Billie Holiday Suite -  Aria Hotel, Czech Republic

Aria Hotel

The 52-room Aria Hotel celebrates the city’s love affair with music in a contemporary, Art Deco setting. Each of the four floors is named for a musical genre, such as Opera, Jazz and Classical. Rooms bear the names of musicians or composers such as Puccini, Dvorák and Louis Armstrong and contain related books, art and music. Many have lovely rooftop views of the surrounding buildings, as does the fine-dining restaurant, Coda, which serves up food on the rooftop terrace in summer. Modern furniture in bright forms and tones liven up the guest rooms, which feel like stylish pied-à-terres with muted yellow, beige or gray walls. Every room comes with an iPad and cellphone with free Internet and unlimited international calling for guests to use while roaming the city.

The leitmotif runs from the beautiful mosaic tiles in the lobby floor, where the notes from a Gregorian chant are unfurled, to the CDs and DVDs in each room. The beautifully appointed public rooms include two screening rooms (one holds six people; the other, forty) that can be booked for personal screenings. The Music Salon has a fireplace, comfy leather chairs and shelves lined with books on music, and the Winter Garden restaurant serves wonderful light soups, salads and sandwiches. And be sure to visit the Music Library, where a Ph.D. in musicology will arrange tickets, lend CDs and advise you on Prague’s best musical events.

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Augustine, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Prague

Housed in an ancient monastery, Augustine manages to mix contemporary, uniquely Czech design elements with its historically serene surroundings. Located in the Mala Strana district, at the foot of Prague Castle and adjacent to the Wallenstein Palace, the hotel is also within walking distance to such restaurants as Café Savoy and U Modré Kachnicky. As for the monks who used to live in the monastery, part of the hotel complex is reserved for the few who still live here, making the history of this special property come to life (the hotel can arrange tours of their quarters).

The hotel has 101 spacious guest rooms decorated in green or orange hues, all differently laid out. Though none offer river views, as the former monastery is tucked into the neighborhood's low-rise buildings, some guest rooms boast views of Prague Castle or the St. Thomas Monastery, which is particularly lovely when illuminated at night. The entrance and façade is hidden on the side of a busy road with a blind corner, so be sure to book at least a Deluxe category room or higher, as all Classic rooms directly overlook this road and guests may experience noise issues.

Augustine has a small spa and two restaurants. There’s an outdoor alcove off the restaurant where guests can have coffee or drinks year-round; in colder months the hotel provides blankets and space heaters (don't miss trying the St. Thomas beer, which the monks at the Augustine brew). The staff here is attentive and helpful, especially the excellent concierge team who go out of their way to assist guests.

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Four Seasons Hotel Prague

The Four Seasons Prague has been the obvious luxury choice in the city since it opened in 2001, boasting views of the river and Prague Castle.

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Interior View - Hotel Josef,  Prague, Czech Republic - Courtesy of Stefan Schuetz

Hotel Josef

This 109-room hotel is the preferred retreat for young media types.
Suite at Mandarin Oriental Prague, Prague, Czech Republic

Mandarin Oriental Prague

While some guest rooms of the Mandarin Oriental Prague feature vaulted and arched ceilings, all are individually designed and have a modernist edge to them, with contemporary furniture and textiles. Limestone bathrooms have such thoughtful additions as heated floors and décor seems to marry the best of Czech design with Asian aesthetics.

A series of rooms on the courtyard have semi-private terraces and outdoor seating areas, which allows for a state of calm respite in warm months. (During winter, these rooms might feel slightly dark and guests would be happier on higher floors). Unlike some properties, the difference between a Superior and Deluxe room is a great jump in size, so springing for a premium category might make all the difference in a stay, particularly if making use of one of the hotel’s roll-away beds for a child. Due to the historical status of the building, there are no traditional closets in rooms and free-standing wardrobes are found instead.    

The spa is housed in a Renaissance chapel, built over the ruins of a Gothic chapel and a glass floor shows the remains. The underground passageway between buildings has multiple niches displaying fascinating finds that archaeologists dug up during construction. The fitness room is very well equipped and rumor has it that Madonna spent up to seven hours per day there during a stay.

The Monastery Lounge has soaring vaulted ceilings, beautiful ambient lighting and draperies adorned with Gothic text. Tea and drinks are served in the cozy nooks throughout the day. The property also features Essencia restaurant, a wine cellar for private entertaining and Barego bar.

The two-story Presidential Suite has a small kitchenette located in a wardrobe (enough to make kids’ meals), two bedrooms, and a top floor living/dining room. The massive terrace provides one of the most stunning views of the city.

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The Emerald

Centrally-located in Prague's medieval Old Town, The Emerald hotel’s 13 apartments invite guests to live like a stylish local.

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