Flying high

The Prague Post

Mövenpick Prague offers businesspeople, children a comforting place to stay

There aren’t many buildings shaped like a bird’s beak in Prague. And, if you weren’t told beforehand, you might miss the resemblance the Mövenpick Hotel in Prague 5 has to a waterfowl’s bill.

“Möve means gull in German,”” explains Martina Podlipná, marketing manager for Mövenpick Hotel Prague. “”Our building is in the shape of a bird, with its peak being the bird’s beak.”

In the beginning, long before it got into the hotel business, the Mövenpick franchise was a European restaurant chain.

While the Mövenpick Prague has always been a hotel, it has not forgotten its roots and showcases its culinary skills in a variety of different ways. The Mövenpick Restaurant in the hotel’s main building is a sleek and modern space. White, beige and lots of windows combine for a classy look.

“We are a Swiss hotel chain, and, since Mövenpick was originally a restaurant, it’s known for its cuisine,” explains Podlipná. “We always have a variety of Swiss food to offer, as well as Mövenpick’s own brands of coffee, yogurt and ice cream.”

The Mövenpick Restaurant is located off the hotel lobby, a bright, open area. Windows are the main design feature, allowing for lots of natural light and decoration. Steel and glass comprise the front wall. The stairs are exposed and color is brought in through a burnt-orange wall paired with dark-red furniture. Individual reception stands, versus the typical hotel counter, add a private touch to your welcome. The Lobby Bar — a fun, funky spot for a quick coffee or snack — is also located here.

“It’s one of my favorite spaces — modern and classic,” says Podlipná.

The red hue is brought in with the furnishings, including an ice-cream bar complete with round stools and a glass ice-cream case. Another case offers sweets. There’s seating available at the front tables, and space nestled in the back for those looking for a little more privacy.

The main building consists of standard and superior rooms as well as suites. Another unique feature of the Mövenpick is the separate executive wing, which is accessible via a cable car. Primarily, it’s business clients who stay in this wing, taking advantage of the amenity-filled suites and executive rooms. Access to their own reception desk and a variety of conference rooms is another bonus for the working traveler.

The hotel’s modern look is not only formed by its wide-ranging use of windows, but also with bright spots of color. The superior rooms in the executive wing have a simple palate of greens, peach and white, while the hallways liven things up a bit with their textured, off-white wallpaper and teal door frames. Room decorations consist of Minimalist simple watercolor paintings of Prague. Rooms facing the back of the building or the hillside have balconies. The hotel’s two buildings are separated by a city-owned park, a bonus for those staying quite close to the city center and surrounded by the hubbub of Anděl.

Riding the cable car up to the executive wing, you pass directly over a park with views of Prague on all sides.

“The cable car acts like a lift. You have to call for it,” says Podlipná. “It’s 150 meters [495 feet] up the hill, and makes about 500 trips a day. Kids love it. They can ride up and then walk back down through the park.”

The Mövenpick has wisely decided to take advantage of the area’s surrounding beauty.

“The Il Giardino restaurant has a terrace overlooking the city and a barbecue grill,” Podlipná points out. And “the Tower Lounge is surrounded on three sides with windows and also has a terrace.”

Both of these spaces also have lovely indoor features. Il Giardino has an Italian village frescoed onto one wall. The painting, a hillside with white buildings spilling down to the bright blue of the sea, puts one in a Mediterranean frame of mind. Blue clouds are painted on the ceiling, along with wooden beams and gray columns, which further the feeling.

The Tower Lounge, by comparison, is a tiny, sophisticated spot that offers a miniature bar, white-leather club chairs paired with beige high-backed seating. The subtle furnishings allow the focus to be on the view.

Vivid coloring is seen throughout the hotel. Nearly every floor boasts a different color — purple, orchid, etc. The lobby here offers green marble flooring and blue suede chairs.

Austrian architect Heinz Neumann is responsible for the unique coloring. His emphasis on dark reds and blues acts as a contrast to the bright greens of the park in the Mövenpick’s backyard.

Currently, 45 percent of the hotel’s guests are corporate clients, and Mövenpick is looking to increase that number, Podlipná says.

“Our advantages can be found in our gastronomy and client services,” she says. “We offer excellent quality, and that’s why people come back.”

Built in 1996, the hotel, which is owned by MP Development, retains its clean, cheerful feeling.

“Our rooms are cozy, not super modern, and we want that sentiment to stay with [guests] with our staff interactions,” Podlipná says.