Saturday, 11 October 2014

Prague Day 1: Art Deco Imperial Hotel

100 Year old Avant-Garde Dame with Beautiful Interior. Czech Mermaid Doing Mexican Wave.

  20ÂșC

Our Danube tour (called The Legendary Danube by Avalon) isn't starting until tomorrow, but we thought we gave ourselves a one day head start either letting us to plumb Prague to a greater depth, or do Prague at a more leisurely pace. Unless we do all the sightseeing on Sedway (increasingly popular) or penny-farthing, exploring on foot can be quite punishing (foot is so overrated. Penny-farthing, however, is much neglected).

We slept at the Art Deco Imperial Hotel. The old dame is 100 years young this year. This architectural style only started after WW1, which means this building was one of the first when it was built.

The style gained momentum in the 1920s and 30s. Dunno why I was smitten with the art deco style once. Maybe it's Superman, the Great Gatsby, jazz, the Charlston, and the everything else that lived and died in Roaring 20s. Champagne was flowing, Charlston was spinning, and they partied like 1999 and 2007. They partied all the way to the stock market peak of 1929, and then came crashing down to the depth of the Great Depression.

Imperial Hotel, Prage
The hotel's unassuming exterior
As far as Art Deco architecture goes, her outside doesn't turn many head (especially in Prague); on the inside, she shines like a pearl in a oyster, waiting to be discovered by foreign travelers. Some of her angles are more alluring than others. Her most alluring feature is the 25% discount ("PAY NOW & SAVE UP TO 25%"). Lovely. Just lovely.

Speaking of her oyster, allow me to take you for a grand tour of her inside.

Statue, Imperial Hotel, Prague
Take a look at those lovely curves of the pointed Gothic arch. Just lovely.
Czech mermaid doing a Mexican wave ? Obviously a soccer fan...
I couldn't tell the difference between a clam and a cockle during my puberty...

It's great to see that the hotel's decor looks like the early 20th century, but is actually less 10 years old (as they looked to me). I still remember the Sofitel's Old Cataract Hotel in Aswan we stayed in. Everything seemed to be in its original state and literally fell apart at the slightest touch. Even the TV, which hadn't invented when Agatha Christie stayed there, was an old style TV. It had no remote control, and you change channels by turning the knob. Only seniors and the technically savvy know how to operate it.

On the other hand, everything in this hotel is new, and it provides 3 MB/s broadband. Lovely. Just fabulously lovely.

Staircase, Imperial Hotel, Prague
Art deco staircase. When you look down, the siren with seashell looks up back at you
(click to enlarge)

If the staircase is her esophagus, then you're looking down her throat. Say "ah...". What a lovely esophagus, just lovely. A feast for my eyes.

This staircase connects to the room that connects - naturally - to her stomach, otherwise known as a restaurant. Have a look at it for yourself. Nice place for filling our stomachs with food or poison our livers with alcohol. Lovely. Just lovely.

Restaurant, Imperial Hotel, Prague, Czech Republic
Cafe Imperial. Nice art deco decor

Etta and I dined there. She ordered a veal cheek, the Chef specialty. It's not bad. Mine was a rabbit dish and said to be Czech specialty. Yeah, the rabbit tasted just like chicken. The cream sauce was a bit rich for me.

Lobby, Imperial Hotel, Prague, Czech Republic
The lovely lobby
This is the lobby where guests are received to stay for the night. I was one of the lucky ones. I had a very satisfying night. Lovely. 2 toes up.

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