The Alchymist Grand Hotel and Spa Prague: spinning hospitality into gold
Hidden behind Prague’s throngs of tourists and busy locals are bastions of civility and hospitality if you know where to find them. The wonderful Alchymist Grand Hotel and Spa is the perfect example, a place where the grandeur of the décor is balanced by the helpfulness of the staff and excellence of the cuisine. With enough gilded Baroque furniture to please any latter-day Louis XVI, The Alchymist, a set of contiguous old houses impressively transformed into an haven of old-style luxury with contemporary amenities, has become something of a tourist attraction in itself for those in the know.
In summer, its inviting courtyard with bubbling fountain and fine graffito decoration on its walls is an excellent place to take a break from the sightseeing; in winter, the atmospheric and intimate, classic European cake shop and café provides the much needed hot drink and sweet slice to stiffen resolve to face the elements. If that doesn’t work, a complimentary drink during the hotel’s evening soirées may do the trick in a place where magical spells are part of the local lore (alchemy is the ersatz science of creating gold from less valuable metals).
In a city not short of atmospheric surroundings, The Alchymist Grand Hotel and Spa is in a class by itself, flawlessly combining Baroque style with modern-day necessities to create a sublime hotel in one of the Prague’s most privileged locations in the Malá Strana district, which has all the cachet but fewer crowds of the Old Town across the Charles Bridge. The Alchymist stands out as a gem among the Czech capital’s five-star properties, none of which matches it for a unique accommodation experience. Rooms and suites here are regal in both size and decor; some people may think them over the top, but of course they would not stay here in the first place.
For those who want to be immersed in the feeling of European history, Alchymist provides a deluxe experience. Those who prefer to be immersed in a whirlpool bath will find satisfaction in the unexpected Balinese spa, authentic in every way; if a Balinese temple is missing, Alchymist instead hosts a temple of indulgence. The therapists are first rate and the overall ambience will make you forget that Prague is thousands of kilometres away from Indonesia.