Yet another of my wanderings around Prague by tram took me on route 20 to Podbab, where I found an astonishing Crowne Plaza Hotel which I considered couldn’t possibly have been built as a hotel.
Sure enough, it turns out to be a defence-ministry building, the creation of the very powerful Stalinist Minister of Defence, Alexej Čepička (1910-1990) who, if his Wikipedia entry is to be believed [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexej_%C4%8Cepi%C4%8Dka], came straight from Central Casting.
According to Wikipedia, its nuclear shelter for 600 people is now the staff cloakroom.
Though the hotel website [http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/crowneplaza/hotels/us/en/prague/prgcs/hoteldetail?cm_mmc=mdpr-_-GoogleMapsCZ-_-cp-_-prgcs] describes its architecture as Art Deco, it was actually constructed in 1952-4.
A Czech website describes the style as “an original combination of the architecture of Socialist Reali known as Sorela, and art-deco of the American type, completed by Czech artists and craftsmen”: http://www.visitprague.cz/en/hotels/crowne-plaza-hotel-prague.html.
The room-rates aren’t at all bad: I could stay there.