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Prague: ARTĚL Style

Expert recommendations and insider tips for first-time visitors and locals alike from ARTĚL’s founder, Karen Feldman, who has lived in Prague since 1994. Click on the links below for detailed reviews – from Feldman’s own unique perspective – of all the best that Prague has to offer...

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Romantik Hotel U Raka

Published on February 28th, 2013 in Hotels

  • The owners 1931 Model A Ford parked in front of Romantik Hotel U Raka

  • The Dining Room / Kitchen

  • The Cozy Fireplace - Room 6

  • The Garden

  • The Garden

 

Have you dreamed of visiting the Bohemian countryside, but don’t think you will have the time? Fear not, with a bit of luck and advance planning (as reservations are hard to come by), you can stay at an 18th century Bohemian Chalupa (country house) located just a ten-minute walk from Prague Castle. Nestled at the end of Nový Svět, quite possibly the most picturesque cobblestoned street in all of Prague, and just steps from the Loreto Church and Foreign Ministry, this is a romantic and idyllic place to spend a few days. The rustic interior features exposed-beamed ceilings, stone and brick walls, dark furnishings, and even traditional Blue Onion china – all highly representative of what a true Czech country house looks like. The only difference is that here you will also find all the modern conveniences you might wish for, including air conditioning (which surprised me). The proprietor, Mr. Alexander Paul, is a renaissance man who is often on hand not only to assist you but also to share stories and recommendations over a nice glass of brandy in their charming café. Mr. Paul purchased the house in 1987 (two years before the fall of Czech communism), for a sum equivalent to €3000 – a huge money back then, but I’m sure you’ll agree he made a brilliant real estate investment. Design 18th-century Bohemian Chalupa (country house), complete with upscalerustic interior details.

 

Stats

Rooms: Six total, including five doubles and one triple.

 

Rates: Range from €135- €175, including breakfast.

 

Check-in: 15:00

 

Checkout: 11:00

 

Gym: No

 

Free Internet: Yes

 

DVD Player: Yes

 

Nightly turndown service: Yes

 

Linen Factor: Perfectly adequate.

 

Bath Products: Vega “Touch Nature”

 

Daily Newspaper: No

 

Pets: Yes – no charge; small pets only.

 

Parking: €10 per day – this is a deal, trust me!

 

Room Recommendations

Room 6: If your budget is sufficient I’d definitely suggest staying in this room, which is the only suite. It features a woodburning fireplace, a Japanese-inspired sunroom, and even a small private garden where you can eat breakfast during the warmer months.

 

Room 3: Another perennial favorite with guests, featuring its own private entrance, this charming small-ish room feels more like your own private apartment than a hotel.

 

Room 4: This favorite comes recommended by Mr. Paul, as it is where he says he always sleeps the best. It also happens to be the only triple room at the property.

 

Eating In

Breakfast: 07:30–10:00 Buffet, plus a limited à la carte menu. Try the scrambled eggs with onions, they were delicious! In the summer, breakfast is served in the garden.

 

Café: 14:00–19:00 The café, which features a wood burning fireplace, is cozy and delicious. I recommend trying the Apple Strudel with Vanilla Sauce, which is made daily by the owner’s wife.

 

Table Request: Ask to sit by the window, so you can look up the cobblestone street at the wonderfully colorful medieval stucco homes.

 

Room Service: 7:30–10:00 / 12:00–18:00

 

Staying In

In the spring and summer months, enjoy the garden. It is a tranquil escape from the city, with a great view of the foreign ministry building from the upper terrace. If you want to stay in and watch a movie in bed, be prepared to supply your own DVD; they can be purchased at local tabáks (newspaper shop) for approximately 79 CZK.

 

Also Worth Noting

Rooms do not include robes; if that’s a sticking point, you’ll need to pack your own.

 

Fun & Fabulous Feature

How about a ride around Prague in a 1931 Model A Ford (imported from Ohio), with Mr. Paul as your driver and guide? During the months on April through October, this can be arranged for 2000 CZK per hour.

 

You can also arrange a barbeque in the garden for up to eight people (one day advance notice required). I cannot think of a more fabulous place in Prague to enjoy a traditional Czech barbeque, including such classics as sausages, krkovička (marinated grilled pork), toasted Czech bread and, of course, beer.

 

 

Romantik hotel U raka
Černínská 10, Prague 1, Hradčany
www.romantikhotel-uraka.cz
tel 220 511 100
tram 22, 25 to Brusnice

 

 

 

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