This bold, bright, and affordable hotel was favored by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (there's a framed letter of thanks on the wall). It's an imaginative blast of fresh air amid the cookie-cutter style of some international hotels. The interior design is an explosion, and celebration, of all things excellent during the 1950s, '60s, and '70s—and everything, from the lamps to the bar stools, is original. Rooms keep the cheerfully retro vibes going. The hotel staff even go the extra mile by offering happy hour daily (4–6 p.m.), with free wine, beer, and homemade pastries.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The hotel is up a bit of a hill, so might not work for anyone with mobility issues.
It's rare to find a hotel where every room is different. The psychedelic palate and youthful atmosphere might not appeal to everyone, but it wins points for originality. And while the decor is vintage, the amenities are modern, with Wi-Fi in most areas and comfy beds.
You can get great deals by booking direct on the hotel's website.
Clean white bathrooms with some bright touches and good showers.
YOU SHOULD KNOW We've heard the odd complaint about the softness of the towels.
In this quiet castle-area neighbourhood, the bright, modern lobby is a real surprise. It has the welcoming atmosphere of an upscale hostel, with retro tunes (Abba on our visit) playing in the background and friendly staff.
A range of massages are available.
There's no gym, but the hotel is very close to hilly Petřín park, which is particularly lovely in spring when the trees are in blossom.
No restaurant, but a tasty buffet breakfast is included.
There's a cool lobby bar and a lovely little terrace which catches the evening sun in summer and has good rooftop views. There's a happy hour with free drinks in the afternoons too, which is a nice touch.
There are tram stops nearby and many of the Mala Strana attractions are a few minutes walk away.
Luka Lu (10-minute walk) offers pan-Balkan cuisine--think anything from mincemeat sausages to grilled fish--in a friendly, if slightly oddly decorated, restaurant. Pálffy Palác (10-minute walk) is a high-end affair for date nights, in a candlelit palace that somehow manages not to be stuffy.
The former town hall, Malostranská beseda (7-minute walk) now has three floors offering wildly varied nightlife and cultural options, from an art gallery under the roof to a live music bar. U Hrocha (7-minute walk) is probably Mala Strana's most authentic and traditional no-frills Czech beer pub.
WHY WE LIKE IT
They say a change is as good as a rest, and among Prague's occasionally stuffy hotel scene, Sax Vintage Design Hotel is a welcome break. Cheerful, bright and relaxed, the high-end hostel feel carries through to a fun happy hour, friendly staff and interesting design. And if Madeleine Albright liked it, who are we to disagree?