Spring breaks: 24-Hour Room Service - The Four Seasons Hotel, Prague

Aoife O'Riordain
Tuesday 19 March 2002 01:00

At first glance, the Four Seasons may seem like any new, smart hotel. But delve deeper and you discover it is a lesson in Prague's architectural and social history. Right in the heart of the Old Town, it is actually comprised of three historic houses painstakingly joined together just over two years ago.

The first is a neo-Renaissance building originally built for a fish merchant, the second a neo-Classical former factory and the third, a Baroque building situated behind the Abbey of the Knights of the Cross, dating from 1737. The renovations employed some of the city's most skilled craftsmen and women, and the results are impressive. The interior is pure Four Seasons – plush furnishings, highly polished stone floors, reproduction antiques and elaborate floral displays. An original sandstone statue of St John of Nepomuk guards the hotel from the banks of the river.

Location, location, location

Veleslavinova 2a, 11000 Prague, Czech Republic (00 420 2 214 27000, www.fourseasons.com). The hotel occupies one of the top spots in the city centre, particularly if sightseeing and eating are high on your agenda. On the banks of the Vltava River, it is close to the Charles Bridge and a leisurely stroll to the Old Town Square.

Time to international airport: The airport is located 17km outside the city. Taxis cost about £5.80.

Are you lying comfortably?

There are 162 guest rooms, 20 of which are suites. The beds at the Four Seasons are the stuff of legend; such is the demand, they now offer them for sale. Some of the rooms look directly across the river and, if you are prepared to pay, you can have your own vista of Prague Castle and St Vitus's cathedral.

Freebies: Toiletries range from Neutrogena in the standard rooms to Bulgari perfume Green Tea in the suites, which, in our case, almost caused a familial dispute.

Keeping in touch: All rooms have direct dial telephones and wireless internet connections.

The bottom line

Doubles cost from £195 per night. River view doubles from £300 per night.

I'm not paying that: one of many cheaper alternatives is Na Kampe 15 (00 420 2 5753 1430, www.nakam pe15.cz), on the other side of the river in Mala Strana; double rooms from £80.

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