We threw caution to the wind last Christmas (2018) and opted to spend it in Prague, a city that had been on our must-visit list for years. Deliberating over whether to go somewhere hot or festively cold (a nice problem to have, I know), we plumped for Prague because of its rich history, its miles of Christmas markets and captivating architecture.
Visiting Lapland in Finland, in November, had also wet our appetite for a frostier break and going to the Czech Republic was the perfect excuse to put our warm winter gear to good use too.
When it came to booking the vacay (the Americans get all the good words), the excellent Nicola Donaldson of Travel Counsellors saved the day. Nicola came highly recommended by several of my local followers on social media (she’s based in Berkshire), and after just a couple of emails and a phone call to establish what we wanted and when, she offered various options on destinations and flights, securing us a great deal at the 5 star Corinthian Hotel in Prague, and flights with Whizz Air on our desired dates, to boot.
Meeting up for coffee a few days before we travelled to collect the tickets from Nicola in person was lovely. That’s what we miss in these digital times: meeting real life people for real life coffee and cake. Nicola came bearing gifts too and surprised me with cute notebooks and pens for the boys to keep them busy on the plane, essential oils for me and a pocket guide book of Prague for our trip.
Having someone to connect with by phone and then in person, saved me a shed load of time and stress when it came to booking flights and a hotel, and at no extra charge to me as Nicola makes her commission from the hotel and airline.
And there’s more…The day before we travelled, Nicola had another surprise for me, as the manager of the Corinthia Hotel, Tomas, had kindly upgraded us to a suite after she’d mentioned my job to him. The upgrade meant staying in a huge room with sprawling views of the city, and the use of the hotel’s luxurious rooftop pool and spa. It also meant access to the hotel’s Executive Lounge for complimentary food and drink throughout the day and you can imagine how helpful that was with two hungry children!
I didn’t ask Nicola to make any requests on our behalf and while we often do complimentary reviews, we’d declined stays over Christmas so as to so as to fully switch off. We absolutely did that at the Corinthia Prague though, and were incredibly grateful for their kindness.
The hotel also surprised us (so MANY surprises) at the end of our stay too with a discount from the meals we’d paid for at their restaurants and for room service. While there was no obligation or request to blog about our stay, I wanted to share how tranquil it was there, and the fun we had, and to say a heartfelt thanks to the hotel for their attentive service and hospitality.
Thanks Nicola and Tomas!
Now, let me show you around our room.
Our suite had views overlooking Prague in all its terracotta glory and the rooftop pool was like stepping into a Insta-dream with panoramic views of Prague from the water. Dreamy.
Being just one set of stairs from the Executive Lounge, a place for guests staying in a suite or who had paid to use it, meant enjoying breakfast and light meals, snacks, tea, coffee and alcoholic beverages during our stay in an intimate environment. Everything felt so easy there, just what you want when holidaying with children. They also had computers for adults and children and Oliver watched some origami videos on YouTube one evening.
While the Corinthia Prague is the leading and multi-award winning business hotel in Prague, its location close to the financial district, over Christmas many families opt to stay and are always welcome. The service was second-to-none, as was the food, with diverse vegan options for myself (something I was worried about but needn’t have been) with lots of Italian favourites my kids love (with their egg and dairy intolerance proving no issue).
It didn’t prove an issue anywhere we ate.
And, boy did we eat. We walked endlessly to counterbalance the greed, exploring the city by foot which we loved. The underground system in Prague, is pristine and also easy to navigate while being cheap and the quickest way to travel too. My good pal, Make Up Artist to the stars, Petr Blecha who lives in London but is originally from Prague, gave us a guided tour after dinner on our second day, pointing out cultural landmarks and the best places to eat!
We didn’t get to see every single sight we would have liked to because that’s no mean feat with kids and it’s busy there, so we require a return visit (maybe as a couple) but we ate and drank to our hearts content and truly relaxed.
We took snaps in tourist spots we’d mapped out on the plane, however, and did wander around the city over the 6 days spent there, discovering places that would interest the kids as much as us.
Their favourite was the second castle in Prague, the child-friendly, Vysehrad whose structures date from the 18th century when the site was a fortress. A haven for kids thanks to its magical playground and captivating views of the city, you must not miss this if visiting as a family.
We equally loved the enchanting Old Town Square and Astronomical Clock with its famous, hourly chimes from 9am-9pm built in 1490 and the Christmas markets selling everything from hot chocolate to Christmas baubles. Wenceslas Square and the grand National Museum is where we spent a lot of time (although the queues were too long to visit the museum) but we marvelled at its neo-Renaissance architecture and ate at Concordia Ristorante a short walk from there who are outstanding.
On Petr’s tour, after dinner, we passed the moving Old Jewish Cemetary ( I would like to visit The Jewish Museum next time we visit too and their many synagogues) and we perused the pretty Eiffel Tower tribute, Petrin Hill and the renowned Czech Opera where Mozart famously played. I closed my eyes and imagined what that must have felt like.
I revelled in the shopping there too, picking up pretty floral maxi dresses, a belt and kids’ clothes from boutique Promod, and C&A respectively. My only wish was more time but I had 3 reluctant shoppers with me. Ha!
We had a blast!
A truly magical stay. Have you visited Prague?
….P.S It’s competition time!!!
During our holiday I walked around in my trusty Lotus lace up boots, and enjoyed heels by night also by Lotus, at the hotel. Beautiful but also comfy and hard-wearing, I’ve been wearing this brand since before I was a blogger and feel proud to be partnering with them to offer you the chance to win 4 pairs of shoes from their new collection (1 pair per winner).