Liz and her husband have stayed in many hotels and like to share their experience to help fellow travellers make informed hotel choices.
Why We Chose This Hotel
There were several reasons for choosing to stay at Hilton Prague.
- We had a voucher for a free weekend night in a Hilton hotel that was nearing its expiry date.
- We had started to look at Prague as a holiday destination after it had been recommended to us.
- We were looking for a hotel where we could chill out and relax for 24 hours after a few days of sight-seeing.
- Hilton Prague had a swimming pool and other leisure facilities.
- The executive lounge was highly rated on reviews.
- Hilton Prague was easily accessible from the city.
What Do You Prioritize in a Hotel Search?
Not to be confused with the Hilton Old Town, Hilton Prague is located at Pobrezni 1, south of the River Vltava, and overlooks Stvanice island. Prague Old Town is west of the hotel and Prague's main railway station lies to the southwest. We took the metro to Florenc and walked 5 minutes north to reach Hilton Prague.
The first thing that struck us about the Hilton Prague was its size. With its 11 floors and 791 rooms, the hotel towers over the street below. Our eyes were drawn to the modern design of the glassy structure and its quirky cubed appearance. I was surprised to discover that the hotel was built in 1989. It opened as the Atrium Hotel and was designed by Stanislav Franc, a Czech architect. It joined the Hilton brand in 1991. I thought the hotel had been built more recently.
We made our way to what we guessed was the main entrance, where there was a curved glass canopy over it and cars were pulling up outside. We later discovered that this was the upper ground floor way in and there was another entrance around the corner on the lower ground floor.
Once inside, we found ourselves in a vast atrium. The main reception was off to the side and there were restaurants and shops located around a central area, decorated with large shrubs. Guest rooms were on the floors above, around this central space, which reached up to a pyramid-shaped glass roof. Later, as we looked down into the atrium, we realized that the central area was on several levels incorporating seating areas and dining options.
During his research before we arrived in Prague, my husband realized that he could qualify for entrance to the executive lounge on the 8th floor and also the priority executive check-in up there. So we headed for the elevators.
Exiting the lift, we easily found the large check-in desk backing onto the atrium view. We had to wait 10-15 minutes as two men were being quite aggressive and rude to the staff member about a room change. Eventually, they left and we were invited to take a seat at the desk. I should point out that we were early to check in, having arrived at 11:30. The guest assistant was very welcoming. She confirmed that we had access to the executive lounge and advised us that we had been upgraded to a junior suite, but apologized that it was not ready. We were invited to take a seat in the executive lounge, while we waited.
Unfortunately, our room was not ready until 14:45 (45 minutes after the regular check-in time). We were greeted by the acting manager, who was very apologetic about the delay and promised us a bottle of wine, which was later delivered to our room. The wait had been softened by access to free refreshments, but once normal check-in time had passed, it began to drag a little.
We assumed that our junior suite would be on the executive floor, but due to the delay in preparing the room, we were allocated a room on the 6th floor. Before we left the executive floor, my husband was quick to gain assurances of our admittance to the executive lounge. He also requested a late checkout and was offered 14:00 the next day, which he accepted.
The Junior Suite
We went down in the elevator and found room 6042 on a corner of the corridor. Our room overlooked the River Vltava and Stvanice Island.
As we entered, there was a small corridor with the door to the bathroom on the right. Beyond this was an arch into the lounge area, where the sofa bed had been made up. A large square window overlooked the River Vltava, Stvanice Island, and the road below, as well as a canoe slalom course and a tennis center. To the left, there were double sliding-glass doors, wood-framed, with long chrome handles into the main bedroom. One window in here had a side view of the Allianz building and the other looked over the river.
The cream, patterned wallpaper was complemented by the beige, gold, and black diamond-patterned carpet. The lounge area had two walls covered in a beige wall covering and two in a light cream color. Furniture was in walnut-colored wood, matching the skirting board and frame around the doorway through to the bedroom. In the lounge area, there were two modern art paintings on the wall above the sofa and the chair, as well as two smaller canvases above the desk. There were full-length net curtains in the lounge and striped beige, brown and blue curtains to the floor. Shorter nets and matching curtains were in the bedroom, which was papered in a cream stripe.
On the bed, the duvet, sheet, and pillows were in a white stripe.
Near the bathroom, there was a dark wood-framed curved mirror. Useful for checking your appearance before leaving the room.
As we entered the lounge, there was a large black low armchair to the right, with a gold and black check patterned seat and cushion cover. A deep red sofa had been converted into a bed with white bedding and two gold and black striped cushions. It rested over a black-legged glass-topped long, low coffee table. We had this made back into a sofa and it was transformed into a comfortable sitting room.
There was a desk in the corner, between the window and the bedroom. This was on curved legs, with a wooden shelf at the back and a rack, containing the in-room dining book. A dark brown padded office swivel chair went with it. There was also a two-drawer unit under the desk. There was a similar desk arrangement with a drawer unit below in the bedroom. We discovered a hinged section in the middle, which lifted to reveal a mirror inside the lid, a hairdryer, an internet cable in bags, and a guest services booklet. The red padded low stool in the bedroom matched the lounge sofa.
In the opposite corner of the lounge, there was a tall slim cupboard with a mirror in the door, a long chrome handle, and six shelves. A cupboard next to it contained a minibar. Remove anything from here at your peril, as it was automatically detected. Above this, there was a black marble top with tea and coffee-making facilities.
The king-size bed had a wooden base on chrome legs. There was a wooden framed headboard with a pale brown faux leather padded inlay. On either side, there was a wooden bedside table with two drawers.
The wardrobe was in the corner of the bedroom near the sliding doors. It had a deep hanging space with 9 hangers and a high cupboard. There was a single panel mirror in one of the doors, which both had long vertical chrome handles.
Lighting and Electrical Items
There was a light inset in the ceiling above the entrance corridor. In the lounge, there was a tall, modern chrome standard lamp with a curved off-white shade. Two miniature versions were on the bedside tables.
The anglepoise chrome lamp on the desk in the lounge was identical to the one on the desktop in the bedroom. There was also a hanging drop light above the drinks facilities.
There were two generously sized flat-screen TVs; one on the desk in the lounge and another on the end of the dressing table. By the bed, there was a complex clock radio.
There was an iron with an ironing board in the wardrobe.
The rooms were well served with an air-conditioning/heating system.
There was a Nespresso machine with pods and a tin of Czech biscuits. There was also an ice bucket and tumblers on a glass shelf as well as two bottles of water. A white tray was used for a kettle, cups, tea, and coffee. There was also a packet of peanuts.
Tip: When helping yourself to snacks and drinks in your room, be careful to check what is free and what is chargeable. We were tempted by the Czech biscuits and the peanuts until we realized how much they would cost.
If you are wondering if the bottle of wine promised for the delayed check-in ever arrived. I am pleased to be able to report that it appeared in our room later in the day.
There was a safe in the corner cupboard of the lounge. Pens and pads of paper were on both desktops and also by the bed.
There were telephones on both desktops, as well as an additional one by the bed.
A shoehorn and a shoe cleaning mitt were in the lounge cupboard.
Thoughts on Our Suite
We were very happy with room 6042. It was worth the wait to get a room with so much space and such a pleasant aspect, with three windows allowing us views of the river and the area around the hotel. It felt more like an apartment than a hotel room. But the space in the living and sleeping area came at the expense of compromise elsewhere...
The size of the bathroom was the compromise for the generous size of the other rooms. It felt crammed in between the outside corridor and the lounge area, which gave rise also to an unusual angular five-cornered shape.
Options are limited in most bathrooms, but in this one even more so. The toilet was to the right, the bath across the wall opposite the door, and the sink on the wall to the left.
To balance out the small size of the bathroom, the overriding color scheme was white. The floor tiles were matt and the wall tiles in a shiny finish. There was a white slatted ceiling with a few gaps. The bathroom suite was all white. To break it up a little, there was a black marble base for the sink and a black marble shelf to the side.
Fixtures and Fittings
The appearance of the wall-mounted toilet was reasonably modern, although the flush was set into the wall. The curved oval sink with a tall tap over it also had a modern feel to it. The disadvantage of the tap was that its design caused water to spill onto the base under the sink. There was an interesting sticker explaining the plug operation in the sink. The chrome rail beneath the sink area was useful for a hand towel and there was a chrome soap holder mounted near the sink.
The bath appeared to be older. I wondered if it had been fitted many years previously with the tiling at the side of it. There was nothing wrong with it, other than it being smaller than I would have liked. A wall-mounted shower head with a chrome hose ran off the bath taps. A glass screen by the bath shielded the shower. There was a chrome grab rail, with a soap dish by the bath and also a vertical rail, as well as a towel rail at the end.
There was a rectangular mirror in a chrome frame over the sink and also a shaving mirror nearby.
Toiletries and Towels
An impressive array of toiletries were set out on a chrome tray by the sink. There was also a wall-mounted chrome tissue holder. The supply of towels was generous; four hand towels plus four bath towels (presumably for the four guests the room had been set up for). There were also two flannels. The back of the bathroom door was a little overloaded with four bathrobes on hangers, with four pairs of hotel slippers in the pockets. Some of the belts were a bit frayed, but at least the thought was there. In my opinion, you can not call a room 'executive' without providing bathrobes and slippers.
There was a retractable washing line to go across the bath, a throwback to the last century. The new bath mat was still in its wrapper.
For the more weight conscious of us, there was a set of digital scales under the sink area. Something to be avoided on holiday, especially when there is access to an executive lounge.
To finish it all off, there were two tumblers on the shelf by the sink.
The bathroom had everything we needed. Although small in size, it was spotlessly clean and brightly lit by the four inset spotlights in the ceiling. Our use of it was less than normal in any case, as we used the showers in the leisure facilities while we were there.
Our wait for a room was made more bearable by the comfort of the executive lounge and its facilities. Located on the 8th floor, it stretched along an internal wall, with windows overlooking the main atrium of the hotel. There were doors off to the other side onto a corridor. There was a small desk by the entrance, where a staff member was often stationed. Staff tended to request names and room numbers to confirm admission.
The executive lounge was tastefully decorated with an expensive beige carpet with red, yellow, blue, and cream stripes and shapes. By the window, there were grey wood-framed chairs set round wood tables, some decorated with floral posies. There were also coffee tables with wood-framed sofas and low armchairs in shades of grey. The area was given a homely feel by a stone fireplace with a fireguard. Grey metal birdcages stood on the mantlepiece as well as tall glass vases with flowers. A limited number of international newspapers were available. Wooden partitions shielded the wood-floored buffet area.
Read on to see why this is the best executive lounge we have used in a hotel.
Refreshments by the Hour
This was the main advantage of the executive lounge. When we arrived, there was a snack selection available of crisps, nuts, chocolate bars (Mars, Lindt, and Toblerone), cookies, fresh fruit, and sweets. Drinks were available from a coffee machine, with a choice of teas and bottled soft drinks also on offer. There was a good range of tomato juice, blackcurrant, orange, apple, pineapple, water, tonic water, coca-cola, and mojito. Staff were attentive and tables were cleared regularly. These snacks were available all through the day, but they were only a foretaste of what was to come.
The timetable for refreshments in the executive lounge ran as follows:
15:00–17:00 Afternoon tea with a selection of homemade cakes and sandwiches.
When we were there, the finger sandwiches were smoked salmon on brown bread and cheese and cucumber on white bread. The cake selection was impressive. There was chocolate, chocolate and pear, a fruit cake of pastry and fruits of the forest as well as banoffee pie.
18:00–20:00 A selection of hot and cold snacks together with selected beers, local wines, and spirits.
The wines were a little dry for my taste but made good spritzers mixed with soft drinks. The snacks were small beef pastry parcels with a yogurt dip, breaded cheese cubes with a cranberry dip, octopus salad, mini-filled aubergines, as well as fruit.
20:00–22:00 Assortment of cheeses and vegetable crudites.
The wines and spirits were removed at 20:30. They were good to drink with the four kinds of cheese: blue, smoked, camembert, and another hard cheese. These were served with hard brown bread, butter, crudites (cucumber, carrot, pepper, cabbage), and dips.
07:00–11:00 Executive Lounge breakfast and a la carte selection.
The tables were set for breakfast. We had to give our room number and sign in. The staff were very attentive. It was quiet and the atmosphere was relaxed. The buffet was good.
Orange juice and tomato juice were in dispensers and other juices in bottles. There was a coffee machine, hot water, a selection of teas and teapots,
The cereal selection consisted of Weetabix, a granola mix, chocolate balls, a type of cornflakes, and the option of dried fruits (prunes, apricots, and cranberries) and seeds.
The hot buffet was limited, but adequate, with hard-boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, scrawny bacon, and sausages.
The cold buffet consisted of smoked salmon, cold meats, salami, cheese, grated carrot, baby tomatoes, cucumber, cream cheese, onions, dips, yogurt in a large bowl and also in individual pots, smoothies, fresh fruit salad, chopped orange, tinned strawberries, and watermelon.
There was a selection of several types of bread and rolls, as well as butter and margarine. There were pastries, croissants, crispbread, Ryvita, large chocolate muffins, spreads and jams, and honey dripping off a honeycomb.
If all this wasn't enough, French toast, pancakes, omelet, fried eggs, and boiled eggs were available to order.
We could have gone to the main restaurant for breakfast, but we found the quieter, more relaxed atmosphere in the executive lounge more to our taste.
The Living Well health club and spa facilities are located on the mezzanine level of Hilton Prague. As our break in the hotel was intended as an opportunity to relax from sightseeing, we made use of the pool area twice.
The reception area was brightly lit and made from light-colored wood. Changing rooms were nearby and led through a glass door to the pool area. A shower area, sauna, and steam room were at the wider end of the pool, which was around 15 meters long. There was a conservatory area, to the side of the pool with sun loungers, chairs, and tables. There was also a jacuzzi. We didn't venture into the outside area, due to the cool temperature at the time we were there.
As with most similar facilities, we had to sign in. Our key card was taken as a deposit for locker keys and we were given towels and directions to the changing rooms.
In the Ladies, which was the first door on the right after the reception, there were three toilets. Sinks along the left-hand wall had a long mirror near them with a supply of makeup pads and cotton buds. Beyond this, there were two areas of benches and lockers, all brightly lit. A glass door opened onto a shower area with three cubicles. The showers were powerful and had a supply of shower gel. There was also a disabled toilet and shower.
The straight rectangle shape of the 15-meter pool was varied a little by a bulge at the end. Each curve had a built-in set of steps with a metal rail down the middle. The 1.5-meter depth combined with the length meant that the pool was adequate for a reasonable swim. It was not Olympic-sized, but it was big enough.
There was a low ceiling over the pool, supported by columns. This opened out to the side into the conservatory, constructed from a brown curved frame and large panels of glass. The sun loungers and cushions were of good quality.
Sauna, Steam Room and Jacuzzi
The sauna was of a good size and heated to a high temperature. A sign on the door indicated that clothing and swimwear were banned, but towels were allowed. The steam room was of a similar size. The jacuzzi was operated on demand by a button starter.
There was a fitness center, which we did not use. My excuse was that all the walking around Prague had been exercise enough. There were also spa treatments available for a fee.
Overall we found the Living Well experience relaxing and a welcome break from sightseeing. The pool area was not busy either Friday afternoon or Saturday morning. Minor inconveniences were that the towels were not the biggest and that the locker key was on a ring with no clip, so it was hard to attach to anything. Being English and quite restrained, we opted to ignore the sign on the sauna and kept our swimwear on. My husband told me that the guy exiting, as we entered, had not. Sometimes there are advantages to removing my contact lenses for swimming.
Tips for a Great Stay at the Prague Hilton
- Search around for free-night offers. Our free night came as an offer with a new credit card. Unfortunately, this has been discontinued since, but it is worth checking for similar offers before you go.
- Join the Hilton Honors reward scheme. It is free to join, membership can qualify you for discounts and other benefits. You collect points when you stay in hotels in the Hilton portfolio, which can be redeemed for free nights.
- Look for ways to elevate your Hilton Honors status. Hilton offers a status match with other hotel rewards schemes. If you have high status with IHG rewards (Holiday Inn is amongst their brands) for example, Hilton Honors will match it for 3 months. This was how we got the Diamond level for my husband. It was due to his Diamond status that we were given a complimentary upgrade and access to the executive lounge.
- Take advantage of accelerated schemes. Sometimes Hilton will offer you a fast-track option and reduce the number of qualifying nights required to improve or maintain your status. This is worth pursuing as members with Gold and above status qualify for free breakfasts or food vouchers in Hilton hotels.
- Sign up for bonus schemes with Hilton Honors. Take advantage when they offer bonus points for your stays in their hotels.
- Max out your stay by arriving early. Admittedly it did not quite work for us on this occasion, but most times it does. If your room is ready, hotels are often very willing to check you in early at no extra charge.
- Request a late checkout. Gold and Diamond Hilton Honors members qualify for this if the hotel is able to accommodate them. But, whatever your status, there is nothing lost in asking anyway.
- Be cheeky but polite. When checking in, ask if you have been allocated a free upgrade. Whenever possible, this should be given to Gold and Diamond Hilton Honors members. But there is no harm in asking, as you have nothing to lose.
Overall, we were pleased with our stay at Hilton Prague. It fulfilled our requirements for a relaxing escape from sightseeing. But nowhere is perfect and there were one or two hiccups along the way. The delay over the check-in time was a little frustrating, but it was handled well. Staff were apologetic and the bottle of wine was unexpected, but a welcome gesture.
The most negative experience we had was when my husband went to double-check the late checkout time. The man he encountered was quite abrupt at the executive reception desk. He said somebody wanted our room the following day and this should have been checked. He blamed it on an inexperienced staff member, who had only been there two weeks and did not know what she was doing. He made us feel uncomfortable but grudgingly agreed that he had to honor the late checkout. We made sure to avoid him after that. His attitude towards us and the staff member who checked us in was unacceptable.
On the positive side, access to the executive lounge was a bonus, especially as it was one of the best I have been in and it lived up to its good reviews. The separate executive check-in was a nice touch. Our upgrade to a junior suite was a welcome bonus, with its river views. Added to this the leisure facilities were high quality (naked sauna notwithstanding).
The overall standard of facilities we experienced at Hilton Prague merited a 5-star rating.
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Liz Westwood