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“I walk on, once again, down these corridors, through these halls, these galleries, in this structure of another century, this enormous, luxurious, baroque hotel…”

That line, from French director Alain Resnais’ turgid 1961 classic Last Year at Marienbad, reintroduced many in the West to the magnificent Belle Époque spas enjoyed by the European élite in Bohemia (which then became the Czech Republic between World Wars I and II) before it fell under the shadow of Nazi Germany, then the Soviet Union. When democracy returned after the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall, these Czech spas became popular with a more democratic travelling public, and gradually modernized and capitalized on the growing trend for spas and wellness, whilst resolutely... keep reading

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