As far as top-notch hotels go, Golden Well in Prague is at the top of the list. Honestly, it is one of the best European boutique hotels I've had the pleasure of staying in. Situated on a secluded cobblestone street (and practically in Prague Castle's backyard), the hotel occupies the former private residence of Emperor Rudolph II dating back to 1528. Even before you enter the front courtyard, you know you are about to experience something uniquely special!
The luxury begins at check-in with an ice-cold mint towel. Nothing could be more refreshing after an overnight flight! Then, a welcome drink (of your choice) is offered while the staff shares some of the highlights the city has to offer. Before an escort to your room, the staff guides you through a tour of the hotel's amenities that include a club lounge with complimentary refreshments, DVD library, business center, outdoor patios, and the not-to-be-missed restaurant, U Zlate Studne and its unbelievable view of the city.
The reception continues upon entering your warmly decorated and spacious room with a bottle of wine and a fruit and cheese platter. I have to admit, I've never received this kind of care at a Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton or any other 5-star hotel!
While checking out all of my in-room amenities, I found Wi-Fi was available throughout the entire hotel (always a plus in my book), coffee and pastry service delivered to your room every morning (upon request, and it's in addition to the complimentary buffet breakfast served in the dining room), and a pillow and bedding menu. You read that correctly. You can request the pillow that is "just right" for a night of peaceful dreams.
One of the coolest aspects of the hotel is its proximity to Prague Castle, one of the main attractions in the city. A private gate (once used by the Emperor himself) links the hotel to the castle, conveniently eliminating the long climb up a steep hill to enter the castle grounds.
The staff at Golden Well are either naturally hospitable or very well-trained. Whichever, they make you feel nurtured and cared for during your entire stay. The price of a room may be a little steep for some travelers, but considering you are getting Four Seasons quality for much less, it is well worth it!
I look forward to seeing my new Golden Well friends again soon!