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I am a New York-based writer, travel lover, and author of The Drive North and Destination Paranormal. I have several other books in the works, including fiction.

A Night at the Hotel Maria Prag

When it comes to hotels, I always stress one thing: location. I don’t care how good of a price I get, if I have to blow the savings on transit and precious vacation time to get to what I want to see. It is just never worth it. But the Hotel Maria Prag, which is away from the general hustle and bustle of the tourist district, made me think otherwise.
I was in Prague on a RIAS Berlin Kommission fellowship trip. Our group was specifically in the city to visit Radio Free Europe. Their offices are no where near the main tourist district, nor are they open to visitors. We were fortunate enough to have a special invitation which also gave us enough free time to see the area around the hotel.
Looking at my map, I thought it would take a good hour to walk to Prague’s Old Town. My guess wasn’t far off the mark, but it also wasn’t as bad as it sounds. The Hotel Maria Prag was really in a good area; off the beaten path and away from all of the craziness, but close enough to walk to most of the important sites. And the walk gave me a chance to appreciate the unique and amazing architecture for which Prague is best known.
After checking into my room, the first thing I did was throw open the windows. Once again I was in an European hotel that did not have air conditioning. The air was so stale I could taste it. I needed the windows open immediately, and much to my enjoyment it was to an excellent view overlooking the neighboring park.
I would later appreciate some enjoyable time strolling through the park.
My Hotel Maria Prag room was very modern and quite tastefully decorated. I’m normally happy with a place with a comfortable bed and a clean bathroom – which the Hotel Maria Prag had, albeit quite small – but the room was more like a small suite. I noticed the same with a collegue’s room when I had to modestly play the role of hero, since she thought someone had broke into her room.
The service we experienced during our brief stay was quite friendly, but when she went to the front desk to ask for a different room it wasn’t given without an argument. This may be a cultural point I did not understand, having never been in the Czech Republic, but it seemed like a room exchange should have been given more freely when it was first requested. Ultimately it happened, but not in a manner I would have expected or have experienced in hotels elsewhere.
I could hold no grudge with the front desk clerk in the morning. Finally, for the first time in over a week, our breakfast included properly cooked bacon. At our hotels in Germany, the bacon was always undercooked and cold – the way Germans always make it. In Prague it was just as I would order it in the U.S. And believe me, I took advantage and loaded up – giddy over the opportunity.
As I said, I can be easily pleased when it comes to hotels.
I left the Hotel Maria Prag happy with my stay. Sure, it was a long walk away from Old Town, but that was also beneficial as we weren’t constantly in a swarm of tourists. We were able to sleep peacefully with our windows open, enjoy the quiet nearby cafes, and still have a chance to see and do everything we wished.

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