Review: Hotel Central, A Prague Art Nouveau Delight

This review covers a stay at K+K Hotel Central, a historic Art Nouveau hotel in Prague, Czech Republic.

Prague Art Nouveau hotel

After a fun ride on the Metropolitan EuroCity train from Brno, I had finally arrived at my destination of Prague.

The next couple of days would basically be about two things I really love: Art Nouveau and beer.

Needless to say, the Czech Republic and its capital of Prague is one of the best places in the world to sample both of them!

From Prague’s main train station – magnificently built in Art Nouveau style – it was an easy 10-minute walk to the K+K Hotel Central where I would stay.

prague old station building art nouveau hl.n
The gorgeous main hall of Prague’s old Art Nouveau railway station building. ©Paliparan
station entrance prague art nouveau
The historic Art Nouveau entrance of Prague’s main train station. ©Paliparan
K+K hotel central prague art nouveau
The beautiful Art Nouveau building of K+K Hotel Central. ©Paliparan

K+K Hotel Central check-in

The reason why I chose to stay at the K+K Hotel Central was simple: The hotel is located in a stunning Art Nouveau building in the heart of Prague.

Both the façade as well as the entrance to the building are magnificent examples of Art Nouveau, although the hotel’s reception desk itself is somewhat disappointingly modern in design.

However, service was friendly and quick and within seconds I had the key to my hotel room in hand.

I paid 80 euro per night for a double room with queen bed, a rate which did not include breakfast.

art nouveau hotel K+K central prague
The main entrance of the Art Nouveau K+K Hotel Central in Prague. ©Paliparan
art nouveau hotel entrance
Hotel entrance. ©Paliparan
K+K hotel central reception
Reception desk at K+K Hotel Central. ©Paliparan

Art Nouveau elements

Prague’s Hotel Central was designed by Austrian architect Friedrich Ohmann in Historicist and Art Nouveau style.

The hotel was completed in 1901 and became a Prague favourite almost overnight, with guests such Auguste Rodin staying here in 1902 and the likes of Franz Kafka and Karl Kraus frequenting the bar and exhibition hall.

The wonderful Art Nouveau elements of the façade and entrance extend to the staircase and the lift of the hotel.

It made it hard to choose whether to take the elevator or to simply walk up the stairs!

The decorative windows and the wonderful floral and geometric paintings on the wall are a perfect example of peak Art Nouveau style.

However, also the lift is absolutely stunning with its artistic Art Nouveau ironwork.

art nouveau hotel staircase
K+K Hotel Central staircase. ©Paliparan
art nouveau hotel staircase K+K central prague
The staircase had wonderful Art Nouveau details. ©Paliparan
art nouveau lift
Art Nouveau lift at the K+K Hotel Central in Prague. ©Paliparan
lift staircase
Lift and staircase at K+K Hotel Central. ©Paliparan

Double room

Although it was a bit disappointing that my room didn’t have any Art Nouveau design elements, it was however clean and comfortable.

The rather non-descript and even slightly dated look of the room isn’t surprising if you look at the hotel history.

Hotel Central was left to decay somewhere in the middle of the 1970s after the Czech communist regime closed the premises when too many artists criticised the authorities while performing in the hotel’s theatre and exhibition hall.

In the year 2002, K+K Hotels bought the property and started a major renovation and reconstruction of the building.

Although most of the public spaces of the hotel have been beautifully renovated and still have that timeless turn-of-the-century feel, the 2000s room décor is rather forgettable.

That said, the room has all the facilities you might expect at this price level and featured a desk, little sitting corner, flat-screen TV, bedside power sockets, safe, kettle, climate control and plenty of storage space.

The queen bed itself was comfortable and I managed to have some good quality nights of sleep at the hotel.

K+K hotel central prague double room
Double room with queen bed at K+K Hotel Central. ©Paliparan
double room
Double room. ©Paliparan
hotel room
Queen bed looking towards the bathroom door. ©Paliparan
hotel room
Sitting corner, flat-screen TV and kettle. ©Paliparan
hotel room view prague
View from the room over the rooftops of Prague. ©Paliparan

Bathroom

The en-suite bathroom of my hotel room was clean and had a combined bathtub and shower.

The bathroom was equipped with a hairdryer and standard toiletries.

en-suite bathroom
En-suite bathroom. ©Paliparan
bathroom toiletries
Bathroom toiletries. ©Paliparan

Public spaces

It’s well-worth it to take a stroll through the public areas of the hotel to admire the architecture.

When Hotel Central was renovated between 2002 and 2004, new elements were introduced in the design, although K+K hotels did cooperate with a heritage preservation expert to restore the old Art Nouveau details.

What you see now is a curious mix between Prague’s lovely Art Nouveau architecture of the 1900s and some modern design elements.

Even though I’m personally not a big fan of modern, minimalistic architecture and design, I do think they generally did an excellent job with the public areas of the hotel.

At some places you can clearly see the original characteristics and functions of some of the spaces.

For example, the carpeted staircase with high-ceiling curtains gives away that this used to be the grand entrance to the hotel’s on-site theatre.

Although I didn’t check them out during my stay, K+K Hotel Central Prague also has a small fitness centre and a wellness area, which are both located in a part of the hotel’s basement where an Art Deco bar used to be in the 1930s.

art nouveau hotel prague K+K central
Walking down the staircase of the hotel. ©Paliparan
K+K hotel central art nouveau bar
Bar at the K+K Hotel Central. ©Paliparan
sitting corner
Hotel sitting corner. ©Paliparan
corridor hotel
Hotel corridor. ©Paliparan
K+K hotel central prague
Public area on the ground floor of the hotel. ©Paliparan
K+K hotel central prague art nouveau
Hotel Central once featured a popular theatre and exhibition centre. ©Paliparan
hotel sitting corner
Sitting corner near the hotel entrance. ©Paliparan
K+K central hotel prague
Large windows overlooking the street outside the hotel. ©Paliparan
K+K hotel central prague art nouveau
Looking out of the window from K+K Hotel Central. ©Paliparan

Breakfast room

As I had a rather busy schedule during my stay in Prague which meant getting up early each day, I didn’t bother with paying for the breakfast buffet at the hotel.

However, do take a look in the breakfast dining room – even if it’s outside of breakfast hours.

Breakfast is served in the room which used to be the hotel’s theatre and it still has that old grandeur of the early 1900s thanks to the vaulted glass ceiling.

A modern glass structure stands in the middle of the space, with the top deck being used for the breakfast buffet and the ground floor being a conference and meeting room.

K+K Hotel prague art nouveau
Entrance to the breakfast dining room. ©Paliparan
breakfast room entrance
By walking through the curtains, you arrive in the room which used to house the theatre. Nowadays it doubles as a breakfast room (top floor) and conference room (ground floor). ©Paliparan
K+K Hotel central Prague old theatre breakfast room
Breakfast room in the historic theatre of K+K Hotel Central in Prague. ©Paliparan
hotel central prague
The space which used to house Hotel Central’s theatre. ©Paliparan
breakfast room
Breakfast room details. ©Paliparan

Sparkling wine

I had booked my stay at K+K Hotel Central Prague through Hotels.com, which I think is a great website to book accommodation thanks to its “stay 10 nights, get your 11th night for free” rewards programme.

As a silver member in their rewards programme, I got the extra benefit of a free bottle of Czech sparkling wine while staying at K+K Hotel Central, which was a nice touch.

sparkling wine bath
Enjoying a bottle of complimentary sparkling wine. ©Paliparan

Hotel location

K+K Hotel Central has a convenient location as all the old town sights of Prague are within walking distance.

In the direct environment of the hotel there are plenty of cafés, pubs and restaurants to grab a drink or something to eat.

If you just walk out of the street on which Hotel Central is located, you will come across the 15th century Gothic Powder Tower and the wonderful Art Nouveau café and concert hall of the Municipal House, both Prague landmarks in their own right.

The main old town square is around 10 minutes away on foot while the Charles Bridge can be reached within 15 to 20 minutes walking time.

Prague’s secondary Masyrek train station (Masarykovo nádraží) is 2 minutes away on foot while the city’s main train station (Praha hlavní nádraží) is just 10 minutes away.

Bus, tram and metro stops are just a few minutes walking too.

K+K central hotel prague
Once you exit the doors of K+K Hotel Central, you don’t have to walk far for the cafés, pubs and restaurants of the old town. ©Paliparan
prague powder tower
The Powder Tower, one of Prague’s historic city gates, is located at the end of the street on which Hotel Central is located. ©Paliparan
municipal house art nouveau prague
The wonderful Art Nouveau concert hall at the Municipal House can also be reached within 5 minutes on foot. ©Paliparan

Conclusion

If you love Art Nouveau and are looking for a historic place to stay in Prague, K+K Hotel Central will fit the bill.

Hotel Central is a true Art Nouveau masterwork and a well-known Prague establishment, it being full of lovely architectural and design details and having a rich history.

The building’s façade, staircase, lift and public spaces are lovely restored and have a timeless charm.

Although my room was a bit disappointing design-wise as it did not feature the same lovely Art Nouveau details but rather a charmless, generic early 2000s interior, it was clean and comfortable and had all the amenities you might expect for a mid-range hotel.

Moreover, I found the hotel’s employees to be friendly and helpful and you really can’t beat the old town location.

Trip report index

This ‘Trains, Planes, Beer and Tapas: A Trip to Prague and Madrid’ trip report consists of the following chapters:

1. Review: Ryanair Bucharest to Chania (Boeing 737-800)
2. A Rainy Chania Stopover
3. Ryanair Hell: My Bad Chania to Budapest Flight Experience
4. Review: T62 Hotel, Budapest, Hungary
5. Review: EuroCity Train “Hungaria” Budapest to Brno
6. A Walk Through the Historic Old Town Centre of Brno
7. Review: EuroCity Train “Metropolitan” Brno to Prague
8. Review: K+K Hotel Central, A Prague Art Nouveau Delight (current chapter)
9. Beer Boozing in Prague
10. Praha Hlavní Nádraží – Prague’s Stunning Art Nouveau Station
11. Review: Leo Express Train Prague to Olomouc
12. Olomouc: An Amazing Art Nouveau City
13. Review: RegioJet Train Olomouc to Prague
14. Review: Erste Premier Lounge Prague Airport Terminal 2 (Schengen)
15. Review: Air France HOP Business Class Prague to Paris CDG (Embraer 170)
16. Review: Air France Schengen Business Lounge Paris CDG Terminal 2F
17. Review: Air France Business Class Paris CDG to Madrid (Airbus A220)
18. Review: Hotel Europa, Madrid, Spain
19. Tapas Crawling Through Madrid
20. Review: Ibis Barajas Airport, Madrid, Spain
21. Review: Puerta de Alcala Business Lounge Madrid Barajas Terminal 2
22. Review: Air Europa Economy Class Madrid to Milan Malpensa (Boeing 787)
23. How To Transfer Between Milan Malpensa and Bergamo Airport

koen paliparan rhodes rodos

Koen

Koen works as a freelance journalist covering south-eastern Europe and is the founding father and editor-in-chief of Paliparan. As a contributor to some major Fleet Street newspapers and some lesser known publications in the Balkans, he travels thousands of miles each year for work as well as on his personal holidays. Whether it is horse riding in Kyrgyzstan’s Tian Shan mountains, exploring the backstreets of Bogotá, or sipping a glass of moschofilero in a Greek beachside taverna, Koen loves to immerse himself into the local culture, explore new places and eat and drink himself around the world.

One thought on “Review: Hotel Central, A Prague Art Nouveau Delight

  • November 2, 2022 at 2:18 pm
    Permalink

    Looks great – somewhere else I need to go!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.