When I last stayed at the Hilton Hotel in Prague, I was so impressed it made number four on my list of Hilton Hotels worldwide. I visited again on Wednesday 12th August 2020 – what a difference a year and Covid-19 make.
Temperatures in Prague were over 30° all week and Hilton rate was only 2200 Kč (£76 US$100) a night – a great opportunity to enjoy the excellent lounge, Health Club, modern air-conditioned room and a good breakfast. All this included as a Hilton Hhonors Diamond member.
There are two Hiltons in Prague; the smaller, more centrally located one is called the Hilton Old Town; this one, still pretty central, is often referred to as the Hilton Atrium.
The 8th Floor Executive Floor check in was closed so we checked in at the main desk. There was a desk marked Hilton Hhonors, but it wasn’t manned and there was only one person in front of us.
The lady on reception was friendly and efficient and soon we were on our way to an ‘upgraded’ Room on the 7th floor. With the hotel so empty, I would have liked a to try a suite, but I didn’t expect that.
The door was sealed. It’s a nice gesture, but really only means that the room was cleaned.
The remote control looked like this:
The room was very similar to our previous visit, although the shower was smaller and the toilet not separate. The view was better.
You can see the National Monument on top of Vítkov Hill in Prague’s Žižkov district and the Prague TV Tower in the distance.
And towels on sunbeds in the summer garden – our first warning sign.
We donned our bathrobes and slippers and headed straight for the Health Club. It was 3.45 PM and we expected the place to be empty as on our last visit – members and Hilton Gold/Diamonds usually have free entry.
The pool, pool loungers and the summer terrace were full. It was a Covid-19 nightmare and I really didn’t feel comfortable in the pool. There was a sign that said ’16 people maximum in the pool’ and there were maybe 18. The next day, a pool attendant replaced the sign to read ’24 people maximum in the pool’. It was clear that the hotel had offered every guest free access to the Health Club. That might sound like a good thing, especially if you booked a basic room without Hilton status – but what a way to discourage premium guests and locals who pay a huge amount for Health Club membership. And with Covid-19, they just turned the place into a virus hotspot.
With a full summer terrace, you would think that the hotel would try and make some money by sending a waiter to take food and drink orders – but the mismanagement extended to there being nobody available.
The previously excellent 8th Floor Executive Lounge was closed and we’d been advised to visit the bar area. Happy Hour used to be from 6 – 8.30 PM, but has now been changed to 5 – 6 PM – just penny pinching. We visited midway through and couldn’t believe the meagre offering – just beer, wine, soft drinks, coffee, nuts and a few pieces of fruit. This set in a roped off area of the bar that wasn’t controlled – random people just wandered in and walked off with a few beers.
There was no afternoon tea the next day – we’d previously enjoyed lovely sandwiches and cakes. I’d give this lounge a 1/10 and that’s being generous.
We went for dinner at an excellent nearby restaurant called ‘Hong Kong’.
After dinner, it was still a warm evening and we’d read that the Perseids meteor shower was at its peak. So we visited the Hilton SkyBar – the entrance remained impressive…
We asked for a table on the large outdoor terrace – “Sorry that is only open at weekends, but you can sit inside”. I mean really? Are they trying to bankrupt the hotel? We went back to our room.
The room air con was easy to use and worked perfectly. The control panel could do with a cover as it’s quite bright during the night.
Breakfast was in a large area by the main lobby – the entrance was between these two staircases.
There wasn’t a wait for tables and there were hand sanitisers at the entrance and inside.
Pastries were provided in paper bags.
There wasn’t any table service and the coffee machine and orange juice dispenser all had multiple touch points. The hot buffet was self-serve.
A complete Covid-19 fail.
We were able to arrange a late checkout without any problems.
I’d advise against staying at this hotel, especially if you plan on booking an Executive Room or are a Gold or Diamond member. If you are the owner of this hotel, please fix the issues before you need to close, or are sued by someone who caught Covid-19 during their stay.
I’ve removed the Hilton Prague from my list of best Hilton Hotels and Resorts Worldwide – it can’t stay in fourth place, but equally I can’t drop it to the low teens as I have no experience of how other previously good hotels are running post Covid.
OBREZNI 1, PRAGUE, 186 00, CZECH REPUBLIC