Stately adornments complement Kings Court hotel
True to its name, the new Kings Court hotel on náměstí Republiky sparkles like a jewel-studded crown. Walking into the lobby and reception area, one is nearly blinded by the glinting brilliance from the white interior within. Large, shiny marble tiles cover the floor, and numerous chandeliers twinkle back at you. Playing up the neighborhood history (kings Václav IV and Vladislav II lived here in the late 1300s), the five-star hotel offers luxury fit for a king.
“With Palladium, Obecní dům and Palace Hybernia, Kings Court completes the square,” said Charles Louman, the hotel’s executive director. Indeed, the street and square seem much more open and friendly now that the reconstruction work is finished and the scaffolding has come down. Project developer HMG won a public tender for the building and began reconstruction in 2006. The hotel opened in October, after an investment of nearly 1.5 billion Kč ($83.7 million).
“We wanted to build a multifunctional hotel,” explains Lukáš Mach, the hotel’s general manager. “We have 136 rooms, two restaurants, a lobby bar, three conference rooms, one ballroom, a spa and four business units.”
One of the restaurants, mEating Point, is easily visible from the square. Huge windows give it a street-side café feel, and spring and summer months will see its front sidewalk given over to outdoor seating. Inside, a mix of burgundy upholstered chairs and dark wood gives it a more refined look. Golden booths line the walls, and the floor is a mix of black tile and wood. It’s a distinctly different feel from the shimmering atmosphere in the lobby.
Across the way is the lobby bar, which is called, appropriately enough, Vodka. The bar is cozy. Low chairs are combined with high-backed couches, also in a maroon hue. The bar is black and white marble, and, again, the chandeliers impress; sparkling icicles seem to be dangling everywhere. The bar carries on to Taste!t, a Scandinavian-themed fine dinning restaurant. It’s tiny (only 60 seats), and triangular-shaped, but what the restaurant lacks in dimensions, it easily makes up for in appearance. The restaurant is designed in the “winter garden style,” with a full glass ceiling. The room wouldn’t be complete without a signature chandelier, this one reminiscent of Medusa – a mixture of white and transparent snaking glass. A more intense style of art decorates the walls in both the bar and restaurant at Kings Court. Local gallery La Femme provided the brightly colored, geometric and abstract art located throughout the hotel.
In contrast to the shimmering lobby, most of the hotel is dark and muted. Guest-room floors are low-lit with simple spotlights above the doors and dark brown walls. Entering the rooms, you are greeted by a nondescript palate of beiges and occasional touches of blue. The furnishings are a lacquered dark wood combined with chairs and couches in upholstered cream or burnt orange. The linen is white, and the curtains are sheer. The rooms offer one of three views: the interior courtyard, náměstí Republiky or, for a lucky few, Obecní dům, one of the most significant examples of Art Nouveau architecture in Prague.
The Kings Court hotel building dates to the early 1900s and was most recently the home of the Czechoslovak Chamber of Commerce and Small Business. The original building structure was maintained, and designers kept most of the Neo-Renaissance style and details. During reconstruction, however, workers discovered parts of the building that were even older. The remains of a Roman house from the 12th century were found, and the relics were incorporated into the spa area.
The Zen Asian Wellness and Spa is a soft and warm place. Offering a small pool, sauna, steam room and massage rooms, the décor is a mix of teak wood decorated with bamboo and candles, and off-white stone walls add to the natural feel of the space.
Another unique area is the ballroom, located on the third floor. Huge stained-glass windows cover the front wall, allowing in natural light and, of course, the requisite chandelier is in place.
“It’s an interconnection between history and modernity,” Mach said. “The rooms have a more traditional [feel], while the public spaces are more modern. It’s an eclectic concept.”