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czech republic

Europe Hotels Insider Tips

Czech Republic, Central Bohemia, Marianske Lazne & Loket: An Insider Guide

Czech Republic has so much to offer outside of Prague. Located in the Bohemian region of the Czech Republic, near the German border lies Marianske Lazne, a gorgeous spa town offering traditional spa cures with its abundant mineral-rich springs and minerals. If you’re into spas or health travel, Danubius Hotels offers various hotels with in-house spas dating back to decades ago when kings would come here to relax and rejuvenate themselves.

Marianske Lazne

Nove Lazne Hotel

During your visit, make sure to reserve a day to explore the town of Loket, just under an hour (scenic) drive outside of Marianske Lazne. I absolutely fell in love with this town. It’s just as charming as many of the other towns in Europe, just not as crowded. It’s also where one of the James Bond movies was filmed!

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.

I was hosted by Czech Tourism and Danubius Hotels. As always, all opinions are my own.

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Europe Food Hotels Luxury Reviews

Hotels We Love: The Eco Chic Chateau Mcely

After a spending a couple of nights in the hustle and bustle of Prague, we made it to the peaceful retreat, Chateau Mcely, just a 55 minute drive outside of Prague in Central Bohemia of Czech Republic.

captured by Hana Yu

Chateau Mcely feels like a home away from home. The service is incredibly warm and hospitable and I especially appreciated all of the thought that was put into even the smallest of details.

This wellness retreat is perfect for a girls getaway as it is quite feminine, for families as the property is quite kid friendly (they even have a children’s spa and a princess suite!) as well as for couples since it’s uber romantic and intimate.
captured by Hana Yu
Rooms
Each of the hotel’s 24 rooms are entirely unique in design and theme.

Luxury Suite
We had the pleasure of staying in one of the luxury suites and it was absolutely stunning. The luxury suites are influenced by the Orient, Africa, Southern Seas, America and Mark Twain.


Standard Rooms
The double rooms are small but equally as beautiful and full of character.
Piano Nobile Bar & Restaurant
Considered one of the best restaurants in the Czech Republic (it definitely lives up to its reputation). Piano Nobile is ranked top 5 restaurants to dine in the Czech Republic for consecutive years. You can either dine in the dining room or the garden patio. Both are equally gorgeous. Led by executive chef Honza Štěrba, the delicious dishes are made with local ingredients. Don’t forget to try Czech wine from the Moravia region, it is delicious!


captured by Hana Yu

Breakfast
A beautiful breakfast buffet is served every morning in the dining room.
Garden Room
The garden room is perfect for lunch, tea time or a drink during sundown.
Lunch

Tea time
Spa
The spa is located in a small hut outside of the chateau.  The cozy wooden space is filled with the scent of wood burning in the air, creating an incredibly warm and tranquil environment for guests to relax in. It also offers its own cosmetic and spa product line. 




Every room inside the chateau is special and serves a purpose such as the Studiolo Library located on the top floor of the tower where you can go to the rooftop observatory and use the telescope to view the starlit sky.

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.

I was hosted by Czech Tourism and Chateau Mcely . As always, all opinions are my own.

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Europe Food Hotels Insider Tips

Insider Guide to The Best of Prague

Being an old soul such as myself, I was immediately captivated by the romantic essence and beauty of the Czech Republic. We spent 6 nights in this enchanting country by first flying into Prague and managing to visit Central Bohemia and the town of Mariánské Lázně, with more than enough time to explore all three destinations (stay tuned for the additional blog posts).

The Czech Republic has officially become one of my favorite places. The people are kind, the culture is beautiful, the food is delicious (and inexpensive, relatively) and the beer is plentiful.

Prague

What to Do:

Wake up for sunrise and walk the Charles Bridge
This is the only time you’ll have the entire bridge to yourself along with a few fellow early risers. The light was purely magical and just a few hours later, we could hardly get through the bridge due to the crowds and vendors.
Photo captured by Hana Yu

Climb the steps to the top of the Charles Bridge tower for sunset
This was one of my favorite moments in Prague. After a long day of sightseeing, it was nice to admire the city from above and to take it all in. Tickets can be purchased at the counter inside the tower but beware of the steep and uneasy steps up to the top as the tower isn’t fully restored.

Old Town Hall Tower
The views from this tower were some of my favorites. We visited around 4:30pm before sunset and the light was perfect bouncing off of the crowds, creating the long shadows you see in the photos below!
Get the local feel in the Karlin District
Prague’s version of Brooklyn. If you love all things hipster, this is where you need to go.

Go on a food tour
Taste of Prague is one of the best in the city. Prague local, Jan took us to some of the city’s best local spots in town and gave us insight into life in Prague through past, present and future.

Visit Havel’s Market
Adjacent to the Old Town Square, this market is great for fresh flowers, souvenirs and gorgeous/inexpensive berries such as these!
Catch the sunset at Kampa
Gorgeous views of the city and its bridges, this romantic park is a special place during sunset.

John Lennon Wall
Spread love and good vibes here 🙂

Go shopping at one of the prettiest malls
Palladium Praha was built on a site of former barracks in náměstí Republiky square in Prague 1 district and the mall is home to more than 200 shops!
What to Eat:

Churro Ice Cream
Yes it may be touristy but they are SO GOOD and *warning* addicting.
Nicolas bar
We stumbled upon this place while on a desperate search for food and got very lucky. We were immediately sold on the warm and cozy atmosphere set in an underground tavern. The service was friendly, the pizza was delicious and the drinks were beautifully presented in gorgeous crystal glasses. Fun place to grab drinks with friends as there were tons of groups rolling in into the night.
Our tour with Taste of Prague led us to some of the most interesting places in the city, here are just a couple:

Eska
I was incredibly impressed by this place and couldn’t get enough of the interior. Located in the Karlin district, Eska‘s innovative take on the incorporation of vegetables in every dish made it a delicious and unique experience.

Lokál
An excellent go-to for traditional Czech food and delicious/reasonably priced Czech beers.

Where to Stay:

Aria Hotel Prague
As gorgeous as the Aria Prague Hotel is with its magnificent views and private access to the beautiful Vrtba Gardens, it’s hard to believe that the average price per night is $250. The music themed hotel is centrally located in the Mala Strana district, just steps away from the Charles Bridge and Prague Castle.
Photo captured by Hana Yu


The rooftop is the perfect place to dine or have drinks in the warmer months.

The romantic and baroque exterior is a wonderful contrast to its modern, music themed interior.

Rooms come equipped with comfortable beds, Molten Brown amenities and an iPad for your own personal use.

CODA, is an excellent place to dine inside the hotel and I fell in love with their custom designed plate settings!
Mandarin Oriental Hotel
One of the many things I loved about the Mandarin Oriental Prague was its magnificent history. Built on a restored 14th century monastery, you can feel a special presence as you walk the hallways.
Photo captured by Hana Yu

The service is warm and friendly and the grounds are absolutely stunning.

This hotel is also in the Mala Strana district, just steps away from the Charles Bridge.
Photo captured by Hana Yu

We stayed in the Deluxe Room with a charming view of Prague’s streets. The beds were incredibly cozy and the room itself was spacious. Up to par with Mandarin Oriental standards, the bathroom was definitely one of the highlights.

A breakfast buffet is served every morning in their Spices restaurant and a welcome drink is offered. I recommend enjoying the drink on their gorgeous outdoor terrace. I absolutely loved their Sauvignon Blanc, straight from Czech’s wine region, Moravia.

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.

I was invited as guest by Visit Czech Republic. As always, all opinions are my own.

 

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Europe Guides

Insider Guide to Czech Republic: Prague and Cesky Krumlov

When we think of Eastern Europe, it’s hard not to be drawn immediately to Prague in the Czech Republic. I’ve heard how picturesque it is, each winding corner holding a new moment to experience whether an old brick building or quaint café. This is Prague — red brick houses, steeples, and a towering castle overseeing the city. It was exactly how people described it.

 

Orientating yourself in this rather large city is key for getting to understand where you are in relation to the districts. One of the highlights of the time was going to the top of Old Town Hall to see a 360-degree view of Prague — perfect way to get to know the city.

 

Featuring multiple Baroque gardens in the city, each one is unique in design. I loved exploring the Vrtbovska Zahrada (gardens) as the rows of perfectly trimmed hedges, aviary, and layered decks were magical.

When you get to the top of Vrtbovska Zahrada, the views of the castle and across into the city are just breathtaking — a perfect place to pause and take it all in.

One day we made the climb to Prague Castle by way of the steps. Though it was tiresome, each view along the journey made it worth it. The castle’s gardens and area were a great step into history.

Charles Bridge — one of those icons in the city of Prague, and often over packed with people can be seen and photographed just like this. The trick is getting there right at sunrise, as it will be just you, other photographers and joggers. A little early, but this sight made it all worthwhile.

You can’t come to the Czech Republic and not make your way to Cesky Krumlov. An easy day trip from Prague by way of a bus, this bohemian village is just like a postcard.

Cesky Krumlov was a dream — with small shops and cafes, it had a local feeling to it that was warm and inviting. Snacking on trdelnik and sipping warm café, we spent most of the day popping in and out of places.

A highlight in Cesky Krumlov is the historic castle that sits towering over the town. At the very top, the views back down into town were dreamy. I must have stopped a hundred times to take snapshots.

Overall Cesky Krumlov alongside with Prague, are both places that cannot be missed when in Eastern Europe, each unique in their own way. A small town and a large city remind you there is much to be discovered in each.
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Budget Europe Food Hotels Insider Tips

Top 4 European Destinations for the Budget Traveler

A deep desire to explore Europe seems to be an aspiration embedded within most of us in our twenties. An overwhelming need for adventure and independence, combined with that momentary existence in a world semi-free from real responsibilities seems to cause this phenomenon. None of this would be a problem if we didn’t spent our twenties broke from our partying habits and measly casual jobs, hardly able to afford our rent, let alone an extravagant Europe trip!

Rest assured, we’ve got a solution. Going to Europe doesn’t have to mean spending 500 Euros a night on 5-star Parisian accommodation. The trick is to spend your time and money wisely by visiting the right places to suit your budget. So here we present to you a list of incredible European cities where you can stay, eat, and party without racking up your credit card bill… Too much.

1.    Budapest, Hungary
B2
Budapest has to be one of the most incredible cities in Europe. A spectacular combination of quaint European architecture, hip cafes and vintage stores, artsy culture and a unique nightlife. Given the decadent feeling of this Eastern European city, it is a pleasant surprise to find the general cost of living here is remarkably low. Given the current exchange rate of the Hungarian Forint, eating out, transport and accommodation are very affordable in this beauty of a city. We’re talking giant slices of Pizza for 1 Euro. Now there reason alone to go to check this city out.

EAT: Gelarto Rose for delicious rose-shaped ice cream
DRINK: Szimpla Bar for a unique ruins bar experience
STAY: Avail Hostel chic, clean, central accommodation

2.    Prague, Czech Republic

Walking through Prague is like getting transported into a fairy-tale. Horse-drawn carriages, romanticised gothic architecture, cobblestone alleyways galore and the crème de la crème, a Bavarian castle that inspired the design of the Cinderella castle at Disneyland. The best part about the whole thing is you can make this fairy-tale land a reality, and do so on a budget! A hearty three-course dinner out included a pint of beer can cost you as little as 9 euros. Prague is also known for its fantastic nightlife, and now you can go out and enjoy yourself without the regrets when you look at your bank account the next day. With beer cheaper than water and cocktails that won’t cost you three dinners worth, this place is prime for the partygoers.

EAT: U Buldoka for an atmospheric pub lunch
DRINK: Propaganda Pub for a vast selection of vodka-based drinks
STAY: Czech Inn for modern stylish hostel accommodation

3.    Lisbon, Portugal

Whilst this Portuguese city might not be the top of everyone’s Europe list, Lisbon is slowly gaining exposure as people are beginning to realize what a unique and inexpensive city it is to visit. Lisbon is simply teeming with character. A massive castle on a hill centrepieces the city, colourful masterpieces of graffiti burst out over derelict buildings, and the ‘25 de Abril’ Bridge on the harbour reminisces the famous Golden Gate bridge in San Fran. With absolutely beautiful beaches and seaside towns just a short train ride away, it is well worth the visit. The best part? The accommodation is ridiculously cheap. Check out Airbnb to score yourself the best deal on a unique Lisbon apartment and you’ll be eating Portuguese chicken in no time. Yum.

EAT: Beira Gare for wholesome, tasty food at tempting prices
DRINK: Crew Hassan for a place with atmosphere, live music and unique decor
STAY: Airbnb for affordable apartment options

4.    Barcelona, Spain

Sunshine, shopping, siestas and… sangria. What more could you ask for in a city? The answer is nothing! Barcelona has everything you could every want and need, from its great expanse of beaches, the mind-blowing La Boqueria markets, fascinating Gaudi architecture and alleyways filled with cute places to eat and drink. Now, you would think all of this would come at a hefty price when booking accommodation, yet it is actually quite the opposite. Whilst eating out can get a little pricey, the cost of staying in a hostel can be beyond cheap if you do your research and book in advance. One night in the Casa Gracia was like staying in an upmarket hotel- it included a well-furnished room with proper beds, a private bathroom, and a full buffet breakfast for… Wait for it… 15 Euros for a night!  That means more money for shoppi… I mean, saving.

EAT: La Boqueria Markets for a wide selection of fresh produce and ready-made food
DRINK: Chupito’s Bar for a selection of over 100 shots
STAY: Casa Gracia for a luxury hostel experience

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