Best Panoramic Views: The Corinthia Hotel Prague (tel. 261-191-111) is a bit out of the center and the high-rise architecture won't appeal to everyone, but each north-facing room provides a gorgeous wide-angle view stretching to Prague Castle and beyond.
Best Malá Strana Views: The terrace at the hotel U Zlaté studne (tel. 257-011-213), the Golden Well, offer some of the best old-world views over Malá Strana's red rooftops.
Best Bohemian Country Setting: The Romantik Hotel U raka (tel. 220-511-100), in a secret ravine minutes from the castle in Hradcany, has cozy rustic rooms and a tastefully folksy atmosphere.
Best Hotel Closest to Prague Castle: The U Krále Karla (tel. 257-531-211), on the main castle-bound thoroughfare Nerudova, tries hard to provide a stay to match its Renaissance motif. It's a few steps above the main turn to the castle, avoiding much of the tourist commotion below. The Castle Steps (tel. 257-216-337) puts you literally, well, on the castle's steps for a fraction of the price you'd pay elsewhere.
Best for Business Travelers: Just off Námestí Republiky near the imposing Czech National Bank, the Prague Marriott Hotel (tel. 222-888-888) comfortably fits the bill for those who need to get in, cut a deal, and then get out to see the city (especially if the firm is paying the bill). The Kempinski Hotel (tel. 226-226-111) in Nové Mesto is bolder, brasher, and has a better restaurant.
Best for Stressed-Out Business Travelers: The Buddha Bar (tel. 221-776-300), in Staré Mesto, is all about lifestyle and finding that right balance between work and spirit. So after you've amassed your fortune, spend it here to decompress.
Best Romantic Pension: Although the Pension Vetrník (tel. 220-612-404) is well outside the city center, this family-run B&B is a very friendly and romantic place, easily accessible by tram or taxi. It's built into an antique windmill amid lush gardens, and you can't beat it for charm and price.
Best Throwback to Prague's First Republic: The restored Art Nouveau Hotel Paríz (tel. 222-195-195) recalls 1920s Prague, one of the wealthiest cities on earth at the time. The hotel's beauty oozes with period elegance. It's across from another remodeled gem, the Municipal House (Obecní dum). The K+K Central (tel. 225-022-000) has an even more impressive Art Nouveau exterior and the rooms convey a Functionalist 1920 and 1930s feel.
Best for Families: Consider a private apartment from an agency. Larger and cheaper than hotel rooms, these apartments come with kitchens so you can fix your own meals.
Best Health Clubs: The Hotel InterContinental Prague (tel. 296-631-111) has a fully equipped gym with modern machines and free weights and is home to a variety of workout and aerobics classes. There's also a smallish pool on hand and a hot tub. The gym is primarily for hotel guests, but it's possible to buy day passes, as well as short- and long-term memberships.
Best Tom Cruise/Leonid Brezhnev Haunt: The Hotel Praha (tel. 224-341-111) was once a heavily guarded bastion for visiting Communist bigwigs. The lingering chintz of the Praha has unexpectedly emerged as a refuge for luminaries who want to lie low, including the star of Risky Business, Top Gun, and Mission: Impossible. A wacky choice.
Prague's Best Hostels
Hostels aren't what they used to be, at least not in Prague. These days, backpackers with a little spare cash are demanding more style for their money, and hotel owners have responded with a new breed of "flashpacker" hostels, combining the stripped-down basics of a hostel (like dorm beds and shared bathrooms) with services and style you might associate more with a boutique hotel.
In Prague, two names to look out for include the Czech Inn at Francouzská 76, Prague 10 (tel. 267-267-600; www.czech-inn.com) and Sir Toby's at Delnická 24, Prague 7 (tel. 246-032-610; www.sirtobys.com). Both offer beds in shared dorm rooms for around 390Kc per person, and private doubles from around 1,500Kc -- in other words, excellent value for what's available. Prices include a hearty breakfast, and there are thoughtful touches like big banks of computers for checking e-mail and modern efficiency kitchens. Though both are situated outside the center, they are close enough to public transportation that this is not an issue.
Travellers' Hostel-Pension Dlouhá (Dlouhá 33, Prague 1; tel. 224-826-662; fax 224-826-665; www.travellers.cz) is one of the best hostels in the city center. This flagship in the local Travellers' group of hostels is open year-round, just a few blocks off Old Town Square and a few floors above one of the better music clubs in town, the Roxy. The hostel offers shared accommodation in dorm rooms or private singles and doubles, and attracts a mix of backpackers and veteran tourists taking advantage of the clean, affordable setting. Travellers' offers other hostels at dormitories throughout town during the high season. Check the website for more info. Rates including breakfast are 690Kc per person in a double room.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.