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“Wonderful stay in Aug 08”
Review of Smetana Hotel

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Smetana Hotel
Ranked #81 of 648 Hotels in Prague
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 24, 2007

We stayed at Pachtuv for three nights, followed by a short break to Cesky Krumlov, and returned on our final night before leaving. The hotel is in a perfect location with easy walks to Old Town, the Jewish Quarter, and 2 minutes to Charles Bridge. The staff were extremely helpful and spoke perfect English - although you won't find the "bubbly" warm receptions you might enjoy in five stars in the US as after all this is a former eastern block county. On short notice the staff provided us with a driver for an out of town visit, and recommended some of the best dining in the city (ask for reservations to Suata Klara - you will need a driver to get there as it's near the zoo - or to Zatisi which is around the corner). We were on the second floor and air conditioners and fans were available.

Our visit was a wonderful experience that we would recommend to anyone visiting Prague. Also, worthy to consider should you be planning a business meeting for your executives in Prague.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank JonAllen72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,117 - 1,123 of 1,465 reviews

Reviewed August 1, 2007

Recently stayed at the Pactuv Palace for three nights on our first trip to Prague. I wanted a more authentic place and researched the possibilities and came upon this hotel. We arrived in Prague late and, as stated here before, the taxi driver had a difficult time finding the property. But when we got there, we were pleasantly suprised.

I had read on here about the lack of air conditioning in the rooms. I was a bit worried as this particular July was quite hot. Because there were three of us, I had reserved a two bedroom suite. I have to say that it was one of the five best rooms I have ever stayed in in my life. It was on the top floor (5th) and I believe the suites on this floor were newer as they had central air conditioning, which was a godsend. The room was absolutely enormous....two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a powder room, a kitchen and dining area, and a living area. I really couldn't believe it.

The breakfasts were good, but not included in our package and were a bit overpriced...so go elsewhere. But overall I have to say that the room was top notch, the staff were great, and the location was right off the riverfront. A room like this would have been twice the amount anywhere else that is comparable (Four Seasons). I did notice that rooms on lower floors were not equipped with A/C and I did hear a few complaints about the lack of fans, but this was definitely not a problem for us. So, if you are going to Prague, the Pachtuv Palace is a great hotel to stay in. If you are going in the summer, splurge on a suite. You won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled with friends
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7  Thank mike55401
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2007

A beautiful hotel with staff that can never do too much and between them have a wealth of knowledge about Prague and where best to spend your time. After booking the hotel via a travel agency I emailed directly to ask for flowers to be put in the room as we were going for a special occassion. We were offered a free upgrade and found ourselves in a one bedroom suite over looking the river which was beautiful. The hotel did have a mobile airconditioning unit in the room but this did mean you had to leave a window open to feed the pipe out which unfortunately made it too noisy as the street is busy. The location of the hotel is perfect for accessing all areas of Prague, right next to the main Charles Bridge. The hotel menu is excellent offering a good choice including vegetarian meals although is a third more in price than eating outside in the numerous restuarants, there must be over 200 restuarants all within walking distance catering for all pockets and tastes.
The hotel offers a chaffeur service to the airport which cost around 950 but you can get it for less if you haggle, we paid 600.
Take a travel iron as the hotel only seems to offer an ironing or laundry service which is expensive.
The Kitchenettes are great with all utensils you will ever need. Dressing gowns are provided and the use bathroom products from the "White company" very expensive here in the UK..
Breakfast is excellent and is a mixture of cereals, pastries, fruit, toast, eggs done in anyway you want and of course tea and coffee.
Overall i can not really fault this hotel or the staff, of course there would be a few tweaks that you can always make but we can always complain if you think hard enough.
The city is stunning and suprisingly the Lesser quater is our favorite with winding streets and breathatking architecture.
The shops are disappointing and all selling holiday rubbish unless you like coloured glass. The one exception is the main designer street housing all the big names like Boss, Alfred Dunhill etc but to be honest the prices are the same as the UK.
If i can recommend one luxurious thing to do it is to visit the Oriental Spa where you can induldge in fantastic treatments in a fabulous setting, an hours treatment will cost £60 but its worth every penny.

Stayed: July 2007
3  Thank homeoraway66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 13, 2007

My wife and I stayed here for eight nights. Because we often have sleeping problems, we asked for a 2-bedroom suite and also asked the hotel to provide us with quiet rooms. The suite we were given was perfect for our purposes. Overlooking an inner courtyard, it was incredibly quiet considering that it was right in the middle of Prague. Of course, this meant we had to dispense with the wonderful view, but we accepted that this had to be a choice.

The staff were very helpful. I have never been to a hotel yet where minor problems never arise, but one judges these situations on whether they are dealt with promptly and graciously. Such few small difficulties as we had were sometimes caused by linguistic misunderstandings. Nevertheless, most of the staff spoke very good English, whereas we had no Czech. We were especially impressed at the outset that, when we e-mailed Pachuv Palace to clarify verious matters, they immediately replied in proficient English. A similar e-mail sent at the same time to another well-rated Prague hotel received no reply at all.

It is as well to know in advance what the situation is about meals. The hotel does not have its own restaurant (other than for breakfast), but it will make reservations at nearby restaurants which reach quite a high standard, one of which is so near that it is almost like eating in the hotel. Room service is not entirely successful. It means sending out to these nearby restaurants, and so hot food does not arrive piping hot. Strangely, it is not possible to obtain a sandwich by room service.

I shall now turn to some of the points mentioned in previous reviews. Although the hotel is not air conditioned, when we arrived in very hot weather, a portable air conditioning machine was provided for us without our having to ask, although this cooled the sitting-room and not the bedrooms in our suite. (At the same time, we asked whether we could have a sheet instead of a duvet, and this was provided the same night. Later, when the temperature dropped sharply, blankets to go with the sheet were provided without our asking.)

Although some people might find the charge for meeting the plane expensive, we thought it was well worthwhile, and we were told in advance how much it would cost. We also used the chauffeur for one of our journeys within the city.

We are fairly fussy and would only give 100% marks to a perfect hotel. Pachtuv Palace was not that, but it was definitely better than others we have stayed at in a similar price range.

(Sent from Oxfordshire, England.)

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank AgrippaOxfordshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2007

We loved our stay at this hotel. The staff was thoughtful and accommodating. Because our plane was late, the hotel pick up that we had arranged by email had left by the time of our arrival. After we called the hotel to indicate we had indeed arrived, one of the managerial staff arrived within 15 minutes to pick us up. Because of that inconvenience they upgraded our room to a delightful, spacious suite with a bath and a half and a splendid view of the Charles Bridge, the river and the castle. We walked everywhere. Located in the Old Town, the Pachtuv Palace was a terrific location. The suite had a nifty kitchenette built into a "closet " which was nicely stocked with pots, plates and silverware. The bathrooms were modern. (The whole hotel had been renovated just over two years ago.) We would certainly stay there again. I should say that we stayed there because of the great reviews about the Pachtuv Palace that we read on Trip Advisor!

Stayed: March 2007
6  Thank daisywfs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 29, 2007

I recently stayed at the Pachtuv Palace in Prague, May 12 to 16, 2007 . My experience was manageable but less then promised. After numerous correspondence with the hotel directly about room differences, I decided on the One Bedroom DELUXE Suite, due to the promise of good location, view of Castle/Bridge. However, upon arrival, the suite given was an interior court view, dark, poor sunlight, musky smell and did not look at all like the photos on the web site. Immediately moved, but was not put in a one bedroom DELUXE, but a One Bedroom Suite, this time in the main building but again no view as promised. When questioned the room as not being a deluxe, they assured it was, but the size was 1/3 the size of the first room they were going to put us in. We then discovered that the Internet service was not working in the room and this made working on line for my job impossible. Their solution, come downstairs and work in the lobby. Not a good solution since I need a quite location and I was paying for this service to work in my room. I then discovered, they do not offer an iron or board to press your clothing. Their reason was that it was a historical building and they feared the iron could burn down the building. I guess this reason would make sense, except that in each room they had a complete kitchenette set up. This offered a two burner stove, microwave, toaster, coffee pot and a complete set of pots/pans/plates/silver, etc. So, any of these electrical kitchen items could start a fire as well if left unattended. Plus, they also allowed smoking in the hotel and rooms. So, their reason did not make sense to us? After insisting they bring up the iron and board they did. However, by this time we were at the point of frustration and were considering locating to another hotel and moving the next day. We expressed this displeasure and they then decided to move us to another suite the following day. The move happened and they claimed to have given us an "upgrade" to a suite above the One Bedroom DELUXE suite we were paying for. However, the suite we actually ended up with was the one bedroom DELUXE suite, we were to get in the first place. This exact suite is shown on line on their web page and it clearly states "One Bedroom Deluxe Suite".
So. after this entire event of wasting one day (after having to unpack/pack, wait to change rooms) we were not impressed.
The front of the palace facing the street is flat, bright yellow and clearly not what one would expect or be looking for when driving to the hotel, considering the photo on the web page shows a completely different picture. We also circled three times, each time taking 30 minutes in the narrow streets because the location was impossible to get too. I finally jumped out of the car, walked two blocks while my husband was stuck in traffic and had one of their staff get in the car with my husband so he could get to the hotel.
We were less then pleased due to these immediate set backs our first day there. We travel domestically and internationally each year, logging anywhere from 200 to 250 day a year. So. we have a lot of experience with hotels and what our minimum expectations should be. With the reservation booked out in advance, it was upsetting that we had to deal with these kind of issues.
It is a lovely hotel, but as mentioned be sure that you are getting one of the renovated roomsto avoid our experience. Since our first room did not seem as pleasant, I am not sure if all the suites were updated as stated. There is no air conditioning, so keep that in mind if traveling there in the summer. We were just there and with the windows open, our room did get quite warm in the afternoon. The location is close to many attractions, but it is very noisy at night. There seems to be a lot of people who get intoxicated late at night and scream and yell until the early morning hours. Be aware of pick pockets while there. There are everywhere and we saw them walk by our hotel with canvas bags of wallets they stole from tourists. Prague is a beautiful city, however with the pick pocket issues and the taxi drivers who will take you on a costly ride, it does take away from the romance of the city.
The staff is very pleasant, so that is a plus. Just use caution when considering this location. We traveled for over two weeks in Eastern Europe for business and pleasure and stayed in five other hotels before our arrival in Prague and this was the only location that we had issues with.

  • Stayed: May 2007, traveled on business
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5  Thank jlmktm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 25, 2007

Yesterday I had to make a call I have been dreading for weeks. I called the manager of Pachtuv Palace and told him that after 15 months of residence there I would now have to give him my departure date.

I have traveled the globe many times over and have had the opportunity to stay at many of the finest hotels in the world and I can unequivocally tell you that none was finer than Pachtuv Palace in terms of value received per dollar spent.

First let’s talk about location: Pachtuv is located in one of the prettiest cities in the world – Prague. Located within Old Town’s borders, it is no more than 5 minutes walk from the center of Old Town Square. I cannot tell you how many times I have walked through this area but I marvel that no matter how many times I still see beautiful things I never noticed. So, location is as close to perfect as possible.

Next the physical property: Pachtuv Palace is indeed a centuries old palace which was painstakingly and lovingly restored. When I think of Pachtuv Palace words like graceful, charming, comfortable and quiet come to my mind and I find myself smiling and relaxing. With two inner courtyards it offers respite to the weary tourist or the harried businessman who needs a little time to unwind from the days’ challenges. This former palace now hotel should be a National treasure and available for all visitors to see, but of course only the few get to see it and, what’s even better, to live there.

My room/apartment was much more spacious than anything a comparable hotel might be able to offer and much better prices. I had a small entry hall with several closets which connected to the main hallway, itself larger than many rooms I have stayed in. Off of this central hallway was the living room/dining room which was simply huge. This became the core of my living, working and dining space. The ceiling were extremely high and someone with knowledge of architecture could better describe the ceiling which was curved with what I would call a sort of ribbing starting from where the walls joined and ending at the center of the room. For me, this was the most eye appealing and pleasing feature of this wonderful room.

The bedroom was very large and very comfortable. There was also a small but highly functional kitchen which I probably used 5 out of seven nights. I should mention that I like to cook my own meals. The bathroom was large and contained a washer and dryer so basically I had all the comforts and necessities of home.

Hmmmm. What’s left to describe? I know. The staff! As you can imagine having lived there for fifteen months I came to know much of the staff, especially those who serviced my apartment. And, like most hotels, Pachtuv Palace had its share of turnover. One loss (to me) was the very fine resident manager who was promoted to a staff position. I have to be honest, I was not happy to learn that that person would leave because she had been extremely helpful to me in every way possible. Yet in comes the new manager and nothing slips, nothing changes. The quality of service remained at the highest level possible.

Another area that Pachtuv Palace excels in is food service. They have a small but charming breakfast nook that is delightful and the breakfast is first class. Most of the year you can also dine al fresco in one of their two courtyards. As for lunch or dinner Pachtuv Palace offers the full menu from one the finest restaurants in Prague – Bellevue (part of the Zatisi Group). Food from either of their two sister restaurants as well as the Italian restaurant adjacent to Pachtuv Palace can be brought to your room or to the courtyard or the dining area..

Are there flaws? Strangely, I could think of only one flaw – limited accessibility to air conditioning. If, like most Americans, you are used to and feel you need air conditioning in your room you should tell the reservations staff of your wishes. Pachtuv Palace has an inventory of portable air conditioners which can be quickly installed in your room.

I started writing this the day before I was to leave Pachtuv Palace. I traveled on business through Asia for three weeks and am now writing this from my new serviced apartment in another country. Nothing in this city comes close to what I had in Prague, not even the best hotels here.

On balance I doubt that I could have found a better place to live than Pachtuv Palace both in terms of comfort and style as well as value received for the money spent. Pachtuv Palace is a very special place among the ordinary. It was a quality experience that is hard to leave and even harder to replace. It is simply spectacular and I truly miss the comfort and service that I enjoyed for so long. It stands out from its competitors and I would highly recommend you stay there.

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled on business
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9  Thank Serious_Bsness_Trvlr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Smetana Hotel

Address: Smetanovo nabr. 20, Prague 110 00, Czech Republic (Formerly Pachtuv Palace)
Phone Number:
Location: Czech Republic > Bohemia > Prague > Stare Mesto (Old Town) , Praha 1
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#42 Romantic Hotel in Prague
#46 Business Hotel in Prague
#71 Luxury Hotel in Prague
#82 Family Hotel in Prague
Price Range: $222 - $631 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Smetana Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 48
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Smetana Hotel (formerly Pachtuv Palace) is located in a prime location in the heart of the city and is closely linked with great names of the music world like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, ancient and contemporary celebrities. Steps away from Charles Bridge, within easy walking distance to all major landmarks of the Prague. Pachtuv Palace provides an average room size of 65 sqm, fantastic views, air-conditioning, kitchenettes, free internet, fitness room, in-room massages and more. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mamaison Pachtuv Palace Prague
Mamaison Pachtuv Palace Hotel Prague

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