Friday, December 28, 2007

Date Night (and morning) 9 - Aria Hotel

Date Night #9 - December 28th & 29th, 2007
Temperature: High 32 °F / 05 °C, Low 26 °F / -3 °C
Location: Aria Hotel, Prague

For the first time since Kyler was born, we snuck away for a night. Once again, courtesy of my visiting parents-in-law, "Tayta" and "Jiddo", we had free and very reliable babysitting! The Aria Hotel sits just 100 yards down the road from the US Embassy in Mala Strana - Prague's historic "Little Quarter." Because it's so close to work, I've made many a reservation at the Aria - for others. It's always received good reviews, so we thought we'd give ourselves an early anniversary getaway while the gettin' was good... and the Aria didn't disappoint!

The Aria is all about music. When you check in, you're handed not only an electronic key in the shape of a Treble Clef, but an iPod, loaded with hours of tunes. Each floor of the hotel is themed after a different genre of music, and each room is set up in honor of a composer or performer who was instrumental (get it?) to that genre. We had the Gypsy Kings room - celebrating Salsa music. Fluffy robes and slippers, down comforters, a PC, and a plasma screen TV made it really easily to settle in for the night. The library downstairs, just around the corner from the home movie theater offers a wide variety of books, DVD's and CD's that you can enjoy during your stay.

... there's more to this post. Click here to keep reading!With music from our iPod playing through the pro quality speakers, the bed looking warm and inviting and the weather outside looking pretty chilly, we almost didn't want to leave for dinner! Eventually, though, we managed to drag ourselves out into the cold to the "At the Knights of Malta" Restaurant just down the street. As with many restaurants in this part of town, the Knights of Malta occupy the ground floor and cellar of a house down one of Mala Strana's many narrow alleyways. Good, Czech home cooking, priced on par with most places in this tourist area (1000 CZK / $60 for two meals + drinks.) Their wild boar was fantastic and made the foray out into the cold well worth it!

We returned to the Aria for desert - and to soak up the ambiance of the Music Salon, sinking into red leather chairs by the fireplace as a piano/saxophone duo improvised on jazz standards. Breakfast the next morning was served in the Winter Garden - a fabulous spread of breads, cheeses, meats and my favorite - French Toast, topped with whipped cream and smothered with fresh berry sauce. To make it even better - between wrestling with Tayta, and reading books with Jiddo - I don't think the kids even missed us!

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