More about Mandarin Oriental Prague
Lovely city, lovely neighborhood, and some of the worst service anywhere
For the price, the Mandarin Prague is a colossal disappointment.
Let's start with the positive. The Mala Strana neighborhood is divinely quiet and picturesque. The hotel is new, and in very good shape, overall. It goes downhill from there. While the rooms are pleasant, they are poorly designed. Doors open into each other, so that getting two people into the foyer where the closets are requires jujitsu. The air conditioning never worked properly the entire (warm) week we were there.
With several notable exceptions, the service was the worst at any quality hotel I have visited in several years. Taxis are a very sore spot, and represent a real challenge for the staff. The average wait for one is 30-40 minutes, and all an effort to check progress of the taxi request will yield is a suggestion that you take one of the grossly overpriced hotel fleet cars. We missed a concert because the staff were unable to find a taxi with more than an hour's notice. They offered us a "complimentary" hotel car to take us to Wenceslas Square afterward, but the driver tried to charge us. When we explained and declined the charge, we thought it had been resolved. Instead, we spent 15 minutes trying to get it removed at check-out.
No request to the staff is ever met with anything except excuses and referrals to another staff member for resolution. Room service was delivered incorrectly six days in a row, and they didn't get it right until the last day. This, despite using the menu card. Invariably, asking for an additional tea bag would yield an extra continental breakfast that the hotel insisted had to be paid for. It was late virtually every day, once nearly an hour. It appeared that they were delivering breakfast first to the people who called in, and afterward to those who left cards on their doors.
The spa, while lovely, is poorly staffed and often understaffed. The young men at the front door and the bell desk are more eager to send you to someone else than to help you, leaving most concierge services in the hands of only one or two capable, but clearly harried young women. With very few exceptions, the level of English is fair to poor, and patience is required all the way around if things are to get done.
Again, none of this would be cause for particular complaint at a two or a three star hotel. At a hotel that charges these prices (DO NOT, under any circumstances, use the hotel laundry service if you can help it--average cost is 20 Euros per item--the highest I have seen anywhere in the world). I really wanted to give it an Okay, but with some problems, but I can't. Between waking up sweating every morning, and having to cajole every last thing out of the staff, and spending more than an hour a day with them, every day, trying to rectify problems, I believe that at the price, this really was a terrible experience. They may have had a bad week, but I noticed other guests (from different parts of the world) complaining, and two gentleman told me the service was as bad as they had ever experienced as well.
If staying in Mala Strana is worth it to you (and it is lovely), and you are willing to give it a shot on the chance that it was a bad week, you will find pretty rooms and bathrooms. Just don't expect much beyond that, and be prepared to be frustrated. It is axiomatic that when you travel, you have to be prepared to let go of the little things, and we usually do very well at it. Staying at the Mandarin Oriental in Prague, however, will challenge your patience and good nature as much as any upscale hotel I have ever experienced.
Two Fatal Flaws
The hotel has some strong points and I'll get into those to be balanced, but the two fatal flaws need to be discussed first.
1) The construction of the hotel is flimsy, whenever someone shuts their door, not just your neighbor but even downstairs or way down the hall, it reverberates through the entire structure and you hear a boom, as if someone just dropped a heavy box somewhere outside your room. The sound will wake you up at 9 or 9:30am once the maids start going in and out of rooms and their supply closets. You will not be able to sleep through this. If you are on vacation/holiday and you plan to sleep in this isn't your hotel. If you're on business and going to be up by 9 then you're ok, you'll hear one or two odd slams from the people in your wing.
2) Service here as mentioned by others is average, which you don't expect at a Mandarin. There were some nice and helpful people, especially the doormen and the concierge, but the front desk staff was weak.
3) a third small negative was the room. It was large and well appointed, but the walls were completely bare, so you're looking at a square box of white walls (except behind the bed, where you see some marketing pictures of the hotel)
Excellent location -- I'd suggest anyone stay in the Mala Strana (west side of the river)
Free Gym - gym wasn't the best in terms of breadth of the equipment but it was all new and the bicycles and ellipticals were far better than at my $100/mo gym back home
Bed to die for - if you like firmer beds as I do. In fact I took down the name of the mattress and I'm going to order one. But even with that I still couldn't sleep over the door-closing racket.
Spa was gorgeous but expensive. Manicure $125, 1hr. 20min massage $185
Great location - some lessons to learn
This is a lovely hotel in a quiet and pretty area of the city. The location cannot be faulted - good walk to the castle, Charles Bridge or the Old Town - in fact a good walk to anywhere in comfy shoes!
The hotel only opened last year and is very new. The rooms are large for a city hotel and the bed is very comfy, big plasma TV, plenty of wardrobe space etc. The bathroom is well equipped - including another TV to watch in the bath! It feels pretty luxurious although i agree with another reviewer, it can be quite noisy with noise from the corridor.
The thing i would say about the place is it lacks a bit of atmosphere. There is a cool hotel bar but maybe it's too hidden away for people to find it. The restaurant looked nice but we avoided it as again, it lacked atmosphere.
Finally the one thing that lets the hotel down is the hit and miss service. On arrival we were well received and shown up to our room - perfect. At the bar we often waited for someone to realise there was anyone there and you often had to guess what was on the menu rather than seeing one!
Overall a great stay. What you would expect of a Mandarin - great hotel in a fantastic location. The service and atmosphere needs a big improvement though and hopefully this will happen as the hotel matures?
a perfect stay
The hotel ist perfect located in the beautiful and calm quater Malá Strana but only one minute to walk to famous Charles Bridge and busy old town. From the hotel you can easily explore prague by walking or using public transportation.
The hotel bulding is verry nice and especially the part which was a monastery. Our room was a Mandarin Superior Room with a beautiful view of the quite and light courtyard. The room was spacious and quite. The bathroom was luxurious and the bed was very comfortable. Nice aspects were the big flat screen TV with HBO and the small one in bathroom.
The staff was verry friendly and attentive. Check in was in the room. The concierge was very helpful with restaurant reservations and sightseeing tips.
The breakfast was verry good and also dinner was amazing. Don't forget to try the afternoon tee.
very much appreciated our stay at the prague mandarin oriental
My son and I enjoyed our stay of 3 nights at the hotel and found it to be one of the best and best serviced hotels we ever stayed in. We had no complaints regarding the front desk , we found everyone genuinely friendly and helpful. Upon our arrival following a long transatlantic flight we were offered a room in which to rest, till our room was ready. The hotel is very quiet and the minimalism characteristic of the hallways adds to the sense of serenity. The breakfast is truly gourmet, the rooms are beautifully and gracefully appointed, the amenities are all upscale, and best of all they have certain interest rates that make the stay in this truly excellent establishment also affordable. I usually do not write comments on my travel experiences, even though I am an enthusistic reader of these pages, but wanted to add my thoughts about this truly gracious establishment.
nice hotel in lovely location
I booked a room for my husband and me at the Mandarin Oriental in the historic section. When we arrived I asked to see the room and did not like it. I felt like I would have claustrophobia in the room. It looked much nicer on website photos. I asked if we could be moved to the other section and the staff person said he would have to check if there was availability in our price category if not we could have antoher room for 50 euros more(something I was not willing to do) He came back after 10 minutes and showed us aroom for same price. It was quite small but beautifully appointed. (Also looked much larger on website photos)
The biggest problem was the design of the room. Lots of wasted space, such as a front entry hall(dead space) The way it was designed it made the bedroom part very small. Big problem was the rediculous design of the shower/tub. It was very difficult to enter because the glass door did not open it was glued in. So you couldnt turn on water and adjust before entering.
The positive was that it was in a nice quiet location, Mala Strana area which was close to many interesting sights but not congested with tourists near the hotel.
concierge was helpful. We wanted to use the jacuzzi which they wanted to charge a rediculous price for(I think $50 for 30 minutes) so we decided not to. Expensive hotel. They had so many staff people who stood around because there wasnt enough work.
Beautiful property, not quite perfect
We stayed here for one night, after spending a couple at the Radisson Prague. Wanted to try it out, but had been slightly put off by some of the (I think overly) negative reviews on Tripadvisor.
It's in a great location. Mala Strana is like some sort of toy town. The hotel is only a few minutes from Charles Bridge, which was of course packed with tourists. But the area immediately outside the hotel was quiet and peaceful.
We stayed in a deluxe room in the Spa building, which is set away from the main building, but linked by a funny and slightly spooky underground tunnel.
The room was very big. Really impressive. High quality fixtures and fittings - beautiful wooden floors, pale walls, and furnishings in jewel colours. 30-ish inch LCD TV and DVD player. Good mattress.
The bathroom was pretty great too - big tub, spacious separate shower enclosure, good quality toiletires, and a small LCD tv.
Breakfast was good - a sort of mix between buffet and a la carte, if you go for the English breakfast option.
Nice gym. Good for a hotel. Only point would be that some of the equipment was slightly peculiar - e.g. weights bench which was permanently set to incline and couldn't be set flat.
Staff looked efficient. We had check-in in the guest room, and were shown round the hotel. But I think they need to relax a little - maybe this will come in time.
But there were a few minor problems:
-The air conditioning in the room was alright, but not really strong enough to cope with a Prague summer. We heard other couples talking about how hot their room was too, so I don't think it's an isolated problem. The issue is that the main cold air outlet in the room opens out behind the curtains, so once they're drawn, the cold air gets trapped and doesn't come into the room.
-Newspaper didn't arrive in the morning.
-Other guests' room service trolleys were left in the corridor long after breakfast.
-When we checked out, front of desk insisted that breakfast wasn't included in our room rate - Seasonal Choices (which, by the way, is pretty good value). However, it was included, and only my repeated assertions got them to call someone and take breakfast off our room bill. I think they need to tell everyone what's included in what rate.
Overall, though, pretty good. Once they sort out the air con, and the staff get a bit more familiar with everything, it should be great. Deserves a higher rating on Tripadvisor.
Lovely hotel, nice staff but real issues
This is really about location and peace and quiet. Prague in August can be hell on earth, with tens of thousands of tourists in a very small town. The MO is a haven - a small (99 room) hotel on a very, very quiet street yet only 2-3 minutes walk from Charles Bridge. Its worth staying here just for that.
However, this place has real issues it needs to address. The buffet breakfast is very poor, and by Day 3 I had gone a la carte because I couldn't face the poor selection any longer. The food at dinner is excellent (and cheap) but SLOW - it took us 2.5 hours to eat 3 courses on the terrace. It was so dark by the time our mains arrived that I still have no idea what I ate. The wine list is ludicrously overpriced even by London standards and especially so when compared to the food. The only sensibly priced stuff is the 'by the glass' list, so we all took multiple glasses each instead.
Our Mandarin Deluxe room (Euro 504 on Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts rate) overlooked the small garden and was a good choice. However, the rooms are a little bland although the bathrooms are impressive. Lighting in the bathrooms is low as the light built into the mirror (in all rooms) has been disconnected due to safety issues - in smaller rooms this could be an issue.
At 8.15am on our 1st morning, we had a knock at the door. Outside was a porter and luggage trolley, saying (using my correct name) that he was here for my cases and a car to take me to the airport was outside. Er, no ....
No newspapers are delivered to rooms, although a global selection is available outside the restaurant. Why? No newspaper reading in bed here.
I asked the concierge to recommend a boat tour operator. He recommended Prague Venice, who are based by Charles Bridge (the sales team wear sailor suits). This was easily the worst river tour I have ever had. The boats travel at literally 2-3 miles an hour and do not even go as far as the InterCon hotel - not even 0.5 mile upstream - before turning back!! It was laughably poor and a complete rip-off.
In general, the staff are very keen to help but simply do not know what they are doing. The difference between MO and Four Seasons is that FS offer staff a career, moving from country to country whenever they want. This lets them retain good staff at all levels, even waiters. It was noticeable that all the MO customer facing staff seemed to be locals with no attempt to bring in expertise from around the group.
The Four Seasons in Prague has, I understand, problems with room quality and needs a refurb, which is why the MO is the best choice. For peace and quiet, the MO will always beat the FS hands down but I'd need reassurance about their service standards before going there again.
What absolute luxury. This was a couples holiday for a 40th birthday present. The hotel had just been refurbished and were offering a complimentary night and spa treatment. We stayed on a bed and breakfast rating.
The hotel is a refurbished 14th century monastry and is beautiful, albeit in a quiet part of Prague. Very art deco, totally spacious, massive bathrooms with separate shower, double-end bath and robes/slippers. Your sheets are turned back, slippers to the side, robe over the bed and a bottle of water on the bedstand ready for you to retire. We had a complimentary bottle of champagne and truffles on arrival which was perfect (after letting Gabriela Spergrova know it was a birthday treat!).
Lovely bars, tad expensive, but staff are friendly. One of the showers broke in a friend's room and they were immediately upgraded to a suite. That was really something.
If you are looking to spoil yourself or a loved one, this is definitely the hotel to stay in.
Location wise, it was only about 10/15mins walk from the centre of Prague, bars and restaurants. I would go back, if only for the hotel and spa alone.