Kempinski Hybernská Prague, Czech Republic Review
The new Kempinski Hybernská Prague (it opened in late 2008) is a thoroughly modern luxury hotel ensconced in a building that dates back to 1493 which was, in a past life, home to a member of the Emperor’s Privy Council and also to the High Judge of the Land Court. In the 16th century it was the baroque palace U Vežníku. Now it is home to the many business travelers and visitors who cross its portals when visiting Prague.
Many of the original baroque design elements still exist alongside thoroughly modern architecture. An 1800 square meter private garden, hidden behind the hotel, provides a refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city center. The seven-meter high trees were airlifted into the garden and a baroque fountain is the centerpiece.
WHERE IS IT?
It is a quick walk from the Kempinski Hybernská Prague, situated at the edge of Old Town (Staré Městohe), to the Powder Tower (used to store gunpowder in the 17th century), Wenceles Square (Václavské náměstí, a main shopping area), Municipal House (Obecní dům, a cultural center at the very center of Prague), and many businesses, restaurants, and stores.
The hotel tries to make its guests feel at home in Prague. No two rooms (there are 75 rooms and suites in total) are alike. My Grand Deluxe Room looked like an elegant apartment and had a modern living room with parquet floor, comfortable furnishings, and a large flat-screen television. The separate bedroom contained comfortable twin beds, a desk, and a flat-screen TV.
The bathroom was nothing if not lavish, with a separate soaking tub and shower as well as heated floors, a feature that is probably going to make it into my own bathroom the next time it gets remodeled.
ROAD WARRIOR SUPPORT
Busy business travelers have a choice of using the desk in the bedroom or the dining table in the living room as a work area. The hotel provides free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel and garden and my room had a strong signal. The in-room safe is large enough to hold a laptop. The fitness center offers a quiet oasis for workouts with state-of-the-art equipment.
Executive Chef Marek Fichtner has created a magnificent menu that blends international cuisine with Czech specialties at Restaurant Le Grill.
My dinner here (see the second slide show at the end of the review) started off with a small amuse bouche followed by a salad with pan-fried foie and foie gras mousse accompanied by poached apricots. This was followed by a superb and tasty slow-roasted lamb loin accompanied by red pepper coulis and potato gratin.
An extensive buffet breakfast, which includes breads and pastries, fruits, cereals, yogurts, cold cuts, and cheeses, is served in Restaurant Le Grill in the mornings. The breakfast menu includes a tasty selection of warm options. Choosing between Eggs Florentine, Eggs Benedict, and other egg dishes in the morning was the first challenge of the day.
From the moment I arrived, I found the staff at the Kempinski Hybernská Prague to be extraordinarily attentive and service oriented, attributes which made my stay here a complete pleasure. From the front desk staff to the servers in the restaurant, no detail seemed to be overlooked, the true mark of a luxury hotel.
–Jonathan B. Spira is the Editor of Executive Road Warrior and Chief Analyst at Basex, a knowledge economy research firm.