Thanks to Emblem Hotel's comfortable style, it's easy to forget that you’re not at home. That is until you step outside, right into Prague's magical old town
Prague is usually near the top of most people’s lists of places to visit in Europe, and rightly so! It is a spectacular place, with so many beautiful old buildings that it can be hard to take them all in. While each of Prague’s central neighborhoods has something different to offer, the two most popular - Malostranska and the old town – sit on opposite sides of the famous Charles Bridge. Between them, they possess the lion’s share of the city’s historic attractions and they are always packed with visitors.
It is somewhere in this area, that you should be looking to stay, especially if you want to be surrounded by historic buildings, great sightseeing and delicious restaurants. Now there are plenty of options to stay in this area, but if you’re like us and prefer options that are less touristy and add to your experience, then you must visit the The Emblem Hotel. Sitting right in the heart of the old town - just a few minutes’ walk from the old town square.
If I had to describe the hotel in a simple phrase it would be would be cozy-modern. The color palette throughout consists of wooden browns, warm coppers and soothing greys, yet the modern details give me all those fun designer vibes. The grand fireplace in the lobby was burning as we arrived, and the books lining the shelves behind the leather couches made the place feel homey and inviting. Retro decorative touches like typewriters and chandeliers were everywhere, while the wooden paneled walls, board games and arty photos just added to the atmosphere. All this is the result of many local designers getting involved in the styling. No less that twenty-one are listed on the website, and the abundance of talent involved is instantly obvious.
We were shown to our room, one of the ‘pretender suites’, where we settled in for the night. Just like downstairs, it was well-decorated, warm and comfortable. In fact, the decoration was so good that I am still trying to work out how I can smuggle the bedding and side lamps out, so that we can use them in our new apartment!
At thirty meters squared, it was big enough for our needs and included a spectacular marble bathroom. For those that want to splash out, there are three larger suites up on the sixth floor. Each of suites at The Emblem Hotel are slightly different, and one even includes a hidden attic room, accessible by a secret door disguised as a bookcase!
The hotel’s restaurant is certainly not traditionally Czech, but in this case this is no bad thing. George’s Steak House offers up a carnivorous American experience, but does so with that style and class that can only be found in Europe. Alongside the steaks, dishes such as lobster two ways and shrimp cocktails can also be ordered.
The dining space has an attractive art-deco style to it, while still retaining the snug feel of the rest of the hotel. It was a great place to eat breakfast, and every morning we would head downstairs to eat fresh fruit, yogurt, breads, pastries – all served with fresh juices and coffee. They also do hot items like waffles (which I highly recommend), and eggs anyway you like.
Of course having been to Prague before, we knew we wanted to get some local cuisine (ie, sausages and beer), and luckily the old town square was a great place to do this. The street stalls there sell an array of local delicacies including smoked pork, grilled sausage and fresh Trdelnik (pastry cooked over a flame then doused in sugar and cinnamon). There are also plenty of places nearby to try the delicious pilsner beer which the country is famous for.
My favorite feature of the hotel was the M-Spa. Featuring a wellness center, a gym and a rooftop Jacuzzi, it has everything you need to relax after a long day sightseeing, or to just indulge yourself. Whether you want to unwind in the sauna (followed by a go in the Finnish ice fountain), lift weights or simply sit in the relaxation room, there is something for everyone at the M-Spa. On top of the facilities they also offer an array of beauty and massage treatments.
We love our massages, so one cold and rainy day during our stay we decided to have a spa day. Chris had his usual favorite - a deep tissue massage, while I went for a special pregnancy massage. If you’re pregnant you have to be very careful when getting massages. In Europe especially, the regulations are very strict, and only a specially certified masseuse is allowed to perform the massage. This is because it is very easy to hurt you or the baby, or even to accidentally induce labor. I was only in my second trimester at the time, so I was still safe and able to get my massage. The masseuse knew exactly what they were doing, and instructed me to lie on my side. They then spent a little time on my back and shoulders, before really working my legs and feet. It was heavenly, and a testament to the M-Spa that they were able to accommodate me! If you’re pregnant, a massage can be a great way to recuperate from carrying that extra weight around, but be sure to check with your doctor before you book that massage!
Besides the spa and restaurant, the hotel has all the other amenities you would expect. This includes valet parking, laundry and room service. In the rooms you will find a safe, Nespresso machines, and flat screen TVs. They also have meeting rooms for business travelers, and even a babysitting service!
Best of all though is the M-Lounge. Located on the basement floor, this set of rooms are for exclusive guest use, and they tie in perfectly with the modern theme of the hotel. Designed to feel like a home away from home, you can choose between the drawing room, the pantry, the salon and the games room. Whichever you choose, you will find yourself surrounded by comfy furniture and tasteful decoration.
There is no shortage of things to see in Prague and staying at Emblem puts you right in the heart of the city’s most famous sights. The square with its astronomical clock, art museum and churches will be most people’s first choice. Next is usually Charles Bridge and the Castle on the other side. Beyond this, it depends on what you like. A short walk north will take you to the Jewish Quarter with its cultural and religious sights. Go south and you reach the new town where more recent history played out. Whichever direction you choose, simply wandering the streets is a great way to pass an afternoon in Prague.
If you like to marry design, convenience and comfort, then Emblem is a great choice. Its location makes it perfect for anyone else who doesn’t have long to spend in the city, as everything is nearby. Its design focus will appeal to people who appreciate art and design, while its snug ambiance will make everyone feel at home.
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