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
When we were planning our time in Prague, we were looking for a budget hotel in the city to 'bookend' two free nights we had in high-class hotels. The intention was to max out our time in the expensive hotels by checking in as early as possible and checking out as late as we were allowed. After searching around, my husband came up with the Ibis Wenceslas Square, which seemed to fit the bill.
We had experience with Ibis hotels and others in the Accor brand—Mercure, Novotel, Ibis Styles, and Ibis Budget. Membership of ALL, Accor Live Limitless, qualified us for a discount on the room rate.
Finding the Hotel
It is easy to assume from the name of this hotel that it is centrally located on Wenceslas Square. Wrong. I'm not sure how the hotel justifies its title. Its actual location is 0.6 miles (nearly a kilometer) south of Wenceslas Square. The walking time is estimated at 11 minutes.
We took the metro to I.P.Pavlova, which should have been a 3-minute walk east of the hotel. It took a little longer, due to language issues in getting directions and finding somebody who knew where the hotel was. The hotel is located on Katerinska, a street running off Jecna. For a fee, guests of Ibis Prague Wenceslas Square can make use of the leisure facilities in the Novotel next door.
Once on Katerinska, we spotted the Ibis with its clear branding and the illuminated sign displaying the room rate. The outside of the hotel was unremarkable. Mainly constructed of concrete blocks with square windows, the modern 6-floor building had a glass-fronted lobby area.
The lobby had a bright and modern feel to it. The reception area was along the rear wall. Tables and chairs were arranged to the left with drinks and snack vending machines nearby. To the right, there was an area of low seating, as well as two computers.
We were greeted and our check-in was processed quickly and smoothly. Having received directions to our room we found the lifts around the corner from the reception area. The lift was small with a capacity of two people plus cases. Corridors had large grey and red floor tiles with white woodchip walls.
Our Room, Stay One
The door into room 502 was next to the bed, which backed onto the corridor wall. To the right, a little further along, there was a door at an angle into the shower room. Beyond this, there was a small corner area with a bench seat. Furniture was arranged along the opposite wall. On the outer wall, there was a large square fixed window and also a fully opening glass door with a step up to it.
The glass door is a clue to the surprise. It opened onto a rooftop terrace, which more than matched the area of the room. This was an unexpected bonus. Pebble-dashed square tiles made up the floor. The concrete roof edging was supplemented by metal rails. Bordered on one side by the cream sloped wall of the building and to the other by a high opaque glass barrier, this was a very private outside space. It afforded views over Prague New Town and a glimpse of the Old Town in the distance. The area was complemented by three Ibis branded deck chairs, a glass-topped, circular, metal-framed table, and three metal-framed rattan chairs. Tall dark grey plant holders were located at either end of the terrace, each containing a miniature bush.
The double bed had a light wood effect headboard fitted to the wall behind it. There was a shelf attached to the far side, but there was nothing on the side by the door. The bed base was on black wooden legs. Beyond the bed, there was a built-in, angled, tall corner unit in a light wood effect. A spare pillow and a blanket were on a high shelf. The hanging space had 5 hangers and there were three shelves in the corner.
Beyond the tall wall unit, there was a fitted cream worktop with a dark brown basic chair next to it. We wondered if a white corner shelf used to have a TV on it. A dark wood slimline unit was mounted on the wall between the outside door and the window. It had an integral shelf below the TV and a chrome rack for leaflets.
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The corner area between the outside wall and shower room was well-used by a fitted light wood-effect bench seat.
The walls had a woodchip effect covering. The wall behind the bed and the one near the shower room were a pale peach color. Other walls were white. The carpet was dark brown and not very good quality. The duvet, sheets, and pillows were white and the bed base was black. Full-length orange and brown curtains hung by the door and the window. The cushion on the bench seat was orange-striped. The door into the corridor was of pale wood and the shower room door was white.
There was one bedside light on the far side of the bed, with a chrome base and a white shade. Further light was provided by a white circular shaded light hanging above the worktop and another over the bench seat. A powerpoint was located by the worktop. There was another powerpoint by the flatscreen TV which was mounted on the wall with a slimline unit opposite the bed. There was an air-conditioning control on the wall near the shower room.
We were surprised to find a tray with tea and coffee-making facilities on the worktop. From past experience, these are not usually provided in Ibis hotels but we did not complain.
There was a telephone on the worktop. A tall mirror with pale wood top and bottom was mounted on the wall between the TV and the window.
Thoughts on our Room
The room was compact and fairly basic. It was not somewhere to linger in longer than necessary. What made it was the outside space, which doubled the floor area.
The Shower Room
Large matt off-white square tiles covered the floor. This was complemented by the large glossy white square tiles on the walls.
Fixtures and Fittings
There was a green small oval marble effect sink and top with a chrome towel rail below. A tall mirror above the sink was framed by light wood at the sides and top, with a vertical strip light on either side. The toilet was mounted at an angle on the wall near the sink. The shower was set in a roughly triangular-shaped area, with two outward opening doors. While we were there the seal fell off the bottom of one of these doors.
There were two large green and chrome hooks on the wall. Additional items included a wall-mounted hairdryer with an integral shaver powerpoint. There was also an item that resembled a bottle opener.
Toiletries and Towels
There was a wall-mounted liquid soap dispenser by the sink and a similar shower gel dispenser by the shower. When we arrived there were no towels. We were given two bath towels and a bath mat on request.
This was a compact room, slotted into a small area of the bedroom. I counted eight corners in this shower room. Ibis don't tend to go in for hand towels, so bath towels have to double up. If you are looking for a bathtub to soak in, we have yet to find one in an Ibis hotel. In line with many newer and refurbished hotels I have stayed in recently, showers are the norm. They are generally cheaper to run and better for the environment (unless you spend a long time in the shower).
Food and Drink
There was a light snack counter and vending machine area near reception in Ibis Prague Wenceslas Square. We opted to look for dining options outside the hotel. Walking along Jecna, towards Charles Square, we noticed Pivovarsky Dum. Described as a 'restaurant and brewery/beer boutique on its business card, Pivovarsky Dum served up local menu choices in a traditional setting with its home-brewed beers. Perfect for the traveler who wants to sample the local cuisine in a traditional setting.
We had the option of paying more to add breakfast to our booking, but we chose to take our own food with us. This saved time and expense.
After a night in a 5-star Prague hotel, we returned in the early evening to check in for our second stay at the Ibis Prague Wenceslas Square. Our hopes had been raised by the unexpected roof terrace and tea/coffee-making facilities of the first stay, but it was not quite the same. We were given key cards to room 435.
The Twin Room
As we walked in, the shower room was to our right with the door set at an angle. The beds dominated the room. Other furniture was arranged along by the large square, side-opening window.
Twin bed bases shared a pale wood effect backing, fitted to the wall with an integral shelf on either side. Beyond the beds, there was a bench, which partially went under the cream worktop, that ran under the window. A dark brown wooden chair with a grey frame was nearby.
At the far end of the worktop, there was a wardrobe/open hanging area of pale wood with several hangers, shelving, spare pillows, and blankets. Attached to the wardrobe was a low curved unit with two shelves and a beige top. We wondered if this had been the location of a TV in the past.
A dark brown slimline unit similar to the one in our first room was the current location of the TV, opposite the beds. Further along this wall, there was a tall mirror with pale wood along the top and bottom.
There were many similarities to the first room The carpet was brown, of moderate quality. The main door was of pale wood, the shower room door was white. There was a peach wall to the right, around the shower room, and a white woodchip-covered wall to the left. There was a pulldown blackout blind at the window with hangings in brown and orange to pull across. The bench had an orange cushion. The sheet, pillows, and duvet were white. A painting of a pleasant hilltop scene in a light wood frame hung on the wall between the wardrobe and the TV.
There was a power socket below the shower room light switch. A white cylindrical lamp with a chrome base was attached to the headboard on each side of the bed area. There was a general light switch on one side and a power socket on the other. Further lights of a similar design were located hanging from the side of the wardrobe over the worktop and also near the mirror. A flat-screen TV was mounted on a unit opposite the beds. After our experience of the first stay, we were a little disappointed to find that there were no tea/coffee-making facilities in the room.
Thoughts on the Room
The room was compact and basic, but adequate. The only issue was that we had booked a double room, not a twin one.
The Shower Room
The shower room was very similar to the first room, although this time I counted 7 corners in the room. It was not a room to linger in, but it was compact and functional.
The Double Room
After querying the room allocation at reception, my husband returned with the keycards to a double room. Room 441 was a little further down the corridor. Apart from the double bed instead of the two singles, much was similar to room 435. This time there was a framed painting of Paris Orly Ibis on the wall and the drop-down blackout blind was white.
Tea/coffee-making facilities were provided. But we discovered there was an extra charge, which we opted to pay.
Tip: If like us, you are partial to an early morning brew, and you can see that the hotel you are staying in does not have tea/coffee-making facilities in the room, you might want to consider investing in a travel kettle and some supplies to go with it. We did not take a kettle on this trip as all the other hotels had refreshment facilities in the rooms.
The room overlooked the leisure facilities of the Novotel next door. We could hear noise from the swimming pool and also heard a phone going off several times during our stay.
The Shower Room
Deja vu. The shower room was identical to the one in the twin room.
Our expectations were raised after being allocated a room with a rooftop terrace and tea/coffee-making facilities. It turned out that the refreshments were an oversight and should not have been there. It was also a little disappointing to be allocated a twin instead of a double second time around.
We mentioned the hassle of changing rooms when we checked out and the charge for the tea/coffee was removed.
Tip: If anything, however minor, has gone amiss with your hotel stay, it is worth mentioning it at check-out. Many hotel management companies want feedback and will ask how your stay was. They are often keen to make things right, leaving you with a good last impression in the hope that you will stay again.
The beds were not the most comfortable. Coming from 5-star accommodation the previous night probably did not make for a fair comparison. They were adequate for most tired and footsore tourists. It has to be said that all the rooms we saw were clean and the shower rooms were spotless, which always counts highly in favor of any hotel.
The Accor Brand
Getting Out and About
Although the hotel's name does not reflect its actual location, Ibis Prague Wenceslas Square is within easy reach of plenty of sights in Prague New Town. Whilst here we took a walk along Jecna to Charles Square, where we saw St. Ignatius Church and the New Town Hall.
Before checking out on our second stay, we walked further along Jecna to the Cathedral of St. Cyril and St. Methodius, where we visited the museum about the final hours of Heydrich's assassins in the crypt. Having mortally injured the unpopular acting Reichsprotektor, who had been installed by Hitler, the freedom fighters were betrayed and surrounded by German forces. They eventually committed suicide in June 1942 to avoid capture.
Once at the River Vltava, we saw the Dancing House, an interesting architectural sight. A lift took us up to the top, where, for the moderate price of a drink, we were able to take in the view from the outside terrace.
Two nights in a budget hotel in Prague were never going to be the highlight of our trip. To be fair, the rooftop terrace with our first room exceeded expectations. The twin and double rooms of the second stay were much more in line with what we expected.
If you are looking for basic no-frills budget accommodation in a clean, compact, and functional room at a reasonable cost, Ibis Prague Wenceslas Square fits the bill. It is not somewhere to linger, but it provides a bed for the night in a location within reach of the sights. On this basis, I have awarded it 2 stars, not because it was terrible, but because it was never going to be up there challenging the high-quality hotels. Ibis Prague Wenceslas Square is a worthy member of the budget, limited-service segment of hotels.
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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