Pavel Ruml – Head Concierge, Mandarin Oriental Prague
Read our exclusive interview with Pavel Ruml, Head Concierge of the Mandarin Oriental Prague, for an insight into some of the best things to do in Prague.
Apart from your hotel, what’s your favourite restaurant in town?
For great authentic Italian cuisine, I love to go to La Finestra in Cucina in the Old Town. The restaurant specialises in meat from organic farms in Italy, Spain and the USA. You can watch your meal being prepared in the open kitchens, and it’s such a beautiful and special place in terms of decor and service.
What is your favourite shop, and why?
Shopping in Prague is wonderful fun, and items bought from Moser, the local glass company (founded in 1857), will last a lifetime. This is where you can pick up the very finest stemware, decorative glassware (such as vases, ashtrays, candlesticks), glass gifts and various art engravings. Even better, its history is fascinating. Moser’s most famous claim to fame is that it created a formula for manufacturing glass as hard as rock and as brilliant as lead crystal, without using lead.
What cultural pursuits would you recommend in your destination?
I would always recommend that visitors enjoy a night out at the Estates Theatre, where Mozart conducted two of his premieres himself, Don Giovanni and La Clemenza di Tito. The theatre offers performances of drama, ballet and opera, with opera focusing on the works of Mozart. Did you know that the scenes of Mozart in Prague in the film Amadeus were shot at the Estates Theatre for authenticity? Spending an evening there is something you won’t ever forget.
On a day off with nothing planned, where would you go, and why?
Vysehrad, meaning the ‘upper castle’ in Czech, was built around the 10th century and houses the oldest buildings in Prague. It also offers stunning panoramic views of the city as it is off the beaten path from the tourist waves. Walkways are newly renovated, and the whole park is nicely maintained all year round. This magical place has a connection to many local myths and legends involving princesses, kings, wild boars and horses – a local guide should be able to fill in the blanks. Do not miss the famous cemetery where many famous Czech composers, artists and sculptors are buried.
What is the hippest attraction near to you to take the family? And what would you recommend that couples shouldn’t miss?
Families with teenage kids (minimum 15 years old) should not miss Prague Fear House: it’s truly scary. For couples, I would recommend a private boat trip with a bottle of sparkling wine on our Mandarin Oriental Signature Boat.
What is the X factor of your city?
Prague is a fascinating museum of all major European architectural styles: romanesque, gothic, baroque, renaissance, art nouveau, cubism, functionalism, brutalism and post-modernism. The city centre remained intact for centuries and even remained unscathed during World War Two. The best way to enjoy Prague is on foot, with one of our exceptionally knowledgeable private guides to lead the way.
Name one thing your property offers, an added value that guests might not know about?
We design several different packages and offers seasonally. However, our year-round attraction is the spacious private terrace of our Presidential Suite, which has breathtaking views of Prague, undoubtedly some of the best in the city.
What is your most memorable moment (or day) spent at your property?
Every day is another story, but nothing can beat a yoga session in our renaissance chapel.
And finally, finish this sentence: ‘The best guest comment on the property I ever heard was…
‘It’s hard to imagine a better place to stay in Prague.’
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