The Alchymist, Prague Castle is a quite splendid boutique hotel set in a restored 15th century mansion house just below the castle and it offers a sense of history, culture and romance that few other hotels can match.
Having just seven rooms and one suite to choose from the place also feels very exclusive and you will have more the feeling of staying at the home of some newly discovered royal relation than at a hotel. Thus it is well suited for longer stays.
The staff at The Alchymist are consistently rated as among the very best hotel staff in the city, their warmth and personalized service enhancing greatly the homelike atmosphere, and you will have a private butler, a tour guide and a concierge at your disposal too.
The seven rooms and one suite are spread over three floors of the building (you can check your options on the booking page here). and all display much historical detail with some lavishly painted wooden ceilings and various antique and art pieces.
The suite (titled the one bedroom apartment on the booking page) is open and bright and lies on the top floor with the original wooden ceiling beams still intact. It has a living room, a kitchen, one bedroom with king size bed, and a terrace with views of Prague Castle above and St. Nicholas Church and the Lesser Quarter below. The rooms are lavishly decorated, even more so than the suite perhaps, but in line with their historical nature.
The common areas include a sumptuous living room area, a library, a music room where you can enjoy private classical music performances, a breakfast room, a spa with jacuzzi and massage services, and a small gym.
The interior design around the building will impress, with palatial hallways, crystal chandeliers, sculpted ceiling panels and a gorgeous dark wood Art Nouveau style staircase among the much to be admired.
There isn’t a restaurant at the hotel but guests are treated to a banquet like breakfast buffet plus an à la carte menu of such things as pancakes, omelettes and traditional oatmeal, and the staff will be happy to cater for dietary restrictions.
The Alchymist is in the upmarket central district of Mala Strana, along the way to Prague Castle which is about a five minute walk. A 5 minute walk in the other direction will take you to the Vltava River and the Charles Bridge.
The first historical mention of the house was when it was burned down, as was most of the Lower Quarter, during the Hussite uprising of 1420. It was then owned by Mikuláš Zajíc z Hazmburka, a Catholic noble who was loyal to the King and thus an opponent of the Hussites. It was then rebuilt and, around the end of the 15th century, the two adjacent buildings were joined to form the present mansion house.
At the turn of the 16th century, the house was occupied by Albrecht Rendl of Ušany, the Vice Chamberlain of the Kingdom of Bohemia before, in 1518, being sold to Squire Wolf Ždárský. In 1541, a great fire destroyed the mansion along with much of the Lesser Quarter and it wasn’t until after 1583 when the imperial court of Rudolf II moved to Prague that the area and the mansion was fully rebuilt.
It was rebuilt in the Renaissance style and remained like this until the end of the 17th century after which it would altered many times. One famous resident of that era was the renowned Late Baroque era painter Petr Brandl.
In 1903 it was bought by Josef Fanta, one of the most prominent representatives of Czech Art Nouveau architecture movement. Though also a sculptor and painter he was most renowned for his architectural work, designing many notable buildings in Prague such as the main railway station. He set about renovating the building again almost immediately after the purchase and had it finished within a year. One of his friends at the time, the famous designer and painter Alfons Mucha, lent a hand and whose distinctive style is evident around the building such as in the ornate balcony railings and around the beautiful main entrance.
As the communist years wore on the mansion house fell into a sort of slumbering decay and it wasn’t until quite recently that the present owners undertook the laborious job of restoring the building to its former glory, carefully restoring as much of the original Renaissance, Baroque and Art Nouveau features as possible.
WHAT OTHER GUESTS SAY:
“The graciousness and competency of the staff. The make you very welcome and special. Right to last detail. The facilities and overall décor were outstanding. Historic and yet comfortable. The eye for detail and quality is evident in everything. Location is also awesome…”
“I loved the unique and royal essence of this castle. The service was amazing and everything surpassed my expectations. Very happy with the team who replied to my emails as soon as possible! And the fact that there are only 8 rooms makes it even more exclusive and less “hotel” like. Thanks for an amazing stay! I will definitely be back again…”
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- Sněmovní 164/8
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