We boarded tram #12 from Holešovice station in Prague. Before coming to Europe we had already decided to use only public transport as one of the ways of experiencing the life as locals do. We were super excited at the prospect of staying in a 14th Century Monastery, now converted into the luxurious Hotel Mandarin Oriental Prague.
The tram snaked its way through the streets of Malá Strana, the second oldest urban settlement in Prague, erstwhile capital of Bohemia. The roads were filled with tourists on various forms of transport including roofless vintage cars!
In time we reached our destination and enter the gates of Hotel Mandarin Oriental which opened into a cobbled courtyard. We already felt the first sign of monastery. As if by magic, the street noise was not to be heard and it was already quiet inside the premises. The story goes that grounds was home to a Dominican monastery which over time passed into oblivion till MO hotels group acquired the property to build a 99 room hotel in 2006. It is another story how the hotel was built in conjunction with the Heritage Conservation Authority of Prague and eventually was awarded the building of the year in 2007!
The architects had made sure that much of the original atmosphere was retained, at the same time the frills of a modern luxurious hotel was carefully woven into the heritage site to produce a well-orchestrated fusion of the monastic and the spiritual with the modern comfort and facilities.
The décor at places were minimalist by choice in deference to the historical values of the monastery.
The signature fan of Hotel Mandarin Oriental Prague, which is also its logo, is different for each of its hotels. The fan in Prague hotel is inspired by Alfons Mucha’s designs from the Landmark Municipal House.
The room was quite modern and elegantly furnished and generally well appointed. In fact we found that it was tad bigger than some of the other similar hotels in Europe, which was a big plus. The TV had a welcome message for us and on the table some welcome goodies, which we polished off in no time. 🙂
Bathrobes and slippers were of superior quality, keeping in line with MOs practice worldwide. We were told that the floors were heated however we did not feel the need for it as we were in the middle of a warm summer. In the bathroom, the marble tiles, bathtub and other shining fixtures beckoned me to take a bath ASAP.
Bathroom had two wash basins, Him and Her, this was again a quintessentially MO design element.
The breakfast spread was quite elaborate and very continental in nature. The service was superb and the staff impressed us by remembering our preferences of eggs and our beverages. We especially had additional helpings from the cakes and dessert counter.
The Spice restaurant connected to the breakfast rooms was already buzzing with activity when we reached in the evening. Spice restaurant specialty is anything Asian. Whether it is Indian, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Korean, Sri Lankan or even Sushi (Whew!). There were also some original cocktails and a collection of good wine from the region.
The lighting and decor was in keeping with monastic ambience.
There also was a fully stocked cellar that had some of the rarest vintage and for those who wanted a private dinner there was a secluded cave underground. It is absolutely exclusive. Only the previous week a gentleman had proposed to his fiancée right here!
With all the calories tucked in, it was time for us to check out the gym. The well-equipped gym was located in the basement. Just the thing to help maintain continuity for those who are regular with their workout regime.
I am normally more regular when I am back home but after having a look at the gym I had to have a go for some time.
There was once a chapel during the renaissance period, in the premises. Hotel Mandarin Oriental’s award winning Spa is built over the remnants of this old chapel. It was probably the right thing to do too. The whole spa area had a spiritual ambiance to it. The aroma, of massage oils wafting through our nostrils to energize our tired touristy selves, was distinctly Mandarin Oriental!
Access to the spa is via a long underground tunnel leading from the basement of the hotel to the chapel area. It looks like a walk in a museum with many artifacts collected during excavation on display here. We could even see the original foundations carefully preserved under a glass floor.
The Spa had an outside entrance for walk-in customers too.
There are four areas that are fully equipped to host meetings, official banquets, private dinners and even weddings. Out of that, 3 rooms can be combined to create a huge 150 SqM grand ballroom with vaulted ceiling.
We loved the way they had named the halls after various types of tea like Jasmine, Oolong, Darjeeling and Ginseng!
As bloggers we were interested in the WiFi speed and we were not disappointed with the free WiFi service that helped us to work into the night after returning from our jaunts.
Evening service or turndown service as it is also called, was excellent with bottles of water, slippers by the side of the bed, removing the bedcover and placing sleep spray tubes near the pillows, if we needed it.
Concierge knew his city very well and was very helpful in guiding us about the city. The best part was we could also buy public transport tickets from him ! So you have your tickets ready before you step out of the hotel.
Another plus point was, there was an in-house ATM in the basement to withdraw money should you require some in a hurry and we think it is a great idea.
This goes a long way to make the customer satisfied. ‘Atithi Devo Bhava‘ seems to be their motto as well!
Hotel Mandarin Oriental is located in Malá Strana or the lesser town. This town was originally built in 13th century just after the construction of old town on the opposite bank of the river Vltava (also called River Moldau).
It is only few minutes’ walk to the famed Charles Bridge and well connected to the Prague Castle and the rest of Prague by tram.
So all in all, we found that it was just the place to return to after a tiring sightseeing to enjoy a relaxed evening and a blissful sleep.
You may want to read our review of Hotel Mandarin Oriental, Macau.
Disclaimer We stayed at Hotel Mandarin Oriental Prague at their invitation but the opinions, as always, are our own.
Great, that hotel is looking so awesome and best place to stay in prague. Its things are looking so luxury and food is best charm. stunning photos you shared of that beautiful place.
Thanks TMT, We loved its location too! It was close to Charles Bridges and just a tram ride away from most attractions.
I am a huge fan of Mandarin Oriental hotels, and I wish we had stayed there when we visited Prague. It looks gorgeous, and I love the way they give you a real sense of a place’s history and culture along with amazing service and luxury.
Thanks Lois. It definitely has a character. Service and Luxury indeed are their USP.
Oooh I love the looks of that bathrobe! My fave thing is when a hotel offers slippers and cushy bathrobes- it always feels so fancy 🙂
🙂 Thanks. I do hope you get to stay there sometime.
Mandarin Oriental Hotel definitely looks like a place to be when in Prague.. I loved that the slippers and other things were of superior quality & that amazingly long lobby makes me go crazy for some reason.. Thanks for the review i’ll definitely keep this one in mind before visiting Prague. 😀
Thanks for stopping by, Tanvi. Sure do let us know when you plan to be there.
I love how thorough your review was. I would definitely find it useful if I was visiting Prague. It’s so charming when they turn historical places into hotels.
Thanks Maram. Most importantly they have knitted luxury with the simplicity of a monastery and that I think is a big plu.
It’s so good that so much of the original atmosphere was retained. Love the details, like those robes hanging from the wall while you’re having dinner.
But the room really looks cozy. One could think that it would be cold, all in bricks and concrete, since it was a monastery once, right! But look at that spacious room, love it! 🙂
By the way, Europe is the best to be discovered by public transport. I’m sure you’ve had fun around Prague. 🙂
Yes and That was one of their selling point. While from the out side it may look like a monastery but from inside it is as good or even better than most luxury hotels.
This hotel seems like the ultimate way to pamper yourself. I’d love to walk around on the heated floors with the bathrobe in the morning and then treat myself to the spa later in the day. With the amazing food options, you almost don’t even have to leave the hotel for the day.
Thanks Marissa. I agree and yes How we wish we were there in winter to feel the warm floors. 🙂
Wow.. You seemed to have such a lovely stay at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel! I particularly love the design of the room.. Very contemporary yet elegantly furnished.. The private underground cave is also perfect for a quite dinner.. Such a lovely and unique set-up to dine in.. AND having that in-house ATM is very handy… Indeed a lovely feature for the hotel to have to lessen the hassle of looking for ATMs in case guests needs some quick cash.
Thanks Marvi. The underground cave was a real pleasant surprise and quite romantic in its own way. ATM is a nice add on as you say.
This looks like a very memorable experience and accommodation option in Prague! I would definitely love to visit this hotel next time I am there.
It does feel like they have done an excellent job preserving the monastery feeling and adding the luxury to it.
Of course it is, Cristina. You need to stay there to believe it.
How awesome that this property had such a great history! I see they have preserved the original atmosphere, which is something I always appreciate, but the dining room underground left me speechless! We’ll definitely check it out if we return to Prague!
Over 600 years is quite something , eh! You will not be disappointed , I am sure.
Loved Prague, but I may not have saw it staying here. Not surprised how beautiful. You are very right too, elaborate spread of food. Looks delicious. That bed looks very comfy.
Thanks Holly. Everything about it is as you say. One reason that you may not have seen it is that it is in an unassuming building with peaceful surroundings.
The wine cellar and the underground dinner is amazing! That must be very lovely. I also loved that they had personalized your stay with letters and free fruits and chocolates!
The Underground cellar and the dining area was a pleasant surprise . They surely know how to treat their guests.
The moment you said 14th Century, I was hooked on to your story Nisha…for someone like me who loves historical places so much, a stay here would be like living in a dream! Plus it’s surprisingly so modern, so that’s an interesting mix as well…
And I would do anything for that dinner underground! 🙂 🙂 🙂
Thanks Sid. It is truly commendable that they have preserved a slice of history from that era. All you need to do is take your companion there and book a dinner at the underground cave. Ha Ha Ha
Arre waah, kya khatirdaari hai? Next time humko bhi le chalo 😀
Any time Shikha. 🙂
beautiful hotel amazing pictures sharing
Oh wow, incredible that the hotel was once a 14th century monestary – I’ve come to really love seeking out historic hotels lately, and Prague would be an incredible city for a historic stay. I love how they’ve achieved the balance of maintaining the original atmosphere but still offering the luxury and quality that we’ve come to expect from a Mandarin Oriental.
Really beautiful rooms – the extra touches like the monks’ religious habits in the restaurant seem to act as a fun reminder that this is not just any cookie cutter hotel! So incredible that they’ve displayed the original foundation of the chapel preserved under the glass on your way to the spa – it’s like a museum in it’s own right as well as being a hotel. How fabulous, I want to stay!
Prague is indeed full of history. You can’t walk a hundred metres before stumbling upon something interesting and historic. It could be called anything , but run of the mill , it sure is not.
The Prague Mandarin Oriental Hotel is a just a stunning property! I love its history as a 14th century monestary – I’m always looking out for unique hotel properties when we travel. Having the chapel preserved underfoot is a wonderful historical feature. It looks like you enjoyed a fabulous stay!
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay . Our only grouse was it was not long enough:)
Wow, This Mandarin Oriental looks awesome! I mean sleeping in a converted 14th Century Monastery – how cool is that! Looks quite posh with all the amenities you could ask for in a hotel.
I love the unique details of this spot though – cobblestone courtyard, lone cherry tree in the lobby, and the monk robes in the restaurant. But the private dinning table in an underground cave – that’s epic!
Nick, it looks like every little detail is there for a purpose. Our own fav was the underground dining. 🙂
I wish I had stayed here when I came to Prague, my hotel was nice but I much prefer the modern look and feel and all the special touches you get with a brand like Mandarin Oriental. I like that the modern interiors haven’t taken away from the historical features that make this hotel special – and those chocolates are cute!
Yes. I agree that the hotel has mixed the old and the modern very nicely to make it comfortable at the same time retaining some aspects of the historical structure.
The fact that the hotel is actually a 14th-century monastery now converted is in itself a charming facet of the hotel. The luxury and elegance, of course, is nowhere near the spartan lifestyle one would expect in a monastery though! But I can see that they have kept alive the monasterial ambience streaks like the hanging of the monks’ habits and the intriguing underground private dining area. Must have been a unique experience indeed.
Thanks Sandy n Vijay. The points you mention are but some of the reasons that makes a comfortable stay an unique experience.
The 14th century monastery converted to the hotel was enough for me to stick to your post. The Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Prague looks really nice. Especially I liked their minimalistic decor and the way they have taken care of the Monastery ambience. Food too looks mouth watering and I think they were great with their hospitality. The underground dining area is the charm of this place.
Thanks Suruchi. every little things is there for a purpose and that is to make our stay a great experience.
This looks like a gorgeous hotel, especially the food. One of these days when I finally make it to Prague, the mandarin Oriental will definitely be the first place I look. I love the history too.
Thanks Mags. I am sure you will enjoy the place.
I love when hotels are unique – and this one combines history with a modern hotel, that is so cool. The wine cellar is so cool! I stayed in a totally different kind of place when I visited Prague – maybe when I return, I’ll have to check this hotel out!
This hotel is a slice out Prague’s history. Hope and wish you make it Prague again.
I’ve just been writing about a recent stay in Prague – I walked right past here, though I didn’t go in – I did visit another 5star for lunch where I stayed was a quirky kind of place. I like the interior of the Mandarin Oriental here, it’s managed to keep an historic feel! And, it looks very luxurious!
Thanks Fiona. At the first instance it could appear unassuming. Only when you enter you will feel that you are indeed in the middle of 600 years of history and the same time none of the modern facilities are absent.
Who would have thought that a monastery would be such a luxurious place to visit. I love that you had some edible treats in the room when you arrived. The single cherry blossom is perfect and I like that they tried to keep the same attitude as the monastery. Did you look down the well?
Chris, Before we went there we had heard about the history slightly . After we stayed there we found the place sort of grows on you. We did look down well …there was……….nothing except darkness 🙂
I love unique hotels and this seems so unique! I love the fact that it has so much history to show like the glass floor where you could still see old parts of the chapel. All in all this sounds like the perfect stay in a busy city together with a spa and a gym to take some time for your body. And the welcome gift is super cute!
You bet, Melanie. Thanks for stopping by.
We love love love Prague. We’ve been to Prague twice, it’s one of our favorite cities in Europe. We just stayed at Mandarin Oriental in Miami, gorgeous hotel. We’ll have to check out that hotel on our next visit, we know we’ll be back.
Hi Hannah, We echo your sentiments 🙂 I never knew MO was in Miami. Must check it out when we visit the US.
I would much rather have stayed here than the hotel I ended up at in Prague, which was nearly impossible to find outside the city. The food there looks heavenly, and I would definitely sign up for a massage. It would be fun to eat at the cave table, although I would need to find someone special to enjoy it with me.
MO in Prague is well located and just few walking minutes from Charles Bridge and to the Tram stop. If the weather is good then one can even walk to the castle from the hotel.
I like your decision to take public transport as the locals do. I also try to travel this way when possible.
What a beautiful hotel as well! Great that you had a concierge where you could buy transport tickets in advance, and the food looks fabulous. Very cool that they named the different halls after different types of tea!
Thanks Francesca. When in Europe, it is so much better to take the public transport. Concierge services was quite good.
That looks a great place it has very nice cellar too and i wouldnt pass having a lazy day at the spa. I only been to Mandarin hotel in Asia and this one in Prague is worth a visit.
I agree Anneklien. We only wish we had more time there.
I am currently looking for a place to stay in Prague and I’m seriously considering this one. I love the architectural design and the original paintings in the spa. What an interesting place!
Thanks Anita, You will surely not be disappointed.
This hotel looks absolutely stunning. I love the bathroom, huge bed and spa rooms. It sounds really unique too. I wonder if it has ghosts?
Thanks Anne. Not sure about ghosts. No self-respecting ghost would live in the middle of the city , I think 🙂 🙂
This looks like a lovely hotel and they sure got me tempted with those chocolates in the room. 😉 The underground private restaurant is so romantic and lovely and a unique concept too. I like the way they have preserved the heritage by keeping the chapel’s foundation under glass. Lucky you for getting to stay here.
Thanks Ami. Yes the underground private dining is quite secluded and as such may be termed romantic. The preserved heritage is their USP.
Such an interesting hotel with so much history. I love visiting old monasteries and it’s even better that you got to stay in one in Prague! Very ingenious use of space, and also interesting that the spa used to be a chapel. Quite the unique experience, I’m sure!
I love the idea of a modern hotel built on a heritage site, keeping elements from the architecture still intact. The hotel looks amazing, especially their wellness center and spacious bedrooms. The wine cellar is absolutely awesome !
An oriental hotel is not something I expected to see in Prague. Hope they also serve good oriental food. In Europe, I guess even Indians would find it closer to home food. he he…
On the other hand, I wouldn’t have complained had they just retained the original 14th-century ambience. That would have been a unique experience too.
What an absolutely lovely stay! I love the room’s modern vibes with the colourful twists! And those chocolates look downright dreamy 🙂 The food in the restaurant looks first class 🙂
We LOVE staying in historical places wherever we travel too! So the idea that we could stay in a 14th century monastery in Prague is simply sublime! Actually we haven’t been to Prague yet, but are planning to go there next year , maybe for Christmas 2018! Now that we know how awesome the Mandarin Oriental hotel is, we won’t need to look for another hotel! So thank you so much for this review! By the way, both the room and the bathroom look comfy and spacious, and everything at the Spice Restaurant looks delicious!