Holiday Inn Prague Airport Thoroughly Reviewed
You Have Arrived
Why We Chose This Hotel
There were two reasons why we chose to spend a night at Holiday Inn Prague Airport.
- Arriving in Prague airport late on a Sunday afternoon, we were in vacation mood, which means taking life at a slower pace with minimal stress. Hence the decision to put off negotiating the transport system of a capital city and take the easier option of staying the night close to the airport.
- We realized that, as members of the IHG Rewards Club, we were able to redeem points and stay at Holiday Inn Prague Airport for free, which sealed the deal.
Tip: Hotel loyalty schemes are worth signing up to, as long as membership is free. Any benefits you get as a result are a welcome bonus.
Hotel Loyalty Schemes
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Location and Accessibility
Holiday Inn Prague Airport is a 12 minute or 1km walk northeast from the Vaclav Havel Airport Prague. On arrival at the airport, we asked at the Information desk and we were given a phone number and use of a phone to contact the hotel. Hotel reception advised us of the shuttle location. We exited through Door D, crossed past the taxis and buses to a shuttle stop. We saw a minibus with Holiday on it, but no Holiday Inn branding. When we mentioned the Holiday Inn the driver nodded. We actually found ourselves on a shuttle to the car park across the road from the hotel. But it was free and just a short walk, so we didn't mind too much.
We looked across the road at a modern steel construction, which carried the Holiday Inn branding. A wooden bridge with steel railings took us over a grassy moat to the front entrance and vehicle pull-in of the hotel. The ground floor was a dark blue and the floors above had a grey metallic finish. At the end, there was a glass lift, which we found to be heated. There was parking for guests through a barrier and the hotel offers a park and fly deal for anyone wishing to leave their car here.
Around the back of the hotel, we later noticed from our room an outside area bordered with trees and shrubs. There was a giant chess board and what looked like a bowls area. Two wooden-decked areas had rattan sofas and chairs and glass-topped coffee tables. The area was lit with low, modern globe lights and there were wood-framed planters.
In the distance. behind the hotel, we could see the road system at the edge of the airport.
Check-in and Welcome
The entrance was brightly lit and there was a useful map of the hotel in relation to the airport terminals on the wall. As we entered through two sets of automatic doors, there was an open plan lounge and bar area in front of us. The reception area was to the left at the front of the hotel. The receptionist was very welcoming and spoke good English. There was a little confusion, as the shuttle bus had been sent to the airport to meet us, so she phoned her colleague to recall it.
Check in was very quick after our passports had been checked. We were given the choice of 500 welcome points or 2 drinks and snacks in the bar. Suffering from travel fuzz, we uncharacteristically couldn't decide, so she gave us the voucher, which we could cash in for points later if we didn't take the drinks.
Tip: Drinks or points are offered to Elite IHG Rewards Club members (Gold, Platinum, and Spire). I now cheekily enquire how many drinks they are offering. If it's two, then the drinks are worth more than the points.
It always gets a stay off to a good start to be told of a free room upgrade. So we were very happy to be allocated an executive room on the top floor.
Tip: Platinum and Spire Elite IHG Rewards Club members should be offered free upgrades when available. If you fall into this category, it is worth asking if you can be upgraded. Sometimes if you don't ask, you don't get.
Note: It appears from the website that check-in is from 12:00 pm and check-out is by 2:00 pm. These are unusually generous times and I'm not sure how they work out if arriving and departing guests overlap.
Room 607 was at the end of the corridor on the top floor. It appeared from the corridor to be a big room, although I was a bit puzzled by a doorway a little further along. The room was made up of three distinct areas:
- The lounge.
- The bedroom.
- The shower room.
1. The Lounge
I was immediately struck by the carpet which was striped and multicolored. The entrance way had a door to the shower room on the right and built-in cupboards to the left. These were of a pale wood with chrome inset handles and ran right up to the ceiling. There were five shelves in the first, with a safe on one of these.
Tip: If there is a safe in the room it is advisable to use it, as, in the event of theft, travel insurance companies can be reluctant to pay out if valuables are not placed in an available safe.
There was a three-quarter length wardrobe with space under. The four double hooks on the back wall appeared to be for coats. There was a mirror in between and also a shoe horn and a coat brush. There were bathrobes on a shelf. There was an iron and an ironing board in the wardrobe along with eight coat hangers with more storage space below. This area was lit by a dome light in the ceiling.
The entrance opened out into a lounge area. The walls were painted white and grey, which added to the impression of size. On the left, there was a lower shelf with a suitcase holder above and a grey splashback protecting the wall.
A flatscreen wall-mounted TV was set in a white frame against the grey wall. A pale wood worktop ran along from the suitcase stand with shelves below and a well-stocked minibar/fridge leading to a desk area complete with a high, flexible-backed, black swivel office chair.
On the top, there was a bowl of sweets, crisps, and chocolate with a price list. Four bottles of water and the chocolate were free. Tea/coffee-making facilities consisted of an electric kettle on a brown tray with hot chocolate sachets, coffee, tea, milk, sugar and fruit tea. Upon request, more tea and milk was supplied by staff at reception.
Despite the presence of a telephone and a chrome based cream rectangular shaded lamp, there was plenty of workspace. There was a white, rectangular-framed mirror on the wall behind the desk.
The upright window and the long, high rectangular window ensured that the room had plenty of natural light. Privacy was ensured by the full-length net curtains and grey curtains that ran the length of the outer wall. Heating wasn't an issue for us, but there was a small radiator. There were also heating and air conditioning controls in the room.
There was a generous seating area, made up of a large off-white vinyl covered sofa on chrome legs with a matching low chair. The sofa looked like it could transform into a bed. There was a white rectangular coffee table, complemented by a matching smaller one in the corner, with a chrome based white, rectangular-shaded lamp.
2. The Bedroom
The bedroom was off the lounge area and it was smaller, as the wall was in line with that of the shower room. I did wonder what lay on the other side, presumably whatever the door on the corridor led into. The curtains from the lounge area continued along the outside wall over a long high-up rectangular window and tall window.
The bed, which backed onto the wall of the room on the corridor was a generous size, as it was made up of two single bed bases covered in an off-white vinyl material with black legs. It had a white sheet and white striped duvet cover with matching pillowcases on the four pillows and a purple checked runner.
The built-in headboard was of a light wood at the bottom with a ledge running along behind the bed, with shelves on two levels at each side. There was a telephone on one side. The rest of the backing behind the bed was white with an airplane-themed graphic running through the middle and two lights attached with matching cream shades.
Three of the walls were white and the one above the bed was grey, matching the windowsills and window frames. There were two big vents high up above the bed.
Tip: If, like us, you prefer two pillows each, be sure to check you have them before turning in. Most hotels either have extra pillows in a cupboard or are quick to supply more on request.
3. The Shower Room
The shower room was accessed via a light wood door located opposite the wardrobe in room 607. It had a bright feel to it, helped by the decoration of pale grey mottled floor tiles and large off-white wall tiles and it was lit by spotlights in the ceiling.
The room seemed to be sectioned off into quarters. There was a slatted heated towel rail on the wall by the door, with another chrome towel rail on the adjacent wall.
The far left corner was taken up by a square shower cubicle with sliding doors opening from the outside corner. It had a cream raised shower tray and a standard shower with a flexible hose on a vertical rail with a chrome toiletry rack in the corner. The shower was powerful enough, but it wasn't the biggest of shower cubicles and resembled a domestic shower in the UK from around 2000 (we have one!). It measured around 60cm x 60cm and it was easy to accidentally knock the push/pull water control.
A wall-mounted white toilet was located in the opposite corner, divided off from the rest of the room by a low, tiled wall. There was a tray of toiletries on the top of this wall, containing a shower cap, body lotion, hair and body wash, vanity sets and two bars of soap. There were also two glasses.
A shallow rectangular white sink was located on top of a deep red top set into an alcove with a full wall-mounted mirror on the wall behind. There was an upright oblong cream-shaded light attached to the mirror. To the left, there was a chrome framed extending shaver mirror mounted on the wall, with an off-white tissue dispenser below it.
There was a chrome towel rail below the sink unit. To the right of the sink, there was a shaver socket and a wall-mounted hairdryer. I still find hairdryers in bathrooms an unusual feature, as, in the UK we are discouraged from having electrical appliances in bathrooms due to safety concerns.
I avoid weighing scales at the best of times and certainly when on holiday, but I guess the scales under the sink could serve a purpose weighing suitcases before travel.
I was disappointed that the towels were surprisingly thin and poor quality for this brand of hotel, especially for an executive room.
We decided to use our drinks vouchers and exchanged them for two beers (a Czech specialty) and we were given a large bowl of pretzels, with the offer of a refill later. The public area downstairs was open plan and the bar area was set apart, bordered on one side by light wood shelves, containing travel books and on the other by the serving area. The seating looked out onto the area at the back of the hotel.
We chose comfortable armchairs by a low table. There were two high bar tables with stools between us and the brightly lit and modern serving area, which curved round into a coffee bar. There was more similarly comfortable seating in a lounge area behind the shelves and opposite the reception desk.
The entrance area had large beige floor tiles, but there was a dark brown carpet in the seating area.
As a rule, we tend to avoid dining in hotels, when we are on holiday and either take our own food or look for cheaper options nearby.
We had cereal, disposable bowls, spoons and long life milk with us for breakfast, but we realized that we would need a main meal. My husband did a little research and found that other travelers recommended the cafeteria in the airport terminal. So we took a 10-15 minute walk there in the evening and were pleasantly surprised to find a self-service buffet restaurant, which served a choice of meals at a reasonable cost. It wasn't haute cuisine, but the goulash and dumplings were filling enough for us and it was considerably cheaper than eating at the hotel.
Due to reasons which I shall explain later, we ended up having the hotel breakfast.
The dining area was located further on from the bar/coffee bar area. It was a modern area with light wood flooring giving way to large cream floor tiles and then a carpeted area with comfortable seating, a TV and shelving. This lounge area with a low armchair, poufs, and shelves decorated with a globe, model of a sailing ship, old binoculars and camera had a rail and curtain so that it could be divided from the restaurant. There was a mixture of light wood tables with wood framed seating and beige faux leather padded seats and also two cubicles with banquette seating. The whole area was brightly lit and had large windows looking out onto an outdoor decked area with seating.
The buffet was laid out along the wall on the right as we walked in. The savory cold buffet consisted of assorted cheeses, cold meats, pepper, tomatoes, and cucumber. There were apple, orange and multifruit juice in jugs, as well as water. The sweet selection consisted of nectarines, grapes, sliced watermelon, chopped oranges and two different yogurts in bowls.
Further along, there was a hot buffet of porridge, hard boiled eggs, a kind of fried bread, small sausages in chunky slices, (which were spicy and peppery), sliced mushrooms, carrots, tomatoes, a rice dish, bacon (fatty and salty) and scrambled egg.
A selection of cakes, assorted breads, jams, and Ryvita was laid out on a table.
A football table was covered over and cereals in bowls with small wooden scoops were placed here. There was a choice of granola with strawberries, chocolate balls, a version of shreddies, cornflakes, muesli, dried apricot and what we thought was orange. Full fat milk was in a milk drum dispenser.
Black tea and coffee were served at the table, but we had to get our own milk. Service was attentive and efficient and the meal set us up well for the day ahead.
Any Issues During Our Stay?
Holiday Inn Prague Airport boasts of its soundproofed rooms and it would be fair to say that we were not disturbed by any noise from the planes. The main issue we had was the loud noise coming from the vents above our bed, which severely disturbed our sleep. Unfortunately, the problem only came to our attention late in the evening after we had gone to bed, by which time it was too late for a change of room.
The following morning, my husband went straight to reception to advise them of the problem. He returned with the explanation that there was nothing they could do, as it was the air cooling and heating system for the hotel. We had guessed that something of this nature was located in the room behind the bedroom wall. We were offered two free breakfasts, which should have cost us 15 Euros each. The airport hotel seemed to operate in Euros for travelers. We also enquired about a refund of points due to the disrupted sleep, but none were forthcoming.
Getting into Prague
I was surprised at how easy it was to get into Prague from the hotel. We were able to buy transport tickets from reception and were directed to a bus stop 5 minutes walk around the corner from the hotel. Bus 100 took us to a metro station, where we were able to take Metro B into Prague, still using the same ticket.
This hotel ticked the box on many levels. The location, welcome, room, public areas, drinks in the bar and breakfast were fine. However, all this was spoilt by the noisy air system, which prevented us from sleeping. A free breakfast was great, but I felt staff could have offered some points as well as a gesture of goodwill. After all, what good is a nice room and hotel if you can't sleep? For this reason, with regret, I can only give this hotel a low rating.
That said, this hotel is worthy of serious consideration, as long as you don't have room 607.
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© 2018 Liz Westwood