Stayed at the new Mandarin Oriental A review of Mandarin Oriental, Prague
Regardless of the following points, the hotel is perfectly located in a quite spot. So much to see within only 20 mn walk, great restaurants around the corner. The staff, though very new at their jobs are lovelly, helpful and friendly. Nice bar area (good live music on sat. night) The cocktails were great and the bar food (though not enough choice) is delicious. Breakfast was nice, though the legs of the chairs make a really LOUD noise on the floor when moved (not what one wants to hear first thing in the morning). The treatments given at the spa are great (quite expensive) and the staff there again really professional. The hotel is new so everything looks clean and fresh. Nice, modern look which overall could benefited from extra warm colours (mostly the walls in the underground corridor!).
I looked everywhere for a nice place in Prague and I was getting nowhere until somehow I found an add for the Mandarin Oriental. Not much information was available except for some drawings of what the place will look like when opening in September (I booked in august). This hotel chain has a good reputation and the idea of a brand new hotel sounded nice, at least everything will be new, smelling right and walls not in need of a fresh coat of paint.
I booked the hotel car to pick us up from the airport (60Euros) and that was a really lovely way to arrive in Prague and at the hotel. The nice courtyard is paved and once the trees and plants grow, the full result will be achieved.
We were greeted strait away outside by a manager who rather than take us to the lobby, took us traight away to our room via the courtyard. We entered a small corridor where a manager's office and WC were located, then passed the door to the messy laundry room, which remained opened during our entire stay??? I should mention that when returning to our room in the evening the corridor was in total darkness because there are just no lights!
Our room, the less expensive one was located with few others in the Spa section (right above it). The smell and sents coming from the spa were lovelly but it made me feel everytime I walked there that I was going to a changing room rather than my bedroom. In order to access our room, we needed to go up one floor and cross a nice glass and metal bridge with views over the spa entrance & small lounge where guests were waiting in their bathrobes (not much privacy). The room was nice, larger than expected. Modern furniture but overall a warm feeling once inside the room. The bathroom was spacious enough though I expected a seperate shower and bath. Because of the shape of the bath tub, it is hard to stand right below the shower head and if you tilt the shower head, you end up floading the bathroom floor. Few joints already missing on tiles near the window!
Trying to access the lobby while remaining in the hotel became so frustrating (got lost a couple of times) that it was easier to go outside and cross the courtyard. Guests having to use a long underground corridor to access the lobby and dinning area was a strange idea for an architec to come up with! From our room we had to go down lots of stairs (lift is available but makes the journey even longer), then through a very long and sterile looking corridor, then up stairs again via heavy metal and quite ugly fire doors. Once finally in the lobby, one thing really is missing and that is access to a lounge area. We waited for our taxi in the bar as there is no comfortable place to sit otherwise. There is a area with armchairs and tables (not a nice and cosy place) located near the ballroom, but there again, getting to it was just not worth the journey. Just way too far from the lobby. I also expected (as shown on the drawings of the website which has not been upgraded as yet with photos) a less formal dinning area in the underground of the old building. There is only one or two tables and benches for private parties only. Beautiful little spot none the less but the damp smells would not tempt too many people to eating there.
The overall design of the hotel is surprising for a expensive place like that and it disappointed me a bit. Regardless of our room being the less expensive one, I would have like to feel that I was part of the main building of the hotel and not adjacent to it.