“ Address: Za Elektrárnou 3 / 170 00 / Prague 7 / Tel: 00420 266 712 470 „
As the name would suggest, the Expo hotel is situated at Prague's exhibition area so no problem finding it then. No? Well you've obviously never driven through Prague or you wouldn't be so quick to agree.
You'd think, wouldn't you, that the exhibition grounds would be well signposted, even if it was written in Czech. I tend to think the signs were written not in Czech, but in invisible ink because I didn't see a single one. Luckily, we had a map and with the super sharp navigational skills of my co-driver, the ever observant Mrs p, we eventually got there...emphasis on eventually.
EXHIBIT 1: LOCALE
Prague's exhibition grounds are situated about 2km north of the old town as the crow flies. We'd forgotten to bring a crow, so the fact that it's on a tram route was ever so helpful. In fact, this was one of the main reasons for choosing this hotel. It's situated next to a huge park but the tram stop is just a two minute walk from the hotel's front door with a choice of three trams taking you to various parts of the city. With trams running every 5-10 minutes, getting in and out was not a problem. I expect that's what it'll be like in Edinburgh soon...
Although the hotel building has no aesthetic qualities on view, the reception area was surprisingly warm and inviting and almost quaint. Old brick walls, lots of art work and subtle lighting made for a welcoming...welcome. The girl at reception was friendly and welcoming too, not to mention efficient. Paperwork was soon completed and with a few queries dealt with, such as transportation etc, we were soon on our way to our room.
Actually, we were soon on our way back to the car which we then took to the underground car park (£15 a day). After that, we were soon on our way to the room.
POKING AROUND THE POKOJ
Our pokoj...or room, was on the second floor and straight across the hallway from the elevators (although we never heard them from the room). It wasn't the largest room I've ever been in but wasn't cramped by any means. There were two twin beds (I suppose one twin bed wouldn't really be a twin bed, would it?) which were firm and comfortable but a little on the narrow side. The down side was the down pillows popular in this part of the world - big square, soft and mushy affairs that are completely impractical unless you plan to suffocate yourself while trying to get comfortable of an evening.
We had a deskcomesideboard which housed the well stocked, and not unreasonably expensive mini-bar and was weighed down with a fairly hefty, non lcd TV - 20 or so channels in a variety of languages...pay movies etc. there was also a table and chairs, bedside cabinets and plenty of drawer space in the mirror doored wardrobe.
Everything was in good condition and very clean, as was the carpet, curtains and bed covers although the pale green shade of these didn't in my mind, compliment the ochre wall. Still, clean and tidy is the main thing, not colour. A couple of well hung pictures (not those kind of well hung pictures missus) and some cozy lamps completed the set-up
The air con worked well enough but it wasn't really that hot so I can't say we tested it fully.
THE LITTLE BOY'S ROOM
The bathroom was tiled in black with a large, well-lit mirror, tub and shower. The shower was powerful enough but the curtain rail was placed far too close to the inside wall with the result that you were crammed in there and the curtain kept sticking to you. After a day or two, and being the handyman that I am, I discovered that you could move the flippin'' thing...so I did - Result? No more psycho flashbacks.
We also had a hairdrier, a sink (handy) and...wait a minute, where's the crapper?!
Ah, the WC had its own little separate room. That was a relief...literally. No complaints on the towels and toiletries front and everything was spotless.
EATING AND DRINKING
The hotel has a bar and restaurant with an outside terrace. It seemed to do a decent amount of business (not from us) but the hotel was pretty much fully booked with a few coach trips so it's hardly surprising. We did have breakfast though, and very good it was too. a veritable feast was on offer of a morning with eggs cooked in a variety of ways, sausages, bacon and hot veg dishes; various cold meats and cheeses; yoghurts, cereals fruit and juices; bread and jams; and lots of cakes. Very tasty it all was too...not that I ate all of it.
In conclusion, while not the most picturesque of hotels in not the quaintest of surroundings, it was exactly what we were looking for. Far enough away from the threat of the dreaded stag/hen crowds, the noise of the city centre and the inflated prices, but only a few minutes from the old town on the tram. We could pop into town in the morning - quickly and easily nip back to the room for a siesta and be back in town in no time for an evening of debauchery.
All this for Euro50 a night B&B.