We stayed here 18th-20th Feb 2009 and couldn't have asked for a better hotel or a better location.
The room was spacious, well furnished and very clean (see photos). Our room (no. 8) also had it's own terrace (the only one at the hotel) overlooking the Charles Bridge. The room also had a bath with shower over - I think many of the rooms only have a shower cubicle, the bathrooms also have a hairdrying unit/hose and a shaver point. There's also a mini-bar, but the prices are steep, however the fridge is quite a good size and there's a mini-market just up the road (Mala Strana) where you can buy water etc. for a fraction of the price (you can even get bottled beer for about 30p!). The hotel staff were all pleasant, friendly and helpful, and clearly hard-working.
Breakfasts are good, though limited by some standards - there are cereals, yoghurts, fresh fruit, ham, cheese, a selection of different breads, rolls, croissants etc., as well as scrambled or fried eggs, lovely smoked bacon and sausages. We ate at the hotel's restaurant on our first night (next door 'Pub 2'), it has a good atmosphere, the service was excellent and the food was very good - the bill came to about £40 for 2 courses, two rounds of drinks and coffees for two, which seemed very reasonable. You also get a 10% discount if you put this on your hotel bill. We also found a good restaurant just up the road in Mala Strana "pivnice U Glaubicu", the food was excellent and good value (bill for two, 2 courses + drinks was 800Kc), there was a really good atmosphere and lots of locals, which is usually a good sign - and the beer was 27Kc!
Without a doubt the best thing about the hotel is it's location. You really couldn't get any better. It's in the Mala Strana district right next to the Charles Bridge. If you walk across the bridge you are in the Old Town, or you can walk 2 - 3 minutes to Mala Strana square from where you can walk up to the castle or catch the tram (22 or 23) to save your legs (it's a steep hill). Another couple of minutes walk brings you to the metro station (line A). The hotel is located in a pretty square reached by steps down from the Charles Bridge. We could not believe how quiet it was here - there were never more than a few people walking through (though there might be a few more in peak season), and at night we didn't hear a sound! From the square you can walk through the park of Kampa Island, which is very pleasant - but the 'baby statues' were a bit disturbing!
We used prague-airport-shuttle.com to get from the airport to the hotel and I would highly recommend them. We booked direct with the hotel and got a better rate than any of the internet agents offered (59 euros per room per night b & b).
The only critisism I can come up with is that there are no tea/coffee making facilities in the room - but this seems to be common.
My brief tips for a short stay:
1. Use the trams - they are great, very easy to use, very frequent (every few minutes), very good value and a great way to see the city. Buy a 24hr ticket (100Kc) - this allows you to use all trams, metro and the funicular up Petrin Hill, as many times as you like for 24hrs - just don't forget to validate your ticket the first time you use it by putting it in the machines on the trams. Quite frankly the public transport system puts ours in the UK to shame - it's embarassing!
2. Do go up the funicular on Petrin Hill, the views are amazing, with the best photo opportunities being from the half-way stop.
3. Obviously visit the castle, but if you haven't got long it may not be worth paying the entrance fees. The main castle complex and St Vitus Cathedral are free, however the short tour price (250Kc) does include the history of the castle exhibition (which was very good) and Golden Lane.
4. The Old Town Square and surrounding area is also a must see, but don't plan too rigidly, just wander and enjoy - and don't worry if you get lost, it's part of the experience and the city is really very compact - you can't go far wrong.
5. Wenceslas Square is worth a visit, though (in my opinion) mainly for the contrast with the old town and Mala Strana - I wouldn't want to be there at night.
6. Try the dark beer - it's great.
7. Expect to be planning a return trip before you've even got home!
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- Also Known As:
- Archibald u Karlova Mostu (At The Charles Bridge) Hotel Prague