The Mandarin Oriental in Prague is so much more than an exquisite luxury hotel. Yes, it has all the trimmings and hospitality we have come to enjoy and expect of the Mandarin Oriental Group but it has something no other Mandarin Oriental does – it is set within a restored 14th century monastery. Our taxi swished us in, turning off the busy hub of Mala Strana into a quiet corner. A large courtyard sat hidden behind the walls that shut out the street. Hidden in a serene little patch that completely belied its location.
A Serene History
We’re such fans of places with stories, that we were in love the instant we found out that the Mandarin Oriental Prague was once a Dominican Monastery. I was particularly intrigued about how they’d manage to restore and preserve what sounded like a stark and austere historical environment within the realm of the MOs renowned luxurious hospitality. We glanced into several of the rooms, many of which were one of a kind because they had those gorgeous scooped ceilings and the hotel had preserved those beautifully. From their congress areas which embraced the monk-like spaces with similarly themed embellishments to the piece de resistance –
A former Renaissance chapel, this was by far the most interesting space within the MO. Walking through the long corridor lined with artefacts retrieved from the excavations tempted us to take our time, but I was most excited to see the spa for myself. Nothing could have prepared us for what awaited. A hush descended over us as soon as we stepped in. The tall ceiling with preserved walls, remnants of paintings and inscriptions on the wall that we looked up at in reverence. A glass tiled floor that we stepped onto in careful observation opened a view to the depths of this serene space’s historical past. The smells couldn’t have been more quintessentially MO. The sounds, the products, the feel was definitely MO, but there was something sacred about this that even Charles couldn’t quite point out.
Stepping into the room, for us, it felt like coming home to the luxurious comfort of what we have known the Mandarin Oriental to stand for. The signature scent wafting through the cool air, as we spotted the signature motif from all the way across to the verandah. The Mandarin Oriental Orchids. Exquisite, fresh and exceptionally perfect. Sinking into the bed, I was almost tempted to stay put, but the French Doors beckoned invitingly. Outside was a beautiful sit out, located within the courtyard of what was once a Monastery. A platform with the perfect setting for a long breakfast. It being winter, the gardens were stark and birds of winter flitted about. Stepping back into the room, I kicked off my boots and padded my barefeet across the bathroom floor. The warmth emanating from the heated tiles was better than the caress of the softest, most plush carpet. Turn down service was by far the best of all the Mandarin Oriental’s we’ve stayed at before. And definitely a few notches higher than most hotels. A calming night mist sat conveniently by the pillow, and needless to say, made for the sweetest dreams.
We enjoyed long both, a long leisurely breakfast on a rainy day as well as quick on the go sort on a busy day. But the staff at the restaurant didn’t skip a beat. Our coffee preferences duly noted, egg orders just perfect and smiles all around. I was disappointed to not have had the time to descend into what looked like a mysteriously luxe wine cellar downstairs.
We drove out of the Mandarin Oriental, our hearts fluttering much the way we drove in. This time, satiated with the best experience in Prague, and hopeful that we will someday return.
This post was made possible by the Mandarin Oriental Prague. Opinions, as always are our own.