Inspiring Places to Visit

Inspiring Places to Visit


After celebrating New Year's Eve in beautiful Prague, our family extended our journey to the heart of the picturesque Czech Republic. We visited two exceptional UNESCO Spa towns-Karlovy Vary and Marianske Lazne-and discovered the historic and luxurious accommodations of Grandhotel Pupp and Nove Lazne Spa Hotel. These destinations not only provide respite from daily life but also showcase the profound impact of design on overall well-being.


Distance: 71 Miles (114 km)
Time: Only a little over 3 hrs. by train from Prague and you are in one of the most historic and picturesque towns in western Bohemia.
Recommendation: Use Euroail Czech Republic


Karlovy Vary is a town steeped in thermal sprmgs, elegant colonnades, and rich history. According to legend, Charles IV discovered the hot springs during one of his hunting expeditions, leading to the establishment of a small town around these therapeutic waters. With 13 main springs accessible to tourists, the city exudes a serene and relaxed ambiance. Whether you choose to pause at one of the colonnades, sipping water believed to have curative powers or visit the iconic Grandhotel Pupp, known for its appearances in 'Casino Royale' and 'Last Holiday,' Karlovy Vary captures the imagination. Nestled in this picturesque setting there are several architectural gems like the Grandhotel Pupp and Kaiser Bad, dating back to 1701 and 1895 respectively, echoing the golden age of the city's spas.

In an exclusive interview with Martin Gross, Guest Experience Specialist at Grandhotel Pupp, I uncovered the hotel's captivating history, ranging from hosting illustrious guests to its transformation into a VIP haven every July during the Film Festival. Under the stewardship of Jindrich Krause, the Grandhotel Pupp has recently undergone sophisticated renovations, seamlessly blending timeless elegance with modern comfort. With the upcoming Michelin restaurant, La Degustation, on the horizon, the hotel continues to enchant visitors with its historical grandeur.


Known for its thermal springs with temperatures between 34 and 72 degree Celsius, mineral-rich baths, and elegant colonnades, this charming town offers a connection with nature and wellbeing attracting dignitaries and famous personalities since the 18th century. Its architecture reflects the significant artistic influence of Habsburg Vienna. Among these structures are the exclusive Grandhotel Pupp Hotel and Kaiser Bad. 

Magnificent jewel in Karlovy Vary reaching temperatures of up to 72 degrees Celsius. Its elegant colonnade showcases the magnificence of this thermal

Kaiser Bad stands as a crucial component of Karlovy Vary's unique testament to the golden age of city spas designed by Fellner and Helmer, the renowned Viennese architectural firm of the time. This spa gained its name, Kaiserbad- Imperial Bad, in 1895 during Emperor Franz Josefs reign. Notably, Zander's Hall, once a gym within the spa, holds historical significance.

Kaiser Bad, boasts a rich history and a modern, multifunctional concert hall within its historical walls. 

Karlovy Vary's golden age of city spas is encapsulated in the Kaiser Bad,
a National Heritage Site.

The former atrium of the spa is now a modern and multifunctional concert Hall. The modern construction ingeniously floats inside the building without touching any of the walls and with the option to be removed.

The spa's women's and men's lounges feature two monumental paintings depicting famous personalities who visited Karlovy Vary since 1914. A distinctive aspect of the spa's design lies in its wooden ceilings, which, intriguingly, are in fact constructed using concrete, plaster, and stucco, mimicking the appearance of wood. The paneling on the walls is similarly grained to emulate a more expensive wood aesthetic. 

Kaiser Bad Imperial Bath

During our visit, we had the privilege of exploring the only remaining imperial bath in the spa, originally constructed for the Kaiser, who, interestingly, spent only one hour in the building during his lifetime. This historical spa oasis encapsulates the grandeur and rich heritage of the city's spa culture.


Karolina Spring

Karolina Springs (Karolinin pramen) in Marianske Lazne is in a wonderful setting that welcome tourists during day and night, bringing serenity and grace to this beautiful town. The Assumption of the Virgin Mary Church on the side complements the elegance of the colonnade.

Marianske Lazne 


Distance: 21 Miles (33 km)
Time: Approximately 1 hour 49 minutes on average
Plenty of trains running from one spa to the other.
Once you arrive at the station you can take a taxi or order an
Uber to get to your hotel.

The landscape and urban design of Marianske Lazne embody mindfulness, and calm reaching beyond the spa facilities. The town of 40 Springs was designated as a public spa in 1818 and added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2021 joining the list of 10 spa towns in Europe with the title: "Great S12a Towns of Euro12e"

Boarding a train, we traversed the scenic route from Karlovy Vary to Marianske Lazne, also known as Marienbad.


This charming spa town was the place to go in the second half of the 19th century. Among the notable visitors were Edward VII, British King, Franz Josef, Austrian Emperor, Georges Benjamin Clemenceau, French Prime Minister, as well as Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Fryderyk Chopin, Richard Wagner, Friedrich Nietzche, Mark Twain, and Thomas Alva Edison.

Marianske Lazne is a walkable town where visitors can visit a nature trail featuring over 150 trees or explore the Writer's trail with fifteen panels-an enchanting way to delve into knowledge and literature while strolling in a tranquil and relaxed manner. In 1905, King Edward VII opened the first golf course. The city offers annual activities including the Jazz spa in June, Marienbad film festival in July, Book Fair July/ August, Chopin Festival in August, Spa Apple festival in October.

The Main Spa Colonnade

Grandhotel Pupp in Karlovy Vary and Nove Lazne Spa Hotel in Marianske Lane stand as exemplars of wellness-centric design in the Czech Republic. These iconic establishments go beyond offering spa treatments and luxurious accommodations; they curate an environment that prioritizes the holistic well-being of their guests. One recommendation I do have, however, is to book your treatment ahead of time.

The meticulous integration of nature, architectural harmony, and mindful spaces demonstrates the profound impact that thoughtful design can have on one’s wellness journey, making these hotels and their respective cities a true haven for relaxation and rejuvenation.

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