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No trip to the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival would be complete without a visit to some places to eat, drink and be merry in the legendary Czech spa resort.
Here is a closer look at five local hot spots.
The Hotel Thermal is the heart of the Karlovy Vary Festival: a pearl of Brutalist architecture designed by legendary Czech architects Věra Machoninová and Vladimír Machonin and constructed in 1977 to specifically house the festival, the luxury hotel and spa will celebrate its 45th anniversary in style, hosting the KVIFF’s return to pre-pandemic glory.
The latest architectural addition to the KIVFF, located right next to the Hotel Thermal, is where the festival’s public forums, filmmaker Q&As and after-hour concerts take place. A combination of networking — there are meet-and-greet sessions with invited film delegations every afternoon — and chill-out zone, the KVIFF.TV Park is the perfect place to hang out in between screenings.
A favorite of visiting VIPs and locals alike, this intimate eatery combines picturesque interiors — vaulted brick ceilings, dark wood and stained glass — with arguably the best Czech cuisine to be had in the city. The veal and schnitzel are probably the best you’ll ever eat, and the local beer, combined with the cozy atmosphere, will have you rushing back for more.
Public Casino at the Grandhotel Pupp
KVIFF’s prime party spot is the Grandhotel Pupp, Karlovy Vary’s iconic 18th-century hotel that plays host to the festival’s VIP guests, who can regularly been seen imbibing at the hotel’s Becher’s Bar or trying their luck on the roulette wheel at Pupp’s old-school casino, which featured in 2006 James Bond film Casino Royale.
No visit to Karlovy Vary would be complete without at least one indulgent meal at the Promenáda. Specializing in Czech and French cuisine — but with a determinedly Czech (read: friendly) approach to service, this is the spot to close out a marathon week of film-watching with a meal of perfectly-cooked ragout, duck or carpaccio, topped off with dessert crêpes that will restore your faith in humanity.
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