Unitas Hotel is located on an inconspicuous, quiet side street across from a police station with its clumsy Communist architecture. A revealing and optimistic political barometer was the fact that Friends gay bar was located across from the police precinct. The hotel was unique in that it had both modern amenities and historical roots as a convent of the Grey Sisters of St. Franciscus in the 1850’s, and as a prison of the Communist Secret Police after WWII who imprisoned President Vaclav Havel. The location was only a few minute walk to the Charles Bridge, Old Town Square, and Wencelas Square.
The lobby had a computer with internet access and a generous tray of elegant, carefully crafted tea sandwiches which were available in the later afternoons. A large bowl of apples was always provided. A maze of long, wide corridors lead to different wings – with intriguing design elements such as shear curtains that covered false doorways and sepia photographs on canvas. Doorbells to guest rooms obviated the need to knock – eliminating some hall noise. A 10’ x 12’ entrance foyer had an amour (stocked with slippers, shoe care products and a terry cloth robe), luggage racks, and a refrigerator topped by shining glasses and a corkscrew. While the bedroom was 9’x16’, its gleaming white walls, 18’ ceilings, charming furnishings (including a sizable desk, and lounge-chair with ottoman), and strategically placed light fixtures made it seem larger. In place of hotel art which had become such a cliché, the room had beautifully framed mirrors that were illuminated by picture lights. A flat screen television was connected to the wall along with a DVD player. Surprisingly, there was no clock in the room. Simple, modern wall sconces provided cheerful lighting. The large 8’x10’ bathroom’s sparkling sink that resembled a sloping trough was outfitted with modern hardware, and a modern shower stall hugged one corner (a room with a bath must be requested). High-end skin and soap products sat in a wicker basket. The only omissions in this hotel were that of a clock, a door leading to the bedroom from the foyer to diminish hall sounds, and a soap dish in the shower. The room (#216) seemed to be above the kitchen so that some noise permeated into the room in preparation of breakfast (but it was mostly innocuous), and it faced a tranquil courtyard. Upon returning to the hotel in the evening, the bedspread was always removed (the mattress was pleasantly firm) and ample supplies of candies were stocked at bedside. Once such candy was called “coffee dreams” – which should have been called “coffee nightmares” as they contained caffeine!
The concierge employees were all so patient and helpful. While they most likely fielded the same questions repeatedly from hotel guests, they acted with zeal as if it was the first time they heard them.
The breakfast room was at the end of a labyrinth of hallways including a detour through a comfortable looking lounge with baby grand piano. Tables were set with stunning white linens. A miniature votive candle sat on a mound of coffee beans in a glass. A miniature vase held a charming bouquet of flowers. Artful, modern light fixtures stretched across the room on wires – the hotel successfully and tastefully blended new elements into the charming hotel. The eclectic modern design worked well in this historical setting. The oval buffet table in the center was carefully stocked with a plethora of choices: charcuterie, cheeses, dried fruit, hot and cold cereals, scrambled eggs, bacon, a variety of sausages, yogurt, stuffed eggplant, and a chilled bottle of champagne for the adventurous. Omelets to order were also offered. Their coffee was 10++. The staff seemed so eager to please their guests and was thoroughly pleasant.
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- Also Known As:
- Unitas Hotel Prague