I first heard of Buddha Bar about 9 years ago from a German coworker who used to listen to the Buddha Bar music all the time. I remember thinking it was très Euro-chic, so I was excited to have a chance to experience the first Buddha Bar Hotel in Prague on our recent trip. Other Buddha Bar hotels will be opening in the next couple years in Budapest, Paris, Panama, and Sal Hasheesh.
I was a little concerned that it would be too themey and kitschy, but I was relieved and impressed to see how well everything was done. The overall feeling was sexy, moody and totally luxurious. My inner geek was also intrigued by the fact that everything was automated and remote-controlled including the curtains, blinds, all the lights, and the toilet. Yes, the toilet! It was a Toto shower toilet with various wash options. Not my thing, but it was quite entertaining to hear Jed laughing hysterically from the bathroom when he figured out how to get it working. I especially liked the lighting throughout the hotel. In the rooms, the headboards were backlit, casting a beautiful ambient light, and everything was on dimmers. I also loved the hallways, which were dark except for a glowing rectangle with the room number in the floor at the entrance to each room. They looked like otherworldly welcome mats. And I should mention the free Wifi was a great bonus – no roaming data charges on my iPhone!
Our beautiful 3rd floor corner room had a view of this church, St. James.
The public spaces were equally fun. There is the more casual first floor restaurant where we had a fantastic breakfast every morning. It has dramatic high ceilings and a wall of colorful glowing buddhas. The color scheme was red with bright blue accents and dark wood.
The fancier, trendier restaurant and cocktail lounge were downstairs in the basement level. The space has a great, dramatic layout with the lounge along a mezzanine overlooking the restaurant seating below. Huge pendant light fixtures hang down over the open space above the restaurant seating, and an enormous Buddha sits two stories high at one end of the space. Jed and I had cocktails in the lounge a couple of times. I had my all time best cocktail there called Fire B with vodka, fresh strawberry juice (nothing like the syrupy nastiness most cocktails are made with), basil and chili pepper. Spicy and delicious! We ate at the restaurant one night, and unfortunately I can’t recommend it. The food was fine, nothing special, and the service not so great. The view of the space is also definitely best from the lounge mezzanine seating.
Overall, I thought it was a great hotel, and I would definitely go back. Jed and I stayed at the Four Seasons the last two nights we were in Prague because Jed had a conference there for work, and all I could think the whole time we were there was how much I missed Buddha Bar!