Maximilian Hotel — Prague, Czech Republic
Fans of Prague’s Maximilian have long prized both its central location – opposite the Haštal church and within easy reach of the Old Town Square – and its quiet fusion of a decorative pile built in 1903 and a newer block in 1995 when the hotel first opened.
With the last refurbishment taking place in 2005, it was time, though, for a spruce up, and for that, Conran and Partners were tapped for the task.
The biggest changes have taken place in the ground floor with the insertion of a new café and bar, brasserie, library and courtyard. In particular, the new mood channels light pastels that shift hues from room to room, the colours overlaid with local art, handsome bespoke lights and, of course, handmade Czech glass.
The 71-rooms have all been similarly overhauled, with the best views of the Old Town to be had from the upper floors. The basement spa, meanwhile, is a soigné cocoon amped up with treatments derived from Indian and South-East Asian traditions, but we remain a little distracted by the brasserie.
Here, head chef Scott Van Wagenen pairs small-batch organic wines with an international and Czech menu, of which highlights include fish that are, unusually, first grilled and then poached, and 30-day aged local beef nuzzling up against truffle potato cream.§