The past 5 years have seen a boom in hotel construction in Prague. The room shortage that plagued the city in the 1990s has been overcome and if anything the city now has a surplus of rooms. That's good news for travelers, since it means the overly high prices for lodging might start to fall. That already started to happen somewhat in the summer of 2009, when the global recession cut demand for rooms and hotels were suddenly offering deeply discounted prices over their Internet websites.
Most of the boom in hotels has come in the high-end segment, and Prague now has some of central Europe's most beautiful hotels. Many of the best are in reconstructed town palaces that combine fabled historic settings and architecture with modern comfort and services. The years 2008 and 2009 alone saw the opening of several new five-star properties, including a Buddha Bar, a Kempinski, and a new Sheraton. The openings, however, couldn't have come at a worse time given the global economy, and as this guide was being researched all three were offering big reductions on the rack rate just to generate traffic. That may continue to hold in 2010, but the lesson remains that it's always a good idea to check in for deals at the hotel website and it never hurts to bargain for a lower rate.
The number and range of medium-priced and cheaper options has not kept pace with the growth of more expensive properties, and Prague continues to have a shortage of low-cost accommodation. Fortunately, the past few years have seen the arrival on the market of a new breed of luxury hostel, offering boutique hotel ambience at prices that are not much higher than a youth hostel. Another way to beat the high cost of lodging is to book an apartment. These make sense if you're staying 3 days or longer. While you sacrifice something in terms of hotel services, you often get significantly lower rates per night as well as an efficiency kitchen to prepare some of your own meals.
With a very efficient metro and tram system, it is relatively easy to stay in one part of Prague and quickly visit another quarter, but if you want to awaken with the Golden City glowing in your window, a room with a view in Old Town or Malá Strana is worth the splurge. For tips on surfing for hotel deals online, visit www.frommers.com/planning.
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.