We had a four night stay at the Julian in mid-December. I was hoping for snow and blue skies and got both!
Getting to the hotel - Normally we would use public transport to get from the airport to the hotel (and this is a simple matter of Bus 119 and Tram 20) but as we were arriving towards midnight I opted for the hotel's taxi service. Glad I did as the airport was largely deserted and everything shut. Efficient, quick journey with a friendly driver - 600CZK.
Location - I'd done plenty of research before booking and had opted for the Smichov area, or in this case, somewhat midway between Smichov and Mala Strana. It's a 5 minute walk North to the Petrin Hill funicular and a further 5 mins on you are into the heart of Mala Strana. In the opposite direction, it's a 15 minute walk to Andel and its new shopping mall (excellent supermarket there). As others have written you can actually walk to the old town easily enough in about 20 mins. However, the Prague tram system is excellent and there's a tram stop just 2 mins walk from the hotel - four tram routes run through this stop including direct services to Wenceslas Square, Mala Strana and Andel. Very usefully, the hotel reception sells the one day travel card and provides free maps (with tram/metro routes). The locale is quiet but there are a couple of restaurants / pubs nearby. Alternatively, two or three stops on the tram up to Mala Strana opens up many more possibilities.
Breakfast - quite good. The usual suspects were present in a self-service buffet and the ladies kept everything topped up and tables tidied very frequently. The buffet is mostly cold meats and cheese but warm eggs (scrambled or boiled) plus sausages are included plus fruit, cakes, cereal. The bread was varied by the day and all of it was excellent especially the dark, seed-crusted wholemeal and the sourdough. I'd've liked more than the two sliced cheeses on offer. The coffee was a bit on the poor side I thought.
Bathroom - again, a nice size and clean. A couple of strange things here though: the shower head was at a height of 5 foot (150cm) which I found very odd so resorted to having baths. The hot water seemed a bit flaky taking ages to run through in the evening. Also the soap dish (no drainage holes) was drilled into the wall directly under the shower head with obvious nasty white stickiness as a result. Plumbers eh?
Bedroom - nicely sized room on the non-smoking 3rd floor (as is the 4th) with comfortable beds (firm mattress, lovely). Not a lot of street noise. Minibar and tea/coffee making facilities. The tv had around 15 channels including BBC World and CNL. Also included, gratis, are two "erotic" channels although this is a strange euphemism given that the actors had seemed to have got hold of the contents of the soap tray... Now, I enjoy a good show as much as the next man and whilst reception can turn these channels off I would question their inclusion in the first place at this type of hotel especially as free wifi is available.
Restaurant - we ate there just the once: quiet. This is a cosy little room downstairs described as being in the English Pub style (not really IMHO) run by a very friendly waitress. There are a couple of benches/seats to sit at the bar but I think the hotel is missing a trick by not opening until 6pm. I presume they want people eating rather than boozing. Quality good, prices ok.
In summary, a very comfortable option in an excellent location (as long as you don't want to be right in the middle of the action) with very friendly & helpful staff.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel Julian is neoclassical 4* hotel placed 10 minutes by walk from the Charles bridge. Hotel is equipped by English style library with open fire place, roof terrace with view to Prague castle and Petrin hill, Irish pub, sauna & fitness centre. Our motto is ... Feel at home with us... and we are doing our best to accomplish this target. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Julian Hotel Prague