Hilton Prague offers a touch of home

The Prague Post

Hotel gives busy travelers a mix of contemporary design and modern comfort

Business travelers probably see way more of the inside of their hotel rooms then the actual city the hotels are in. With this in mind, Hilton Prague has undergone a major renovation to ensure their corporate clients’ experiences are as productive and stress-free as possible.

No one can miss the massive glass-and-steel building situated between the Vltava River and Florenc metro stop in Karlín. Although it may look architecturally out of place, Hilton Prague offers guests a unique outdoor-indoor feel once they enter its revolving doors. An immense atrium defines the lobby and connects the hotel’s four dining spaces, reception and gift shops. Characterized by white marble, the austerity of the space is softened by a multitude of plants and trees. Soft, rust-colored furniture is scattered around huge marble planters.

“The green plants make the lobby much cozier than if there would only be the marble,” says Markéta Šebková, the hotel’s marketing and public relations manager.

The hotel’s presidential suite is nicely decorated: The bedroom has dark-wood furnishings, a huge sleigh bed and gilded-frame mirrors, and the spacious bathroom has a tub that doubles as a Jacuzzi.

The building itself was built back in 1989 and became part of the Hilton hotel chain in 1995. With 788 rooms, 22 meeting rooms and a congress hall that fits up to 1,500 people, Hilton Prague is one of the largest five-star properties in the country.

“Currently, we see about 40 percent leisure travelers and 60 percent business,” says Šebková. “But we are looking to increase that.”

A renovation of the two executive floors over the past year puts the Hilton well on its way to reaching that goal. The executive floors are considered a “”hotel within a hotel,”” Šebková explains, with a private reception, complimentary meeting rooms and wireless Internet in all the rooms. Hilton hopes the upgrades will give its corporate guests a new experience of contemporary design and modern comfort.

There are 137 executive rooms and 31 suites on the seventh and eighth floors. These floors, the Hilton’s designated executive levels, have a completely different feel to them then typical hotel corridors. Decorated with small groups of red-and-blue-leather chairs and couches, there are also special meeting rooms right on these two floors that guests can reserve in advance or, if the rooms are empty, just pop into.

A standard executive room has all your basic needs — a bed, bath, desk and lamp. Pale blue-and-beige bedspreads blend nicely with the beige-checked carpet. The color scheme continues with the blue-, beige- and brown-striped curtains. The stainless-steel desk and floor lamps with cylindrical shades add a modern touch, as does the curved workspace with a flat-screen television perched at one end. The executive-room bathrooms feature separate showers and tubs designed in white marble, which provides a clean, fresh look.

The executive suites offer the same in the way of bedroom, but you get the bonus of a living space and additional toilet. The living room is decorated in a brighter, modern style. A small dining room table completes the space.

For longer stays, check into one of the apartments. A small entryway branches off into three separate rooms. A bold look dominates the bedroom — red and black coloring and a plush off-white carpet. The living room offers a dining table at one end and a comfortable, relaxing space at the other. The orange, yellow and red throw pillows on the large wraparound gray couch add a splash of color to the room. These colors are also brought into the striped curtains, which frame three large picture windows offering views of the city. In addition to floor lamps, wall sconces add decoration and mood lighting. The third room is a small office, furnished with a desk, a cream-colored leather chair, and a small, red sofa. A kitchenette, including a refrigerator, microwave, stovetop and sink, completes this home away from home.

The presidential suite is a lot like the other apartments — only bigger. Its Victorian-era atmosphere offers a completely different feel from the other units. Shades of creams and yellows dominate. The bedroom contains dark wood furnishings, a huge sleigh bed and gilded-frame mirrors. The lavender flower print on the curtains and moss-green and royal purple stripes on the bedding bring color to the room.

The bathroom seems almost spalike. Soft lighting reflects the gray-brown marble, and the massive tub doubles as a Jacuzzi. The living space has white couches and light-wood furnishings, complete with a credenza.

The artwork used in the guestrooms is notable for being reflective of Prague. The pieces, most by local artists, give busy business travelers a small glimpse of the city they may not get a chance to see.

Hilton Prague is continuing its renovation, with different sections being upgraded at various times. About half of the planned work is done and managers hope to have the hotel’s new facade finished by 2008.