From the riverside Four Seasons to the palatial Pariz, swanky travellers can choose from nearly 30 luxury hotels in the Czech Republic's capital city, Prague. And next year the directory of five-star accommodation is expected to grow along with the city's expanding tourist industry. During 2005, city officials issued building permits for at least seven new hotels.
Through an office window at a modern art museum near Bratislava, Nina Zackova watches elegant water birds soar above the Danube and contemplates her remarkably romantic work environment. ''Water, birds, sky,'' she says with a sigh. ''This is the most beautiful place to work.'' Like 80-million other Europeans who inhabit this grand river valley, Zackova is Danube-dreaming.
Mention caves and usually images of darkness, musty rocks and bats come to mind. But health specialists in the Czech Republic are putting caves in a more positive light by promoting a special treatment for allergies, bronchitis and other breathing problems called ''speleotherapy''.