Wonderful hotel. The music theme design was unique, different and tasteful, not at all “Disney.” Costs about 450czk to take a cab from airport to hotel. During check-in I was issued an ipod nano, filled with songs from 52 artists that represented each room of the hotel – ranging from classical to contemporary. I was also given an electronic key shaped like a treble clef – which I thought was cool. Was assigned room 205, on the contemporary music floor.
Booking & Rate:
Booked via expedia.com, Deluxe room, breakfast included, USD $300 per night with third night free! Hence average USD$218 per night including taxes. February 2008.
Spacious, tall ceiling, tasteful modern design, immaculately clean. Furnished with an ipod compatible Dell computer, and keyboard on a slide under the desk. 20”, 25”(?) flat screen TV (it’s smallish compared to scale of room), and DVD / CD player with two waist high tower speakers -- this hotel takes fidelity seriously. Mini bar, free bottled water, fruits, luxurious robes, two huge closets, mini safe, Molten Brown amenities etc. The bathroom floor was heated, a nice feature during my winter visit – however, I couldn’t find a switch to turn it off – not exactly environmentally friendly, which is ironic b/c of the “re-use towel – be eco friendly” sign that was in the bathroom. King bed was firm and comfortable, a real king bed, NOT the typical European two beds faux king – does joining two motorcycles give you a four wheeled car? The sheets were exquisite and soft. TV had plenty of English programs. Room was without a view, and the 3 windows overlooked a big light well, leading into the reception lobby. The walls were nicely painted, with caricatures of musical artists forming the cornices. I was assigned a Physically Accessible room – no idea why -- the hotel definitely seemed emptish. The bathroom, while spacious, wasn’t exactly comfortable to use, probably the same sentiments a physically challenged person would find a normal room inconvenient to use. There was no counter space, substituted by a long leather bench to place things. At least I found a great way to utilize the ultra luxurious thick bathrobes – as footstools when I used the toilet! The toilet also took a tiny effort to flush – I cannot see how it can be easy for a physically challenged person. Also wished the rain shower was extended a few more inches so I am not bumping into the hardware and wall when showering – the few extra inches would make it more pleasurable! Hmmmm….. I also found a reason to grip about the desk. A nice piece of furniture, but the keyboard slide would get in the way, disallowing my thighs to go under the desk. I also could not kick back to extend my legs b/c there was a beam across the length of desk 3 inches off the floor hindering feet movement. The beam and slide in combination made it difficult to have a comfortable position while sitting at desk. I was always typing at arm’s length. I have a feeling the chair was simply too high – didn’t have a measuring tape to figure out whether the table or chair was off regular height.
Free high speed internet access!! That’s the way it should be! Bravo.
Nice overall design, sitting on a huge plot of land, next to the US embassy. The garden, not accessible during winter, was picturesque. There was a gym, small, that overlooked the garden – I felt sorry for the gym attendant b/c the gym probably does not get very busy. Most hotels would simply forego the attendant and allow guests free access – this does show you Aria’s attention to service and details. The massage rooms were also in the gym area. The music and DVD library, where the concierge sat, was a gem, stocked with thousands of titles, your choices for entertainment is extensive. You will have a tough time deciding your entertainment: your computer, TV, ipod, DVD, or the hi-fi system? Go crazy, turn everything on! Just off the music/movie library, there was a screening room that sat about 12 people, with nice big couches. The fireplace library and dining room was within same atrium area. Fireplace was a wonderful library lounge to unwind, chat or read a book. Since the restaurant / dining room was right there, easy to order drinks, snacks or food. I wasn’t able to access the roof terrace, probably b/c it was winter. Staff was wonderful and warm -- from the front desk, to concierge, to gym attendant, and to the waiters – thank you. Breakfast was included in room rate and it wasn’t just some dinky continental breakfast! You were presented with a menu, choices from egg benedict, French toast, omelet etc, in addition to the beautifully arranged buffet of breads, fruits, cold cuts and juices. I was impressed.
It’s next to the US embassy! You bet it’s prime location, depending on your nationality and allegiance I suppose. Charles Bridge is about 7 mins easy walk. Turn right at the hotel front door, left at junction, and another right at following junction, you will already be window-shopping the stores that line the street, Mostecka street, leading to Charles Bridge. You will see the tram stop just when you turn right onto Mostecka street. Cross the bridge, and about another 10 mins easy walk, you will be in Old Town Square. The tram line that is close to Aria will take you directly to Prague Castle. One tram stop away also connects you to the subway. Frontdesk conveniently sells the tram/subway pass. The location is rather quiet at night. A few Irish bars and restaurants in immediate vicinity, but stores are not lined up one after another, like the Old Town Square. So that could be quaint / boring or boring / quaint (refer to HSBC print ads).
Hotel Bonus points:
- Free internet
- Breakfast included – good selection and choices!
- Huge selection of media entertainment.
- Original charactures of musicians around the hotel – find your favorite!
- Easy access to tram.
- Can’t turn off heated bathroom floor.
- Extend the rain showerhead a couple more inches.
- Do something about the desk or chair.
- Don’t make it a point to wait for the astrological clock to strike hour – very non-eventful moment.
- Going to Castle, take tram and stop in front of Savoy Hotel, and cut across Loretanska street, a nice walk. Otherwise, if you came from the other direction, you will have to climb uphill to reach castle. Mostly a downhill walk from Savoy Hotel, all the way down the old castle steps.
- Hilton hotel has a nice extensive gym and pool, but it costs 90czk to use, pricey. Locals also join the health club. Free to Hilton guests obviously. It’s a nice business hotel, but the location is way off the sightseeing path.
- Hotel U Prince has a wonderful al fresco setup at Old Town Square, comfy chairs and picturesque. But the food was simply awful! My lobster bisque arrived in merely 5 mins, bread was stale and cold, pasta tasted like instant noodles, and I deliberately forgot what I had for the main dish – one of the worst meals I have ever had. If I paid instant noodle prices, I would not be complaining about it, but I didn’t! I counted about 160 al fresco seats and maybe another 150-200 indoors. Its def catered towards mass market, and the food reflected that. You can’t go wrong if you were only chatting and drinking!! Inside, there was live jazz in a charming restaurant setting. I am sure the food comes from the same kitchen. Avoid food if you can. That’s too bad, b/c it has the perfect setting for a wonderful meal, and the food was anything but!
- You can enter Czech Rep. with a Schengen Visa.
Yes I would return again. Good value for money during low season – cant beat the spacious room, free night, and breakfast offer
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Aria is Prague's world class Luxury Hotel. An Oasis for the Jet Set knowing this priviledged place with its Baroque Garden, world famous Panorama Terrace and 51 unique rooms; each celebrates an Artist of Music. Designed by Versace's genious Magnoli. Introducing the treasures of a private collection of original masterpieces by Chagall, Picasso, Braque or Dali. A peaceful serenity over the rooftops of the City of 1000 Spires. Reward yourself! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Aria Hotel Prague