by Terence Baker | October 01, 2006

Petr Marek“The hotel is part Renaissance, part baroque. Parts date from the 14th century.”

Petr Marek is director of sales and marketing for the Mandarin Oriental, Prague, which opened on Sept. 12 in the Czech Republic’s capital. Among its amenities, the 99-room property has a spa and a restaurant serving Asian and pan-European cuisine.

Is this Mandarin Oriental’s first property in any of the former Iron Curtain nations?
Yes, in fact, it is, and we’re very excited about it. The property is in Prague’s Little Quarter, a very historical area that is just five minutes from the St. Charles Bridge. Part of the building but independent of the hotel is the city’s Museum of Music.

What is your favorite part of the hotel?
The Baroque Wing. The hotel is part Renaissance, part baroque, and the latter area includes the Grand Ballroom, which leads to a wonderful cafe adjacent to a garden. Parts of the hotel date from the 14th century, and the whole building served for centuries as a Dominican monastery, so all the public and meeting spaces have high ceilings and unique architecture, especially the ballrooms, both of which served as the monks’ refectory.

Have you always worked in Prague?
I started in the hospitality industry in 1992, in Prague, but since that time I have worked in hotels in Austria, Sweden and the United States, in Florida and New York City. Actually, my first job was working at the Blue Duck restaurant -- U Modre Kachnicky, in Czech -- in Prague, which, coincidentally, is next door to the Mandarin Oriental, so you could say I have gone full circle.