It is very rare that I fall in love with a hotel. Ususally they are so-so and simply a place to rest my head at night. I normally plan to spend as little time as possible in my hotel when I travel, because the world is outside the place where we sleep. However, my experience with the hotel Europa was beyond my wildest expectations.
The Hotel Europa on Wenceslas Square.
As soon as we landed in Prague, we walked into the lobby of the airport and there was our driver (included in the price) waiting with a sign with our names on it. He was so friendly and grabbed our luggage and drove us down the “Scenic route” on the way to our hotel. He pointed out landmarks and sights along the way.
Then he pulls up in front of the most beautiful, charmingly old hotel I have ever seen. There is this amazing beautiful, yellow building on the top of the square. We enter the wooden double doors and are transformed immediately into a world gone by. The desk and furniture were all the most beautiful, antique wood and the staff was beyond friendly. We discovered immediately that if you pay cash when you check out, they even take ten percent off of your bill… Even better.
We were escorted up the red crushed velvet stair case to our second floor room. The art nouveau decorations were exquisite. The cylindrical stair case and hallway allowed for a beautiful chandelier to be seen from every angle. There were green velvet chaise lounges and the most amazing furniture everywhere. I could feel the ghosts of parties past, from the days when men would sneak off to drink their absinthe or brandy and smoke cigars. However, in this hotel there are ashtrays everywhere except the dining room… and they expect you to use them. (This may not be the best hotel if you are sensitive to smoke, though in my experience Prague may not be the best destination if you are sensitive to smoke) I, being a smoker was in a little piece of heaven.
The included breakfast was exactly what you would expect, but exactly what I wanted every morning. Salami, hard rolls, cheese, fruit and the strongest black coffee anyone deserves before a full day of being a tourist. There is a sign that says that no food should leave the dining room, but somehow everyday a few pieces of extra breakfast ended up in my big gypsy purse. Shh, its a secret.
There was even this darkened hallway that reminded me of the shining, but in the most charming of ways.
My friend and I had a room with two beds, a sink, a closet and a view… of sorts. There were two shared bathrooms on our floor but luckily for us we were the only two people of the floor.
This hotel has plenty of rooms with views and even balconies, but my friend and I chose a room on the lower end of the budget.
This hotel is superbly charming. The stale scent of parties from days gone by. The crushed velvet in various colors, lurking around every corner, the décor, and the breakfast. The staff is super friendly to the point of the sweet older lady at the desk reminding me that it might get chilly so I should put on a sweater. Also, when my friend and I returned to Prague at the end of our journey, we were planning to stay at a hostel on the other side of town. We entered, turned around and walked right out and hopped in a cab back to our precious hotel. When we arrived for the second time, they remembered us and not only gave us the 10% discount for paying cash, but also offered us an extra 15% off simply for returning.
I recommend this hotel to anyone who is looking for a bang for their buck in Prague. It is within walking distance of practically everything including public transit and a quaint little book store that even had copies of The Wizard of Oz in Czech. Please make the fabulous Hotel Europa a priority when planning your trip to Prague, have some coffee for me and tell the ghosts I said hello.