send to printer

Aria Hotel, Prague

Editor's Pick
Prague, Czech Republic, Europe: A junior suite at the Aria Hotel
9 Trziste
Czech Republic 11800
Tel: 420 225 334 111's insider take:

Opened in 2003 by Henry Kallan of Manhattan's Hotel Gansevoort fame, the music-themed Aria has only gotten stronger since it was sold to Czech investors in 2005. Each of the four floors in this hotel is dedicated to a music genre: classical, opera, jazz, and contemporary. Furthermore, each of the 52 rooms invokes a different composer, musician, or performer. So if there's only one room left, and it's the Led Zeppelin, and you're Bryn Terfel…tough. But the music theme is no gimmick. An in-room computer displays the designated musician's biography and holds his (they are mostly men, though Billie is represented) entire oeuvre. Rich wall hangings and artwork also reference the requisite era, and those Versace flourishes? They're no accident—the place was designed by the late Gianni's decorator, Rocco Magnoli. On top of all this, the red-and-tan leather Music Salon has a library of music books; the Music Library has a vast collection of CDs and DVDs (to play in the plush, soundproof Music Box); the Winter Garden has a concert-quality Petrov grand; and musicologist Ivana Stehlikova, Ph.D., is on staff to tell you which concerts to catch. As a coda, a trendy restaurant of the same name has a roof terrace from which to spy on the Mala Strana's rooftop symphony; there's also a fitness center with a steam bath. It's the kind of place travelers in the mood for a little local color along with their opulent appointments gravitate toward; plus, Mala Strana is the quietest part of old Prague, away from the larger crowds (and attractions) of Old Town.

From the readers of Condé Nast Traveler:
Overall Score: 86.7
  • Design: 87.2
  • Food: 82.2
  • Location: 95.7
  • Rooms: 85.1
  • Service: 83.0
A few minutes' walk from Old Town Square, this music-themed former theater strikes a playful tone starting with the music-note floor mosaic in the lobby. Rooms, on floors named for genres like opera and jazz, have views of St. Nicholas Church or the hotel's gardens, and modern or traditional decor. Restaurant Coda's Continental-Czech menu—think crispy Vod«nany duck—gives "plenty of choice, and the waitstaff are superb"; a terrace overlooking red-tile rooftops is open in warmer months.

(51 rooms)
—2011 Gold List
Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.