Not your typical Holiday Inn A review of Crowne Plaza Hotel Prague
This Crowne Plaza has got to be one of the chain's most unique properties, as it is in the former International Hotel, built by the Soviets in grand-Stalin-dictator style in the 1950s. You have to see the lobby to believe it -- I would have paid to do so. The hotel's fascinating history and former guest list is hidden on the second floor above the restaurant. Despite this, I got the impression neither the hotel's employees nor their corporate bosses in America wanted to emphasize the hotel's Communist past. It's an impulse I understand but nevertheless it is what makes this hotel so interesting.
It is in a quiet, residential neighborhood but not nearly as far from Prague's center as some might think. Getting to the center requires only a short, five-minute tram ride (on a line that ends at the hotel) to the Metro and a short (5-10 minutes) Metro trip. The hotel even sells all-day transit passes for 3 euros each. We never felt we were too far or remote and kind of liked having a little distance from the hordes of tourists in the old city.
The rooms are large and comfortable. Ours had a small alcove with a table and chairs and a large bathroom. Parking in the guarded lot is supposed to be 10 euros but we were never charged for it. The only reason the hotel doesn't get an excellent rating is breakfast. It wasn't included in our rate and we made the mistake of paying for it one morning. It was 15 euros per person and pretty awful -- I would have skipped it even if it had been free.
Overall, though, this hotel is a bargain for what you get for the cost of a short train ride and is, in some ways, a sight in itself. We would definitely stay here.