Redefining Hospitality Through Art & Technology
By Caroline Corrigan

Every hotel strives for that “home away from home” feel. A balance of home-life comforts mixed with an exciting touch of the new and unfamiliar. Sure, it may sound cliche. But the ways in which The Emblem Hotel has mastered this balance are anything but.

Entrance Emblem Hotel
Opened in 2015 in the heart of Prague’s Old Town by Helena Valtrova, her brother Richard Valtr, and Ivan Propper, The Emblem isn’t just a hotel — it’s an experience. Drawing on Prague’s rich cultural history and thriving art scene, the hotel goes above and beyond to provide every guest with a curated trip to Prague that fits their personal style, as well the ultimate in comfort and convenience within the hotel itself.

“It’s a place that really caters to you being able to live your most comfortable, best life here with us,” said Hannah Adams, the hotel’s creative director and brand manager.

The Emblem’s unique approach to hospitality has two fundamental components. First is to make art and culture accessible to everyone through the hotel’s many philanthropic partnerships with art galleries and other culture-oriented businesses based in Prague. Second is to accommodate each guest’s particular needs through their network of cutting-edge integration technologies made specifically for the hospitality industry.

Emblem Hotel Events 3
“Making sure we’re connected with the local scene [in Prague] is very important to me,” said Adams. “The companies we partner with have the same idea we have: respect that Prague has this interesting history — especially this neighborhood, and even this building — while also focusing on the future, such as with technology and other ideas.”

Before guests arrive, they are sent an email survey that asks them to describe the kind of trip they’re looking for — what activities they’re interested in, what kind of food they like, if they’d like to request any special amenities (flowers, prosecco, etc.). Based on their response, each guest is sent a list of activities, restaurants, and events they might find interesting.

Adams said these personalized itineraries are meant to help guests engage with Prague in ways they might enjoy, without being overbearing.

“We solve things for you that you didn’t even know you needed to have solved, so that you feel 100% comfortable here in both the hotel and the city,” she said. “We’re not pushy about it, we just make sure everyone has everything they need by going above and beyond with our services.”

One of the most interesting features the hotel offers for guests’ convenience is a “handy smartphone” in each of its 59 rooms. Handy is an Android smartphone that was designed to be “the world’s first mobile ecosystem for hospitality.” It allows guests to perform a number of tasks, such as ordering room service, requesting extra towels or pillows from the concierge through a chat portal, viewing events going on around the city, and much more.

Emblem Hotel Prague 3
Each handy phone also has a data plan, and guests are allowed to take them around the city so they can easily make calls and go online without eating into their own data plans. Photos taken on the phone can also be transferred to the guest’s personal phone or computer.

“Our service is something we pride ourselves on a lot,” Adams said. “Finding ways technology can help with that is awesome.”

This can be especially, er, handy if guests choose to participate in one of the hotel’s most exclusive offerings: a guided journey through Prague’s contemporary art scene. These “Art Walks” are the product of a 2015 collaboration between The Emblem and the ARE art organization in Prague. Guests simply choose a tour option that appeals to them, and then a curator from ARE takes them to a few different galleries throughout the city.  

Although The Emblem partners with many creative businesses around Prague, including reSITE, Mouvo, and art galleries such as the Prague National Gallery and the Rudolfinum Gallery, their partnership with ARE is the most evident. The works of many Czech and international artists donated through ARE adorn the walls of the hotel, serving not only to enhance the hotel’s distinctive aesthetic, but also to act as a reminder of the hotel’s deep support of the arts. The partnership with ARE has also resulted in an art Library in the hotel’s lower level, inviting guests to dive deeper into the history of contemporary Czech art.

Emblem Hotel Rooms 14
The hotel not only houses art, it is art. Taking inspiration from the Art Deco movement, its atmosphere is one that exudes both luxury and hominess — think low lighting, a spectrum of earthy beiges and browns accented with gold. The kind of place where wearing a swanky smoking jacket and sipping on a glass of the finest whiskey would be completely acceptable (and welcomed in the hotel’s Fumoir room).

According to Adams, the hotel’s interior design was conceived by former creative director and hotel co-founder, Richard Valtr. From the quirky “potato lamps” in the hallways made by Polish architect Bartosz Swiniarski, to the bathroom marble that Valtr personally picked out on a trip to Carrara, Italy (rather than going through a distributor), it’s clear that a lot of care and thoughtfulness went into each room.

“He put so much heart and soul into it,” said Adams. “The stories and the people behind everything matter just as much as the actual products.”

This is truly the foundation of The Emblem’s philosophy, and what distinguishes it from other hotels, both in Prague and abroad — the people behind everything. Every detail, every consideration is accounted for by the hotel’s staff and seamlessly executed through an impressive use of state-of-the-art technologies. This perfect pairing of the intrinsic value of art with the practical value of technology has allowed The Emblem to redefine the meaning of quality service in the hospitality industry. It is indeed a home away from home.

         
  The Emblem Hotel

The Emblem Hotel
Platnéřská 19, Prague 1



TEL.: +420 226 202 500

FAX: +420 226 202 501

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Web: www.emblemprague.com
 

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