The gal is on a mission, or rather a game of make-believe. Let us pretend we are all going to a conference, say on Czech crystal, and all the owners of those gorgeous Lasvit chandeliers – think the 30-foot drop through the stairwell of Shangri-La Tokyo, and the 540,000 crystal trimming in the grand ballroom of Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, Abu Dhabi, and the 100,932 trimmings in that luxury hotel’s pre-function room and the 200,208 trimmings in its grand lobby and so on. Say all owners of such glories decided to come to a glass meeting in Prague’s convention centre. The nearest really good hotel is Park Inn.
Get a top floor, namely fifth floor, room in the 210-room hotel, converted in 2009 from a 1907- vintage printing press (I think of other printing houses that have also become highly successful hotels, namely One Aldwych, London, and, to come, what will be InterContinental Tbilisi, Georgia). Here, I was in suite 501, which came with a great firm bed, excellent WiFi – free of course – and two balconies, all the better to look out and around Prague’s signature red-tiled rooftops. See the picture above. 501 was really very comfortable, especially for convention-goers: have a look at my video below. You get additional exercise, by the way, by going to the 24/7 gym as it is reached via a separate elevator at the other end of this building.
Now convention goers and tourists alike should certainly count on dining here, within the hotel. RBG Bar & Grill is frankly superb, and really good value. At dinner I loved the simple setting, with bright scarlet napkins on the plain wood tables (and white Peugeot salt and pepper mills matching the white RAK china). When asked to recommend a Czech red my server, in a red tie, brought over three bottles to show and try, and suggested his favourite, which was an excellent Frankovka 2015 Moravino. The easy-read menu has such local dishes as pork schnitzel with pickles and potatoes; slow-roasted pork knuckle; Pilsner beef goulash and fried potatoes, and braised beef with cranberries and parsley dumplings, but I went international, namely caprese followed by a really good seafood mixed grill with asparagus, green beans and garlic baguette. Inside tip, do add an onion ring – it comes big and juicy, with arugula atop, and is honestly as good as Gordon Ramsay’s at InterContinental Le Grand Bordeaux.
In the morning the 150-seat restaurant opens up to reveal another two adjoining rooms, and quite often up to 400 breakfasts can be served, says the gm of this efficient-luxury hotel, Miroslav Forejtek. I was impressed by the array of items, and, thinking of our busy hypothetical convention guest, how easy it was to have a really quick meal. Here, no waiting for eggs to be brought from the kitchen. No, the hot area has four- and five-minute boiled eggs and, as the photo shows, stacks of sunny-side-up fried eggs, cooked in rings and all, it seemed, perfect. There were also well-labelled local dishes, including a big selection of different pastry tarts. These are kolache, ‘circles’, named for the Old Slavonic shape of the dough: they originated as wedding treats and have now become popular not only throughout Central Europe but also in parts of the USA. Montgomery MN, indeed, calls itself the ‘kolacky capital of the world’ and even holds an annual kolacky festival See what I learned pretending to be at a glass meeting! (ps: I was so busy here I had no time to be a tourist: the hotel is only five minutes’ walk from the Vltava river and the masses of brochures in the hotel lobby suggest beer tours, Jewish Ghetto tours, as well as dinner cruises, though the last would take you away from this really enjoyable restaurant.) NOW SEE THE VIDEO OF SUITE 501