Overview: While I go into further detail in the following several pages, I will just cover a couple highlights here.
As the title mentions, Hotel King’s Court would be a nice 4* property. Sadly they bill themselves as a 5* and as such must be held in comparison to other 5* properties. When you go over that ever famous marketing term… “Differentiation”…It somehow misses the mark. Having the "minimum" to make 5* standards, does not put it in the top of the 5* category versus the bottom.
Due to the property’s size, it misses out on the biggest amenity a 5* can offer…Space…There is a stated lack of grandeur and elegance. Opulence should not be expected here. You have the spa on the bottom floor. Reception, bar, and restaurant on the ground floor… And then it’s 6 floors of a landing leading to a short hallway of rooms. This is not a property where you can lounge around the hotel (unless you get the executive package). There are 4 seats in the reception area, and seating for 4 right outside the restaurant. All basic furniture. Nothing plush, or rich, or even comfortable. It’s a small property for 5*, so if you’re used to having space, it would be best to give this place a pass.
Breakfast is nowhere near a 5* experience. There is much more to it than offering a large selection of breakfast items. Service was always rushed (they even cleared away our table twice while we were up getting food). Food quality and consistency of cooking standards is a straight out fail. Breakfast should be a highlight at a luxury property. Not here. Not to me at least.
Add into this a few minor issues with housekeeping, ), a few minor issues with the spa, a few minor issues with staff, etc. ( 5* standards are 5* standards after all).
But, there are several advantages as well…
Cost was quite reasonable compared to other properties billing themselves as 5*.
The location is excellent (just a few minutes’ walk to the old town square).
The executive suite was spacious enough and well decorated.
The executive lounge and the extra space/services it provided was certainly appreciated.
There are plenty of “services” (airport transfers, arranged babysitting, handling of reservations for restaurants/shows/etc. i.e. concierge).
The spa, while small, serves its purpose (with a few faults).
I myself found Hotel King’s Court to be “Hit or Miss”. While I would probably prefer to find a different property next time around, I wouldn’t be totally against staying here again either. Due to the fact that the common areas are small/non-existent, I would need the same size room or larger (suit). I would also need access to the lounge and spa again. I would need a solid price advantage compared to other Prague properties. I would also want vast improvements in breakfast. While it will never be my favorite hotel (or in the top 10), with a combination of all this, the property becomes acceptable.
Background Info: Family of 4 (2 Adults ages 41 and 37, 2 female children ages 3 & 7) spending 6 nights in Prague for tourism.
Pre-Trip… I booked the hotel directly by phone. I found a cheaper rate elsewhere on-line and they honored the “best rate guarantee” without any problems. Pre-trip communication was excellent with e-mails promptly responded to and special requests verified.
Meet & Greet/Transfer to Hotel: While I can’t say that the driver had much of a personality (outside of “Mr. Z?” and “Can I help with the luggage?”, he didn’t say a single word the entire trip), he was there to meet us on time, helped with the luggage and got us to the hotel in one piece. We had ordered a Mercedes minivan and that’s what we got. While the hotel service might be bit pricier compared to other methods of transport, at 40 euros it’s most likely the simplest option for getting out of the airport and to the property.
Arrival/check in: The driver took the majority of the luggage while I was unloading the kids, by time I was done the bellman was there to get the rest of the bags. Check in was simple enough with the usual paperwork. As we had arrived at 1100 I wasn’t expecting the room to be ready and it wasn’t. No big deal. For some reason the receptionist thought that it would be only 20 minutes and sent us to the executive lounge to wait. An hour or so later we were still waiting and decided to start our visit to Prague versus sitting around any longer. In any case the room was ready when we got back (although the luggage hadn’t arrived yet) and we weren’t inconvenienced in any major way (though we wouldn’t have chosen to wait in the lounge had we known it would be over an hour).
Extra guest related Amenities: Upon entering our room we noticed that cookies and a fruit bowl were in in the room as requested. Nicely done.
Also in the room was a birthday cake for our 2 daughters (a gift from the property). The cake even had their names and ages written on it. WOW factor accomplished for my children. Well played.
The property also supplied a bottle of Czech sparkling wine which I unfortunately never got around to picking up (we don’t drink around our children and had requested that they store it out of the room). The thought is what matters and I appreciated the thought.
I always find a note from the GM to be a nice touch but as none was in the room I would guess that it’s not part of this property’s SOPs.
Overall I’d say they did a very nice job of giving a great first impression upon entering the room.
Room: We took an executive suite which gave us a living room, a bedroom, and 2 bathrooms (1 with only a shower and toilet [secondary sink is located at entry]). Layout is comfortable and makes good use of the space. Our room had a balcony overlooking the square which was a nice added feature (very few rooms have balconies).
Living room: spacious and comfortable. Furniture includes an L shaped couch, coffee table and a few chairs. There is also a desk and side table. Other features include a large screen TV/entertainment system. Access to balcony.
Bedroom: Also spacious and comfortable. King size bed with nightstands containing table lamps on either side. Coffee table, 2 chairs, large screen television, main closet, minibar, coffee maker. Access to main bathroom.
Lighting: Perhaps I was just never capable of figuring it out, but to me the lighting system is a horrible mess. The light near the entrance/bathroom doesn’t have a separate switch so there’s no light unless all the overheads are on. The same goes with the power for the light in the entrance closet. Not having lights at night somewhat negates the advantage of having a secondary bathroom/sink/closet not in the bedroom. If I want to get something out of the closet, my choice is either risk waking everyone by turning on all the overhead lights (so the closet light will work) or use my cell phone as a flashlight. Any type of personal hygiene (outside of a shower) is out of the question as well.
Heating/Air conditioning: Another nightmare (but I think this one was just special to our room). We actually called the technician in twice over this. The first 3 nights the room was quite cold no matter what we did with the controls so we called in the technician. According to him, when the room isn’t in use, they lock the system to keep the room at a low temperature. The problem was that they didn’t reset it as being in use. He assured us the problem would be solved. After spending another night in a cold room we called technique back in. This time the guy figured that there was a problem with the room’s system and that we should always leave a card in the electrical controls. Whatever he did certainly worked because it was so hot that I spent the last 2 nights with the windows wide open. To be honest I preferred the room cold.
Bed: The bed was comfortable enough but the duvets are quite small which isn’t overly appreciated by taller clients such as myself (let alone when I end up having to share it with one of the kids). The bed is of a nice enough size that all 4 of us could sleep comfortably the 2 times circumstance dictated it be so. Pillows are comfortable enough.
Main Bathroom: The main bathroom was nicely done with a whirlpool bathtub and separate rain shower. Bathroom amenities are all L'Occitane (which is nice enough). These included bar soap, shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, body cream, sewing kit, bath salts, fingernail kit, and a couple other hygiene items. No razor. Adult robes were in the bathroom but none for the kids (for some reason this is almost always overlooked by hotels). One Kid’s robe was brought up by housekeeping after the executive lounge concierge saw that my daughter didn’t have one and I got another for the baby upon request from housekeeping (they even had different sizes). Plenty of towels of all sizes were provided and refreshed often.
Secondary Bathroom: This contains a toilet and a smaller rain shower. Certainly nice to have when you’re running 4 people though Prague. For some reason no bathroom amenities are stocked in the secondary bathroom (not even soaps).
Mini-bar: The mini-bar was well stocked with drinks and snacks. While I usually need to get in a midnight snack, this time the mini-bar went unused.
Closets: 2 closets were provided. One smaller one at the entry and a larger one in the bedroom. Both were stocked with a shoe shine mitt and a shoe brush. The smaller one contained the iron and ironing board. The larger had a sewing kit and shoe horn added in. Both closets have lighting which was almost a neat feature but the lighting system kept the smaller closet’s light from being used half the time.
Housekeeping: For the most part housekeeping did a decent job of things and I have no big complaints versus a few small dings. Keep in mind that there was nothing special however. No rose petals on the bed or in the sink. No towel animals. Nothing really beyond the basic nightly chocolates and hotel newsletter. On one occasion the housekeeper arranged my daughter’s toys nicely in the crib.
There was a thick layer of dust on the upper shelf in the main closet. It may be too high for most people to see but I’m rather tall. Happily we didn’t put anything up there before noticing it.
On one occasion cream for the in-room coffeemaker hadn’t been restocked but a quick call fixed the problem.
On the plus side we never ran out of fresh towels or soaps of any sort.
Newspaper: I was impressed to find a newspaper in English attached to my door Thurs. Fri. and Sat. without even having requested it. My joy was however short lived when none came on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.
Executive lounge: This was one of my favorite features at this property. I myself found it rather nice to go out for a few hours and come back to the hotel for a snack, a drink, a coffee etc. It’s really the only place in the hotel where you can sit down and relax a bit (other than your room of course).
Unlike breakfast, presentation of food is quite nice here.
Food was replenished within 10 minutes or so when depleted. I never ran into problems where there was nothing to snack on.
While the lounge was occasionally busy, I never found it particularly crowded.
There are a few coloring books, dolls, and games for the kiddies. Not a big selection but enough to do the job.
I won’t mention names on-line but I’d like to give the 2 main ladies in the lounge extra kudos for a job well done. I always found the executive lounge staff professional and somewhat friendly. They helped out with directions. Arranged transport and entry to a dinner/show. Printed out our boarding passes. I believe they handled our pre-trip requests as well and arranged for the cake/sparkling wine on their own accords. One of the ladies had seen my daughter didn’t have a robe our first night there and had one delivered to the room.
Although my room came with the executive package (executive lounge, internet, and spa), I would certainly recommend adding it to those that don’t.
I’ll try to hit most of the offering….Always available were wines (white, red, sparkling), beer, coke, Fanta, sprite, coffee/espresso/etc., 3 different hard liquors (walker red, vodka, and something local), chips, cookies, breads, fresh whole fruits, fresh cut fruits, pastries/desserts. Lunch was usually sandwiches and cold salads (i.e. potato salad) with dinner having soup and a heavier dish of some sort (one night it was sushi and sushi rolls another night it was a hot Asian dish of sorts).
Breakfast: Breakfast would be improved if the hotel concentrated on quality over quantity. . Everything is crowded together and nothing is clearly marked. Get the bacon cooked to a consistent standard before adding 2 types of potato pancakes. Instead of 20 different cold cuts/cheeses, have 10 Czech/Prague specialties that are clearly marked.
Presentation is a big part of a meal in a luxury property and there’s really just not much presentation here at all. They do try with various decorations but the overcrowded buffet just makes the décorations blend in with everything else.
The dining room can be a bit busy but we never encountered a wait outside of the times that we requested to wait for a better located table. Service is quite fast when it comes to trying to turn the tables. We lost our table twice when getting up to get more food. Once they actually cleared the whole table by time we got back. The other time they gave away the table we had just been sat at.
Service itself is cold and fast. Any thoughts of personalized service should be dismissed. There was never a "Good morning Mr. Z, would you like your normal double espresso today". Actually, there was no talk at all outside of "Drinks?" and "Are you done with that?" .
The warm buffet has plenty of selection. Most of it at an “ok” level but not overly great. Scrambled eggs were undercooked. Bacon was undercooked or overcooked and soggy. Boiled eggs were often beyond cracked due to being manhandled while being cooked/put into the serving dish. Hash browns were stale tasting. Oddly enough the sausages always seemed to be ok.
Eggs to order: I ordered eggs over medium twice to get eggs over easy once and a complete mess of popped yolks and half hard fried eggs the other time. Even poor quality restaurants will redo your eggs before serving them if they mess up cooking them, for a 5* to present eggs like that is just not acceptable.
The cold meat and cheese area had a nice selection but all the signs are hidden in back and don’t actually inform anyone of anything. One of the several hams is marked as Prague Ham but you’ll have to ask a waitress or cook as to which one it actually is.
Only 3 juices at breakfast seems a little minimalistic for a 5*. Juice glasses are about the same size as a double shot glass which is quite inconvenient (especially with kids).
Pastry/bread selection was nice enough. My absolute favorite breakfast item were the apple sugar donuts. The cheesecake was nice and the muffins were ok as well. I found the crème Danishes to be rather dry and tasteless.
Fresh cut fruits include melon, pineapple, oranges, and watermelon. Whole fruits include bananas, apples, and pears. Here again the selection is rather large but rather basic. No berries of any kind whatsoever. No mangoes. No papayas. No litchis. Etc. Presentation of cut fruits is nice but a bowl of apples is pretty much going to present as a bowl of apples.
Room Service: My wife ordered from room service once and was satisfied with the service and the meal. There was a small mix up with her salad order which was quickly fixed.
Spa: As others have stated, the spa is quite small. That being stated, I never saw it busy enough to be considered “full” and out of the 5 times we used it, we were alone 3.
There is a steam room and sauna which are nice enough and provide a relaxing atmosphere.
The pool/whirlpool: For “health reasons” the pool/Jacuzzi can’t be over a temperature of 30° which is a bit cold for my liking. The pool has a rain spout and a fountain spout which the kids enjoyed (I myself couldn’t stand the cold water being poured over me). I can’t say that I find a cold water Jacuzzi all that relaxing either. One neat feature is the counter current swimming jet which actually works surprisingly well. Be careful of the steps that lead from the whirlpool to the pool, they are unmarked, invisible and a bit dangerous (especially with the rain spout turned on).
Towels are given out at the spa desk and are about the size of hand towels and not practical at all (let alone luxurious). I suppose this is a cost saving method, but it’s a really bad one. When getting out of that cold pool no one is going to want to play games getting dry versus just getting dry (I just ran into the steam room). There are larger towels available but they are in limited stock and for use in the “relaxation room”.
The men’s changing room is quite small as well. There’s no way you’d fit more than 1-2 people in there at a time. The hotel makes up for this by telling people that they should just come down in their robes and bathing suits. As there is a separate elevator for the spa, I suppose this method is acceptable.
We all took a massage which was acceptable. I don’t have any complaints but I didn’t have any feeling of “wow that was great” either. It was pleasant versus spectacular. Either way, it was still relaxing and my 7 year old enjoyed her first pro massage.
Babysitting: The hotel has contact with an agency that provides a babysitter. Babysitting services must be paid in cash and cannot be added to the hotel bill. We took one for 3 hours for the baby while the rest of us took in a classical concert next door.
Bar: While we never visited the bar, it seems nice enough and live music appears to be offered (not sure of the frequency of live music).
Restaurant: We never actually ate at the restaurant outside of breakfast. We attempted to once but the kids refused to sit inside and the parents refused to sit outside in the smoking area.
Banqueting: Banqueting services are available but appear a bit limited.
Check out: Check out was simple enough. We had paid the final bill the night before and handed in our door cards at the executive lounge. The executive lounge receptionist printed off our boarding passes and away we went.
Transfer to Airport: Transfer driver was on time and ready at the time requested. Although we had come in a Mercedes mini-van, we were given a Skoda sedan for the ride back. If I pay for a Mercedes I kind of expect to get a Mercedes but as everything was ready and we needed to get to the airport, I couldn’t really complain on the spot versus accepting what we got. The driver was a great guy however and we enjoyed our conversation during the ride…Still…. You pay for luxury you expect to get it. Right?
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Rendezvous with Prague's history, modernity & lifestyle!A historical, neo-Renaissance-style building has been gently and tastefully transformed from the former prestigious seat of the Czech Chamber of Commerce into the contemporary deluxe 5 star Prague Hotel KINGS COURT. Our central Prague hotel opened in November 2009.This Central Prague Hotel provides luxury accommodation in 137 guestrooms, unique conference facilities, including a magnificent ballroom suitable for all type of company events, special occasions & weddings.Our modern Brasserie mEating Point offering French, Czech and International cuisine, boasts all year round operated terrace with beautiful view of Republic Square. Vodka Lobby Bar is a very lively place with an exclusive selection of world's finest Vodkas.SPA KINGS COURT features cozy pool with Jacuzzi, steam room, sauna and fitness.All clients will appreciate free Wi-Fi connection throughout the entire property. The Kings Court Hotel is known as one of the best hotels in Prague, due to its high level of service, beautiful designs and comfortable accommodations. ... more less
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