Five Best: Hotels in print works
Hot off the press: designer accommodation with a twist.
Saturday 29 September 2007
Mandarin Oriental, Prague
The Mandarin Oriental Prague is an architectural hotchpotch: it has been used as a Dominican monastery, a Renaissance chapel and a 14th-century convent. It was pressed into service as the state printworks in the 19th century; its most recent incarnation is as a deluxe hotel in the quiet, upmarket Mala Strana district. In accordance with strict preservation rules, many of the original features have been restored: hand-rendered wall finishes, parquet flooring, vaulted ceilings and exposed wood beams.
Mandarin Oriental, Nebovidska 459/1, Mala Strana, Prague, Czech Republic (00 420 233 088 888; www.mandarinoriental.com).Double rooms start at ¿208 (£149), room only
Hôtel Bel-Ami, Paris
Paris's literary Left Bank provides the setting for this converted 18th-century printworks. A stone's throw from the famous writers' and philosophers' haunts of Café de Flore and Les Deux Magots, the hotel was once part of the Abbey of St-Germain-des-Prés and later a printworks, and was renovated by that pioneer of the boutique hotel, Grace Leo-Andrieu. Spacious and light, the rooms are an assortment of modern and bright or traditionally furnished with warm earthy tones.
Hôtel Bel-Ami, rue St Benoit, St-Germain-des-Prés, Paris, France (00 33 1 42 61 53 53; www.hotel-bel-ami.com). Double rooms start at €270 (£193), room only
Enterprise Hotel, Milan
The derelict printworks of the weekly crossword magazine La Settimana Enigmistica was renovated five years ago to become one of Milan's first design hotels. The rooms, suites and loft apartments have parquet flooring and both modern and antique oriental furnishings; original features such as interior courtyards, lofty ceilings and industrial-size windows have all been restored. Bar Priv is a riot of gold leaf and glittering green mosaic columns, and the first-floor Sophia's restaurant is reached via a curving staircase of red Damascus marble that is illuminated by the original industrial skylights.
Enterprise Hotel, Corso Sempione 91, Milan, Italy (00 39 02 318 181; www.enterprisehotel.com). Double rooms start at €123 (£88), including breakfast
The Print Hotel, Liverpool
The chic Print Hotel opened in central Liverpool this summer. Built as a tea warehouse towards the end of the 19th century, it was later converted to a factory that printed bus guides, history books and dictionaries until 1965. Its recent overhaul has added fancy loft suites and duplex penthouses, complete with exposed pine beams, polished wooden floors, striking custom-made furniture as well as marble-clad bathrooms.
The Print Hotel, 56-58 Stanley Street, Liverpool (0870 033 4450; www.theprinthotel.co.uk). Double rooms start at £100, room only
The Fort Printers, Galle
This 18th-century mansion is characteristic of the colonial architecture of the World Heritage site, Galle Fort. The five suites feature a mix of colonial and South Asian design, with whitewashed walls, shuttered windows, daybeds, antique writing desks and silk furnishings in colours evocative of a market spice stall. The original printing press that was once in service in the building – where it was used to press stationery, business cards and a monthly newsletter – stands resplendent in the entrance hall.
The Fort Printers, 39 Pedlar Street, Galle Fort, Sri Lanka (00 94 912247977; www.thefortprinters.com). Double rooms start at US$153 (£77), including breakfast
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