Some hotel reviews write themselves. The very second you enter the premises, the hoteliers deluge you with surprising, quirky features to tell friends about and – inevitably – share on Instagram.
Welcome to NYX Hotel Prague, which does that in spades. Located slap-bang in the centre of Prague, you might momentarily mistake the hotel for an art gallery. The slate grey lobby is indeed something of a blank slate upon which local artists have indelibly daubed their work.
This turns out to be the signature touch of NYX, which originated in Tel Aviv and also has hotels in Milan, Munich and Madrid. They welcome upcoming local artists to make their mark and treat the hotel as something of a blank canvas.
Inside NYX Hotel Prague, which is located slap-bang in the centre of the Czech capital
NYX Hotel Prague welcomes upcoming local artists to make their mark and treat the hotel as something of a blank canvas
The colourful sofas and furniture inside the hotel’s lounge. NYX, which originated in Tel Aviv, also has hotels in Milan, Munich and Madrid
Duly, as you step inside the Prague hotel, graffitied jungle animals by young local painter Martin Krajc jump out at you. Backlit panoplies of Prague skylines are embellished with cheeky, irreverent cartoons by twenty-three-year-old Sofie Tobiášová.
An explosion of colourful geometric shapes leaps like wildfire up the circular staircase, courtesy of another local talent, Jana Babincová.
There’s a brochure in every room telling you more about each artist. It seems the hotel sincerely wants them to be one of the memories you take away from your trip to Prague. It’s certainly fun to see these boundless young activists breathing fresh life into premises that used to house a rather austere bank.
Upstairs, vast monochrome photos of hawks and zebras flank darkened corridors. In my bedroom, in place of a headboard, there’s an equally arresting shot of a lion.
One of the bedrooms at NYX Hotel Prague. MailOnline Travel’s James Murphy says his room was ‘amply appointed’ with boutique furnishings. He added: ‘Everything is low-lit, so much so that you may feel you’ve stepped into an artwork yourself’
If all this starts to sound like style over substance, rest assured they haven’t skimped on the fundamentals. My room is amply appointed with boutique furnishings. At the foot of a huge bed is a comfortable sofa, plus other stylishly-upholstered chairs, each component complementing the others in a palette of cool greys, blues and orange.
Everything is low-lit, so much so that you may feel you’ve stepped into an artwork yourself: the effect is redolent of the moody, atmospheric paintings of Edward Hopper.
The bathroom is brighter, lined with white butcher tiles. It’s big enough to fit a whole flotilla of bathtubs, so I’m surprised it only has a shower, admittedly a very spacious one at that. Still, it’s sufficiently scorchio to blast away the toll of marching around the city’s many attractions for hours.
An arcade game in the breakfast room at NYX Hotel Prague. James says that as the hotel is right at the heart of Prague, it’s handy to return to sporadically during the day
The restaurant where breakfast is served, which James described as ‘a cheerful atrium popping with rainbow colours’
The vast breakfast buffet at NYX Hotel Prague. James says he saw many guests availing themselves of the complimentary Prosecco
There are lots of different bath products to try and jars of nibbles to sample. Each jar is labelled ‘funky’, ‘classy’ and ‘sassy’. I opt for the latter. I’m not sure what this says about me but the perky combo of peanuts, cranberries and chocolate chips keeps me sustained till the next bout of goulash.
Equally sustaining is the breakfast served in a cheerful atrium popping with rainbow colours, where you can choose to sit at high stools, regular tables or sink into deep sofas, depending on how swiftly or not you desire to get out and pinball around the city.
I see many guests availing themselves of the complimentary Prosecco, though I favour the selection of freshly-made smoothies.
NYX Hotel Prague is next door to the museum dedicated to Alphonse Mucha
Being right at the heart of Prague, it’s such a handy hotel to return to sporadically during the day.
You’re amid countless shops and restaurants and just next door is the museum dedicated to Alphonse Mucha, an artist whose name you may not know but whose style you will instantly recognise.
It’s tantalising to wonder if, in decades to come, the young artists the hotel aims to celebrate will join him as enduring icons of Prague’s artistic story. If so, you can always say you saw them first when you stayed at the NYX.
NYX Hotel Prague is located at Panska 9, 110 00 Prague 1. Rooms start from 55 euros (£47) per night.
For more information visit leonardo-hotels.com/nyx-prague.
Rating key: one star – poor; two stars – ok; three stars – good; four stars – very good; five stars – exceptional.