The Hotel Review: Century Old Town Prague – MGallery by Sofitel, Prague
Review: Jessica Sheldrick
Century Old Town Prague was originally built in 1895 and in its early days was an insurance company where the infamous writer Franz Kafka worked. The hotels interiors serve to celebrate the writer, which is evident from the moment you enter reception. Kafka’s signature and writing is used to adorn the walls, and a contemporary bust of his head is situated in the foyer below the sweeping staircase. The corridors have a number of glass display units showcasing a large collection of memorabilia from the Second World War and personal items of Kafka himself. Featuring Neo-Baroque architecture, this hotel is has recently refurbished rooms and the contrasting, contemporary industrial interior serves to accentuate the period features of the exterior.
This hotel is in a fantastic central location in Prague, easily commutable from the airport via bus and metro and a minutes walk from the metro stop Namesti Repuliky, which makes transport to further areas of Prague really accessible. Namesti Repuliky was hosting a fantastic autumn market with all kinds of local cuisines (Chimney Cake is a must), beer, crafts and live music – Just a few minutes walk from the iconic Powder Tower, and within easy walking distance of the Old Town Square and Jewish Quarter. Indeed we found the hotel a superb base from which to see Prague all on foot, though the more adventurous can book a Segway or a bicycle tour too.
On arrival staff were friendly without being over familiar and demonstrated total discretion (e.g they would not say our room number out loud as there was another guest checking in simultaneously). We stayed in a ‘large twin’ – room 9 on the ground floor, tucked around the back of the hotel which was very quiet and private with a courtyard view. Our room was superbly clean, freshly decorated, with modern lines, featured high ceilings and uplighting. The bedding was draped in crisp white covers, with contrasting black headboard and quirky adjustable bedside lights (another nod to Franz Kafkas’ with a signature K above the bed). In additional to the rooms many facilities, ranging from fluffy robes, extensive tea choices and mini bar, the hotel also offers specific menus in additional to a standard ‘pillow menu’. The ‘everything for her’ menu offered essentials such as hair straighteners and tweezers. A ‘sleep menu’ offers a sleep mask, ear plugs, lavender sleep spray, water bottle, sleeping socks and chamomile tea. We thought this a great idea!The bathroom had a contemporary modern feel with a monochrome palette, tiled floor to ceiling.
We visited the hotel’s Hedgehog Bar bar during our stay which celebrated a different Czech author Jaroslav Fogla, who wrote a novel which featured secret plans on how to make a flying bicycle which are hidden within a puzzle nicknamed ‘the hedgehog in the cage’. The bar pays tribute to the novel with a gin-based signature cocktail; ‘The Flying Bicycle’. Alongside the cocktails, customers are given a small metal puzzle (a metal star encased in a small metal cage) and encouraged to try and crack the puzzle and release the star from the middle. Successful customers are then given a postcard of The Flying Bicycle with the recipe to make the delicious cocktail. The waiter was accommodating, friendly and enjoyed relaying the story behind the bar, and the drinks.
The breakfast is served in the Veranda restaurant on the ground floor;, which is the hotels’ main restaurant which at other times of year is open in the evening for diners. The dining area consisted of 3 areas, a more intimate dining area, a glassed courtyard section with lantern lights adding ambience and the buffet itself. Again the contemporary modern style is echoed throughout, clean lines broken by stylish touches of wallpaper and textures and fresh flowers. The breakfast offered a huge range of fresh buffet options, with a wide range of staff on hand to deliver tea/coffee (with a choice of any type of coffee imaginable), and an egg station. Three fridges offered a range of fresh juice; 3 types of homemade smoothies with quirky inspirational quotes (in individual bottles), fruit salad and fresh yogurt pots.
The buffet itself had a number of sections: around the edges were a continental breakfast selection, offering a wide range of cheeses, meats and smoked salmon, the cereal bar, the fresh and dried fruit section and a dedicated gluten free area with an impressive array of baked items. There was also a more typical English style breakfast section offering great quality sausages, bacon, mushrooms and cooked tomatoes. The centre of the buffet displayed an amazing array of pastries, American pancake and waffles, bread and traditional Czech baked delicacies including the special Babovka cake, with a lovely display explaining the history of the cake and included reference that this was Franz Kafka’s personal favourite
Century Old Town Prague – MGallery by Sofitel
Na Poříčí 7 | 110 00 Petrská čtvrť | Czechia
To book visit: www.accorhotels.com