Prague, one of the most beautiful cities Kent and I have visited in Europe. Our first accommodation, the Alchymist Nosticova Palace was equally stunning compared to its environment. In this post, I share with you 10 things I love about this luxury boutique hotel, based on our 10-night stay in two rooms – Alžběta Pomořanská Deluxe Room, and Eliška Přemyslovna Junior Suite.
1) Romantic And Opulent Suites
Both of these suites we stayed in were gorgeous, romantic, and definitely in tune with the hotel’s period charm. Let me start with our first room…
Each room in this hotel was named after a historical figure; Alžběta Pomořanská was a Roman Empress and Queen Consort of Germany and Bohemia in the 14th-century. Those who have followed my travel posts would know that I have always favoured loft rooms, and our first room was one of this style. Besides the unique character of a loft room which I love; I adored its outrageously large corner bath bathroom with crystal chandeliers and views to the old town. Alžběta Pomořanská Deluxe Room also has a shared living room – right outside its door. There is also a small kitchen and a dining table with four chairs downstairs. Since it is only shared with the next room, it’s private enough and I think it functions just like a proper suite.
Let’s take a look at our second suite… Gold Gold Gold in our Eliška Přemyslovna Junior Suite! Although there’s no chandelier in this suite, we gained a four-poster bed, a matching divan, and a splendid Empire-style wardrobe. Our bathroom was tastefully finished with marble tiles. Both rooms had red and gold drapes and authentic antique furniture… very regal indeed! Travel for me is largely about escape, and both suites touch on the fantasy of European royal living. For more details about this stunning suite, please read my previous post.
2) A Central Location Set Apart From The City’s Hustle And Bustle
Situated on a discreet cobblestone backstreet in Prague’s historic Malá Strana (AKA Lesser Town); Alchymist Nosticova Palace is apart from the city’s hustle and bustle. It nonetheless enjoys a central location, as it is a 10-minute walk from Charles Bridge. A tram stop is about one minute on foot. Tram 22 could take you to lots of well-known attractions such as the Vinohrady Theatre and National House. It was Tram 22 that took Kent and I to the gorgeous Queen Anne’s Summer Palace.
Malá Strana district is very vibrant. We found hotels, eateries, and traditional locals-only pubs (yes we tried one where nobody spoke English) lined up in narrow cobblestone roads. Laid out along the Vltava River is the picturesque Kampa Park. If you happen to be a fan of The Beatles, there’s an always changing, (John) Lennon (graffiti) Wall… although Kent found it a bit underwhelming. If you like peacocks and formal gardens, do yourself a favour by visiting Wallenstein Palace where peacocks walk freely in this beautiful 17th-century palace garden. For fine dining lovers, the riverside Kampa area is where you find plenty of fancy restaurants.
3) Friendly Staff And Great Service
What distinguishes a standard service and a great service? Well to me, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a grand gesture, but attention to details and going a little beyond and above counts. Here are some examples…
The evening when we arrived at Prague Airport, post-Frankfurt transfer… By the time we had seen an empty luggage carousel and reported our baggage as missing and gave our hotel details to an Arrivals officer in charge of missing luggage… well it took almost one hour of our time. Now at nearly midnight local time, we still found our driver, who we booked through our hotel, waiting in the airport lobby, holding my name on a paper sign. Not only was Jan – our chauffeur – did not once complain about us being late; he was very patient and helpful throughout the entire time, answering our questions in English. While some readers might find this normal, I have experienced airport chauffeurs have gone ‘disappeared’ when my flight was delayed… and I wasn’t even one hour late! So, thank you, Jan.
Another example… The moment we were shown the main dining room of the hotel’s house restaurant San Carlo, Kent and I were immediately stunned by its lavish and extravagant decor. Hand-painted floral motifs on the walls and vaulted ceilings; striking mirrored mosaic tilings… Straight away we fancied doing a photoshoot here. However, I hesitated because I was worried that we might not be permitted. As our time here was running out, it was Kent who asked the front desk about allowing us to do a photoshoot in the ‘mirror room’. Well, not only the answer was a yes; then in the morning of shooting, the hotel staff helped us turn on all the lights inside, and even asked if they should fill the vase with flowers for our photoshoot.
Besides, Alchymist Nosticova Palace had excellent housekeeping service and very comfortable beds!
4) Fabulous Breakfast
San Carlo, the hotel restaurant does double duty by providing breakfast in the morning and then becoming an Italian restaurant for lunch and dinner. For breakfast, it offers buffet-style food, with both hot and cold choices… meats, fruits, cereals, delightful light pastries, and the option of cook-to-order omelette or scrambled eggs. I can tell you confidently that my scrambled eggs were simply the best to date! Plus, a ‘good morning’ each morning from every staff who served or saw us in the dining room. This boutique gem truly knows how to make its guests feel welcomed.
As Kent and I were often up early and returning from a morning photoshoot, the next most important thing was our morning coffee. Followed by Kent’s special request of a jug of hot milk (cold milk was previously offered), to go with a pot of strong, hot black coffee. And this way of taking coffee was remembered and provided as soon as we settled in. To this day this extra effort shows one of the highest standards of service we have experienced.
5) Attention To Details
To keep the rooms and suites looking so elegant, I noticed that heaters were installed under the windows and hidden behind the curtains. Little details extended to good-looking tall water bottles; tissue boxes covered by silver cases, and the use of minimal clear glass shower screens… These were all parts of the ethos of quality in line with the period charm of the interior design, right down to antique wardrobes to suit the room’s style.
6) Medieval Style And Luxury Bohemian Charm Throughout
The hotel’s period decor might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it certainly is a fabulous choice for lovers of historic charm. The owner, art aficionado Giorgio Bonelli turned this 16th-century property into a lavish Bohemian-aristocratic-style retreat. After a few chats with the staff, I learned that the hotel interior was inspired by the Rudolf II era, a time when Prague was the centre of the arts in Europe.
Vaulted ceilings with hand-painted motifs cover most parts of the ground floor. In the lobby, marble-topped coffee tables are surrounded by lamps with embellished lampshades and olive-green jacquard armchairs. And if wall carpets with medieval scenes do not take you to a foregone era; then perhaps the suit of armour in the hall will. Needless to say, I adore the character of this boutique gem.
7) Benefits From Its Sister Hotels
Although there are no spa or gym facilities on-site, hotel guests have free access to the gym, pool, and spa at the sister hotel – Alchymist Grand Hotel and Spa. It is around a 10-15 minutes walk towards Prague Castle. During our 10-night stay here, Kent and I did not feel the need to use any of the facilities; we were simply too busy discovering and exploring this amazing city. The day we checked out the hotel and then checked in to its other sister hotel – Alchymist Prague Castle Suites; our transit transport was arranged and paid for up-front by the Alchymist Luxury Group.
8) Every Corner Is Lavishly Photogenic
A photogenic establishment. Yes, that’s something we were (and still are) always looking for when it comes to our travel accommodations. Kent and I love using the places we stay as our studios for fashion and lifestyle photoshoots. I absolutely admire the richness of the baroque style interior decoration in our Eliška Přemyslovna suite, and that’s why it became the backdrop of The Rule Breaker story. We also did shoots in our roomy bathroom of Alžběta Pomořanská Deluxe Room, and at the red-carpeted old-old-old spiral staircase too. These stories are yet to come. And do stay tuned to our upcoming post which took place in San Carlo’s spectacular ‘mirror room’!
9) A Spacious Corner Bath Bathroom In Alžběta Pomořanská Deluxe Room
Yes, I have mentioned it before, and believe it or not, this corner bath bathroom (with a view) – the largest in the entire hotel – was one of the main reasons that made me book this particular room. What can I say, I DO love my bath! For me, to wrap a day spent sightseeing in spring chill with a hot bath and a glass of local wine was simply the ultimate indulgence.
10) The Little Blue Duck Restaurant Is Only A Few Steps Away
U Modré Kachničky restaurant, most commonly translated as The Little Blue Duck restaurant. It is regarded as the finest Czech restaurant in town. From the frescoed walls to antique furnishing; from the cosy atmosphere to true Bohemian haute cuisine… Kent and I loved it all. I’ll save the details of our dining experience for later. Although it is not the house restaurant of our hotel; The Little Blue Duck and Alchymist Nosticova Palace are just a few steps away from each other. My point is, with the food, wine, and ambience that good, you want to enjoy your evening without worrying about making your way back to your hotel!