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There Goes the (different) Neighborhood

Written by  Professor Barry Goldsmith

Having visited hundreds of cities on six continents, I have my favorite hotels in each city. Sure, I’d like to keep staying at my favorite hotel whenever I return to that city. However, I’m a creature of discovery over a creature of comfort. Instead, I make it my business to stay at a hotel that’s new to me, in an entirely different neighborhood of the revisited city. By choosing a different hotel in a different neighborhood, you’ll get to explore sites you might otherwise have missed. Here are a few examples:

Prague: The luxurious Corinthia Prague is in Vysehrad near St. Martin’s (the round 11th-century church) and the National Cemetery with graves of illustrious Czechs including Dvorak and Smetana. Besides having the greatest concentration Cubist Architecture (unique to Prague), Vysehrad has the best. Another Prague neighborhood, Holesovice, has the iconic Parkhotel, a Socialist-era “Deconstructivist hotel” generations before “Deconstructivism” (breaking up forms and putting them back together non-functionally) was created. It’s across the street from the magnificent (Art Deco) Trade Fair Palace - today’s National Gallery of Modern Art. There’s Holesovice’s evening surprise - the “Dancing Krizikova Musical Fountains” - Prague’s version of Barcelona’s Montjuic Fountains.
Budapest: The charming historic Hotel Astoria is in the center of bustling Pest with it’s Parisian-like tree-lined boulevards. Across the Danube on quaint Castle Hill, is the Hilton - an architectural gem created around a 13th-century Gothic church and a Baroque building - with something you can’t get at any hotel in Pest - spectacular views of the Parliament across the Danube in Pest.
Rome: Hotel Atlante Star, with its stunning roof garden and restaurant overlooking St. Peter’s, is convenient for the Vatican Museums. In downtown Rome the Hotel Quirinale connects with Rome’s Opera House and it’s walking distance to the Roman Forum and the Spanish Steps.
Paris:  On the Right Bank is the sumptuous Intercontinental Paris Le Grand overlooking the Opera and a short stroll to the Louvre. On Paris’ more Bohemian Left Bank, is the Hotel Lutetia near my favorite Parisian park, the Luxembourg Gardens.

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