WSF Group is three floors and four months into a €20 million overhaul of the Alcron hotel in central Prague. The family-owned company will re-launch the hotel as the Almanac X Prague, the first in a collection of prestige hotels that will trade under the Almanac brand. All rooms are undergoing a redesign, along with all of the hotel’s public spaces. Work is expected to complete in time for Christmas 2022.
Co-owner Tina Haselbacher says the company’s design philosophy is always to reflect the local surroundings and context of a building, while offering a contemporary approach. “It’s important for us to keep the soul of the hotel,” she says. “In this one, there are many heritage protected elements that we simply have to work with. But I think we can do this quite nicely and even enhance them.” The marble flooring that spans the expansive ground floor lobby and the existing panelling will remain, for example. New furniture, however, will replace the old pieces.
Haselbacher (herself a trained architect) assigned the interior design to the Spanish Tres Cinco Uno studio. “They’re in constant communication with our local architects Marani Architects because we needed to have the Czech balance.”
Haselbacher also plans to respect the hotel’s strong gastronomical tradition, albeit with a modern makeover. Between 2012 and 2017, the Alcron’s restaurant was one of Prague’s few Michelin-listed establishments. “All of the legends of Czech cuisine began in this hotel,’ she says. “If you learned to cook here, then you definitely know what you’re doing.” WSF Group has engaged Lukáš Hlaváček, who made the Forbes 30 Czechs under 30 feature issue. “It will be Czech cuisine, but reinvented.”
On the topic of innovations, the hotel’s BeBop Bar recently launched a new, time-limited feature in the form of a Champagne Popup bar called 8ubbles. Specialized bubbly wines will be served from late afternoon until midnight Wednesday to Saturday until June. It’s another example of how hotels now go out of their way to offer new experiences, rather than just a place to sleep at night.
WSF Group is run by Haselbacher’s father, who got into real estate development after a career in basketball, which included playing for Austria’s national team. He’s built up a portfolio of over a dozen European hotels over the years, and established his own operating company in 2015. Almanac Hotels is envisioned as a luxury brand in prime European cities. The company also owns a spectacularly-located historic building on Lannova street (overlooking the Vltava river) which will also renovate in the coming years.
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