The Mainport Design hotel – Rotterdam

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Chain: Design/Inntel hotels
Location: Rotterdam – The Netherlands
Classification: 5 star hotel
Official website: http://www.mainporthotel.com

I always wanted to visit the Mainport Design hotel in Rotterdam because i heard great things about it. The Mainport hotel did not disappoint (at all!). First of all, the location is great: right at the mainport of Rotterdam. You can’t miss the modern black building when you are closeby. The Mainport hotel offers Valet Parking to their guests, always a bonus! The reception area is bright and gives a good first impression. Check-in went smoothly and the lady behind the desk was very professional and efficient. She handed us our roomkeys and showed us the elevators.

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We stayed in a Waterfront Spa room which (surprisingly ;-)) had a fantastic view on the harbour. It was a very large room (approximately 44 m2) and the huge jacuzzi was definitely the highlight of the room with a diameter of 1,70 meter. We then noticed the XL Kingsized bed. 3 people could easily sleep in this bed, without doubt! Other features: a comfy couch, a beautiful desk and an Illy coffee machine. You could even relax in your private Finnish sauna in the bathroom. The large rainshower works perfect and is very useful after the sauna session. The mirror tv is a plus too. This truly is what a spa room should be. The decor is modern, but without being too “cold”. Please note the pinguins on the wall. Would I decorate my home like that, no … but in this hotel it is just perfect!

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Besides the great rooms, this hotel has a lot of other facilities such as the spa area. They call it “Spa Heaven” and they did chose the right name. It is located on the 8th floor and offers fantastic panoramic views over the city. There is a fitness center with good equipment, a Finnish sauna and hammam. At “Club H2O”(directly connected with the hotel spa on the 8th floor) there is another (small) fitness room, sauna, hammam and a swimmingpool. The whole place is very clean and has a “relaxing” feeling, but I should mention that the water in the pool is pretty cold though…

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At night, we had dinner at “Down under” after enjoying our yummie mojito’s in the cocktailbar “At the rocks”. The quality of the food was good and the prices were fair. Service was good, staff was very friendly and we didn’t had to wait too long before our courses were served.

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The next day we had breakfast: a buffet with a large selection of cold and hot items. Sparkling wine is always a plus. The eggs are prepared by the chef just like the way you want them to be prepared. All guests were politely and courteously greeted with a smile.

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The Mainport Design hotel deserves its 5 star rating. It has a lot to offer and everything is done with a smile. I would happily return!

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Buddha Bar Hotel – Prague

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Chain: Buddha-Bar hotels
Location: Prague – Czech Replublic
Classification: 5 star hotel
Official website: http://www.buddhabarhotelprague.com/

Buddha Bar (world renown for the great music) opened their first hotel in Prague in february 2009. I recently stayed at the Buddha Bar hotel in Budapest as well, so I knew this was going to be another experience… And that it was! The hotel is located in an authentic building in the modern part of Prague. Tons of shops and restaurants are close by so I did appreciate the location of this amazing Buddha Bar hotel. When you enter the hotel, you immediately notice the asian design. The small lobby is quite dark to be honest, but the guy at the check-in did make us feel very welcome and showed us around the hotel. This is a very hip and trendy hotel with a cool vibe and the Buddha Bar concept is everywhere: dark, music and luxurious.

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We stayed in a “premier room’ and were very pleased with the room. It has the most beautiful bed i have ever slept in, without kidding! It felt like heaven: so big and oh so soft! Drapes are remotely controlled and we did like the fact that there was a nespresso machine in the room (which seems quite unusual in hotels in Prague, but quite common in luxurious hotels around the world). The bathroom was one of the nicest I have ever seen. The oversized mosaic bathtub is a nice feature, as is the large rainshower. Oh, and I almost forget: the mirror-tv, loved it! Of course, every room has a surround sound system so you are able to listen to Buddha Bar music all day and all night long.

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The welcome drink/cocktail upon arrival was appreciated!

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The hotel has 2 restaurants: the main Buddha Bar restaurant is opened from tuesday to saturday. Unfortunately we were there on a sunday so I did not had the chance to review the restaurant, but we did had dinner at the Siddharta Café and liked it very much.

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There are no fitness facilities in the hotel, but guests can use a premium fitness facility just outside the hotel (3 minute walk). There is a “spa suite” in the hotel, but unfortunately only the hammam is free of charge. If you want to use the huge whirlpool, you’ll have to pay.

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After spending the night in the most awesome bed ever (☺) we had breakfast. It is a buffet style breakfast + you can order 1 à la carte item. I had the French toast – believe me – i ATE it ALL (and I normally don’t eat much at breakfast). Sparkling wine is offered as well at no extra charge.

Staying at the Buddha Bar hotel in Prague is unique! I am a (big) fan… Oh, and remember: a Buddha Bar hotel is not just another hotel, it is a lifestyle 🙂

The Augustine – Prague

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Location: Prague – Czech Replublic
Classification: 5 star hotel
Official website: http://www.augustinehotel.com/

Located in the center of Prague, the Augustine hotel (part of the Leading Hotels of the World) is a luxury 5 star hotel surrounded by the Wallenstein Gardens. On your way to the hotel, it is pretty difficult to find this hidden jewel but as soon as you enter the gate, you can feel this true classy feeling. The bellman will park your car and leads you to the reception area where the professional staff meets you. They gave us a glass of prosecco which is always appreciated.

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This hotel contains of 7 buildings including a 13th century monastery and brewery that once was home to the friars of Saint Augustine. I was impressed by how they mixed the original buildings with a modern touch. The hallways throughout the hotel are wide and large and everything is impeccably clean.

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Our room, which was a standardroom, was of a 5 star level. It was nicely decorated with a lounge chair, a very comfortable bed and had a large wardrobe. The marble bathroom had a heating floor (so we didn’t need to wear slippers, great!) and had a bathtub with rainshower head. Again, everything was clean and well maintained. Some items reflect the hotel’s monastic history such as a little statue of a monk in the bathroom and books about the history of the hotel on the bedside tables.

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We visited the hotel suites as well, so for those looking for even more luxury, do take a look at the pictures below. The suites at the Augustine hotel are spectacular and imense. They are like penthouses within the hotel with seperate bedrooms, dining areas, several bathrooms, meeting rooms and some even have kitchens. Of course, they do come with a price… ☺

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Guests of the Augustine can relax at the Spa area. Although not too large, it offers a Finnish sauna, a hammam and a relaxing area. The fitness room is quite large and has very good equipment.

The next day we had breakfast in the “Elegantes Restaurant” and was one of the best breakfasts we have ever had! There is a buffet offering quality products, but I also loved the à la carte items. The service was very professional and friendly as it should be in a hotel of this class.
Besides this restaurant, the Augustine also has 2 bars: one brewery style bar where you can taste their beer (do try it, it is quite yummie!) and the 1889 bar which is situated in the monastery’s hall with views on to one of the formale garden squares.

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Great hotel in a good location with a great service! Highly recommended!

Aria hotel – Prague

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Hotelchain: Library hotel collection
Location
: Prague – Czech Replublic
Classification: 5 star hotel
Official website: http://www.ariahotel.net/

Voted as one of the best hotels in Czech Republic, I was very excited to stay at the Aria Hotel in Prague. The main theme of this beautiful 5 star boutique hotel is “music” and you can “feel” the music theme throughout the entire hotel… From the g-clefs on the hotels writing paper to the piano shaped counter in the hotel bar.

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The hotel is located in a very quiet street in the center of Prague. When we entered the hotel, we were greeted by the most friendly bellman. Check-in went smoothly and the receptionist showed us around the hotel in a very informal yet professional way. He also showed us the “hidden door” to the gardens which I will tell more about later.

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After the introduction we went exploring the hotelroom. The room itself is quite big and has a classic decoration. There was a comfy couch and a huge bed. The classic bathroom was not luxurious, but had all the amenities we needed such as a large sink and great toiletries. I did like the fact that there was a pc in the room and I loved the Apple Tv. There is a large selection of free music and movies. Very nice! I should also mention that the room was spotlessly clean.

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We went down again to the beautiful reception area and enjoyed our welcome drink in the bar. Every guest is offered a complimentary drink on arrival and you can choose almost whatever you want. I had a great cocktail with wodka and loved every sip ☺

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Of course, we were curious about their “hidden door” and opened it with our room key. What we saw there really is the main feature of the hotel: the baroque Vrtbovska garden. It is opened to the public during the day, but during the evening only hotelguests can enter the gardens. While situated in the center of beautiful Prague, this tranquil place has so much beauty to offer! I was blown away by how well maintained and large this garden is. The views are just spectacular as you can see on the pictures below…

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We then realized that we were in a very beautiful part of Prague and went upstairs to the rooftopterrace, where the restaurant is located. Again, we were amazed by the view! This really is a hidden gem and there were surprisingly few people around there. This terrace offers one of the best views of the city! You should definitely check it out when you are there! We had lunch on the terrace and both service and quality of the food was outstanding!

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Oh, and when the weather is bad the Aria hotel offers lots of inside facilities as well such as a music and movie library with free use of cd’s and movies, 2 “cinema” rooms with large movie screens and a fitness area with sauna and hammam.

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Breakfast was good with a (small) buffet and some à la carte items. The service was very friendly and the eggs we ordered were yummie! Priced at 15 EUR, the breakfast is a great bargain. They even offer sparkling wine, free of charge.

I enjoyed every minute of my stay at the Aria hotel in Prague and recommend it! The service they provide, the most beautiful gardens and a fantastic rooftop terrace make this hotel truly unique!