Western Europe, pay attention: your neighbors to the east are in the middle of a design-hotel boom. PRAGUE Aria Hotel (9 Trziste, Mala Strana; 212/201-1155; www.ariahotel.net; doubles from $330) takes its operatic name seriously. Mosaic-tile floors are imprinted with musical notes; rooms are decorated with caricatures of Puccini and Mozart. Another Prague property, Carlo IV (13 Senovazne Namesti; 39-049/828-7777; www.prague.boscolohotels.com; doubles from $420), was reimagined by architects Adam D. Tihany and Maurizio Papiri. Formerly a bank, it has been transformed into a 150-room Renaissance jewel, with gold fabric-draped columns and glowing cocktail tables. TALLINN, ESTONIA In three interconnected medieval houses dating backto 1362, Three Sisters (71 Pikk, 2 Tolli; 800/337-4685; www.designhotels.com; doubles from $300, including breakfast) fuses modern and classic styles—Le Corbusier armchairs, antique canopy beds. ZAGREB, CROATIA At the Arcotel Allegra (29 Branimirova; 385-1/469-6000; www.arcotel.cc; doubles from $210), the first boutique property in the city, linens are silk-screened with the faces of inspirational travelers such as Galileo, Hemingway, and Picasso.
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