Prague: Where to Stay

The Augustine

THE AUGUSTINE, PRAGUE The Rocco Forte Collection
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Prague's newest five-star hotel, the Augustine Hotel Prague, is simply heavenly, fashioned as it is from seven buildings surrounding the cloisters of the 13th century St. Thomas Church and Monastery, and featuring a working community of Augustinian friars living in adjoining quarters. The result is an upscale hotel that conveys ecclesiastical serenity — but not monastic austerity.

Designers have converted the old monastery cells into 101 plush rooms, many with vaulted ceilings and marble bathrooms with heated floors. Heavy linens in papal-inspired shades of purple, red and orange channel a relaxing warmth, while furniture inspired by 1930s Czech Cubism gives the rooms a quirky edge. All suites boast views of Prague Castle, the monastery or garden courtyards. Most impressive, however, are the 360-degree views from the Tower Suite, a three-story penthouse that once served as the monastery's observatory.

The former refectory houses a bar where visitors sip sinful "Archangel" cocktails beneath 19th century Baroque frescoes. And the monastery's centuries-old brewery has been brought back to life in a cavernous cellar; it once again brews an aromatic lager that follows the monks' time-honored recipe. When you tire of gluttony, head to the Augustine spa to cleanse your sins with holistic therapies, including a body wrap — in beer — that nourishes the skin. A divine experience.

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