Tried & Tested

Hotel check: Kempinski Hybernska

11 Jan 2013 by Jenny Southan

WHAT’S IT LIKE? The seven-floor Kempinski is a relaxed, modern hotel occupying a building that was, in a former incarnation, a Baroque palace – however, there is little sense of history in its interiors, which are smart but somewhat lacking in personality. This is because the property was knocked down and rebuilt in the 20th century, became a hospital during Communist times and was then revamped again for its opening as a hotel in 2008.

Two glass elevators take guests up from the modest reception to the room floors and give views down on to the inner garden courtyard, which is said to be the largest in the city. The corridors throughout the property are wide, and contemporary artwork is on display.

WHERE IS IT? On the quiet Hybernska road in Prague’s old town. The hotel is a short walk away from the main square and Charles Bridge, and about 20-30 minutes’ drive from the airport. The nearest underground station is Namesti Republiky.

ROOM FACILITIES For me, the highlight of the property is its guestrooms – no two are exactly the same, many have kitchenettes and sloping attic ceilings, while the Duplex suite has a spiral staircase. Even the standard-category Grand Deluxe rooms (one step up for standard) have separate living and sleeping areas, and most have separate baths and showers. Standard Superior rooms start from 28 sqm.

I was staying in an Executive suite, which was very spacious (they range between 40 sqm and 70 sqm, and mine was certainly at the upper end of this scale). Upon entering, there was a guest washroom, an open-plan living room with a sofa and flatscreen TV, and a kitchen with a dining table, fridge and Nespresso machine, amongst other fixtures.

Wired and wifi internet was free. Through a connecting door, the bedroom featured a comfortable king bed and had an en suite bathroom adjacent – this was very luxurious with heated limestone floors, a big walk-in rainshower and tub. My only regret was that I didn’t have a might more time to enjoy the suite.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS The Two Steps bar has a simple modern interior with parquet flooring, a black and orange colourscheme and vaulted ceiling. “Happy hour” is 5pm-8pm daily. The Lobby Lounge and Cake Shop sit beneath the hotel’s glass atrium. When I visited, I felt there wasn’t much atmosphere but it was a pleasant enough place to stop for a quick coffee.

There are two restaurant locations, both on the ground floor. The Winter Garden serves lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, while the 65-seat Le Grill also offers breakfast. The pictures on the website of the interiors are somewhat misleading as they make the dining areas look a lot warmer and cosier than they are in reality – in actual fact the décor is more neutral and cool. I came down in the morning and sampled the extensive buffet, taking a seat at one of the banquettes by the far wall. Floor-to-ceiling windows face the street and staff were welcoming.

BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES The hotel has various spaces for events. These range from three small meeting rooms (for eight to ten people in each), to the 300-capacity central courtyard garden. The Atrium can accommodate up to 30-boardroom style, while the glass-roofed Winter Garden can seat 34. The Presidential suite, Le Grill restaurant, Lobby Lounge and Two Steps bar can also be booked out.

LEISURE FACILITIES There is no on-site spa, pool or gym, which is a shame. There is, however, the option of in-room treatments or use of the nearby World Class Health Academy on Millennium Plaza. It is open Monday to Friday 6am-10pm, and weekends 8am-9pm. Ask the concierge for an entry ticket.

VERDICT A very good business hotel with modern, well-equipped rooms. I liked the addition of kitchenettes, though I can’t imagine many short-stay guests would make use of them. A good option for longer-stay visitors though. The only aspect the hotel was lacking was an on-site gym or pool. Staff were helpful and friendly though.  

FACT FILE

HOW MANY ROOMS? There are 75 rooms across seven categories – Superior, Grand, Executive suite, Premium suite, Duplex suite, Bohemia suite and Presidential suite.

ROOM HIGHLIGHTS The spacious living room and kitchenette, the beautiful bathroom and free wifi.

PRICE Internet rates for a midweek stay in February ranged between €192 and €239 for a Superior room depending on flexibility.

CONTACT Kempinski Hybernska, Hybernska 12, Prague; tel +42 226 226 111; kempinski.com

Jenny Southan

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