Luxury Winter



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ttg czech for premium travel professionals WINTER 2013 PETROF Flawless sound, timeless style VELKÉ LOSINY Cotton and Flax THE EMBLEM Hotel that makes you feel at home MERCEDES-BENZ PRAGUE FASHION WEEKEND Fashions fade, style is eternal QUEST FOR PERFECTION

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3editor’s letter The greatest perfection is imperfection: this is the paradox formulated in early 17th century by Italian freethinker Lucilio Vanini who argued that if the world were perfect, it could not improve and so would lack „true perfection,“ which depends on progress. And somebody has said much later that perfection is the outcome of a million mistakes. So, the world may never be perfect but pursuit of perfection can be seen almost everywhere. And it eventually pays off, as we hope you will find when leafing through this issue of ttg czech luxury. Beacuse this issue is full of perfect, or to comply with the above cited paradox nearly perfect, things. Be it the hand-made pianos, the hand- made paper, the hotel at the crossroads of three cultures which will make you feel at home or the fashion collections presented at the Prague Fashion Weekend. So go ahead and read. This issue of the magazine brings you just a couple of perfect things but when reading, you may find that Prague and the whole Czech Republic is the perfect destination for your next vacation and decide you want to see all that for your- selves. We promise you will not be disappointed. Have no fear of perfection - you’ll never reach it. Salvador Dali ttg czech for premium travel professionals Chief Editor Naďa Rybárová Contributors Naďa Rybárová Luděk Neužil Amara Zemplinerová Head Designer Luděk Neužil Executive Director Amara Zemplinerová Headquarters Šafaříkova 5 120 00 Prague 2 Czech Republic TTG Worldwide Titles TTG Asia TTG China TTG Czech TTG India TTG Italia TTG MENA TTG Nordic TTG Central Europe TTG Russia TTG UK & Ireland Cover photo: Luděk Neužil Printed in the Czech Republic TRAVEL TRADE GAZETTE vydání Česká republika

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I ts history dates back to 1701. In that year, the mayor of the town of Karlovy Vary ordered the construc- tion of the Saxon Hall; over time, more buildings were added and their further development is now synony- mous with the name Pupp. Confec- tioner Johann Georg Pupp of Veltrusy arrived in Karlovy Vary in the service of Count Chotek in 1760. He showed his business talent in managing the Bohemian Hall and founding the renowned Pupp Avenue. The next generations of Pupps followed his legacy; the boom of the Grandhotel Pupp culminated with the purchase of the Eye of God House, which was added to the complex in 1936. Today the hotel embodies the atmosphere of the “good old times”. Even at first sight, it impresses with monumental crystal chandeliers, Art Nouveau stucco and rare paintings. The Fes- tive Hall boasts a stained-glass ceil- ing designed by Alfons Mucha and a large concert organ. THE GRANDHOTEL PUPP THE HEART OF KARLOVY VARY Over the years, the atmosphere and hospitality of the Grandhotel Pupp has enchanted many famous celebri- ties, politicians, writers and artists. The list of people who stayed here includes the German poet and phi- losopher Johann Wolfgang Goethe, composers Johann Sebastian Bach, Richard Wagner and Antonín Dvořák, writer Franz Kafka and the Art Nou- veau master Alfons Mucha. The Fes- tive Hall hosted concerts by the violin virtuoso Nicolo Paganini and Ludwig van Beethoven. Every year in early July, the Grandhotel Pupp becomes the centre of the famous Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Film celebrities and fans of the silver screen fill up the hotel to the very last bed. The long list of its guests includes names such as Morgan Freeman, Gregory Peck, Sharon Stone, Robert Redford, John Malkovich, Antonio Banderas, Jude Law, Renée Zellweger, Susan Sarandon, John Travolta and many others who fell in love with the unique atmosphere of the hotel. The Grandhotel Pupp, however, not only hosts movie celebrities - it has featured in many films, too, including the James Bond adventure Casino Royale and romantic comedy Last Holiday star- ring Queen Latifah and Gérard Depardieu. From April 2013 the Grandhotel Pupp has been welcoming guests to the new Pupp Royal Spa wellness centre with pool and saunas. The complex includes a modern fitness centre as well as a private Royal Spa Suite with 4accommodation whirlpool, massage tables, sauna and a relaxation zone. It’s an honour to build on the traditions of the Pupp genera- tions and to found a new one, the tradi- tion of the Pupp Royal Spa. At its new premises, the Pupp Royal Spa of- fers an extended range of treatments, from traditional procedures based on the natural bounty of Karlovy Vary and the region to modern massages and beauty treatments. Spa treatments provided at Karlovy Vary include carbon dioxide, pearl, mineral and mud baths, dry carbon dioxide baths, mud wraps and hydrocolon therapies as well as inhalations, oxygen therapy, lymphatic drainage and naturally also massages. Karlovy Vary is a place of healing springs, beautiful architecture set within beautiful natural surroundings. There are about 100 hot springs of varying strength found in the town, twelve of which have been used for therapeutic purposes since the early 19th century. The temperature of the springs ranges from 42 °C to 72 °C. The symbol and pulsing heart of the spa is the “Vřídlo” spring, which spouts water to a height of 15 metres. Hence an integral part of spa stays is the traditional drinking cure of Karlovy Vary, prescribed by a physician after an initial consultation. The CULINARY SERVICES of the Grandhotel Pupp have merited the use of capital letters. There quite possibly hasn’t been a single famous guest of Karlovy Vary who did not visit one of hotel restaurants or bars. The confectionary tradition is where it all began, and the Grandhotel Pupp is still proud of its sweet treats. The pleasant atmosphere, comfortable seating, excellent service and the genius loci are sure to delight you. Comfort You Deserve … We Think of You www.pupp.cz THE WORLD FAMOUS GRANDHOTEL PUPP IS ONE OF THE OLDEST TRADITIONAL HOTELS IN CENTRAL EUROPE.

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5contents CONTENTSttg czech luxury winter 2013 12 06 Editor’s selection Back to the sixties • Luxury on the lake • Golf, art and relax 08 Profile Andrea Pfeffer-Ferkl, CEO of Grandhotel Pupp 12 Feature Petrof 16 Feature Albatross 18 Profile Emblem 20 Profile Boscolo 21 Feature Prague Fashion Weekend 24 Feature Velké Losiny 25 Profile Hilton Prague 26 Premium picks What should not be missed in Prague 20 18 21 16

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THE DESIGN MIURA HOTEL located right on the 36-holes Golf Course of Čeladná at the foot of the eastern Beskydy mountains is an art-laden paradise not only for golf aficionados but also for those who seak peace of body and mind. The hotel’s 39 rooms, four Junior Suites and one Miura Suite all face the golf course at the south side of the hotel and their balconies and windows offer magnificent view of the course and the mountains around. The best view, of course, is from the two-bedroom Miura Suite on the top floor of the hotel. The hotel’s pride – Miura Spa, is on the undergroud floor. It combines modern design with the highest quality facilities and contact with nature. Relax in absolute privacy and enjoy the undisturbed moments of peace. Miura Spa is also the only Klafs Spa in Eastern Europe. The Miura Restaurant is open daily and has a terrace overlook- ing the golf course. It offers both á la carte menu and a 7, 5 and 3-course degustation menu. Chef Michael Göth wants to promote the Beskydy regional cuisine and uses mainly pre- mium ingredients from local farmers. Staying in Miura is like staying in a gallery. Be welcomed by Jean-Michel Basquiat at the reception, have dinner with Damien Hirst and John Armleder, relax at Miura Spa alongside the spectacular works by Tony Cragg and Henry Moore. And at the end of the day, have a glass of champagne and do not worry. Andy Warhol’s Two Gold Mona Lisas are indeed blurred, the champagne is not to blame. 7editor’s selection ONCE ONE OF THE TRENDIEST HOTELS in Prague, the Parkhotel just off the city center has been neglected for quite a long period of time. That is going to change now. An ambitious renovation will give the hotel its original design of the 1960s, though complemented with modern technologies. The hotel changed hands recently and its new general manager Monika Hilm has a clear vision: to give the hotel’s interior its original design of 1967 and bring it again in perfect harmony with the hotel’s archi- tecture. „Working together with the origi- nal interior designer Alena Šrámková, we will restore the hotel to its original glory,“ she says. The first to undergo changes are the hotel’s meeting rooms and the bar which used to be the longest and trendiest bar in Prague in the 60s and 70s. The bar will get a look similar to the original with a couple of additions: individual cosy corners with the famous 1964 Egg chairs by Arne Jacobson. The restaurant comes next, followed by a café that will go under the name of Cof- fee à la carte. And the reception area. „Everybody minimizes the lobby today,“ says Monika Hilm. „I’m happy that the hotel owners agree to keep its size as it used to be in the sixties when hotels did not try to make money on every square meter.“ The renovation should be completed in mid 2014 when fitness and wellness will be added, something the hotel never had. „There has not been any significant invest- ment in the hotel for long time already and the hotel has not been promoted very much over the last ten years,“ Monika Hilm said. „This will change. Parkhotel is a four-star hotel, but it is now what we call local four stars and so is being sold internationally as a three- star hotel only. BACK TO THE SIXTIES Our aim is to make it real four stars by the end of 2014 and focus on business and meetings clientelle.“ The architecture of the sixties seems to draw strong passions in many people. For some, there is the urge to preserve something from the period that was so creative, for others there is the urge to destroy it. Fortunately, the Prague-based Daramis Group that ownes Parkhotel and Monika Hilm who manages it apparently belong among those who want to preserve. „Some hotels from the sixties are being demolished in Prague. It is important to keep this one,“ Monika Hilm says. Golf, Art and Relax at the Foot of the Mountains

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What is it like to run such a re- nowned hotel? The hotel industry is all about people and this applies the same to us as it does to any other hotel. The rooms in all hotels are similar and it is mainly the people who work there and who are happy to serve the guests that sets one hotel apart from another. The man- ager must like people and be a good personnel manager. I feel a great con- nection between the hotel and myself and when I come home at night, I feel as if a part of me is still at the hotel. I am very fortunate that my work is also my hobby. I simply work in the field that absorbs me one hundred percent. I live my life on the run and it suits me perfectly. You have recently opened a new Spa. Will you become a classic spa hotel now? Definitely not. We will remain a top- class international hotel to where peo- ple go for many reasons. Additionally, we offer our guests a range of first-rate quality spa and wellness programs. We have opened a plastic surgery center within the spa, which is a branch of the renowned Prague clinic Esthé. They perform minor surgeries under local anesthesia at the clinic followed by postoperative care right in the hotel. These guests, who spend a couple of days with us, return home not only well rested, but also more beautiful. Proce- dures that require general anesthesia are performed at the Esthé clinic in Prague, where clients get immediate postoperative care. The aftercare occurs here at the hotel. We would eventually like to be able to perform these complex surgeries here, but that’s in the distant future. Right now, we have undertaken a more modest project; to reconstruct the square in front of the hotel. The square will get new paving and landscaping. We have already planted one tree. What is your occupancy rate and where do your guests mainly come from? On average, it is 53% annually. But naturally, it depends on the season. “A hotel is all about the people who work there”, says Mrs. Andrea Pfeffer-Ferkl, CEO of the luxury Grandhotel Pupp in Karlovy Vary. In its time, the hotel has seen such greats as Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Russian Tsar Peter the Great and Austrian Em- press Maria Theresa. Today, it accommodates celebrity guests, espe- cially during the Inter- national Film Festival which has been held in Karlovy Vary annually since 1964. Q&A From April to October, it is 75%. November and March are somewhat slower. We are full on Christmas and New Year’s Eve; our guests come from Germany, and then on the 6th of January, our Russian guests come to celebrate Orthodox Christmas. We are fully booked during the film festival at the beginning of July. Movie stars who accept an invitation to the festival stay in our hotel. During my time here, we have had Sharon Stone, Danny De Vito, Robert De Niro and John Travolta stay here. Regarding the makeup of our guests; our individual clientele is mostly from Germany, and our corpo- rate clientele are German, Czech, Rus- sian and guests from Asia who visit mainly through travel agencies. After a three-year hiatus, our Arab guests have started to return. You became CEO of the hotel at a relatively early age and on the top of that, it was just before the begin- ning of the film festival. Were you able to handle it? It was a bit hectic, but it went well. I’ve already worked in the hotel industry for five years and three of those as head of the marketing department, so I knew practically everything there was to know and it was not a big problem for me. I like the higher pace. 8news ABOUT: CEO of the Grandhotel Pupp Andrea Pfeffer-Ferkl, 38, worked for five years in the same hotel: three of those as the head of marketing department. She helped see the birth of the Czech Food Cup, a national culinary competi- tion, where she chairs the jury. She also co-founded the Carlsbad Convention Bureau, an organization supporting congress tour- ism in the Karlovy Vary region. FOR OPERA LOVERS: L’IPERMESTRA IN ČESKÝ KRUMLOV The festive opera, L’Ipermestra by Johann Adolf Hasse, first played in Vienna in January 1744 on the occasion of the wedding of Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria, who was Empress Maria Theresa’s sister, will experience a modern era premiere at the Festival of Baroque Arts in Český Krumlov in September. This remarkable opera will be first performed by the soloists of the Hof-Musici Baroque Orchestra as a concert opera performance in Prague in June, fol- lowed by a full performance at the festival’s 7th edition in the unique Baroque chateau theater in Český Krumlov, 180 kilometers south of Prague. The Festival of Baroque Arts in Český Krumlov started in 2008 with the aim to revive Baroque opera with an authentic interpretation under modern-day conditions and to offer viewers a special opportunity to learn about the forgot- ten skills of Baroque musicians, dancers and singers. Today, the festival is recognized all over Europe.

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news Second year of summer evenings with Baroque opera in the historical scenery of ancient Olomouc Special discounts for groups and travel agencies More information at: www.olomouc.eu/baroknislavnosti Why Olomouc? – it is a beautiful historic city with a UNESCO heritage monument – it is ”the most beautiful city in the Czech Republic“ according to the renowned travel guide Lonely Planet tourism.olomouc.eu DE PL SK A Prague Brno Vienna Ostrava Olomouc Ten national teams with more than 60 members, 17 regional teams with 118 members, 72 individual visitors and doz- ens of helpers competed virtually around- the-clock for medals and titles in the categories of “Culinary Art” and “Pastry Art” in the hot show kitchen. Karolina’s five desserts – one chocolate dessert, one fruit dessert, three other desserts of her choice and four different kinds of petit fours, won her third place in the Pastry Art category. Salon Culinaire Mondial, which is only held every six years, rep- resents culinary art at the topmost level. This prestigious event ranks as one of the three most important international team cooking competitions, alongside the Culinary Olympics and the Culinary World Cup.“The competition was even more demanding than last year’s Culinary Olympics. Every one of my desserts was weighed, cut and then tasted by the judg- es. It was really difficult to meet all of the requested criteria,” said Kocinova, who also received a bronze medal at the 2012 Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany. KAROLINA KOCINCOVA, the Pastry Chef of the Kempinski Hotel Hybernska Prague, received a bronze medal at the Salon Culinaire Mondial 2013 competi- tion held on 23rd November in Basel, Switzerland. Karolina received the medal as one of six members on the Czech Re- public’s team, which was made up of five chefs and one pastry chef. Bronze medal at Salon Culinaire Mondial goes to Kempinski\'s Pastry Chef Boscolo Prague luxury spa well-being at its best In the baths of the luxury Boscolo Prague hotel time stops and relaxation begins. Expe- rienced physiotherapists are on hand in the Boscolo Roman spa to help you choose the right massage and the beauty therapists will advise you on rejuvenating facial care that is ideal for you. The hit of 2014 is Hydramemory, a one hour deeply moisturizing face massage. The Boscolo Spa also boasts a newly refur- bished steam and sauna and a 20m swim- ming pool heated to 28°C. The splendid cov- ered swimming pool will welcome you in the blue of its mosaic floor, and will help relax your mind and caress your body. A truly regenerating stop after a business meeting or a day spent discovering Prague.

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10profile Prague 2014 IS A YEAR FOR PRAGUE The year 2014 is poised to be a remarkable year for Czech music, with a number of prominent Czech composers, performers, and musical or- ganizations celebrating anniversaries – from Antonín Dvořák, Bedřich Smetana, Leoš Janáček, Bohuslav Martinů, and Josef Suk to the Prague Symphony Orchestra. Indeed, years ending in the numeral 4 have long been recognized here as “years of music.” The tradition dates back to 1924 with its celebration of Smetana’s birth anniversary. The 2014 “Year of Czech Music” boasts mezzosoprano Magdalena Kožená and conductor Sir Simon Rattle as Artistic Patrons, as well as Jiří Bělohlávek, CBE and Chief Conductor of the Czech Phil- harmonic, as honorary President. For the occasion, Prague City Tourism, the Czech capital’s tourism office, is preparing a special web site dedicated exclusively to “everything music” related to Prague. The site, under the domain musicinprague.com, went live in mid-December, 2013. In addi- tion to a complete calendar of music events for 2014, visitors will also find a mini-encyclopedia of places and personalities presented in the form of an interactive music map of Prague. “The idea was to bring alive the city’s music history and make it part of to- day’s vistors’ experience,” says Prague City Tourism’s CEO, Nora Dolanská. “Why not have a beer at the pub where Dvořák took Tchaikovsky, or see the house where Mozart partied with Lo- renzo da Ponte.“ The map will be a handy tool in plan- ning self-guided itineraries, but also includes links to recordings, music vendors, venues and more. “Classical music is the first genre we are starting with, as Prague is so well-known for it, but we will be adding other genres as well. Prague has a lively and long- established jazz scene and you might be surprised to learn that many a rock star had a special relationship with for- mer President Václav Havel and thus Prague, from Frank Zappa to Lou Reed to the Rolling Stones,” says Dolanská. About Prague City Tourism Prague City Tourism (PCT) is a tourism market- ing and service organization funded by the City of Prague. Through its web portal www.Prague.eu and its network of tourist information centres, Prague City Tourism provides information and other services to both current and future visitors to Prague. As Prague‘s official tourist board, PCT works with the media and travel trade both in the Czech Republic and abroad, organizing study trips and workshops, attending trade shows, and running promotional campaigns. With all its ac- tivities, Prague City Tourism promotes the reputa- tion of Prague as a world-class destination.

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11profile Prague OF MUSIC January 1 – December 31 Rudolfinum, a series of ten concerts by the Czech Philharmonic featuring works by leading Czech composers celebrating anniversaries in 2014 January 1 – December 31 Prague Symphony Orchestra, concert series as part of the Year of Czech Music March 1 O2 Arena, Lord of The Dance (a Mi- chael Flatley project) March 4 Rudolfinum, Prague Chamber Orchestra, concert for the Year of Czech Music March 18 Rudolfinum, Stars of Baroque Opera – II divino Boemo Collegium 1704 (conductor: Václav Luks, Vivica Geneaux – mezzosoprano) March 22 National Theatre in Prague, premiere of Leoš Janáček’s opera The Cunning Little Vixen March 28 Municipal House, tenor Rolando Villazón – recital of Mozart works April 15 Rudolfinum, Stars of Baroque Opera (J. S. Bach, St. Matthew Passion), Collegium 1704 & Collegium Vocale 1704 April 26 Palác Lucerna, Duke Ellington Orches- tra Tour 2014 May 8–11 9th annual international choral festival, Mozart’s Prague May 14 State Opera Prague, premiere of Giacomo Puccini’s opera La Rondine (The Swallow) May 26–June 1 Khamoro – World Roma Festival May 26–June 24 Tanec Praha/Dance Prague – Interna- tional Festival of Contemporary Dance and Movement Theatre June 13–15 International & Urban Festival, a unique music and dance project July 24–27 8th annual Prague Folklore Days September 8–28 7th annual international Dvořák Prague music festival – a celebration of the musical genius, composer Antonín Dvořák September 23–November 6 19th annual Strings of Autumn interna- tional music festival – jazz, classical, traditional and experimental October 19 Municipal House, soprano Diana Damrau and bass- baritone Nicolas Testé in concert SELECTED MUSICAL EVENTS FOR 2014 In 2014, we commemorate important anniver- saries of leading figures of the Czech music scene. Extraordinary musical performances by both local and foreign representatives are in preparation, but the popular annual festivals will also play a significant role. The metropolis will be filled with the sounds of a plethora of musical genres – hence the name “The Year of Music 2014” is absolutely appropriate. Among the greats whose anniversaries we will commemorate are Bedřich Smetana (190th anniversary of his birth and the 130th anni- versary of his death), Antonín Dvořák (110th anniversary of his death), and Leoš Janáček (160th anniversary of his birth.) Other signifi- cant anniversaries in 2014 include the 80th anniversary of the founding of the Prague Symphony Orchestra and the Prague Philhar- monia’s 20th anniversary.. In March in the Municipal House in our nation’s capital, the world-renowned tenor Rolando Villazón will perform, followed in April by Swedish mezzo-soprano Malena Ern- man and American bass-baritone Eric Ow- ens. The stunning Art Nouveau interiors will also provide the backdrop to one of the most sought-after singers of the contemporary opera scene, Polish tenor Piotr Beczala. In Prague’s O2 Arena, stars of modern pop mu- sic will again take the stage, including British pop singer Robbie Williams in April. In June, the islands in the Vltava River will play host to a perennial favorite, the multi-genre festival United Islands, which has already announced the participation of diverse international acts. In the autumn months, you can partake of the Dvořák Prague or the Strings of Autumn festivals. The events listed above are only a small taste of the wide variety of concerts and perfor- mances that will take place in our capital city in 2014. In addition to musical perfor- mances, there will be a host of accompany- ing thematic exhibitions, lectures and other interesting events. With the help of the web- site www.musicinprague.com and the official portal for tourism in Prague, www.prague.eu, you’ll find everything that you need to know about where to go and what to see and hear in Prague. Both sites are managed by Prague City Tourism. 2014: THE YEAR OF MUSIC

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12feature PETROF The PETROF FAMILY From New York to Tokyo, 600,000 grand and upright pianos emit their characteristic romantic, round and warm sound. For 150 years, they have been made by Petrof in the East Bohemian town of Hradec Králové.

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14feature PETROF The company’s founder, An- tonín Petrof, the great-great-grandfather of the company’s current president, built his first grand piano in 1864 and sold it to a local butcher, Mr. Petříček. He con- structed four more that same year. Two years later, his company had to suspend their production for a short period due to the largest battle at that time in the ter- ritories of Bohemia and Moravia between the Austrian and Prussian armies, the battle of Königgrätz. However, by 1880, his company was doing so well that he opened a branch in then Timisoara. In 1895, the company began exporting its products, and in 1899, the Emperor ap- pointed Antonín Petrof to be the official court piano-builder for the Austrian-Hun- garian Empire. The company survived the international economic crisis at the end of the 1920s as well as both world wars. In 1948, how- ever, communists came to power, put the company under state ownership, and the Petrof family was not allowed to even get close to it. Overnight, the current president’s grandfa- ther became a class enemy, and his own workers spitted on him on the streets. Today, the family again owns the company. It is managed by Mrs. Zuzana Ceralová Petrofová, a fifth generation Petrof and direct descendant of the founder of this famous brand. She owns 77% of the company’s shares. “I had not counted on the company’s return to our ownership,” says Ceralová Petrofová. “However, when Daddy – after the fall of the communist regime – de- cided to seek restitution, I decided to help him.” Though a pharmaceutical graduate, she gave up on her dream to open a phar- macy and instead joined a large German pharmaceutical company in order to learn something about how companies work. In 2000, she joined the company that was then managed by her father, Jan Petrof, and replaced him as CEO in 2004. It was not easy for her, though. During the communist regime, the state merged the company with several other entities. When the entire collection of businesses was returned to the Petrofs, their original company amounted to only 4 per cent of the whole and they had to purchase the rest, leaving them heavily indebted. They now had to get rid of a lot of redundant plants. Then, the recent economic crisis broke out, depriving them of some key markets, such as the U.S.A. “Americans could not even pay their own mortgages, let alone buy pianos,” says Mrs Ceralová Petrofová. Today, the company is doing much better and again aims to ascend to the top. Though the American and Western There are only a few companies like it in the world European markets are still in the doldrums and people are either buying second-hand pianos or cheap pieces from China, customers in China and throughout Asia are very much inter- ested in Petrof pianos. Whereas ten years ago the U.S. accounted for sixty per cent of the company’s turnover, today about 75 per cent of it comes from partners in the East: Russia, the Middle East, China, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and even Austra- lia. Europe and the U.S. account for only about 25 per cent of the compa- ny’s turnover, and most of that is sold in the Czech Republic. Petrof remains the leading European company of its kind, producing 40 per cent of the instruments made in Europe. Petrof pianos may not be cheap, but quality simply costs. The instruments have more than 7,000 components and their production is quite time- consuming. Moreover, the company believes that pianos should be pleas- ant not only to the ear, but also to the eye. Thus, they pay extra attention to their finish. Production of a grand piano takes up to one year and upright pianos are made in four to six months. “We are not an assembly plant,” re- marks Ceralová Petrofová. “Some European companies may stick “Made in Europe” labels on their instruments, but their actual components are made in China. They only assemble the instruments here. We build the entire piece here. In addition, our instru- ments require a great deal of hand- work and this makes each piece sound uniquely different. There are only a few companies like it in the world, and our customers are aware of it.” Her words are supported by the fa- mous names of those who either had or now have Petrof instruments: Svia- toslav Richter, Rudolf Firkušný, Ivan Moravec, Oscar Peterson, Ray Charles, Paul McCartney, Ennio Morricone… So, if you ever visit Hradec Kralove, be sure not miss visiting their facil- ity. A museum of pianos was recently opened there on the occasion of the company’s 150th anniversary. You can both see and try up to twenty instru- ments, including the oldest models. And, if interested, you can also take a tour of the plant. Prayer is when you talk to God. Medita- tion is when you’re listening. Playing the piano allows you to do both at the same time. Kelsey Grammer

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savethedate With over thirty projects, the 2013 edition attracted some 250,000 visitors over four evenings. www.prague.eu October 16–19, 2014 Prague The SIGNAL Festival Returns FOLLOWING the success of SIGNAL Festival, Prague’s first lights festival held last October, second edition will brighten up the streets, squares and parks of the city with light installations and sculptures for four nights again in the autumn. Větvení – permanent installation in the Roxy music club author: Michal Cimala, photo: Alžběta Jungrová Cloud – interactive installation utilizing household light bulbs and pull strings authors: Caitlind Brown & Wayne Garrett, photo: Luděk Neužil

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16feature Albatross The general public in the Czech Republic had only a marginal interest in golf 25 years ago. Except for several hun- dred golf enthusiasts, nobody even knew what golf courses we had. After 1989 the situation began to rapidly change and today the Czech Golf Federa- tion has nearly 60,000 registered golf- ers, making it one of the strongest local sport federations. The number of golf courses has been increasing even more dramatically and is now approaching one hundred. None of the newly opened golf courses has attracted as much attention as Albatross. Jiří Šimáně, the owner and investor had a clear vision – to build a course that could stand up to international competition and match the quality of the best golf courses in Europe. He invited English designer Keith Pres- ton, one of Europe’s leading architects who has designed many golf courses across Europe. He used his experience to design the golf course and make it blend into the surrounding landscape. The golf course is located on the border of the Bohemian Karst, 420 meters above sea level. During construc- tion, emphasis was put on quality without compromise. The course itself covers an area of over 80 hectares and has 7 water hazards that have a total area of over 2 hectares. More than 1,200 newly planted mature trees complete the landscape design. The Albatross Golf Resort opened in 2010 as an 18-hole course that is of the highest European standard. It is a 30-min- ute drive from the capital city centre and just 20 minutes from Vaclav Havel Inter- national Airport. The course is a par 72 with a total length of 6810 meters off the black tees, which makes it the longest course in the Czech Republic. Due to this feature it has a high USGA Course Rating - 74.7 and Slope Rating– 145 (white tees). Each hole has 4 to 5 separate tees that allow for a wide range of players, from professionals to novice golfers. The resort’s practice facilities surpass all others. The superbly designed driv- ing range has both covered and open tees, 2 putting greens and 2 separate zones for players to hone their short game. Albatross has been awarded several prestigious awards in its short history. Players and a panel of experts evalu- ated the Albatross as the Best Golf Course of The Year in its first season and it continues to hold this privileged position. In addition, the American magazine Golf Digest evaluated the Albatross as number 1 in the Czech Republic. ALBATROSS THE TOP GOLF RESORT NEAR PRAGUE

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Your golf course certainly has international ambitions… The Albatross Ladies PGA Tour was held here in 2011- our 2nd season. The course received high praise from both the players and officials, so it was decided to repeat the event here in 2012. We are very pleased that we will host a European Tour event called D + D Real Czech Masters in August 21-24, 2014. We are already negotiating the attendance of the world’s top players. Prague is very attractive for them. Tournaments are seldom held in such close proximity to a capital city with so much history. Therefore, it can be expected that the tourna- ment will be very well received. The agreement with the Euro- pean Tour is for 5 years and we believe that the tournament will create a great tradition and will attract many spectators. Will you have to make any changes to the course? Representatives of the European Tour, who were here in Sep- tember, were satisfied not only with the quality of the course, but also with the practice facilities which rank among the best in whole Europe. Frankly speaking, one could play the course the way it is now, but we will make some changes and modify some of the fairways and bunkers. The forthcoming changes, however, should not affect recre- ational players. Do you also host any commercial events? It’s a Czech phenomenon. Yes, corporate tournaments are held at Albatross. Companies like to come here because they are guaranteed quality service. The number of tournaments is strictly limited though in order to ensure our members are not hindered in their game. What about foreign golfers? We do not have as long a history as other courses, but thanks to the prestigious tournaments that have been held here, the level of awareness and interest from foreign golfers is increasing. Traditionally, we get Northerners coming here - Finns and Swedes, but also the number of German and Austrian golfers is increasing. Rather surprisingly, there is considerable in- terest from overseas – the USA of course, but also India. We had several hundred Indian players here this year alone; we have established business ties with a U.S. travel agency. In addition to the quality of the course, the undisputed appeal and proximity to Prague makes it so attractive. You can easily turn your stay with us into a vacation for the whole family. We prepare special golf packages for golfers who appreciate our features and we also cooperate with several travel agencies. It was mentioned in the media that you have an estab- lished agreement with clubs in Dubai. In November, the owner of the golf course, Mr. Šimáně, signed an associate club agreement with Dubai Emirates and Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club, two of the best courses in the UAE. Several distinguished tournaments on the European Tour such as the Desert Classic have been held there. We are only the 9th club in the world that has an alliance like this. We are very proud of this and we see it as recognition of our work and the quality of the course. Moreover, it is a huge bo- nus for our members who can gain from reciprocal benefits. What are your goals for the future? Our main objective is to maintain and, if possible, to contin- ue to improve the quality of our golf course and services. The competition doesn’t sleep and we would like to keep our top position. Our next goal is to create a model called a semi - private course where extra conditions are created for Albatross Club members. The maximum number of members is set at 550. Thus, we are able to maintain a high level of quality service. We strive to do something special for our members, like the reciprocal agreement with the clubs in Dubai that I had previ- ously mentioned. However, we still want to have the course be open to non-mem- bers and foreign clientele, but perhaps to a lesser extent than previously. 17feature Albatross General Manager of Alba- tross Golf Resort Stanislav Lisner: Quality comes at a price. How did you achieve such high quality and how do you maintain it? We have a huge advantage in that the owner of the course is a perfectionist who knows that quality comes at a price. We used the highest quality grass seed mixture during construction and as an example, the seed compound that is commonly used in the Czech Republic on greens, the Albatross uses on fairways. The Head Greenkeeper has vast experience from abroad and specifically from St. An- drews, where he worked for several years. Here he has the best machinery at his disposal and enough of manpower to keep the quality of the golf course at the highest possible level for the whole season. But it’s not just about the quality of the golf course. It goes hand in hand with the quality of our service; starting from reception to the marshals and ending with the level of service at the restaurant. In addition, we continue to reinvest every year in the course. We cannot afford to be stagnant. We plant new trees, improve drain- age, build new bunkers... Q&A

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18profile EMBLEM On a quiet street just one block from the famous Old Town Square, Prague’s newest luxury bou- tique hotel – the Emblem Hotel, will make you feel truly at home. There is no typical hotel lobby behind its main door, just a cosy living room where you can check in via tablet, sitting on a comfortable sofa with a drink or cup of tea in hand. The hotel’s style and philosophy are due to Mr. Richard Valtr – a graduate in classical philosophy and philosophy of science. No wonder then that the hotel declares itself to be dedicated to the notions of discovery and learning. „Our hope is to recreate those paradig- ma shifting times when Prague stood as the vanguard of Art and Science and inspired every visitor to look at the world in a new light,“ the hotel’s website says. The hotel’s Maharal Club, the first and only private club in Prague, seems to prove that, invit- ing hotel guests to meet with the local members, share ideas and inspire one another. It is named after the legend- ary rabbi and scholar Jehuda Loew ben Bezalel, who served as the chief rabbi in Prague during the reign of Emperor Rudolf II and had great knowledge of secular sciences too. And you can be assured that no incon- veniences will disturb you in absorbing all the magic of the place located at the crossroads of three cultures that defined Prague: the Czech, the German and the Jewish. The Emblem Hotel will keep you in perfect harmony of body and soul. It is housed in a building that has been carefully restored to feature the form and feel of the Art Deco movement from the beginning of last century. Every square meter of the hotel shows that maximum attention has been paid to detail and luxurious comfort. Rooms and suites are equipped with raindrop showerheads, the Emblem’s signature Italian marble sinks, 40-inch flat screen televisions, superfast WiFi, Samsung tablets, Nespresso machines and, of course, minibars. The win- dows open onto views of the Prague’s historic Old Town with its cobblestone streets and ornate gables. Rooms of the Emblem Hotel are cosy but rather small. That is because they serve the purpose of being primarily a bedroom, though with all the comforts HOME AWAY FROM HOME Leading from the spa’s rest area is a spectacular ter- race which offers visitors the most beautiful views of the rooftops Prague. Watch them from the Jacuzzi – yes, there is a Jacuzzi – and suddenly you will under- stand: this is the city. you may expect from a luxury hotel. However, under the hotel’s concept of „home away from home,“ guests can enjoy many different living spaces throughout the hotel. Be it the The Pantry (also know as The Kitchen), Fumoir (the only smoking space in the hotel), The Salon or the Drawing Room where they can enjoy cofee and light snack during the day and cocktails in the evening.

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19profile EMBLEM Don’t expect a typical hotel lobby behind the main doors of Prague’s new luxury hotel The Em- blem. You will discover a cozy living room, where you will be greeted warmly, poured a cup of tea and have the ability to check-in to your room online with a tablet, pro- vided by the hotel, from the comfort of a couch. The hotel’s style and ap- proach are due to Mr. Richard Valtr – a gradu- ate of philosophy and member of the owning family. Prague has no shortage of luxury hotels. Why should guests choose yours? Because it has something the other hotels do not have. First, we do not belong to a hotel chain; we are distinc- tively independent. International designers designed our hotel, but it is very typical of Prague. Prague has always been unique. There has always been great freedom of thought and a difference of opinions, which is very much a part of Prague. Prague has never belonged to just one culture. There has always been a mix of cultures. Located in Prague’s Old Town, our hotel stands on the spot where three cultures that define Prague intertwine: Czech, German and Jewish. Our hotel was designed from top to bottom in a unique style that fits into the local environment. We try to make our guests feel at home even though they are often very far away from theirs. One more thing that other hotels do not have is an in-house, online system that offers booking and reservations for our guests. Guests re- ceive a tablet that will guide him or her throughout their stay with us. These tablets are loaded with important information on what to do in Prague and how to get around. The staff is also equipped with tablets so they can immediately answer any questions or special requests that our guests may have. All the technology in the hotel works together flawlessly. However, if some- one is not technically inclined or just prefers a more traditional approach, we can accommodate them as well. At any time, guests can come to sit in our main foyer and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee, just like at home. Cigarettes, however, are not allowed. The hotel is non-smoking with only one room designated for smokers. The hotel looks very inconspicuous on the outside. What was it before? This was once an office building. We started renovations in 2008, one hun- dred years after the construction of the original building began. The hotel opened in 2013, one hundred years after the original building was com- pleted. In order to get to the George Prime Steak restaurant, you have to walk through the hotel. Is the restaurant part of the hotel? Not exactly. People usually don’t have a restaurant in their home and our concept here is to be “home away from home”. Although breakfast for the hotel guests is served in the bar, the restaurant itself is essentially indepen- dent. It is Prague’s first steakhouse that serves the highest quality American beef – USDA Prime Beef. They have an amazing collection of California wines and the finest bourbon. The Club Maharal is part of the hotel. Will the hotel guests have access to it? The club will have a maximum of one hundred permanent members. We are only now just starting to select mem- bers; deciding whom to invite to join. We want to invite people we know are the creators of something of excep- tional value; artists, scientists, people from the business community. Naturally, the hotel guests will have access to the club and they will not be just guests there, but will have temporary membership. The club is named after the legendary rabbi and scholar Jehuda Loew ben Bezalel, who served as the leading rabbi during the reign of Emperor Rudolf II. In addi- tion to being an outstanding Talmudic scholar, he also had great knowledge of secular sciences; although he is mostly known as the creator of the legendary Golem. We want our club to reflect Maha- ral’s wisdom and his broad scope of knowledge. The hotel has fifty-nine rooms of eight kinds. The Queen Dom with – as the name describes – Queen sized bed, the King Dom with a large King bed and the Twin Key with two single beds. The Pied-A-Terre bedroom is fitted with a Queen sized bed and has the luxury of a small French balcony, the Suite Pre- tender with a King bed offers an extra space for a relaxing break, although not big enough to call the room a suite. The Atelier studio with special art and photography selection and ovelooking the roofs of Prague’s Old Town invites guests to dicover the hidden artists in them, and the Suite Terrace offers not only a King Double bed, but also a wonderfull terrace in the quiet court- yard and a little anteroom to receive guests. The premier suite is the Suite Library with a wide array of books on everything from art to science, with a fireplace and a secret passage to an attic bedroom. Mens sana in corpore sano, or a healthy mind in healthy body: the hotel takes care of that as well. The top floor of the hotel is an in-house spa, the exclusive M Spa by Pure Altitude. It features five treatment rooms, a steam room, sauna, ice fountain, Kneipp path, Jacuzzi and a fitness studio. The M Spa uses products by Pure Altitude, a unique and comprehensive range that has been inspired by the purity of mountain plants. Q&A

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20profile Boscolo from a great selection of cigars. In addition, the Boscolo hotel in Prague, Autograph Collection of- fers refined conference and meeting facilities to please the most demand- ing clients and meeting planners. The conference area is accessible via a separate entrance offering clients and guests greater privacy. Boscolo Prague connects its name with several prestigious events and is known as partner of the Prague Fash- ion Week, Febiofest film festival or as co-organiser of the Best Pianist of the Year contest together with the piano maker Petrof. Housed in a Neo Renaissance palace featured on the Czech heritage list, it was originally built as a bank at the end of the 19th century by renowned Viennese architect, Achille Wolf and lovingly restored by the Boscolo group between 2001 – 2003. The sleek lobby scented by exotic flowers, once the Bank’s main hall, boasts coats of arms, representing the most important cities of the Bohemian Kingdom. The interior of 152 elegant rooms was designed by the famed Roman architect Maurizio Papiri. Each room is furnished with subtle blends of Italian furnishing, fabrics and design elements, the light and airy feel is created with natural light, relaxing colors and warm tones. The bed heads of each room are original, dating from the first half of the 19th century and appointed with luxurious bedding. The sumptuous bathrooms have marble floors. The two spa- cious Presidential suites feature a sepa- rate salon for private meetings or intimate gala dinners. The BOSCOLO PRAGUE YOUR LUXURY OASIS hotel is known for the dramatic, sweep- ing wrought iron staircase with alabaster columns. Boscolo Spa located in the subterranean vault with original floor to ceiling col- umns exudes the feel of a true Roman spa. It boasts a stunning 20 meter indoor pool with a beautiful marble tile mosaic bottom and massage beds, sauna, steam room, well-equipped fitness room. Reju- venating treatments are offered in several separate massage treatment rooms at the hands of experienced physical therapists. Dining experience ranges from simple yet delicious and healthy cuisine to fine din- ing to suit tastes of discerning clientele. The New York Café offers a typical light, healthy options as well as traditional Czech cuisine. The Café features live music throughout the day, while during the morning it is the harp, evenings are reserved for resident pianist. The Salon restaurant provides intimate surroundings and some of the best Ital- ian cuisine in the town. All ingredients are fresh and handpicked and the reci- pes are based on regional Italian fare. It is fine dining at its best. Cigar connoisseurs will be delighted by the Cigar Bar constructed from the origi- nal bank’s vault. The period safes from the end of the 19th century now hold other treasures: vintage cognacs, rums and wines and the guests can choose Boscolo Prague, member of the Autograph Collection is not your typical hotel: with its advantageous location in the middle of the town, extraordinary service and the building’s heritage it sets you on a magical tour through one of the most romantic and historical cities in the world.

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PRAGUE FASHION WEEKEND

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22feature PRAGUE FASHION WEEKEND So how do you go from airplanes to event planning? For me, it was a case of needing independence. As soon as I graduated, the first investment I made was to buy a fax machine, rent a little office and find my first co-worker. At first, we offered mainly hostessing services and conference organization, but as our clients’ requests grew, so did the agency. Today, SARA EVENTS has 20 full-time employees and offers a com- prehensive array of event management and public relations services through its subsidiaries and affiliated compa- nies. If you think about it, this busi- ness actually has similarities to my original profession. It takes efficient organization, precision, accuracy and the ability to make quick and respon- sible decisions. Also the ability to react to unex- pected situations, I would imagine... Yes, definitely, and I have to say that after 15 years in event management, there’s not much that can surprise me. We’ve done hundreds of conferences, promotional events and corporate events of all kinds. One minute you’re coming up with the best possible com- bination of program, logo colours and service for 3,000 people, the next you have to totally switch up the sched- ule for an event because of a delayed flight, or you and your client are scrambling up to the last few hours or minutes to finish the venue before its grand opening for the media and public. Plenty of adrenaline! And yet you felt the need to branch out into fashion as well. Why? I’m pleased that we have more and more stable clients on the Czech mar- ket as well as abroad. We still cover event management, hostessing and PR. But now more than ever, the com- pany’s interests and activities have to be sufficiently diversified to be able to identify and take advantage of new opportunities. Besides, I’ve always had a soft spot for fashion. Your Prague Fashion Weekend project joined the ranks of events organized under the auspices of Mercedes-Benz last year, but it wasn’t your first project in the field of fashion, was it? No, we’ve been producing Shooting Fashion Stars since 2003, which is a project providing long-term support for fashion designers just starting out. We also work with established Czech and Slovak designers and brands and recently, thanks to our inclusion in the INTERNATIONAL FASHION WEEKS network, we have also been able to arrange for them to present them designs abroad. The Mercedes-Benz Prague Fashion Weekend is definitely our largest fashion project, though. Al- though so far we’ve been doing it more for pleasure than for profit, I feel sure that all the energy and investments we’ve put into it will pay off and this year we’ll be able to inspire even more visitors and get them excited about Czech fashion! Last year, Prague joined the ranks of cities that host major fashion events under the aus- pices of Mercedes-Benz. Now you can find Prague Fashion Weekend on the world map alongside the fashion weeks in Berlin, New York and Sydney. It was all the work of Janina Šlemínová, originally trained as an aviation engineer, who graduated from college and immediately jumped into a completely differ- ent field – event manage- ment. She started out with two employees and now she is the director of SARA EVENTS, one of the most stable produc- tion companies in the Czech Republic, and her name is popping up more and more in the fashion industry as well. Q&A PRAGUE PLACE IN What is fashion? It’s discipline. Discipline and a credo to do only the best, down to the smallest detail. Manolo Blahnik

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23feature PRAGUE FASHION WEEKEND HAS A PERMANENT WORLD FASHION Save the date MERCEDES-BENZ PRAGUE FASHION WEEKEND 2014 BEST OF THE BEST September 3 – 7, 2014 Pařížská Street, Prague 1 As of 2013, Prague can boast of another world fashion event. Last year, the Prague Fashion Weekend, initiated by Stars Communication, was added to the international network of events organized under the auspices of Mercedes-Benz. Thirty-two Czech and seven foreign designers and brands appeared in 45 fashion shows on the main runway in a giant fashion tent on Pařížská Street in Prague’s historic downtown, 18 – 22 September. And there was a reason this fashion extravaganza was held on Pařížská. This 500-meter long street, which leads from Old Town Square to the Vltava River and that was the main focus of investors at the turn of the 20th centu- ry after the cleansing and redevelopment of most of the former Jewish Quarter, is home to the most famous luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Prada, Cartier, Tiffany, Giorgio Armani, Burberry and many more. This four-day autumn fashion show mara- thon, with the days divided into certain themes, gave visitors the chance to see a cross-section of the Czech fashion scene. More than 50 models, male and female, displayed selected collections of re- nowned luxury brands, which comple- mented the work of established Czech designers and emerging talents. One very popular collection was Tereza Vu’s lingerie collection entitled Goldfish, inspired by the pet fish. The collection is built on a wealth of shapes that recall the double tail fin of a goldfish. Audi- ences also enjoyed the prêt-â-porter collection of Zuzana Kubíčková, winner of the 2011 Czech Grand Design award for fashion designer of the year, as well as the ‘Arc collection by Kateřina Geislerová, who studied fashion in Paris, where she now lives and prac- tices her craft. Last year, the autumn fashion event hosted more than 17,000 visitors from the Czech Republic and abroad. World fashion icon Jimmy Choo, who forms part of the trinity of women’s shoe designers along with Manolo Blahnik and Christian Louboutin, stated, “I’m delighted by Prague itself, so full of a magical atmosphere and great de- sign everywhere, and of course by the Czech fashion designers and wonder- ful young people”. He also spent time during his visit to Prague meeting with students from the Fashion and Foot- wear Design Studio at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague. This fashion weekend is coming back to Prague early this September and will once again present the best of Czech fashion. In addition to the stan- dard fashion tent, the organizers are promising new historical facilities and exciting foreign designers and celebri- ties. Czech designers are taking the world by storm, so the Mercedes-Benz Prague Fashion Weekend 2014 will be a unique oppor- tunity to combine a visit to Prague with seeing a fashion show on a global scale.

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24feature VELKÉ LOSINY Awhite building with a tall roof that slightly resembles a granary does not at all look like a place that manufactures twelve tons of paper each year. Twelve tons is not that much. However, this is handmade pa- per and its manufacture is very time- consuming. A single sheet of paper takes up to three weeks or a month to make and during this period it passes through about thirty pairs of hands. In short, it is unique paper for unique occasions. The handmade paper mill in Velké Losiny, 230 kilometers east of Prague, has been running since the end of the 16th cen- tury, and it is the only manufacturer of its kind in all of central Europe. It is the only factory that has never shut down throughout its existence. It even survived the boom of machine paper production in the 19th century when other European paper factories ceased to exist on a large scale. For more than four centuries, paper has been made here using the same technique – by collecting paper pulp in screens. Paper pulp used to be made by pulping clean cotton cloth, but as today’s textiles usually contain synthetic fibers or dyes, they are no longer suitable for the manufacture of handmade paper. Today, therefore, the paper from Velké Losiny is made from the waste of cotton mills. The paper mill in Velké Losiny was founded sometime between 1591 and 1596. At first sight, however, one may notice that the current paper UNIQUE PAPER FOR UNIQUE OCCASIONS

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25profile HILTON ways, including the installation of a new solar film on the hotel’s pyramid roof will save about 36,600 kWh per year and a new cooling tower approxi- mately 40,000 kWh annually. However, our Travel with Purpose strategy has three other pillars, including our com- mitment to “Strengthening Communi- ties”. An example of this occurred in October 2013, when over 320 volunteers from Hilton Prague and Hilton Prague Old Town were supporting local chari- ties in the Hilton Worldwide’s second annual Global Week of Service. The project included several activities, such as a sports day for more than fifty children in need from local orphanages, sale of cakes made by Hilton team members to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Club, and a garage sale with proceeds going to a humanitarian program for commercially sexually exploited children and adolescents. Hilton Prague is popular especially among business travelers. Do you have any specials to attract more leisure travelers? Hilton Worldwide has a sale called Any Weekend Anywhere that covers all 300 Hilton hotels in the EMEA region. Within this sale, people can book from December 16 to the end of January any weekend during the year at any of the participating hotels from the Hilton Worldwide portfolio in the region with a discount of up to 33 percent from the usual rate. In 2013, Hilton Prague and Hilton Prague Old Town received about 13,000 guests within this sale. And although the business and meetings portion of guests is very important for us, Prague is such a great destination that we get lot of leisure tourists too, both groups and individuals. As every year, Hilton Prague has re- ceived several awards in 2013. What makes the hotel so exceptional? It is the team. Hotel rooms have TV, internet, mini bar … it is more or less the same everywhere. Moreover, peo- ple’s homes are better today than any hotel room, which was different thirty years ago. Today, it is the hotel’s team that makes the difference. In 2013, we have received several awards. For ex- ample, Hilton Prague has been named the Best Business Hotel in Eastern Eu- rope in the Business Traveler Awards for the fourth consecutive year already, and won the category of the Best Hotel in the Czech Republic in TTG Travel Awards for sixth consecutive year. We value these awards very much as they prove the consistency in delivering great customer service by our team. You came to Prague six years ago. Do you see any difference between Prague then and now? Prague is becoming more vivid and more and more attractive. Quoting CNN, I can say that Prague is one of the best winter city des- tinations world- wide now. Environmental protec- tion is very important, but sustainability is more complex: you also have to ask what you can do to support local com- munities, says Michael Specking, Cluster Gen- eral Manager, Hilton Prague & Hilton Prague Old Town. Sustainability has become almost a mantra in the travel industry. How do Hilton Worldwide and Hilton Hotels in Prague particularly cope with this phenomenon? Living Sustainably is one of the four pillars of Hilton Worldwide’s Corpo- rate responsibility strategy, Travel with Purpose. As part of this Hilton Worldwide has commited to reducing energy consumption, CO2 emissions and output of waste by twenty percent, and water consumption by ten percent in the period of 2009 – 2014 measured using LightStay, our proprietary sys- tem to measure, analyze and report on sustainability data. At Hilton Prague in particular, we are supporting this goal in a number of Q&A mill structure is a bit younger as its construction was completed in 1825. A prominent feature of the historical building is its giant loft with three floors of drying rooms. Even in the previous century, paper was dried there using this natural technique. The loft is no longer used for drying mostly because of air pollution and excess dust. In old paper mills, paper drying was a highly important and delicate activity as the resulting qual- ity of the finished paper depended on the quality of the drying process and strict observance with the method of slowly drying separate sheets of paper. The sheets were loosely hung out on dryers made of horsehair, and later even of wooden lathes. The ac- tual process of drying was provided by natural airflow under normal outdoor temperatures. An equally important operation in the manufacturing process was press- ing. In the earliest times, paper was pressed manually, mostly by agate smoothers. This method was upgraded in the 17th century, and hydraulic hammers began to be used to press paper. It was not until the 18th century that European paper manufacturers came up with a new invention – a cal- endar, i.e. an iron. In Velké Losiny, the iron hammer that was used for paper pressing was replaced by a calendar in 1883. This calendar, a product of the once famous Klein family ironworks, is still in operation today. Sheets of paper are pressed on it one by one and each side separately. The sheets are laid on a cardboard pad and are cold-pressed between two rotating iron cylinders. You can see the entire process if you visit Velké Losiny since part of the paper mill is a museum of papermak- ing. Visitors may personally see not only the actual handmade production of paper, but also many of the still- working historical machines, includ- ing the beater for preparing the paper pulp that was purchased for the paper mill in Velké Losiny in 1729, and the previously-mentioned calendar. In addition, you may take home not only just a piece of the handmade paper, but also some high quality writing implements and historical writing sets including gorgeous goose-quills, inks and seals. When visiting Velké Losiny, you may certainly want to stay longer, as the town offers additional sites and attrac- tions. For instance, be sure to visit the Renaissance castle with its vast castle park that is, similarly to the paper mill, a cultural monument. It was commis- sioned by Jan Younger of Zierotin, founder of the paper mill, in the last quarter of the 16th century. Jan Younger of Zierotin was also at the inception of the local renowned sulfur thermal spa that is still used for curative purposes. The spa area has something for all visitors because of its large natural English park and outdoor thermal swimming pool.

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5The Kampa Museum The Kampa Muse- um and Mrs. Meda Mládková who has set it up and who has donated a unique collec- tion of paintings and drawings by František Kupka to the City of Prague make me feel respect and pride. 3Rudolfinum The home of the Czech Philharmonic and the Rudolfinum Gallery, the Rudolfi- num, proves with its concerts and exhibitions that Czechs are a mature audience. 1Charles Bridge and the Vltava river I love the view from the window of my atelier and apartment on the Lesser Town waterfront, the National Theater, the Střelecký Island and the Vltava river. When I look from the window and see the Kampa Museum and the Charles Bridge I get that magic feeling of belonging. 4DOX Centre for Contemporary Art with its great architecture and excel- lent exhibitions proves to be the leading private exhibition hall in Prague and a great gallery in the context of the world. premium picks Liběna Rochová, one of the Czech Republic’s best- known fashion designers with an oustanding career both at home and abroad, shares her affection for some special places in the Czech capital Prague. 26premium picks 2Aria Hotel Another place I love is the Aria Hotel where rooms and suites are dedicated to musical artists and composers and where the delicious meals inspire you to compose music too. PhotobyRobertVano

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2014: Year of Music in Prague Come. Look. Listen. www.musicinprague.com gives you everything you might want to know. People, places and events, even an interactive music map of the city. www.musicinprague.com www.prague.eu

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