September, Our Favorite Month

by Sarah Tuff

For hundreds of years, monks thought of beer as liquid bread—healthy, life-giving sustenance—and started some of the world's first breweries. How fitting, then, that Prague, the city of pilsner, is finding new life for a 14th-century Dominican monastery. Later this month the building in Mala Strana, on the left bank of the Vltava River, reopens as a Mandarin Oriental, surrounded by the Baroque, Romanesque, and Renaissance glories of Prague. The 99-room hotel has retained many original architectural elements, including vaulted ceilings in the dining room and many of the guest rooms (ask for one in the old monastery section). It's a happy addition to Prague's hotel scene during a month when Prague is a pretty happy place: The low-fare hordes of August have gone home, the sun is shining on the Charles Bridge and the old Jewish Quarter, and the Czech Opera's new season at the National Theatre starts with performances of La Traviata and Carmen. During intermission, order a bottle of Budvar and toast the monks.

Mandarin Oriental Prague
Tel: 420 233 088 888
Doubles from $280 through March 2007

National Theatre
Tel: 420 224 932 086

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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