Prague

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Mandarin Oriental Prague

Address: Nebovidska 459

Neighborhood: Mala Strana

City: Prague

Phone: 011-420-233-088-888

Website: www.mandarinoriental.com/prague

Expert Review

After the fall of the Iron Curtain, when formerly Communist countries opened their doors to developers, a great race began between luxury hotel companies to establish beachheads in important cities. The result was many glass and steel boxes with perfectly fine, perfectly boring accommodations. But when Mandarin Oriental debuted in Prague in 2006, it got it right.

Located just off Maltézské Námeˇstí (Maltese Square) and near bustling, cobblestoned Malá Strana, the hotel is steps from Charles Bridge and the city's main action. Housed in a former church and abbey, the Mandarin makes thrilling use of its historic assets: The 99 guest rooms (including 22 suites) sport vaulted ceilings, parquet floors, and a soft palette accented in deep reds and blues, evocative of the property's pious past. Common areas, such as the serene Monastery Lounge, which runs along a one-time Dominican cloister, or the sumptuous spa, where a glass floor reveals foundations of an early 14th-century church, are no less evocative.

While the hotel pays homage to the city's history, it also offers modern luxury at some of the least-expensive rates of any Mandarin satellite. In December of 2008, the hotel opened the city's second incarnation of design and glassware shop Arteˇl. American-born owner Karen Feldman (author of Prague: Arteˇl Style) is available for private city shopping tours. Did we mention that Prague remains a comparative bargain over nearby capitals Berlin and Vienna? Best season for value: fall/winter. 2008 Smart Luxury Award winner

Great Value Alternative: Art Nouveau K+K Hotel Central's rooms are trimmed in warm wood and muted tones. www.kkhotels.com

Tags: luxury | expensive | editor pick | smart splurge | smart luxury winner | design

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