Hot on the heels of their fifth anniversary celebrations, Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Prague is polishing their stars (all five of them) to keep them shining in the years ahead, garnering the magazine Conde Nast's Traveller's award for the best hotel in northern Europe, beating out hotels from other EU capitals for this prestigious award for the number one slot....
Well known in Asia and the US, that's pretty impressive kudos as they expand into Europe, setting themselves at the front of the pack in terms of style and service, at a level that turns customers into fans with just one stay.
It’s their warm and personal service philosophy that puts the luxe in luxury accommodations, born of an oriental touch and service philosophy. Each of their hotels are uniquely designed, and expressive of the location which hosts it, meaning you can kiss the cookie cutter formulas of the other upscale hotels goodbye.
"Additionally, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has a very strong focus on customer service, that is what makes our hotels so distinct around the world. It's very warm, and personal, and instinctive... a real difference in our approach as compared to other well established luxury hotel groups."
A visit to the Mandarin Oriental is a real treat, the elements of the oriental mystique taking you away into a world of delightful sensory experiences that are truly unique. In keeping with their philosophy that every location is unique, each hotel incorporates local design and cultural elements into their environment, meaning no matter what country you're visiting you can be sure to experience a very distinct identity that is expressive of the location where it is located.
As Kateřina says, "While customers of other luxury hotels might prefer to have the same exact environment wherever they travel, our customers prefer to have what we call 'a sense of place'; to feel and recognise through the environment of the hotel that they are in a different country.”
In keeping with this philosophy, Mandarin Oriental Prague is located in a restored monastery, very much in keeping with the flavour of old Prague. Two features that really set them apart from other luxury hotels in Prague, the first being Essensia, a restaurant concept with a two part kitchen (with two teams cooking): one making fine Asian dishes, and the other traditional Czech cuisine, meaning no matter your tastes, the Orient or the MiddleCentral European, they've got you covered.
The second feature, one that a pampered princess like myself can really enjoy, is the spa, a real showcase located in a former Renaissance chapel. This is the oldest part of the hotel, and features a glass floor, under which is located are visible the preserved remains of a 14th century church accidentally discovered during renovations. It's really amazing to see and experience pampering in such a space! An exceptional location for a spa, from the company that pioneered the concept of hotel spas in the first place.
With treatments in part inspired by both Eastern and Western spa traditions, each visit being is tailor made to the needs of each guest. Guests are encouraged to not book specific treatments, but a "time ritual", to allot time based on how they feel and how they'd like to feel afterwards, so one can really enjoy a tailor made experience, combining various treatments.
So popular is this concept, that (like the restaurant) you don't even have to be a guest of the hotel to enjoy the spa; they've opened their doors to local visitors to enjoy this truly unique concept in spa treatments, making it the premiere spa in Prague (how good? Rumour is, Brad Pitt’s was a customer!)
In keeping with the ‘sense of place’ philosophy, the location in Mala Strana is very amazing, it's really the heart of Prague, located just a five minute walk from the famous Charles Bridge, the most beautiful part of Prague. You can feel the history of the area as you walk around, and even though you're in the centre of Prague there's a calm serenity as you enjoy the cafes and museums and the wonderful riverside Kampa Park.
You can really feel yourself walking through time, and the hotel itself expresses this in the fact that different parts of the architecture were built in different centuries. For example, there’s the oldest part is the 14th century church below the spa, then there's the Renaissance parts from the 15th and 16th centuries, and a large part of the hotel was built by Dominican monks in the 17th century, all wrapped up into an integrated hotel of the finest 21st century standards.
Guests who are lucky enough to stay at the Mandarin Oriental, Prague often say it’s one of the best of in the chaingroup, and for sure, the gem of Prague, an environment so special that Gwen Stefani secretly shot part of one of her music videos in it…