Lovely city with rich history A review of Miss Sophie's
We were asked to travel to Prague for a business meeting and combined the trip with our honeymoon. As newlyweds, we needed to keep our own expenses on a budget. So we had an opportunity to contrast travel accommodations between the Intercontinental Praha (a solid 4 star hotel) and Miss Sophies Hotel (a yet unrated combination hostel, hotel and pension). You can check out the Intercontinental Praha reviews in TA and get a good idea of that facility. It's a world beyond Miss Sophies [--]. However, Sophies, located in New Town at Melounova 3, is within walking distance of anything in Old or New Town. The little hotel offers small, immaculately clean, private rooms with bath, or other typical hostel arrangements, at a very attractive price. (Private rooms w/ bath at 1400 KCZ - about $56 USD.) Plan on packing your own soap and shampoo. There is no air conditioning, but for cool nights - efficient steam heat. The windows actually open for fresh air and down comforters are provided. The furnishings are minimalist, but all custom built with contemporary styling that contrasts nicely with the polished oak floors. The staff is multilingual, very friendly and helpful. There is not a restuarant in the hotel, but Banditos next door fills the gap nicely, offering value-priced breakfast, lunch and dinner with a tasty Mexican flair. Value price means you could be paying less than $5 USD without drinks (full bar is available). Czech beer on happy hour is about $0.50 USD and leagues beyond anything brewed in the United States. Other wonderful neighborhood restaurants include U Dlabace (104 typical Czech items on menu), Pivorsky Dum (Brewery House) - a brew pub with wonderful Czech and hunt-style dishes, and The Butterfly - contemporary Czech food and California-style pizza in a casual environment with sidewalk seating available.
We highly recommend taking a few days to walk around and absorb the city. Then, you may want to hire a private guide to accompany you and introduce you to the history and architecture of one of the most intriguing cities in central Europe, a former capital of the Holy Roman Empire, and the site of many European power struggles. Prague is recovering nicely from more than 40 years of Soviet control, and previous 6 years of Nazi occupation. It is a city that is rebuilding its identity by reaching back into more than 1000 years of cultural history that the locals are proud and eager to share.
A few travel notes, beware of tourist pitfalls in some Old Town area reastaurants - English menus with inflated prices, extra charges for seemingly complimentary items such as butter, ketchup and sauces - even spoonfuls of nuts that may be served tapa-style as you are seated. Carry small change for public toilets (the attendants become surely if unpaid), and bring small packs of facial tissue to substitute for toilet paper - I call Czech-produced TP "Blot Don't Rub" brand. Baby Wipes are helpful when soap is not available.
We spent 9 wonderful days in the city and would love to return. There is much yet to be seen and learned.