For eccentricity, it’s hard to beat the idea of a one-room hotel – and when that room is 70 metres off the ground in a concrete pod attached to a spectacularly ugly Soviet-era TV tower in Prague, well that pretty much defines an unusual traveller experience.
The One Room Hotel opened recently in the Zizkov Television Tower as part of the ongoing development of that landmark, and it’s extraordinary. Inside the pod, ears still popping from the journey in the lift, it’s like any other four-star suite – luxurious, spacious and modern. The view from the bed (and the bath, in the glass-walled bathroom) is something else though – an uninterrupted panoramic view over the city.
The One Room Hotel has a 24-hour concierge service and offers breakfast in bed.
Down a flight of stairs there’s ObLaCa, a smart new restaurant, bistro and cocktail bar. They are in another of the tower’s concrete pods, are designed with a cool retro feel – and have the best view of any Prague eatery.
Yet another pod has been transformed into a viewing room with a difference. Visitors take in the view sitting in 1960s Aarnio bubble chairs hanging from the ceiling while a sound installation gives atmospheric hints of the sounds of the city far below. Look down and you get a close-up view of artist David Cerny’s giant crawling babies. The babies cling to the tower and were installed for a millennium art installation but proved so popular they’ve remained.
Even if you’re not staying in the hotel, a trip out to the Zizkov district just to see the sights or for a coffee or cocktail in ObLaCa is a welcome antidote to Prague’s crowded touristy atmosphere which can seem almost chocolate boxy with its pretty buildings, winding streets, vast castle and picturesque squares. The woman from the Czech tourist board was disarmingly frank in her description of the Zizko TV Tower. “It was voted the second ugliest building – and not just in Europe – on the planet,” she smiled .
“But you have to see it. Even though everyone can see it, it’s a hidden secret.”
€1,000 per night, including Champagne and fruit on arrival, dinner for two in the ObLaCa restaurant, breakfast and airport transfers . Access to the observation pod costs €6. oneroomhotel.cz , towerpark.cz
Sunway is offering flights to Prague from Dublin, June 3rd -Sept 23rd , from €56 one-way; four-night city break packages start at €219pp . See sunway.ie; 01-2886828