Hundred year old dandy
The Hotel Imperial in Prague is celebrating its 100 year anniversary this year. The 5-star Hotel Imperial is located in the city center just a few minutes walk from the Municipal House and is a remarkable example of Art Deco architectural style. Nowadays, it is especially renowned for its high-end Restaurant Café Imperial.
The history of the hotel and the Café Imperial dates back to the early 20th century, when a wayside inn called U Černého orla (Black eagle) stood in the spot of today's Hotel Imperial. In 1914 the well-known Prague hotelier Kolářová brothers sold the hotel Paříž (Paris) and bought the Black eagle. They had it demolished and built the modern and elegant Hotel Imperial in its place. The art deco style exterior with subtle cubist elements was completed by a late Art Nouveau mosaic decoration of the interior.
The Imperial became a popular place for both business and romantic encounters immediately after its opening in 1914. The writer Franz Kafka frequented the Imperial for coffee and the composer Leoš Janáček used to live there.
In 2007, an extensive reconstruction was completed, in which great emphasis was placed on maintaining the original architectural concept. This was in part due to the fact that the Imperial Hotel is one of the historic buildings of Prague listed in UNESCO.
Grandhotel in the main role
Karlovy Vary experienced a tremendous boom throughout the 19th century. The elite of the world at that time went to the spa to be treated. From royal families to big industrialists and top artists. The Pupp family did business in the city from 1701, but the Neo-Baroque hotel itself was rebuilt from smaller buildings constructed at the turn of the 19th and 20th century. The creators of the design were the well-known Viennese architects Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Helmer. Their work also included for example the Hot Spring Colonnade (Vřídelní kolonáda) or the Karlovy Vary Theater. Just before World War II, the Pupp family managed to buy the last of the desired buildings, the so-called House of God's eye (Dům Boží oko), today Café Pupp.
The luxurious complex, which was sought after by kings, emperors, artists, composers and famous actors is still one of the most famous hotels in Europe. If you are a movie fan, you will no doubt be interested to know that Grandhotel Pupp has appeared on the silver screen several times. Some of the better-known films in which it appeared were Last holiday with Gerard Depardieu, the 2006 James Bond film Casino Royale with Daniel Craig in the lead role or the biographical snapshot of Edith Piaf.
Every summer the Grandhotel Pupp comes alive with the arrival of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. The main guests of the festival, who are also current movie stars, are put up in its best rooms.