What was once a fairly nondescript, dowdy hotel in Prague has recently been perked up into something altogether smarter, funkier and infinitely more charming: meet Jalta. This shining example of Czech social-realist architecture goes back to 1958, and has since been designated a cultural monument.
Optimistically reclaiming itself as a boutique hotel, Jalta is actually, beyond the modern lobby (with its unimaginative Kafka portrait), a fairly considered mix of old and new. The marble floors, winding staircase and wonderfully wide Art Deco corridors are all original, but the rooms have been dolled up with boutique fabrics, modern lamps and neutral mauves, browns and creams to give them a lighter, designer feel.
The front rooms over the square are necessarily fitted with double-glazed windows, but there are quieter rooms at the back. The hotel houses a couple of immense conference spaces, below which is located the hotel’s super-slick restaurant, Hot. Semi-chic without the pretension, or corporate with a modern twist: whichever way you look at it, Jalta presents a solid option right in the heart of the city.