Karlovy Vary lies on the confluence of the rivers Ohře and Teplá. It is named after Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor and the King of Bohemia, who founded the city. Karlovy Vary is the site of numerous hot springs (13 main springs, about 300 smaller springs, and the warm-water Teplá River), and is the most visited spa town in the Czech Republic. In 2021, the city became part of the transnational UNESCO World Heritage Site under the name 'Great Spa Towns of Europe'.

From the end of the 12th century to the early 13th century, German settlers from nearby German-speaking regions came as settlers, craftsmen and miners to develop the region's economy. Eventually, Karlovy Vary/Karlsbad became a town with a German-speaking population.

In 1325, Obora, a village in the today's city area, was mentioned. Karlovy Vary as a small spa settlement was founded most likely around 1349. According to a legend, Charles IV organized an expedition into the forests surrounding modern-day Karlovy Vary during a stay in Loket. It is said that his party once discovered a hot spring by accident, and thanks to the water from the spring, Charles IV healed his injured leg. On the site of a spring, he established a spa.

An important political event took place in the city in 1819, with the issuing of the Carlsbad Decrees following a conference there. Initiated by the Austrian Minister of State Klemens von Metternich, the decrees were intended to implement anti-liberal censorship within the German Confederation.

Due to publications produced by physicians such as David Becher and Josef von Löschner, the city developed into a famous spa resort in the 19th century and was visited by many members of European aristocracy as well as celebrities from many fields of endeavour. It became even more popular after railway lines were completed from Prague to Cheb in 1870.



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Founded: 12th century
Category: Historic city squares, old towns and villages in Czech Republic


4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Marie (3 months ago)
Virtually nothing wrong with the hotel, but we felt so uncomfortable there. Some hotels are so lively - I really don’t mean over the top. The environment just wasn’t welcoming. We almost felt we had to whisper if we didn’t want to be in trouble. Our room’s carpet was outdated and it looked like there was some water damage. Decor wasn’t our style, but I understand others would disagree. It felt really overpriced and not up to the standards of a western hotel in the same category. We were quite shocked the hotel charges guests for slippers, robes and even tea and coffee, if you wanted to restock the coffee corner. We paid extra for breakfast, which wasn’t anything amazing. We were happy to leave. Like I said, I completely get that others could enjoy this place, but the place doesn’t feel “warm”.
Phyllis (4 months ago)
I‘m just wondering why this hotel earns 5 stars :D Price and quality don’t match. We had to pay 45€ for the dog which is insane. Quality of furniture, carpets, Spa, food and so on is like an old 3 Star hotel. It is way to expensive for what you actually get. I wouldn’t come back actually. But one good thing I have to mention is that they have an electric vehicle charger which was super for us but for that you have to pay 20€ for parking ;)
Alan Czajkowski (5 months ago)
This hotel ? has beautiful old rooms but obviously it's a challenge to keep them well maintained. Overall a good experience staying here. The food in the restaurant is simply too expensive compared to restaurants. The spa center is very conveniently located on the premises but the current hours of operation are simply too limited. After a long day of walking or hiking, exploring the town and surrounding areas, sometimes you arrive back to the hotel in the evening and would like to use the sauna and pool before going to sleep but it closes too early. Otherwise, the hotel premises are very nice on the inside and outside, they have multiple buildings, each unique and beautifully designed. Hotels in general would do well to sell their own branded cups so that you can use them at the dozen springs located throughout the town. More electric car charging options would be nice. More information on local public transportation, taxis, and long-distance transfers would be nice.
Kadir Senkaya (6 months ago)
The room was large and clean. The spa and the swimming pool were good. The receptionists were welcoming and helpful. Besides that, the hotel and its surroundings were peaceful. Overall, it is a great place to stay!
Chad Burkhart (6 months ago)
I spent one night here with reservations made 2 days in advance. It was very pricy at 250 per room but it seemed a good value. The following events happened: -The shower door fell off the track and fell on my mother almost knocking her down. - The masseuse was late to her appointment by over 20 minutes and we were not compensated for that time. - My mother and her friend requested loofas in their room that were not delivered. - I waited for over 15 minutes in the morning for the elevator to get the spa which I had to use unless walking outside. It either wasn’t working or was blocked by housekeeping. I was not offered any compensation for these serious issues. At best it’s a 2 star hotel worth less than 100 euros per night. And dangerous to boot. Please avoid especially if elderly.
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