Personal touches abound at Hotel Savoy

The Prague Post

A Prague institution is also a home away from home for discriminating travelers

Billed as a unique experience of charm and luxury, the Hotel Savoy above Prague Castle has been welcoming guests since 1911.

“The hotel was built as a three-star property,” says Eliška Frycová, director of sales and marketing for the hotel. “The original style was Art Nouveau, and a cinema was added in 1914.”

Current owners Vienna International Hotel and Resorts acquired the property in 1992, and it underwent a massive refurbishment, reopening in 1994 as a five-star deluxe property.

“We want the Savoy to be a home away from home,” says Frycová. “It’s a small boutique hotel, so we are able to focus on the small things.”

Since the hotel has only 61 rooms (55 doubles and six suites), the staff at the Savoy is able to provide a personal touch. And the hotel is designed in such a way that all public areas are spacious yet intimate, giving one the sense of staying in a wealthy relative’s summer home.

Walking in through the regal revolving door, you are directed into a sparsely furnished but pleasantly decorated lobby. Green and rust marble walls give a soothing welcome to match the cream marble floors. The library to the right of the lobby is clearly beckoning you to sit for a spell. Greens and reds dominate the main part of the room, with plaid couches and chairs marking a cozy conversation area. Moss-green bookshelves line the walls. A green marble fireplace adds a homey touch for cold winter nights, and this leads into another section of the room, brightened by sunny yellow walls. Red-upholstered, high-backed chairs, touched with gold, again make the room a pleasing spot to take a break. The chairs are arranged in small groups around low, round wooden tables. Curved brass wall sconces combined with recessed lighting gives the space a healthy glow, but the large picture window at the front floods the room with natural light.

The bar sits at the back of the building, a cozy and intimate space.

“It’s one of my favorite places,” says Frycová. “The atmosphere in the evening is very special.”

It’s a small bar, most notable in its curves: arched benches for seating, a half-circle bar in the middle and curved moldings on the ceilings round out the theme. Low chairs are grouped around low tables along the outside walls, while curved banquet benches dominate the center space. A tiny bar area and brass poles complete the elegant yet comfortable room.

Off to the left of the bar is what must be one of the more unique restaurants in town. Serving lunch and dinner from a changing menu of mostly international dishes, Restaurant Hradčany is a stylish hotel restaurant with a special twist. The center of the ceiling is a glass-paned peaked roof. Two of the walls are floor-to-ceiling windows. Here’s the distinctiveness: The glass roof opens, the windows drop into the floor, and the restaurant is transformed into an outdoor eating venue. Surrounded by trees, you’ll feel like you’ve been relocated to a lush garden.

With all its parts in place, the room has an imperial feel. Blue carpeting is made rich by the yellow walls. Dark mauve furnishings add to the royal feel and are a nice complement to the cherry wood-colored tables. Restful paintings, highlighted by spotlights, decorate the room, along with a baby grand piano and brass highlights.

“The Savoy’s colors are Bordeaux red, king’s blue and honey yellow,” says Frycová. “The hotel is modern but historical.”

Sean Connery’s home

That feeling extends to the upper, private floors of guest rooms. Even though the hotel is small, its rooms are spacious.

“The average room is 35 to 45 square meters [377 to 484 square feet],” Frycová says. “It’s a historical building, so each room has a unique layout.”

A typical deluxe room opens into a narrow hallway that leads you into an open room. Shades of blue and yellow dominate, with blue on the floors and yellow gracing the walls. Red is brought into the mix with the curtains and furnishings. As part of the hotel’s “home away from home” theme, a couch, chairs and table can be found in every room, along with a large desk.

Large bathrooms are another luxurious element; peach and natural marble dominate the color scheme, so the effect is clean and soothing. All rooms feature separate toilets as well as separated showers and tubs. In a break from the wall decorations in the rest of the hotel (mostly Impressionist scenes and still lifes), the rooms offer Prague photos.

The hotel boasts six suites, each with its own special features. Staff commonly refer to the Savoy Suite as the “”Honeymoon Suite,”” mostly for its huge canopy bed. Maroon walls dominate, balanced with a powder-blue carpet. Gold and maroon bedding decorate the luxurious bed, complete with a satin canopy. Darker woods are also found here, but two huge half-circle windows let in plenty of light to avoid a dreary look. And you can’t escape the light from your massive terrace, complete with a white wicker table and chairs. Views of Petrín, green spaces and red rooftops greet you right outside your doorway.

Frycová says singer Bryan Adams once stayed here, and the Presidential Suite (its terrace can host a cocktail party for 150 people) was the two-month home of actor Sean Connery while he was in town for filming.

“It’s the personal touch that makes us unique,” Frycová says. “This is not a factory; here we have time to take care of our clients.”

And the little details are well-covered. Chandeliers in the hallways, stately wooden beams that surround each guest-room doorway and recessed lighting that gives the hotel a calm, centered feel — all these elements offer a comfortable combination of luxury and atmosphere.