Always on the lookout for historical structures, I had planned a visit to another renowned Prague establishment: the Radisson Blu Alcron Hotel, established in 1932 at the height of Art Deco as Prague’s premier hotel of that era. Martina Pavlikova from the hotel welcomed me and graciously took me on a tour of this Art Deco Jewel.
The hotel was the brainchild of the original architect-owner Alois Krofta, who named the hotel after himself using the first two or three letters of his first and last name, and adding the final “n”, which was inspired by the “Alcron”, a boat from Greek mythology. It was Krofta’s intention to build a hotel that would compete with the most splendid properties in Vienna and Berlin, which were more popular destinations at the time. He was successful and soon the Alcron Hotel became the preferred destination of statesmen, politicians and aristocrats.
Cool sitting area in the lobby
The hotel’s splendour became apparent right away when I entered the lobby: white Italian marble and decorative copper railings are luxurious relics of the thrilling times of the Jazz Age. The hotel was completely refurbished in 1998 under the guidance of renowned interior designer Maria Vafiades, using authentic Art Deco inspired materials and furniture. Martina explained that the same designer redesigned the hotel again in 2008, once again with Art Deco stylings, but this time with a more updated and modern feel.
Original etched glass from the 1930s
The Bebop Bar is decorated in jazzy browns and blacks and offers guests local beer, wine and an extensive bar menu. A piano waits in the corner to be played. Past the reception is an intimate 24-seat restaurant called “The Alcron Restaurant ” which features a stunning Jazz Age mural in muted brown and beige tones, displaying 1930s couples dancing in front of skyscrapers.
A gorgeous 1930s mural forms the backdrop in the Alcron Restaurant
The Alcron Restaurant is one of the best seafood restaurants in Prague and was listed in first place in the “Top 100 Best Restaurants in the Czech Republic” by the Czech gourmet guide. A beautiful smoked glass partition above a fireplace separates the Alcron Restaurant from the lobby and still features the original glass design from the 1930s. A small logo of a sailing vessel, the original “Alcron” from Greek mythology, can be seen in the original door of the fireplace.
The “Alcron” sailing vessel which inspired the name of the hotel
To the right is “La Rotonde”, the hotel’s elegant 130 seat Art Deco restaurant. It offers a mix of international cuisine and traditional Czech dishes, all under the guidance of renowned executive chef Roman Paulus whose previous cooking experiences include the Hilton Hotel in Prague and the Queen Mary II ocean liner. The expansive restaurant is adorned by a graceful statue of a ballet dancer, a reproduction of an original, larger statue of a prima ballerina who was rumoured to have been the lover of original owner Alois Krofta. The copy of the statue was created by the original sculptor’s grandson.
La Rotonde Restaurant
Just outside La Rotonde is a large private terrace that is open during the summer. It is often used for barbecues in the evening while the indoor restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. On Sundays La Rotonde fills up with patrons eagerly waiting for the Jazz Brunch, while Saturday is family day, which means fun activities for parents and children. Friday nights have become popular events as well since guests can dance to the sounds of music from the 1920s to the 1940s.
Piano in the lobby
We then started on a tour of some of the guest rooms of the Radisson Blu Alcron Hotel. Martina showed me a standard room which demonstrated the sleek updated version of Art Deco design that was implemented throughout the property in 2008. A big mirror decorates the area above the bed and adds more depth to the room. A safe, an espresso machine and minibar, a flat screen TV, bathrobe and slippers are all standard amenities at this hotel.
Art Deco reinvented
Then we headed to the Castleview Suite, a very spacious suite with slanted roofs on the 8th floor. The window offers a great view of Prague and showcases some of the most important sights: Prague Castle, Petrin Hill and the golden roof of the National Theatre.
Beautiful view of Petrin Hill and Prague Castle from the hotel
The Presidential Suite is even more opulent: about 80 square metres (roughly 860 square feet) in size, it consists of a large bedroom, a very large dining and living room configuration, a compact kitchen and two bathrooms. This luxurious suite provides views on both sides of the unit: towards the east you can see the National Museum on Wenceslas Square, and on the other side of the suite a gorgeous panorama of Prague’s main landmarks opens up.
Dining area in the Presidential Suite
The City of 100 Spires beckons the visitor from this deluxe accommodation at the Radisson Blu Alcron Hotel. Guests of the Presidential Suite enjoy a free welcome drink, free breakfast either at the restaurant or via room service, free newspapers and access to the executive lounge.
Opulence at the Radisson Blu Alcron Hotel