Mosaic House Prague
Where design meets comfort (on many levels) and efficiency reigns
While backpackers are typically willing to shell out only a few Euros a night for a shared bed since they’re on a budget that’s supposed to get them around the world; corporate travelers often prioritize a quiet room, a good night’s sleep or a tasty continental breakfast. Families with kids might prefer an apartment with a kitchen and space for kids to unwind. Singles look for an in house lounge where they can mingle with fellow travelers, listen to good music or try karaoke. Newlyweds want a room with a view, preferably castle side and a well-stocked mini-bar. With this range of diversity among travelers’ requests, is it possible for one entity to keep everyone happy?
Visitors to Prague’s Mosaic House: Design & Music Hotel, Hostel & Apartments will see that in order to satisfy the diverse needs of individual travelers, it is best to offer plenty of options. Located at Charles Square, a short walk from Wenceslas Square, Mosaic House is one-of-a-kind among travel accommodations in Prague. Operating under their current management since 2013, the Mosaic House business model has expanded to include nearly 500 beds with 16 different styles of accommodation – ranging from single beds in a shared hostel room to luxury penthouse apartments with a view of the Prague Castle from a private terrace. Customer satisfaction was evident again this year when Mosaic House won 6th place in the Hostel World HOSCARS competition in the category for “extra-large hostels.”
Although the sheer size of Mosaic House puts them into the “extra-large hostel” category, other innovative concepts, such as their new MOOoLiving concept, which consists of 23 stylish apartments housed in a historic building across the street from Mosaic House, place them square in the category of “country meets city,” if such a category exists.
Think country ambiance and a welcoming atmosphere mixed with modern fixtures and an urban design. Black and white checked cow carpets, cow portraits hung over the beds and modern furnishings highlight the progressive side of MOOoLiving. A winding main staircase, ornate wooden entrance doors, high vaulted ceilings and windows that look out onto downtown Prague accentuate the historical side. Even if the category doesn’t exist yet, Gilles Oulevey, Director of Sales and Marketing for Mosaic House, isn’t worried. He’d rather stay ahead of a trend in the travel industry, then race to catch up.
Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why Mosaic House has invested a significant sum into being “green.” “Travelers shower more when they’re away from home. They take longer showers and use more water,” Gilles says. When the owners decided to renovate Mosaic House in 2010, the company installed a water recycling system which includes a grey water system with heat recuperation. Mosaic House is the first hostel/hotel with water recycling in the Czech Republic, and they have the second grey water system with heat recuperation in the world. Each day 4000 liters of water is saved as grey water from sinks and showers. The water is filtered, treated and then used to flush toilets, clean floors and water plants. This savings combined with heat recuperation and solar panels translates into three and a half months a year where the company uses zero gas to heat its water. Over time, this twenty-percent savings in energy costs has a significant impact on Mosaic House’s overall efficiency.
In light of these green efforts, Mosaic House was the first hostel in the Czech Republic to achieve BREEEAM In-Use “Excellent” certification. Even though it might not be the top requirement most guests look for when they are prioritizing what they want from an accommodation, Gilles believes that as time passes the importance of being efficient will continue to pay off.
While saving water and conserving the environment is serious business for a hostel/hotel operating in today’s global economy, Gilles’ official title “SM Guru” hints at the playful side of the creative spirit running Mosaic House. Just like the layers of Mosaic House itself, Gilles title suggests that a sense of humor and an appreciation for the unusual is welcome from Mosaic House guests.
Look outside the Mosaic House main building, and you see that design and art are integral components of Mosaic House and not only in the bovine sense. Mosaic House owners Ludwig Kuttner, an American and Juerg Zwahlen from Switzerland, both with long-term experience in business in Prague, are avid supporters of emerging Czech artists. Nowhere is this more evident than in the work of the sculptor Michal Trpák, a native of Ceske Budejovice, whose “Looking for Happiness” installation decorates the entrance to Mosaic House. Six-meter tall magic mushrooms sprout from a roof top terrace, while additional mushrooms light up the small park square at night. Larger-than-life sculptures of men and women holding open umbrellas are suspended in the air above the street in front of the building. Throughout Mosaic House, guests can see various miniature versions of his umbrella men and women.
Another aspect of Mosaic House which for some guests becomes its primary selling-point is La Loca Music Bar and Lounge featuring nightly events, including live concerts from Czech and international groups, DJs and theme parties, such as 80s & 90s nights, karaoke night and quiz night. Lo Loca serves up cocktails from a wide list of standard favorites like Cosmopolitan, Long Island Iced Tea or Moscow Mule to regional specials like a Lynchburg Lemonade (from Lynchburg, Virginia USA). There is even a Wild Helmet Drink (served to those above 21) which consists of three shots of Kamikaze, Flaming, B52 and Ultra Jager Bomb and three hits with a baseball bat. Food options at La Loca include burgers, ribs, wings, sandwiches and salads. Entrance to theme nights is free while concert tickets can be purchased on the La Loca website. La Loca is also a prime location for private corporate events like holiday parties, company trainings or special functions for up to 350 people. La Loca is a premium partner of Prague.TV.
What do you get when you add a mosaic of accommodation categories, an international staff speaking 15 languages and representing 12 countries and diverse travelers from around the world coming to spend the night or stopping by for the evening to hang out and listen to music? In Prague, the answer can be only one - Mosaic House.
When speaking of about their ongoing success, Gilles says, “It is good but we want to be better. In this very competitive business, we can’t afford to sit still, so we always have new projects in the pipeline.” Innovation and improvement are key components to keeping every visitor at Mosaic House as happy as possible. Rest assured that while you sleep comfortably, whether in your hostel bed or in a luxury apartment, the Mosaic House team will be working to make your experience as unique as possible.
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