Home, hotel, or cottage? Planning New Year's Eve in the Czech Republic

Czech accommodation providers are reporting vacancies in a number regions that previously catered to New Year's Eve stays. Where can you still book?

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 05.12.2021 11:37:00 (updated on 05.12.2021) Reading time: 4 minutes

Traditionally New Year's Eve celebrations include a stay at a mountain cottage orchata with accommodation booking up months in advance and anyone waiting till the last minute facing a night at home with the countdown and a bottle of Bohemia Sekt.

The pandemic era, however, has seen a shift in booking habits from Czechs and others who ring in the new year in the Czech Republic, according to ČTK which surveyed accommodation providers as well as travel agencies on their outlook for this year.

While cottages and hotels are usually full by this time of year, those who haven't yet made plans may be in luck, depending on the region you'd like to visit.

Interest in New Year's Eve stays in cities and some larger mountain resorts have seen a significant decline due to tightening government measures against the spread of coronavirus, according to ČTK.

End-of-year reservations are being canceled by foreigners and large companies, but also individuals who are waiting to see if further restrictions will be announced. The ban on Christmas markets and the restriction of opening hours of restaurants and bars until 22:00, in general, have had a negative effect on tourism in the Czech Republic. 

Hotel stays for tourism can only be booked, with a few exceptions, by those who have completed vaccination or have had Covid-19 in the last six months.

In the Czech Republic, New Year’s Eve is called Silvestr, for the anniversary of the consecration of Pope Sylvester I, a saint who served as Pope of the Western Church from 314 to 335. Since the adoption of the Gregorian calendar in 1582, the December 31st feast date has coincided with New Year’s Eve. (Italy, France, Poland, and numerous Eastern European countries similarly refer to the last day of the year.)

The Association of Hotels and Restaurants of the Czech Republic told ČTK that it's vital for the government to decide which restrictions will apply until the end of the year.

The following regions are seeing much lower interest in New Year's Eve and holiday bookings this year and many still have accommodation available for those who are looking to reserve a New Year's Eve staycation late in the game.

Prague

Prague hotels say they are facing a loss of tourist bookings, especially from abroad and many consider a 60 percent occupation of rooms during the holidays a success. 

"In all three of our hotels, we have recorded cancellations, mainly from abroad. At present, no new reservations go on New Year's Eve, potential clients from abroad and the Czech Republic are certainly waiting for the restrictions," CEO of Prague Hotels - Chateau St. Havel Ivana Peterková, told ČTK.

A similar decline in interest in accommodation was noted by hotels and pensions in Central Bohemia, and fewer New Year's Eve stays have been booked than in the past.

Liberec

Hotels and guesthouses in the Liberec region also have vacancies for Christmas and New Year's Eve. A number of tourists have recently canceled stays here. Vacancies for the end of the year are still available at the popular Hotel Skicentrum in Harrachov, located right next to a local sports complex. 

"Ten days ago we were full for New Year's Eve, and now, unfortunately, we are not," hotel owner Jan Vorlíček told ČTK, noting that a large portion of German clientele had canceled.

Karlovy Vary

Hotels in the larger cities of the Karlovy Vary region are looking to the end of the year and especially the beginning of the next with concern. Demand for accommodation is still very low due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the interest of German guests is negligible. Mountain cottages, however, are already filling up to capacity and pensions in the popular Boží Dar report being full at Christmas and having only a few remaining vacancies for New Year's Eve.

Pilsen

Hotel operators in Pilsen say they have few rooms occupied and reservations are dwindling. Prior to the pandemic, it was the peak of the season for the region, and destinations such as Šumava had rooms booked almost a year in advance. 

AGENCY PROPERTIES

Apartment for sale, 5+1 - 4 bedrooms, 97m<sup>2</sup>

Apartment for sale, 5+1 - 4 bedrooms, 97m2

Chrpová, Praha 10 - Záběhlice

Apartment for rent, 3+kk - 2 bedrooms, 74m<sup>2</sup>

Apartment for rent, 3+kk - 2 bedrooms, 74m2

Na dlouhém lánu, Praha 6 - Vokovice

Apartment for sale, 1+KK - Studio, 42m<sup>2</sup>

Apartment for sale, 1+KK - Studio, 42m2

Kakosova, Praha 5 - Řeporyje

Garden for sale, 233m<sup>2</sup>

Garden for sale, 233m2

Česká Lípa - Častolovice

Vysočina

Hotel reservations in the Vysočina region have also been declining recently, and companies are canceling pre-Christmas parties and training due to measures against the coronavirus epidemic. Many accommodation providers have prepared a New Year's Eve program, some also offer Christmas stays and many still have spots available.

In comparison to these regions, accommodation in the Jeseníky mountains, Zlín, and Špindlerův Mlýn are hitting pre-pandemic numbers meaning there are few spots available to those interested in staying in these regions over the holidays.

The tradition of escaping to a mountain ski cottage, or chata, to ring in the New Year stems from the communist era when good workers got to spend the holiday at the company-owned cottage; people have kept the custom ever since and around this time of year all-inclusive trips can be had for a very good price. Popular destinations include Šumava and Krkonoše.

ČTK also writes that interest among Czechs in spending New Year's Eve abroad is returning to the pre-crisis level. Travel agencies report that people have become accustomed to restrictions, many prefer to go abroad to escape domestic restrictions in place at home. 

Stays in Egypt, the Maldives in the United Arab Emirates and the Dominican Republic are all seeing increased interest in the run-up to New Year's Eve.

Would you like us to write about your business? Find out more