Archives by Tag 'Czech Republic'
I thought about posting a review on Tripadvisor about Hotel 16 in Prague but after reading all the recent positive comments I thought I might keep it on tripsister only because they will be so famous there won’t be any room available when I want to go back! I told them if I posted a review I would call them trip savers because they saved mine and another guest’s who’s hotel he had booked through a web agency was actually closed when he got there!
I had only planned to stay there one night on my arrival in Prague before going to my friend’s wedding. I had the best room, room 31. It was perfect because it was not on the construction side but was still facing the garden. Even though it had small windows, it had a sky light in the entrance and I could hear birds singing.
They had asked me how long I was going to stay in Prague and when I mentioned I had reserved an apartment for 14 nights, they said they could accommodate me if I wasn’t happy at Alice Apartment Hotel. I mentioned I needed a kitchen to prepare meals because of food intolerance and they said they would give me a deal and let me access the kitchen 24 hours a day.
Upon checking out, they arranged transport for me to Kostelec nad cernymi lesy. I had planned to take the train and bus but my luggage was too heavy and I felt tired. When I returned to Prague and checked into the apartment at Penzion Alice, I didn’t feel comfortable after a few hours of being there. I felt the street was too busy and I didn’t like hearing people outside my kitchen window that was facing the interior court. The echo was very loud and I could only imagine what it would be like when the place would be packed with drunken kids on Easter weekend. I needed more peace and intimacy.
I emailed the hotel and said I would consider their offer and Miroslav who was working the night shift arranged a pick up taxi for me on the next morning. I notified the evening shift employees at Alice and thought I was making the right decision. I had booked with an Italian web agency and they were impossible to reach. The next morning, Martin was kind enough to let me go with only one extra night penalty and saying he would deal with the agency and I thought that was very kind of him.
I was the happiest girl when I got to Hotel 16, who caters to business people and families, and it felt like going back home. Cenda was at the reception desk and was so welcoming. It is such a nice place; it is well decorated, super clean and so friendly. I felt so much safer there. The clientele was a bit different too. I didn’t get the chance to see the clientele at Alice but I saw on their website that they gave a 10% discount to skate boarders and BMX riders… no offense but it is just not the crew for me; maybe I would have thought it was cool when I was, let’s say 16. Hotel 16 was exactly as shown on their website and even better.
The only condition for my stay was that there was a possibility of my having to move out on Easter weekend but in the end they managed to confirm a cancellation so it was perfect. I only had to change rooms 3 times but then I could stay in the same room for the remaining week. I got to stay in rooms 31, 12, 22, 35, and back to 22. The best room to use the kitchen was room 12. I was offered the room next to the kitchen on the main level but thought it would be too busy for me. Unfortunately room 12 was not available for the week after Easter. For my last week I had the choice between room 35 which is a suite facing the street with only small windows with no view, and room 22 facing the garden with large windows. I chose the latter and never regretted it. There was some construction in the building next door but it was not constant and was only during the day. One afternoon I was so tired I managed to nap sandwiched between the banging of the construction and the cleaning of the carpet in room 21: I was so tired I would have slept through anything!
The service at Hotel 16 is impeccable. Checking in and out is a breeze, and all the employees are well trained and very professional. The daytime shift employees during my stay were Cenda and Adam supervised by Michal who is also the owner; he bought the hotel from his parents. Both Cenda and Adam were only recently employed but Adam was the newest and I enjoyed his sense of humor. The night shift employees were Miroslav who studies to become a hotel manager, Maria, who studies tropical agriculture, David and Martin.
They thought I drank a lot of hot water but then Michal told me one day he drank 10 cups of coffee; that’s 2,5 litres of coffee! I had my portable water heater but it was easier to just go down to the lobby. I drank my peppermint tea and my fennel tea and for breakfast I had my cereal beverage Caro. I had my little routine where I would go down to the dining room with my things on my tray and sat at the same table that seemed to have my name on it because I never saw anyone else sitting at it while I was there. I had mostly oatmeal I had bought previously, a pear and an egg form the buffet. Sometimes I had a croissant and some of the pastries brought in fresh daily. Michal baked a delicious apple strudel but don’t tell his wife! They had daily Breakfast news printed out on 2 sheets in different languages that we could read while eating listening to Martini in the morning online radio.
Michal was able to find New Brunswick Maple syrup from Steeves in Elgin. He said it must be good because it was expensive. I was glad he was able to find New Brunswick maple syrup in Czech Republic! I had my own mini travel metal jug from Brigg’s maple here in Riverview and wanted to use it to reduce the weight of my suitcase on the way back.
I really enjoyed my stay at Hotel 16 not just because of the friendliness of the staff but also because it was fresh and clean and I enjoyed returning every day to a clean environment. The cleaning ladies were so efficient and did a great job plus bonus for men they were pretty! They were so hard working; they even helped in the kitchen for the breakfast and had the task of cleaning the whole hotel.
I would return to Hotel 16 in a heartbeat. I had an awesome time and was very sad to leave. This is a prefect hotel for solo travelers because there is always somebody there willing to listen and to help if needed. It is true that the beds are a little hard but I have seen worse and they are comfortable. The only negative point was one day, one important client was smoking in the lobby and it stunk the whole place. They couldn’t stop him from smoking because apparently he was a very important person in Czech Republic.
It was so easy to walk to everywhere from the hotel. It is between Karlovo Namesti station on the orange line and I.P Pavlova on the red line. There is also tram 22 that goes to Petrin Hill and to the Prague Castle. Near is the oldest botanical garden in Prague at Charles University, the biggest and oldest square, Charles Square, Dvorak museum, and a short walk to Wenceslas square. It is far enough from the crowds but within walking distance to all the main attractions. There are many food stores to choose from. I didn’t go but there is a Tesco at Wenceslas square, near Mustek station. I liked the fact that the main door was always locked and nobody had the key; you had to ring every time. I felt very safe.
There are many restaurants nearby and the most popular ones are Emma Destinnova and Pivovarsky Dum. Cooking in the kitchen was pleasant, they had everything I needed. I had to separate my food into 3 different fridges; one for the meat, eggs and dairy, one for the fruits and one for the vegetables. They had a dishwasher but most of the times I washed my pots after cooking in consideration for the hard working staff. I would use the stairs to go down and the elevator to bring my meal to my room.
I was so sad to leave because I got to know each one of the staff and I knew I would miss them all. The day before I left, Michal and Adam gave me a nice hotel souvenir cup and I was so touched I almost cried. It is just a cup but it meant a lot to me. I have been drinking in it since I got back.
I don’t know when I will return but I know I will.
My last day in Prague was a strange day. It was cold, grey and raining. I walked mostly along the Vltava but got lost for about an hour in the narrow streets of the old town where I bought a souvenir in a little charming gallery called Art Master Gallery, at 6 Liliova Street. The lady working there was so nice and she invited me to sit down and we talked a bit. I told her I would spread the word about this charming gallery promoting works by Eastern Europe artists. I saw Charles bridge for a second time, and found the statue of Saint Adalbert, the guy who built the fort in Kostelec nad cernymi lesy where my friend got married.
I only visited two museums while in Prague; Dvorak (my favorite) at the Amerika house and Kafka. The latter was a disgrace to the writer. I was so insulted to have been asked money to see this piece of crap of museum. It is the worse museum I’ve seen in my life. It was dirty, dark and dull. As soon as I walked up the stairs, I wanted out but I thought I would give it a chance and started reading the never ending texts on the walls. The display of pictures on the floor was horrible. They were on a bunch of rocks or charcoal behind dirty PVC or glass window and it was so uncomfortable to look at. It was impossible to watch the movie being played because behind the chairs were images which people had to stand in front of you in order to look at them. The best part for me was the pee break.
I never wanted out of a museum so fast. I hated it and it is the worse of my trip in Prague! On the other hand, I loved Dvorak which was full of life, colorful and rich. Some say it’s for real fans of Kafka; I guess I am not one of those and the visit at the museum doesn’t make me want to read any of his books. Now there’s a problem with this museum. The person on Tripadvisor who said it was the best of their trip in Prague must have spent the rest in prison! I am not a museum connoisseur but from experience, it usually should be for everyone. In a marketing point of view you want to draw new fans so when they are done with their visit they feel like going to the shop to buy something. In this case, they make you go to the souvenir shop first to buy your ticket which I have never seen before, unless it is an outdoor event. There was not much mention about his work in the museum; it was rather about places he lived at, people he knew and about his family. The Wikipedia page is a hundred times better!
The Kafka souvenir shop was quite nice except for the clerk who was a real jerk. I don’t like to write negative stuff but it is what it is. The lady selling the ticket to the museum was fine but it’s the guy in the back, who just didn’t want to be there on a Sunday, and was sick of tourists (and the season had only begun!), and was unfairly rude to me. After I had bought my ticket for the Kafka Museum, I wanted to have a bite to eat and was looking for a restaurant. I saw these narrow steps that lead down to what seemed like a nice fancy restaurant on the Vltava and I thought why not treat myself on my last day! But I went up as fast I came down after being unwelcomed by two of the rudest waiters. I said oh thank goodness you speak English and then I asked if they served lunch because the place was empty and they gave me the impression I had no business there and then one of them looked at me like I was an idiot and told me “of course (deuh) we’re open!” I said “Thank you” with a big smile and went back to where I came from with my empty stomach. It turns out I am now so grateful for the waiter’s rudeness after reading the reviews on Tripadvisor! The name of the restaurant is Certovka: beware and stay away! So I ate my little packed snack in the rain, sitting in front of the peeing statues.