After concluding my short stay in Berlin, I wanted to take the time to visit at least one other place in Europe. I mean, why fly all the way out there and not have any fun? I’d been to Berlin before, loved it, and got to go back, so I resolved to go someplace new before heading home.
Hilton has two different properties in Prauge, one along the river and another, the Hilton Prague Old Town, much closer to the main train station (Hlavni Nadrazi). I like the history of Europe and so the choice was easy, redeeming 48,000 points and $230 for a three-night stay — about 16,000 points and $75 per night. Paying all cash would be about $200 per night. Walking from the station took only a few minutes, and there’s also a bus that stops here on its way to the airport.
I’ve misplaced some of my photos of the lobby and restaurant, so I recommend you visit the hotel website, which has a Google Street View perspective of most interior spaces. My review focuses on the room and club lounge.
Check-in was swift since I’d arrived in the late afternoon. As a Diamond member I was upgraded to a room on the top floor, at the opposite end of the hallway from the club lounge. Entering the room felt just a little cramped since the door faced a large mirrored closet. The rest of the room was around the corner.
It was comfortable enough. The king sized bed took up most of the space aside from a television, sitting chair, and a small desk in the corner. I appreciated that the room had lots of natural light. Some snacks were waiting for me when I arrived and were replenished every day with a new treat, just like at the Hilton Berlin. Always something different.
The hotel is built around two courtyards. The desk faced the window, which is my preference, and I could look across to the apartments (offices?) on the other side of the courtyard and see some flowers in the window. There aren’t many clean, renovated hotels like this that still offer a sense of local charm.
In fact, there was an Easter festival taking place during my visit. I had not expected it, so it was a complete surprise when fireworks started going off the first night. Fortunately I could crane my neck and look toward the river to catch a glimpse.
Like the living area, the bathroom was comfortable and clean, but it wasn’t particularly exceptional. Plenty of water pressure, though, and the staff doubled up on the Peter Roth toiletries so that I never ran out. I can’t complain.
There was a small alcove built into the wall separating the entryway from the living area, in which you could find a coffee maker, some free bottled water, and a minibar. I never had a need to take anything since the lounge was just down the way.
The lounge was mostly self-service, although there was usually someone roaming about to clear tables and offer refills if asked. Because it curved around the end of the building it was easy to sit at one end and be insulated from a loud conversation at the other. Evening drinks include a couple bottles of wine, but the emphasis seemed to be on beer and spirits. There were also a few hot and cold snacks.
For breakfast, I had the same eggs, bacon, and croissant each morning — come to think of it, that’s what I eat at home each morning, too! There was also fruit, cheese, and some cold cuts for those interested. I did go downstairs to eat in the main restaurant one day, which is also an option for Gold and Diamond members. The buffet is larger and has an omelet station, but it turned out that I ate the same meal and listened to more people talking. It was simpler and quieter to eat in the lounge, so I returned there for my third and final day.
Overall I enjoyed my stay at the Hilton Old Town. It met or exceeded my expectations of a Hilton in an urban location. Unlike the Hilton Berlin, I appreciated that it wasn’t a giant property, and for that reason alone I would probably return here again instead of choosing the other Hilton in Prague. Service was pretty good, too.
I did think, however, that it was a bit far from most of the places I visited during my stay. It’s on the edge of “Old Town,” which meant at least a 10-minute walk to the Town Square, and almost 20 minutes to the Charles Bridge. But most of the comparable hotels that are closer to the action are also more expensive, so I don’t know that there’s a good solution to this issue. The Hilton Old Town is probably the best compromise.
The first time I went to Berlin in 2007, I took the train straight to Venice, passing through Prague without stopping. But this trip revealed it to be one of my favorite destinations in Europe. I’ll write more about what I did and some suggestions for getting around Prague in my next post.