feet or taller.

Freebies: unremarkable (but effective) soap and shower gel.

Keep in touch: direct-dial phone, satellite TV and, if you bring a laptop, free internet access.

THE BOTTOM LINE

In low season a double with a view costs €175 (£125), including breakfast. Book via www.travelcook.com, as I did, and you may be able to get the same for €85 (£61).

I'm not paying that: Try Sir Toby's Hostel (00 420 283 870 635; www.sirtobys.com) from 290KC (£7) a night in a dorm bed, 1,200KC (£28) for a twin room.

Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Investigo: Finance Analyst

    £240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Recruitment Genius: Class 1 HGV Driver

    £23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful group of compan...

    Day In a Page

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
    The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

    The 12 ways of Christmas

    We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
    Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

    The male exhibits strange behaviour

    A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
    Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

    Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

    Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

    The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
    Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

    Marian Keyes

    The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

    Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

    Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
    Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

    Rodgers fights for his reputation

    Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
    Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

    Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

    'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
    Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick