Buddha Bar Hotel, Prague, Czech Republic ***

Q: What is it? A:The first Buddha Bar Hotel in the world is a hotel that tries to be stylish and modern and all that jazz. I have very few complaints about the rooms but what about the rest?

Buddah Bar Hotel, Prague, Czech Republic – the bedroom
The Buddha-folks went through a lot of trouble to create this. There are dragons all over the place and scarlet-on-black furniture and curtain tassels and a myriad of little details that will try to tell you that you’re not in Prague anymore but on 8, rue Boissy-d’Anglas… The hotel was on the Conde Nast Traveler “Hot List Hotels 2009”. And that may be crucial info: It was on a hot list in 2009!

Buddah  Bar Prague, Czech Republic – bathroom with sink
If you ask me, bathrooms are the most attractive spaces in this building. Mosaics and blinds and pretty sinks and whatnot. They are also fairly functional. Thanks. Add to that the space – this is not a phone booth-sized area. This is a room. Thanks again.

Buddah Bar Hotel, Prague, Czech Republic – the bathtub
If you’ve got a thing for tubs, this will make you happy. Egg-shaped with dragon decor on the outside. At this moment, it’s quite hard to tell that you’re in an Art Nouveau-building situated on a cobblestone street in Prague.

Buddah Bar Hotel, Prague, Czech Republic – the toilet
No review on this website would be complete without a toilet pic. In this case, said pic comes with a hardwood floor and alligator-style tiles. It looks pretty good and the toilet… the toilet is a Balena 8000. Google and behold. Not just another porcelain altar. This is something more…

When Buddha turns into an industry.
The Buddha Bar in Paris opened in 1996. Raymond Visan owner of the Parisian waterhole Barfly, created something that changed the bar world a bit more slightly, the hotel world not so much, but totally overturned the market for lounge music CDs (there are now 15 of these albums released – the first two produced by French pop/dance icon Claude Challe). And with a concept that has found itself to 15 different countries around the globe, it’s pretty clear that this pseudo-Oriental concept has its supporters. But… what about it being turned into a hotel?

Phase one: Pick a street in Prague.
It’s pretty central. It’s located close to the Old Town Square and Parizska street. Fill it with the all the artifacts you’d need to create an ”Asian/French colonial ambiance” and find the staff and… in January 2009 it opened as the first Buddha Bar Hotel in the world. But efforts to acquire the right chandeliers were obviously greater than to train its staff. It’s one of a few places where I felt bad chemistry between the people manning the front desk. The fact that they were dealing with some business event at the same time probably contributed, but… no. Any hotel trying to walk the walk should be able to cope with a guest arriving at the same time.

Phase two: Furnish the rooms like… a Buddha Bar.
Rooms are pretty loaded with stuff. The size of this Premier Room helps a little but… it does by no means offer a lot of space. The bathroom is getting quite a big chunk of the 40 square meters and is by far the most attractive space within this entire hotel. The bed is super-comfy as well. I just wish that the public spaces would live up to the same standards. Hint: They don’t. Instead they feel jaded and worn-out just the way nightclub spaces do when you access them in daylight. You may also experience the untz-untz-untz spreading through the building at night.

A good thing: It’s not expensive.
Not much in Prague is expensive. But this place is so much cheaper than, say your regular Holiday Inn that you may question the bill for the opposite reason than at other times. At the moment of writing, the folks at the hotel PR department are trying to keep the jetset factor up, boasting guests like Ivana Trump, British pair of tits Katie Price (A K A Jordan) and Italian slalom stallion Alberto Tomba. Not that I have any problems with staying in the same place as these guests, but… a new approach to PR may be necessary. And again, maybe a little more work on how to work a reception. Final verdict: Recommended for rooms but not for its coolness factor. On the other hand, I thought that those CDs sucked in the 90s as well…

Buddha Bar Hotel
Jakubská 649/8
110 00 Prague
Czech Republic


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