Editor’s note: This story is part of our InterConEuro2014 series, highlighting InterContinental Hotels meeting and incentive programs in Prague, Budapest, Vienna and Davos.
Prague is known as the City of 1,000 Spires due to all of the well preserved, centuries-old churches, castles and palaces that remain to this day, because the city largely avoided the destruction of both World Wars. One of the best views of that splendor is from the rooftop Zlata Praha restaurant and outdoor lounge crowning InterContinental Prague.
The 372-room hotel is ideally located where Pařížská Street, the city’s most exclusive shopping promenade, meets the winding Vltava River that bisects the city in two. From there, it’s just a 12-minute walk down Pařížská Street to Prague’s teeming Old Town Square where dozens of cobblestone streets are lined with colorful local shops and intimate cafes.
The oldest of the multiple bridges spanning Vltava River is the famous Charles Bridge, built in 1357, with a series of gothic sculptures lining the railings. From Old Town Square, you walk across Charles Bridge into Malá Strana, another historic urban core at the base of the hill leading up to Prague Castle. It has as equally dramatic architecture and shopping/dining options as Old Town, so planners really have a wide variety of group options within a small geographical footprint, all within walking distance of InterContinental Prague.
There are few city hotels in Europe that we’ve visited with as much to see and do so near to the property as here. During numerous visits both day and night in November, Old Town Square and Malá Strana were always filled with locals and tourists, creating an incredible energy everywhere. This is very much a thriving city center with one of Europe’s most famous city backdrops.
A couple of places we recommend are Artel Design, owned by artist Karen Feldman. Visit any of her three shops in Prague to purchase exquisite Czech crystal art.
Also, marionette craftsmanship is an important tradition in the Czech Republic. For some wonderful handmade examples of both modern and classic designs, visit the Truhlář Marionetry shop in Malá Strana. Planners can also organize puppet-making classes.
Opened in 1974, InterContinental Prague has 19,000 sf of meeting space on the ground floor right off of the lobby, including a 5,600-sf ballroom and adjoining terrace. Most of the 14 meeting rooms have natural daylight, and there’s a separate group entrance. Maximum capacity is 700 attendees. The interior design is fresh and up-to-date throughout the meeting space, as well as the bright and open Primator Restaurant, and the large Duke’s Bar & Café lobby lounge.
For health and wellness, there’s a surprisingly large 11,000-sf spa encompassing a comprehensive fitness area, dedicated yoga/piIates room, and a beautiful pool with two saunas and two solariums. Groups also have access to an outdoor spa garden accessible in the summer.
On the top floor, the fine-dining Zlata Praha rooftop restaurant has hosted many head-of-state dinners. The views are incredible, and even in November, it was warm enough for an outdoor champagne reception thanks to the outdoor heaters.
A highlight of our final night dinner was a saddle of lamb with wild garlic crust, bacon, Dijon and ratte potatoes, followed by a baked brownie cheesecake.
For groups, all banquet F&B is handled by the in-house Catering by InterContinental Prague division, which also hosts offsite dinners at any of the city’s historic venues or the river dining boats parked in front of the hotel.