Hotel Imperial Spa & Health Club in the Heart of Karlovy Vary's Hot Springs

If you don’t know much about medical spas, then you may not know how they differ from traditional spas. In Eastern Europe, medical spas have been around for many years and  in some countries, the government even pays for a chunk of it if a doctor prescribes it necessary, the Czech Republic being one of those. Two of the most well known spa towns in the Czech Republic are in Bohemia, and less than a two hour drive from Prague, a must visit if you love nature and are open to alternative health practices. Even if you don’t have an illness (no one in our small group did), the towns of Karlovy Vary and Mariánské Lázně are so storybook picturesque and serene that your body, mind and spirit will thank you later.  People flock to Karlovy Vary (also known as Carlsbad)  for their thermal springs and spas which are often attached to all inclusive luxe hotels. Luxury wasn’t always a thing in this region however a few properties used to be popular with the Russian political intelligentsia, such as Hotel Imperial Spa & Health Club, which is nestled in the stunning mountains above Karlovy Vary.
Above, this was the view from my hotel room balcony in September
This palatial landmark hotel which goes back to the early 20th century was apparently made famous by Lord Richard Westbury. It has had a myriad of famous guests over the years, including renowned politicians and leaders, such as the Bulgarian Tsar Ferdinand I, the Grand Duke Paul Alexadrovich Ramanov, the Archduke Franz Salvator of Austria-Tuscany, the Egyptian Prime Minister Mustafa el-Nahhas Pasha, members of the Rothschild Dynasty, presidents from Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, film director Gustav Machaty and singer Seal to name a prestigious handful.

It looks and feels more like a castle more than it does a hotel, with its majestic panels, high ceilings and lofty stairs leading up to the entrance. My favorite part of staying here was breathing in the spectacular views of the mountains every morning from my fourth floor balcony; as the clouds would lift, the visual impact is so dramatic that you might just find yourself in awe more than once. Gratitude is bound to set in.

All of the shots below were taken from my hotel room balcony in September.

Hotel Imperial is roughly a kilometer from the Mill Colonnade, which contains a number of Karlovy Vary’s hot springs, is 1.1 kilometer from Grandhotel Pupp, which hosts the city’s annual film festival, and 17 kilometers from the medieval Loket Castle which we also visited on our adventure through the countryside.  It’s one of the more decadent hotels in the area, with its large colorful and refined rooms, long list of amenities, which include a separate fitness center, and formal dining rooms. All of the rooms feature free Wi-Fi, minibars, and bathrooms with bidets and upgraded rooms have sitting areas, and suites offer dual-basin sinks. I’d recommend booking a room on one of the upper floors to take advantage of the property’s breathtaking views. Below are a few room shots to give you an idea of what to expect.

If you really want to go upscale, then they have two luxurious suites on the premises that are oh so divine — ask for the Deluxe Suite when you book!  Unlike all other rooms Deluxe Suite has not only separate living and sleeping areas but a Jacuzzi tub and its own kitchen. Another odd quirk is that you can choose from three kinds of pillows and four sizes.

Then of course there’s my favorite getaway: the swimming pool and alongside it, were two hot tubs, though they were more like warm tubs rather than hot. I later learned that this is the case throughout most of the Czech Republic countryside — their jacuzzis tend to be a lot cooler than the traditional American hot tub which often exceeds 100 degrees.

Above three photo credit credits: Hotel Imperial.

The lobby area is equally decadent and luxurious.

There are two restaurants on the premises that serve Czech and French food, and there’s a Viennese-style cafe and an English-style bar. Breakfast is included for all guests and it’s buffet style — below is a shot taken of my colleague’s dinner when we first arrived since I went for a simple salad which I thought might be a bit too boring to post. There were a wide variety of options to choose from, however, including cut meats (ham, turkey, chicken, beef), potatoes, fish, salads, veggies, cheeses, a dessert table and more.

Outside, the lawns and bushes are well manicured and its gardens are brimming with colorful flowers and herbs. International flags hang from the top giving it an even more austere and grand flavor. Because of the prestigious early guests who came from aristocracy, politicians, businessmen and financial magnates, suddenly tennis courts, golf courses and a race course were all built in the area, so Karlovy Vary continues to attract an upper class clientele.

Below are a few shots of the front entrance of the hotel! Majestic in every way, the property demands your attention the first time you make your way up her stairs, and every time after…

Below, the property from a distance. 

Photo credit: Panormio

Spa Therapy

They do traditional spa treatments like massages, but they also offer more health-oriented programs, especially for digestive and musculoskeletal system and metabolic disorders.  They have a 24 hour nurse on-site, one dietician, seven doctors, six physiotherapists, eight masseurs, and three lifeguards. The hotel provides over 100 medical interventions and procedures in a 1.600 meter area. Spa treatments use local natural medicinal sources, which are supplemented by medical rehabilitation, physical and exercise therapy, health education, diet and wellness programs.

One of the natural medicinal resources in the area is Spring Vřídlo, which gets cooled down to 50 ° C and is available to guests to drink. You can find it on the top floor of the hotel lobby. Thermal Spring Water is mainly used for medicinal purposes, therefore they consume an average of 10,500 liters a day, which corresponds to approximately 21% of total daily consumption of mineral water in Karlovy Vary. Other natural resources they use include muds and medicinal gas (carbon dioxide).  Medical specialists at the Imperial include internal medicine, physiotherapy, physical medicine and rehabilitation, neurology, pediatric neurology, surgery, gastroenterology and sonography and they cooperate with external doctors who specialize in cardiology, dermatology, psychiatry, acupuncture, cosmetic surgery, urology, dentistry and ENT. Refer to my more extensive write-up on the Imperial Spa, which includes a little more background on what to expect from booking a one, two or three week stay.

Below is a shot of their external gym, a mere few minute walk from the main building.



Hotel Imperial Spa & Health Club
Libušina 1212/18, 360 01
Karlovy Vary
Czech Republic
353 203 113
Renee Blodgett
Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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