Share

16 Aug 2017

Weekend in Prague at the Mandarin Oriental

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Prague architecture

Just before summer arrived, we and two of our friends jetted off to Prague for a long weekend of food, relaxation and exploration and a stay at the Mandarin Oriental.



______________________________________________
MANDARIN ORIENTAL PRAGUE
______________________________________________

I'll be honest, first impressions were mixed. The entrance and lobby were beautiful, but issues arose at check-in. The booking we made meant that should an upgrade be available, we were guaranteed to be upgraded to a suite. We were informed upon arrival that they were fully booked, which was fair enough. Though the girl at the desk was obviously new and eager to please, the check-in process did take a lot longer than usual as she had no backup to help her.

Once we got up to the room, she explained a little about its features and then left, accidentally still holding our free drinks voucher (not an issue luckily; it was quickly sorted back at the lobby later on).

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Mandarin Oriental, Prague
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Mandarin Oriental, Prague
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Mandarin Oriental, Prague

Deluxe Garden Room

The room was underwhelming. Now, I say this only in comparison to other luxury hotel rooms on a similar level to Mandarin Oriental, of course. I realise it can sound ridiculous to discuss the 'negative aspects' of a five star hotel that costs hundreds of pounds a night, but to give a fair review I have to take into consideration what a high-end hotel usually offers in terms of service, decor, size and general standards of luxury and ask myself - does this measure up?

Truthfully, it didn't. It was bare, the only decorative touches being a mirror on either side of the bed and two random framed photos - one of a young couple on a balcony in a candid style and the other of soldiers. Other walls were blank, the room looked a little outdated and there were next to no 'accessories' such as books, vases, etc. to make it feel either cosier, more luxurious or more modern. However, I did love that they provided a lavender 'sleep spray', and the hardware wasn't bad!

There were no toothbrushes, no iron, but strangest of all...no coffee or tea making facilities. The toothbrushes and the iron aren't that odd, though I would usually expect to see them, but to fail to provide something as basic as a kettle, a Nespresso machine, some teabags and some coffee pods seems... stingy. It can't be a cultural thing, as teas and coffees are offered at breakfast (and besides, it's an international hotel chain), so I can't quite put my finger on why these basic items wouldn't be included in a deluxe room (or any room at the MO).

Spices lounge


We headed down to the bar to meet up with our friends, who had arrived on a separate flight, and have a drink. Drinks were great, as was the cumin popcorn served alongside as a nibble. In fact, for the duration of our stay, the service at the Spices lounge and bar was consistently excellent. Staff were always polite, professional and speedy, and food and drink were always good.

Concierge

Later in the evening, we asked the concierge to help us book a specific restaurant. Not possible, he told us. We ended up giving him four options to try to help us book but unfortunately, he wasn't able to assist at all, not only seeming to having zero pull with any restaurants in town but also not bothering to offer up alternative suggestions, instead leaving us to our own devices.

After about 45 minutes of back and forth calling from our room to the concierge desk, I managed to find a suitable restaurant, which he was able to book. Or so he told us - we arrived at the restaurant only to find that they had no record of our booking. Luckily for us, they had had a cancellation and an available table for four, but this oversight could easily have ruined part of the evening. There is more than one member of concierge staff at the MO so the others may well be amazing, but this was a truly poor show in service.

Breakfast at Spices restaurant

Breakfast, on the other hand, was fantastic! The hotel restaurant Spices is the setting for breakfast every day and the decor here was far more beautiful than our room - oriental touches such as gorgeous bunches of cherry blossom flowers, ornamental vases and dark wood floors contrasting with emerald green chairs are paired together to create a really beautiful, peaceful atmosphere.

The food and service were both excellent, and presentation was impressive, too.

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Mandarin Oriental, Prague
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Mandarin Oriental, Prague
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Mandarin Oriental, Prague

___________________________________________________
EXPLORING PRAGUE
___________________________________________________

Prague is a stunning city - gothic architecture sits beside pastel pretty Renaissance buildings and the cobbled city is very 'walk-friendly' - we spent the entire first day on foot.

However. However! It's worth noting that it was extremely busy. At one point, my friend Bena and I became separated from Jarv and our friend Ollie as we crossed Charles bridge to get to the Old Town. Crossing that bridge should have taken no more than 5 - 7 minutes - because of the amount of people lingering, straggling and stopping (understandable as there are some lovely views over the river), it took us 20 minutes. Now in case you don't know, Charles Bridge is a tourist attraction, so if you dislike crowds and being stuck in them (like me), I would avoid crossing it. 

For the rest of our trip we decided to avoid Charles Bridge wherever possible. When Bena and I finally saw the other end, we then spent a further 20 minutes standing atop the side of the bridge, scanning the crowds and patiently waiting for "those unbelievably slow pokes"...only to find that they'd strolled right off to get themselves coffee, assuming we'd just gone off our own way. Thanks, boys! 😄

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Prague architecture
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Prague architecture
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Prague

The Old Town is particularly full of people (I assume mostly tourists, like us), and getting around does take longer what with all the people roaming the streets. The MO is located in Mala Strana, on the West bank of the river Vltava, in one of the city's most historic areas. This side is beautiful to walk around and was notably quieter than the Old Town (which could be good or bad, depending on what you're after).

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Prague
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Prague
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Prague
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Prague

At this point, I should note that Jarv had sent our above notes to the luxury concierge booker that had helped us get a great rate/deal on our stay at the Mandarin. That guy was ON it! He immediately contacted the hotel, and the operations manager himself sought us out when we were in the lobby, heading out for the day. Erhan, the manager, asked us to please relay to him any and all complaints so that he could rectify them. He was particularly appalled to hear about the concierge issue and kindly offered all four of us the upgrades we would have gotten on day 1, had there been availability then. He sincerely apologised for any negative impressions the hotel had made on us and kindly also offered for the four of us to enjoy lunch at Spices on our final afternoon.

________________________________________________________

MANDARIN ORIENTAL DELUXE SUITE
________________________________________________________

After an afternoon out of the hotel, we arrived back eager to collect our new room keys. We'd been upgraded to a beautiful Deluxe Suite, whereas our even luckier friends had nabbed one of the signature suites - the Moser Crystal Suite!

I will say, despite the hiccups on the first two days, Erhan really went above and beyond to ensure that the rest of our stay went as smoothly as possible.

Service from here on out was a huge improvement from our first day, though it begs the question - shouldn't they have been this accommodating and proactive from the start? Whether you're in a standard room or a suite, whether you paid the full rate or a discounted one, that shouldn't change how you are treated as a guest of a luxury hotel. None of it comes cheap! One shouldn't have to make complaints in order to see basic things like a Nespresso machine or at least a kettle in their room, or an honoured dinner reservation. 

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Mandarin Oriental, Prague
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Mandarin Oriental, Prague
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Mandarin Oriental, Prague
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Mandarin Oriental, Prague
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Mandarin Oriental, Prague
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Mandarin Oriental, Prague
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Mandarin Oriental, Prague
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Mandarin Oriental, Prague
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Mandarin Oriental, Prague

_______________________________________________

PRAGUE RECOMMENDATIONS
_______________________________________________



EAT

The food is excellent, service is classy yet relaxed and the decor is strikingly elegant. The flavours are modern Indian meets Czech - recommended dishes are the quail breast, the traditional kulajda soup, the foie and South Bohemian duck.




COFFEE

Great coffee in a casual, chilled out space right in the heart of Old Town, where all the action is.


DRINK

We actually went here for dinner and whilst the steaks were very good, there were a few issues with our orders. The drinks, on the other hand, are expertly made and are proper, so maybe skip dinner and just come here for a pre or post-meal cocktail or two.


Book the Mandarin Oriental Prague here from £299 a night - affiliate link used (at no extra cost to anyone).

27 comments :

  1. how wonderful!! love how you create the photo collage!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Prague is one of my favourite places that I've visited and I thought the food was incredible! :D

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow! This place is absolutely beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  4. This was a great post and the photos are amazing! The concierge sounds awful, I can't believe the level of service and at a hotel like The Mandarin? Good thing you guys were able to get a table.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, right? Appalling concierge service for a hotel of that standard. Anyhow, it all worked out well! Thanks for your comment :)

      Delete
  5. What a great post! Definitely would love to check out the mandarin now. I didn't know it was so nice.

    http://www.TheMidwestWife.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's in a great location, tucked away in a little courtyard, too.

      Delete
  6. Your photos are amazing! I hope to visit there someday!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow! Beautiful pics! Prague is on my bucket list but has been bumped up now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jem! Hope you get a chance to visit soon.

      Delete
  8. Prague is one destination I have always wanted to visit. Now even more after reading your post. Hotel looks amazing..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a lovely city, well worth a visit!

      Delete
  9. Wow, this place is stunning! I'd love to visit one day!

    Lauren
    http://www.basicbabelauren.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. This hotel looks beautiful! I'd love to visit Prague again.

    ReplyDelete
  11. The Deluxe Suite you were upgraded to looks a world away from the first room you were assigned, such stunning interior design - and so much space! The breakfast also sounds amazing. Ahh, this post has given me serious wanderlust, as I'm desperate to visit Prague!!

    aglassofice.com
    x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a difference the suite is to the original, right? Like two different hotels. Hope you get to visit Prague soon - it's worth it! X

      Delete
  12. Wow! I would love to go to Prague one day. That deluxe suite looks awesome! How fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a great city; safe, affordable and very pretty!

      Delete
  13. Oh very amazing place darling
    xx

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh very amazing place~
    xx

    www.sakuranko.com

    ReplyDelete