Aria Hotel

Mala Strana, Prague, Czech Republic Book from

Reviewed by Laila Ram
High-class haven for the musically-minded, hidden in the heart of Prague
The original owner of Aria brought his stateside savvy and love for his hometown to bear on this former theatre. His mission: to create the most distinctive hotel in the city. The result is a treat for all the senses. Feast your ears on archive performances, state-of-the art technology and the show-stopping Petrof grand in the roof-top garden. Rest your eyes on the elaborate entrance mosaic, feel the warmth from the heated Chilean granite floors and inhale the aroma of the fire in the intimate Music Salon. As for your taste buds, Coda, the hotel’s restaurant, will keep them royally entertained.

In keeping with its stunning Renaissance surroundings, Hotel Aria is a sensual tour de force. Whether sipping cocktails by the waterfall, wallowing in a massage and sauna, or simply revelling in the unique design of your room, this is harmony so pure that you'll want several encores.

Highs

  • Every room is a unique musical experience, with astounding attention to detail
  • Views to die for over carefully tended Vrtbovska gardens (from some rooms)
  • Staff who cannot do too much to help, happy to share their musical nous
  • Cutting-edge technology: plasma screen, top-notch audio-visual facilities

Lows

  • The richness of the food matches the clientele – you may wish to slum it gastronomically every now and then to give your purse strings and waist band a break
  • Room service can be rather pricey, even for the capital
  • There is sometimes a run on reception staff, as a result of their eagerness to ensure you want for nothing

Best time to go

Prague’s musical tradition means that there is always something interesting going on. Avoid July and August if you have a problem jostling with the tourist crowds. September can be a good time to visit: the crowds are thinning and the warm weather lingers. Under a sprinkling of snow, Prague can be a magical place to visit, so don't rule out wintertime. Again though, Christmas time and New Year can be over-busy.

Our top tips

Prague is perfect for a city break of 3-4 days. Staying at Hotel Aria, many key sights can be reached on foot, leaving time to spare for some serious gourmandise. You can always pop back if you missed out on something….

Great for...

City Style
Family
Foodie
Spa
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Luxury Hotel
  • 51
  • Restaurant + bar
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
Room: Deluxe Room

Rooms

Hotel Aria is not only for classical music lovers. There are four floors, each one dedicated to opera, classical, jazz or contemporary genres in turn. Each of the 52 rooms pays homage to a particular star – from Brahms and Bernstein to Dvorak and Dizzy Gillespie via Johnny Cash and Joni Mitchell. One thing they have in common, however, is killer contemporary design.

Dull weather needn't mean a dull afternoon: explore the efforts to bring your room’s composer alive. Admire the artwork or browse a biography about the artiste courtesy of the tailor-made digital database on your flat-screen PC (all rooms also have plasma TV and i-pod docks). Once you’ve set the scene with some background music, freshen up in the “rainforest” naturalistic shower before slipping on a Frette bathrobe. Rest assured your neighbours won’t even hear your oohs and aahs – all rooms are sound-proofed and double-glazed.

Hotel Aria caters for all parties: there's something for the lone business traveller, honeymooning couples and even parents with teenage children.

    DELUXE ROOMS
    These rooms have views of either St. Nicholas Church or the Winter Garden Atrium: one king or queen bed, writing desk, telephone and minibar.

    JUNIOR SUITES
    Slightly larger than deluxe with views of either the St. Nicholas Church or the Winter Garden Atrium: king or queen bed, or 2 double beds, writing desk, telephone, minibar, large sofa and coffee table.

    LUXURY SUITES

  • The Elvis rock & roll luxury has a bed to fit The King, plus sofa bed in the adjoining living room. Appropriately half the size again of the Sinatra suite, you can rustle up those jam and peanut butter sandwiches in the kitchenette (microwave and coffeemaker)
  • The George Gershwin luxury has an extra large queen-sized bed and a sofa bed in the living room to make the living easy in summertime.
  • Dvorak: another the view of Vrtbovska Garden, as well as a king-sized bed, sofa bed and kitchenette
  • Smetana: suitable for business travellers, given the large desk and the space to hold a meeting in the living room. Kitchenette with microwave and coffeemaker
  • Billie Holiday: at 1,200 square feet, Billie's is the largest suite by some way. A long staircase leads to this mezzanine suite, so steer clear if you’ll find this a challenge. King-sized bed, den with sofa bed and plasma TV to keep the kids occupied. Kitchenette with microwave and coffeemaker

    2 BEDROOM SUITES

  • Beethoven: a two bedroom suite (one king-sized, one twin) overlooking Vrtbovska Garden, with 2 bathrooms, kitchenette with microwave and coffeemaker
  • Mozart: Similar to Beethoven - not musically of course - but a little larger

    Features include:

    • Air conditioning
    • Bathrobes
    • Cd player
    • Central heating
    • Cots Available
    • Dvd player
    • Extra beds
    • Ipod dock
    • Minibar/fridge
    • Phone
    • Radio
    • Safe box
    • Terrace
    • Tv
    • WiFi

Eating

A satisfying buffet breakfast (included in room price) is served in the hotel’s winter garden. If you need more to drink than fresh vitamin juice, plump for the “Posh Breakfast”: champagne, caviar, scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, and strawberries.

In summer light lunches are served on the roof terrace, but if music be the food of love, play the Coda! Under the expert eye of Prague's premier chef David Sasek, dinner in the crisp, light-filled dining-room is something else. It’s no wonder Coda is rapidly working its way into the address books of Prague’s glitterati (Ivana Trump is one A-list diner). It's not a cheap evening out, (starters from Eur 12), but now is the time to splurge.

Open with caramelised fig in 15 year-old balsamic vinegar, or seared scallops wrapped in Serrano. Follow with baked breast of guinea fowl, or seared venison with sweet potato. If your palette is in danger of being spoilt forever, take a break from Coda at the city's vast variety of dining establishments.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Watch twilight turn to evening from a chaise longue in the Winter Garden

  • Stroll in the Vrtbovska garden which has a direct entrance for Aria guests in the summer

  • Burn off any untapped energy in the fitness club, then reward yourself with a sauna and massage

  • Expand your musical horizons via the music library, and consult Dr Ivana Stehlikova (PhD in musicology) for hot tickets to live music events

  • Put your new-found knowledge to good use by catching a concert in the Baroque surroundings of St Nicholas' Church, and admire Johann Kracker's 1770 Life of St Nicholas, the largest fresco in Europe while you’re there

  • Peruse the complex of Prague Castle, possibly the oldest castle in the world. The Chapel of the famous St Wenceslas is on everyone’s 'To Do' list, but don’t miss the Toy Museum and its ancient Greek playthings. Mull over the marvels afterwards in the delightful Royal Garden

  • Pay your respects at Loreta, a 17th century pilgrimage site which houses the Prague Sun – a solid gold and silver star encrusted with 6,222 diamonds

  • Explore the oldest working synagogue in the world (established 1270) in Josefov, the Old Jewish Quarter. Remember: men need to cover their heads (hats are sold at the entrance) and women observe services from an antechamber

  • Hike 318 metres up Petrin Hill for a breathtaking view of the "City of 100 Spires". If this takes a little too much breath, hop on the funicular back down again

  • Wander over the 600 year-old Charles Bridge by night, and reflect on the statues along the banks of the Vltava which chart the city's history

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife

Kids

Children are very welcome (some suites designed specifically for parents travelling with children) though younger ones might not appreciate the musical activities.

One child can share a room with 2 adults free of charge, including breakfast. Baby cots can be provided.

Best for:

Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available

Babysitting:

Babysitting available by arrangement

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

10/
Rooms
10/
Food
10/
Service
10/
Value
10/
Overall

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