Breathtaking Atrium, Irritating Corridor Music (sorry so wordy, summary at end!) A review of Hilton Prague
The 5* Hilton is pretty much what you'd expect of a 5* Hilton - Greeted at the door by a stout gentleman in a large top hat and ushered into a huge marble reception, with jewellery and crystal shops nearby, decorated with jungle proportion plants and a water-feature. The atrium is spectacular and gives a feeling of tremendous wellbeing (which is lucky as there is no Hilton transport from the airport unless you book one of their limo's in advance for the pricey tag of 850Kc/£20)
The reception staff are delightful (somewhat uncharacteristic of the standard Czech service sector - supermarket/shop sales assistants are outrageously offhand - dare I say rude - by UK standards!!!) and their English impeccable.
Breakfast (up to 6 courses available at the buffet!!) is delicious: pastries, fresh fruit and bacon are especially fabulous, but some may find the pace of the dining area somewhat frenetic, and if you do not guard your table well you may find your carefully selected delicacies whipped away in your absence - indeed even from under your very nose - in the painfully hierarchical melee of serving staff's enthusiasm to clear the place in time for lunch!!
The 24 hour Bistro serves good food at not entirely unreasonable prices, but beware the sting in the bill is definately from the drinks - the Zest Bar and Bistro serve Krusovic beer at a brain-spinning 135Kc/£3 per pint, with spirits even more frighteningly hiked!! (Local bars in town will serve beer at 17-30Kc/40p!!)
The rooms are comfortable, with excellent air-con and laptop internet access point as standard. The beds are huge and extremely comfy, although the bed linen condition at times hinted that numerous trips to the boil wash was beginning to take its toll... The mini-bar is unsurprisingly extortionate and to be avoided (except to remove the contents to make room for your own water/beer from the nearby supermarket at Florenc Metro!) Check your bill carefully, we mysteriously apparently ate 2 bags of peanuts - which were still very much in the fridge as far as we could see!!! The Satellite TV is extremely limited - only the Hilton advertising channel, BBC World and amusingly BBC1 for the English-speaking guest (out of 40 channels!) Room movies cost 800Kc/£20!!
The pool is "compact" and not for the serious swimmer but the outside terrace and jacuzzi with a view is a nice touch. The mixed (naked) Sauna with large signs outside banning the use of swimwear is perhaps a little off-putting to shy guests!
Overall a fabulous hotel at first glance, and certainly handy for the main tourist traps (assuming you're happy to negotiate the surprisingly straightforward Metro - TIP: buy a 3/7/14 day pass, rather than individual tickets, that way you can drift around the whole transport system without worrying about having small change and which buttons to press every time!!)
Our only serious complaint was that the cheesy plinky-plonky piped corridor music is switched on at 6am, and remains on until 10pm EVERY DAY. If you are a light sleeper, this will ruin your plans of a long lie - it drove us insane!
So, expect to be wowed on arrival, fed to bursting point, fleeced for drinks/entertainment/transport to the airport, and sleep on the comfiest bed in the world - but only til 6am when the fat lady starts to sing...