Holidays at home: A quiet city break in Prague's most underrated neighborhood

Sticking around for Christmas or New Year's? A mini-break is great way to get in a little pampering while exploring one of Prague's most vibrant quarters.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 30.11.2021 16:00 (updated on 30.11.2021) Reading time: 4 minutes

In 2019, Prague’s New Town was named by TimeOut as one of the city’s coolest neighborhoods, citing the area’s multitude of restaurants, bars, and museums as proof of its growing appeal.

But New Town isn’t actually a neighborhood. Spanning 250 hectares, it’s one of Prague’s “youngest” (est.1346) and largest quarters boasting three main squares, including Náměstí Republiky and Wenceslas Square, the heart of the city’s commercial and tourist center.

A proliferation of cafés, bars, and bakeries, antique stores, and modern design shops – all hemmed in by the lively river embankment – give New Town’s third square, Karlovo náměstí, more of a neighborhood feel.

With its Baroque and Gothic buildings as well as famous Prague landmarks such as the Dancing Building, National Theater, and Žofín palace, the area feels in the midst of it all and yet far removed from the tourist center.

One long-time local business that has witnessed as well as adapted to the changes that have come to the area is the Mosaic House Design hotel.

“The neighborhood has a mix of local residents and tourists with close proximity to historical sightseeing or cultural experiences in Old Town, with the many shops and restaurants of New Town, Vltava River, and Střelecký Island nearby. And Náplavka is just a short walk away,” says Mosaic House’s Silvie Cindričová of their bustling location near the quarter’s Gothic New Town Hall (Novoměstská radnice).

Opening in 2010 as one of the first green hotels in the Czech Republic, last year the Mosaic House underwent a complete redesign, reopening to the public in May 2020.

What was once a popular accommodation for backpackers, encompassing a burger joint and bar, was transformed into a sleek design hotel with an inviting open-to-locals café and cozy spa area that beckons with warming treatments perfect for sloughing off the winter blues.

The transformation, which took months to complete, was overseen by the Austrian firm Unykat Interior Design in collaboration with the Swiss studio atelier oï who, in association with Spanish lighting specialist Parachilna studio, created the bespoke sculpture that is the café’s conversation piece – and a perfect symbol of the emerging modern vibe found both within the hotel and in the district surrounding it.

“Café Mosaic with its library is the perfect place for private business meetings, casual catch-ups with friends. It’s also a perfect space for individuals looking for a quiet place to work during the day,” says Cindričová.

Another recent addition to the Mosaic House complex, neighborhood favorite QQ Asian Kitchen, relocated its operations to a space adjoining the hotel last year, making the Mosaic House’s transformation as the perfect home base for a city break complete.

With recent travel restrictions bringing back the popularity of staycations the hotel is currently taking bookings for overnight stays as well as days visits to its private spa.

“Winter is very popular for wellness treatments and we see a lot of guests book our private sauna to relax after a cold winter day spent sightseeing in Prague,” says Cindričová.

“A romantic weekend in the hotel combined with private wellness and dinner at QQ Asian Kitchen or a night out in the area is a popular option among our local guests,” she adds.

The wellness and spa area of the Mosaic House gives the hotel true urban oasis appeal. A cozy space with mixed stone and wood accents, it accommodates up to eight people in its Finnish Sauna and also offers a jacuzzi, massages, and bar and refreshment services.

Accommodation offerings, which include affordable studios with stylish interiors and quirky touches like Karel Gott playlists and Little Mole stuffed characters or a penthouse suite with a wrap-around balcony and sweeping view of Prague Castle, feel more like hip apartments than hotel rooms.

Gift vouchers are currently available for those who’d like to gift someone special with a luxury private spa experience or overnight stay in one of the hotel’s newly refurbished rooms – or both.

Cindričová says that since the government announced the state of emergency and the closure of the Christmas markets, cancellations from foreign clients mean rooms are still available for locals who want to enjoy the Christmas season and New Year in “a cozy environment where cleanliness and the safety of all our guests is the first priority.”

It’s definitely the perfect opportunity to visit an overlooked area with a fascinating history. Affectionately called “Karlák” by locals, Karlovo náměstí, is one of the largest squares in the world and the largest square of medieval Europe.

Spa and wellness at Mosaic House Design Hotel.
Spa and wellness at Mosaic House Design Hotel.

“The appeal for both people who are visiting and those who live here is that the location is buzzing during the day and in the evening so you can step out of the hotel and you are in the middle of everything, but at the same time, it’s quiet at night,” Cindričová says.

This article was written in cooperation with Mosaic House Design Hotel. Read more about our partner content policies here.

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