Four Seasons Resurfaces in Prague

This luxury property features stunning castle views from prime rooms and the restaurant

By: Maribeth Mellin

Prague, Czech Republic René Beauchamp seems a bit preoccupied by water. When I first spotted the Four Seasons Prague’s dapper general manager he was phoning the in-house florist. Apparently, one of the lobby’s dramatic floral arrangements appeared a tad murky. But that problem was a drop in the bucket compared to August 2002, when the adjacent River Vltava flooded the city and damaged the hotel’s underground floors, forcing it to close for 10 months.

Last June, the 161-room Four Seasons Prague reopened, having steadfastly weathered the floods.

A modern structure links the three historic buildings harmoniously. The Baroque building has withstood the river’s fury since 1737. The adjacent neo-Classical House was built in 1827 while the neo-Renaissance House dates back to 1883.

Sculptures and paintings by noted Czech artists decorate the public areas and rooms, reflecting Prague’s reputation as a cutting-edge cultural destination.

“There’s something special about the beauty of Prague,” Beauchamp says. “Everything you see is a pleasure.”

Prague Castle, a 16th century complex of palaces, church spires and towers poses atop a hill across the river from the Four Seasons. When illuminated at night, it’s an awe-inspiring sight. Naturally, the hotel’s rooms with views of the river and castle are most popular.

“We sell from the top down,” says Andrew Farnfield, director of sales and marketing. “The most expensive rooms go first.”

There are 20 suites, and the castle serves as a constant backdrop in the prime-view rooms and suites furnished in a style Farnfield calls “timeless interior design.”

The coral brown and emerald green color scheme is soothing and sophisticated; the furnishings are contemporary and comfy. The bed faces the views; many rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows.

The property has a variety of room styles, starting with the standard room and moving up to the largest, the corner-positioned Renaissance Deluxe Rooms, and the Premier Rooms, which feature views of the castle and the Charles Bridge. There are six suite categories.

All rooms feature wool blankets with duvets available on request, down pillows (non-allergenic foam is available), a hair-dryer, terrycloth bathrobes, an alarm clock and a safe. There is twice-daily housekeeping service.

The deep bathtubs are pure bliss, as are the verbena scented L’Occitane toiletries. The marble bathrooms have separate showers and toilets in private alcoves. The cotton towels are oversized.

Full mini-bars contain Godiva chocolates and Pilsner Urquell, the Czech Republic’s most famous beer.

According to Farnfield, the hotel was originally designed for business travelers, although the property offers many leisure packages as well.

All rooms have high-speed Internet access, large desks and safes big enough to hold laptop computers.

The music of Prague’s native-born composer Antonin Dvorak, or Grammy-winner Norah Jones, are available on CD for the in-room CD players. Suites also are equipped with DVD players and fax machines.

Guests who book their accommodations for the night before arriving on an early flight receive complimentary continental breakfast on a linen-covered table in their rooms.

Coffee and tea are served in the lobby for those who arise before the restaurant opens at 6:30 a.m. Room service is astonishingly prompt. Should you awaken at 4 a.m. with your body in jet-lag confusion, a call for coffee brings rapid results.

Sightseeing in Prague involves serious walking on uneven cobblestone streets enough exercise for most tourists. But the Four Seasons has a very well equipped health club with cardio equipment and free weights, saunas, and treatment rooms for massages sure to ease out the kinks from long flights.

The hotel has an upscale dining room, the Allegro Restaurant, from which diners overlook the river and can see the Prague Castle from windows or the terrace. The relaxed Allegro Bar features piano entertainment.

The Four Seasons is also within walking distance of the historic city center with shopping, restaurants, sights and nightlife.