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The Rocco Forte Collection”s latest five-star hotel, named ”The Augustine” after the monks who will remain on site, is set to open in Prague, January next year.
Located 10km away from Ruzyne International Airport in the city”s Lesser Town quarter, or Mala Strana, the hotel is close to Prague”s commercial district, Czech Parliament, Senate and embassies, as well as shopping areas and other historical sites.
Each of the 81 double or twin rooms and 20 suites will average 40sqm. However, the 140sqm Presidential Suite and three-floor Tower Suite will be considerably larger. A Rocco Forte spokesperson revealed rates starting at ”375 (”300), however special opening offers will be available.
The Augustine will also feature a 90-seat and 70-seat restaurant and two bars; two function rooms, one with a pre-function lobby; meeting facility with business centre including two meeting rooms and two boardrooms with access to private gardens; and an 80sqm fitness centre with gym, sauna and steam room.
The hotel is a complex of five smaller buildings rather than just one, with the largest and most project-dependent being the 16th century Augustinian St Thomas”s Monastery, after which the project is named.
The original opening date of summer this year was pushed back. Andy Woollen, Project Services Director at The Rocco Forte Collection, explained why:
"The transition of the property from a series of 16th century buildings into a modern fully functioning hotel has required the most careful restoration and reconstruction works, the full extent of which has been difficult for the Developer and Contractor to forecast.
"Throughout the property, the objective has been to retain and enhance the overall character of the buildings, their courtyards and the many specific features that have emerged during the construction works.
"These works have required more time than originally forecast by the developer and contractor but are ensuring that the completed hotel will use all of the character that the listed buildings have to offer."
According to the hotelier, the monastery”s original inhabitants ” monks of the Augustine Order ” will continue to live on the site in an area not being developed.
The Augustine was officially named on November 6 at a ceremony attended by the Czech Prime Minister Ing. Mirek Topolanek, Sir Rocco Forte, president of Waldeck Capital LCC Thomas Smit and UK Ambassador H.E. Linda Duffield.
The investment banking firm Waldeck Capital LLC has taken on development of the ”65million (”52.25million) project, while Rocco Forte will manage it after completion. The firm, based in Delaware with offices in the UK, the Netherlands, Hong Kong and the Czech Republic, has completed 17 other hotel projects since 1988, including the Sheraton Voyager and Blue Bay Resort.
The Rocco Forte collection, founded in 1996 and rebranded in 2007, currently comprises of 11 hotels across Europe. As well as Prague, hotels in Sicily and Marrakech are due to be added to collection in 2009.
For more information, visit www.theaugustine.com.
The Rocco Forte Augustine in Prague