Anna Smith stays in the very grand, Grand Hotel Pupp for the annual Czech film festival in Karlovy Vary
The Grand Hotel Pupp is an imposing five-star hotel that’s said to have been the influence for Wes Anderson’s 2014 film, The Grand Budapest Hotel. Set in the picture-perfect Czech spa town of Karlovy Vary, it’s also an official venue for events and screenings at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. I checked in during the 56th KVIFF in July for the full luxury cinematic experience.
My Riverside room had wonderful river views, a very comfortable bed, an extensive pillow menu, and a great turndown service. The staff were efficient and discreet, and the breakfast a highlight: I was welcomed with a glass of Prosecco Pupp and offered a full hot and cold buffet including local honey on the comb. As most of the stars stay here, you’re likely to see them at breakfast – I spotted a few actors I’d just seen on the big screen the night before.
Like much of the hotel, the design of the breakfast room has been updated in the last four years and combines the elegantly old-fashioned architecture with a modern design with an accent on local glasswork. In a fittingly meta-filmic twist, the new reception desk is modelled after the very one in The Grand Budapest Hotel. Their spa is also excellent and includes a large pool, whirlpools and sauna area and treatment options.
Grand Hotel Pupp has excellent dining and drinking options: the hotel’s Becher’s Bar is a snug late-night haunt, while during the festival they also have an airy and fun Pupp-Up bar outside, available to all. Don’t forget to sample the local tipple, Bechervoka.
Pupp is well located for exploring the natural charms of this pretty town. There’s pleasant hiking up in the tree-lined hills behind the Parkside rooms – a novel chance to stand inside a wood while still on the hotel Wi-Fi! The famous lookout point Diana Observation Tower is easily accessible via an uphill tram station just around the corner from Pupp. The Diana tower gives a lovely panoramic view of the region and also has a butterfly farm, a mini-zoo, and a restaurant. Other accessible tourist sights include the Moser Glass Factory, supplier to royal families around the world and the Golf Resort.
If you’re in town for the film fest, all screenings are located an easy walk or cab ride from your hotel. As well as accredited guests, the public have access to tickets, which can sell out quickly, so try to buy as soon as they go on sale at www.kviff.com/en. If you can score tickets to Closing night, then go, and dress up: it’s a glamorous black-tie event with an after-party at Pupp itself: very handy for sinking into bed after a late night hobnobbing with the stars.
Tell Me More About Grand Hotel Pupp in Karlovy Vary
Grand Hotel Pupp, Mírové náměstí 2, 360 01 Karlovy Vary, The Czech Republic
Parkside rooms start at £125 per night and Riverside rooms from £155
Airlines including British Airways fly from London to Prague, and from there it’s a 90-minute cab ride or more by public transport. Private cars are reasonably priced.