I booked a 4 day winter visit pre-Christmas trip with the full intention of being a solo traveller to both photograph and explore a city I have never been to.
After much deliberation and review reading I elected for the Best Western chain as I use them on my too many business trips in the UK. I therefore expected to pay slightly more than the cheaper alternatives but for that I would get the "Best Western" branding and service I'm used to.
The Hotel Pav is deserved of its Best Western status. On arrival it was brighly lit, clean, welcoming and, thankfully, warm ! The temperature outside being well into the minuses !
My limit of Czech couldnt even pronounce the currency correctly....Koruna is pronounced Krown.
The staff spoke English and took great delight in that I had come to explore and take photographs. So not your typical "here for the beer" tourist !
I was checked in speedily and armed with my many freeby maps of Prague (issued courtesy of Holiday Taxis who I arranged my uplift and collection with) the staff began pointing out places of interest (Karluv Most, Prazsky hrad, Stare Mesto and Orlov) where to get the trams, and other out of the way monuments which are hard to find.
I used the clean and spacious lifts to my second floor room. I had asked for a double bed but got 2 singles instead, however, not a problem I am after all a solo traveller and at 45 yrs old I'm not really interested in hooking up and bringing people back to party until the wee small hours !
The room was long, high and clean with modern decor. It overlooked the street but this is a business side street so the noise was minimal ay night.
You have to request tea/coffee making equipment but its free. So too is the wi-fi just don't forget to ask for the password on check in.
I can't vouch for all the rooms but mine had a shower unit to whorship. Its red hot and powerful but great temperature control allows for even those most vulnerable to heat to stand under a powerful, welcoming and very refreshing shower in a bathroom that puts some hotel rooms sizes to shame. It was a large room with a window that fully opened to allow steam and other bathroom essentials out yet by opening out onto a private courtyard no-one peeped in !!
That the window opened at all is testimony that Czech Republic hasn't adopted all the stupid, unnecessary, safety dictum of the UK.
The bathroom had a power point not a shaving point. Again in the UK that would be a no go room but I welcomed being able to plug in my electrical razor.
Rooms heater by 2 good and safe convection heaters placed sensible and stragically by the windows.
Safety feature was the safe. Free to use. You choose your combination but always remember an engineer and staff have override codes ! I know because I had to get one to open it for me.
Still always adviseable to use the safe !
Prague comes with a pick-pocket warning and money cnahning scams warnings. Pick pockets operate on busy areas, trams, trains, buses and in markets.......yeah pretty much like the do in the UK.
Watch out for the decoy and guys if a pretty girl touches you up your luck has just run out ! Think !! Pretty girls do not come up to guys and grab bums, crotches and smile !! Your wallet has just been taken.
Spread the dosh out into various pockets. Take what you will need. 100 CZK is worth about £4. Keep notes to a low value. 100, 200 is best. Don't pay for a 50 CZK coffee with a 1000 CZK note ! Its common sense but believe me I saw it done !
Money change scam is a bit more slight of hand and decoy but it works something like this :
You will be approached on the street by a person wishing to exchange paper currency into lower value in exchange for his apparent high value.
What you think you get in a 500 CZK note for 5 x 100 CZK's but on close inspection you find it wasn't the 500 CZK note he showed you but insteag you get 500000 in some foreign currency probably not worth 50p. Again watch out. Think ! Would you open your bag, wallet, purse or root around in your pockets in the middle of the street to change your own money with a total stranger ? No ? Then don't do it abroad.
Buy a 24hr travel ticket (newsagents sell them) of a machine does by the tram stop (need coins as they don't have machines taking notes). Its 100CZK for 24hrs. So purchased 13:00hrs Monday it expires 12:59hrs Tuesday. Handy as its actually lasted 2 days !
All Prague. All transport.
Prague transport is extremely easy to use. Their underground is clean, fast and has only 3 colour coded lines. Check the end destination of the train and then you will know which direction its going in.
Top tip to save getting a coronary....Tram 22 climbs a very steep hill to the castle. The underground drops you off at the base of a very steep hill. Guess who got the underground up and tram down ? Yep, should have got tram up and walked down !!
Views over Prague are spectacular. Well worth being out of breath for !
The Karluv Most (Charles Bridge) is the focal point and like the castle is lit up at night. Take the time to cross it and soak up the street vendors, musicians and the security dressed oin olde worlde clothing of 12/13th Century.
December gives you the chance to experience cold, snow and Christmas ! Its wonderfully celebrated Czech style without the overkill and over-hype of western cultures. The Christmas Markets in Stare Mesto (Old Town) sell freshly baked food and souveniers however, round the corner is the real market selling food and typical market trader stuff at market trader prices which, for example, was 200 CZK less than the Christmas market souvenier trader. Shop around and explore. I saved nearly 300 CZK (£12) on a hat just by walking a couple of streets !
Food is abundant and prices are what anyone would expect from tourist city. However go slightly off the beaten track and visit the bars that the Czechs do and the prices will come down.
Near to Hotel Pav is U Kortby Matje which offers 10 - 15% discount for Pav Hotel residents on production of a flyer from the hotel bar, securuity or reception.
The food is top quality, the beer is Pils Urquell and the 2 young lads couldn't do enough ! Spoke English and were extremely friendly. Its interior decor is an attraction in itself. Old sewing machines, typewriters, clocks, piano, musical instruments, LP's infact its well retro kitsch in a lovely wooden decor manner.
Warm and welcoming. Open til 00:30hrs last food midnight !
I paid 350 CZK for a meat filled meal of pork, brackwurst, chicken, bacon and red/green cabbages, potatos and bacon dumplings. It was that big it was almost impossible to eat. Served in a huge metal dish like an A3 sheet of paper. Try it. Just don't expect to move much afterwards ! Highly recommended.
Gets busy ! Not suprising. Allows smoking. Get used to that as a lot of Czech places do.
Hotel Pav has a bar open from 11:00hrs til after midnight serving alcohol, fresh juices, cakes and coffee. Located by the bar is a free internet computer strictly on first come first served basis.
Breakfast is served realistic times from 07:30hrs til 10:30hrs. Yes, you are not expected to be a cock-a-doodle-do and be up before the chickens. Its included in the price and is very diverse.
Its strange to have cauliflower, broccoli, carrots with sausages and bacon at 9am but try it and suprisingly its good !
Hard boiled eggs, cold meats and cheeses, fresh fruit, yoghurt (try it and you will go back for seconds) laced with fruit or simple white yoghurt, local breads and cakes. Hot water for teas and coffee with hot or cold milks.
Eat until you burst.
A truly enjoyable experience and an excellent value, ideally situated hotel that I will be staying in again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in Old Town, the BEST WESTERN Hotel Páv offers easy and fast access to the historical parts of Prague and its most prominent landmarks. Both Charles Bridge and Old Town Square are within 10 minutes walking distance. Our BEST WESTERN Hotel Páv was completely renovated in March 2007. Our hotel is in the immediate vicinity of the U FLEKŮ brewery, with a tradition that goes back to 1499.BEST WESTERN Hotel Páv offers 89 rooms with all modern facilities. Each room comes with a bathroom equipped with a bath or shower, WC, hairdryer, towels and hotel cosmetics. Rooms have a telephone, satellite TV, safe and free unlimited Wi-Fi internet connection.The hotel BEST WESTERN PÁV’s ground floor has the outstanding and cosy interior to the lobby bar, which is an ideal place for private and business meetings.Visitors to the lobby bar have free WIFI internet connection along with 2 independent terminals with unlimited internet access. A big-screen LCD TV with 12 satellite sports and news channels helps create a pleasant atmosphere.We strongly recommend the pleasant seating with a LAMBORGHINI coffee, which comes in a variety of exotic liqueurs. A speciality of the lobby bar is Swiss chocolate with rum. Last but not least is the draft beer Plzeňský Prazdroj, which is a Czech national treasure. The Hotel bar offers a wide range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks of both Czech and foreign provenance.The Hotel atrium has a summer garden, an amazing and calm oasis in the very heart of Prague.We seek to provide comfortable accommodation with the following services:■The rich breakfast in the form of Swedish smorgasbords comes with the price of the room and is served Monday to Sunday from 7:30 to 10:30.■Lobby bar■PC terminal with internet connection free of charge in the lobby.■Each room has a telephone with direct calling.■Reception has secretarial services, fax, and photocopying.■Wi-Fi connection free-of-charge throughout the entire Hotel.■Correspondence and e-mails delivered to hotel guests.■We help find flight information and information on bus and train departures.■Reservation of tickets to the theatre, concerts and sporting occasions.■Tours, trips and excursions according to the latest offer.■Laundry, ironing and cleaning services.■Children’s cots on request.■A garage on request is available 150 m from the hotel – paid service.■Pets are permitted in the room only upon payment of a surcharge.■Credit cards – we accept: Visa, American Express, Eurocard-Mastercard, Maestro, JCB, Diners ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Best Western Prague
- Best Western Pav
- Hotel Pav Prague