Sunday, March 22, 2009

Prague Review #1 -- Hotel Anna:

When we decided to go to Prague, I felt like we were setting off into a vacuum. We didn't know the language, we didn't know the city, we didn't know the accommodations. Thankfully, we managed to get lucky. This review is both in thanks to our hosts, and as a help to any other English readers that happen to want to travel to Prague. And of course, the internet never forgets...

Hotel Anna ( was a great place for us to stay. First of all, let's talk location. Two blocks from a metro stop, that metro stop itself only two stops away from the main train station (or five stops away from our Berlin-Vienna train station), it was quite easy to get to without having to choose between hauling luggage across half the city or hiring a taxi. As for getting around once we were settled, there were tram stops at the metro stop, but we didn't even use any public transportation for getting around to site-see -- ten minutes walk max brought us from the hotel to Wenceslas Square right downtown.

The hotel itself? The sidewalk in front of the door has "Anna" written in inlaid stonework. The outside of the building is typical Prague rowhouse, not as spectacular as many of the downtown buildings, but still pleasant. The interior was clean, with an elevator and wide stairs offering a choice for getting up to your room. The staff all seemed quite fluent in English, although given that I heard German guests speaking in English as well, if you're not an English speaker you may be out of luck. The room we had was quite pleasant, with typical European double-beds pushed together, and a spacious bathroom with shower. There was even a separate door between the entry/bathroom area of the hotel room and the bedroom, giving you the option of more quiet in case of hall noise... frankly I wouldn't expect much of that, as there were only about five rooms per floor.

Breakfast was included in the cost of our room, and was a great amenity in this case. Rather than a typical "continental" breakfast of a pastry and coffee, here you could sit down in a very pleasant solarium to a breakfast buffet. Eggs, deli meat and cheese, bread and pastries, cereal, yogurt, fruit, juice, milk, coffee and tea were all available with the only caveat being you were not to take food out of the dining area. In spite of this, we found the breakfast so pleasant and filling that we were able to have only a small mid day snack and then dinner, meaning we basically saved ourselves the cost of one meal a day.

Our bill for three nights was under 150 euros (of course we payed in Czech Crowns), and it would have been hard for us to be more pleased with the place. The only small annoyances were the ultra thin pillows that we had to fold in half, and the half-height holder for the shower head. Other guests included some single gender groups of young folks, and a fair number of middle-aged or retiree aged couples from across Europe, so you might even find someone interesting to chat with at breakfast.