Hotel Reviews

We’re going to try to use this space to do reviews for the hotels we stay at along the way. This is partly to provide a record for us and also to try and do a better job of sending reviews to the sites we used to book the hotels (mainly booking.com)… We rely heavily on other users’ reviews and want to make sure we’re giving back so hopefully we can do a better job of it than we did last time.

PENSIUNE CITADELA – SIGHISOARA
Triple room – private bathroom – double + single bed – breakfast included – approx $63 cdn/night

We had a bit of trouble finding this place (not their fault, we didn’t think to get good directions before we arrived) but it was worth it. The room is smallish by North American standards but more than comfortable for 3 people. The lobby area is really old-fashioned and the rooms have a rustic feel with exposed beams. The shower was bigger than the one in Vienna but not by much as was basically hand held and leaked all over the bathroom floor but was hot and had great water pressure. The breakfast each morning included a couple of options (club sandwiches, BLTs, omelettes, etc) with coffee or tea and orange juice. It wasn’t fancy but was filling and came with the room so no complaint from us. The staff (Tatiana was simultaneously cook, server, front-desk staff and cleaner) was friendly and very welcoming. The location was also excellent – just a stone’s throw from the main clock tower, a 2 minute walk from the citadel’s main square and a 2 minute walk from “town.”

Our only complaint was the barking dogs in the properties nearby but that’s hardly the fault of the pension and we could have closed the windows if we’d needed to…

We loved Sighisoara and loved this place. We’d definitely come back and would recommend it to any of our friends…

 

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FASHION STREET APARTMENT – BUDAPEST
1 bedroom apartment – queen bed – kitchenette – washer (no dryer) – approx $83 cdn/night

We found this place through holidaylettings.com – one of only two places we didn’t book through booking.com. The landlord (Marion Buda) was fantastic about responding to emails and gave excellent directions for getting to the apartment from the train station.

The apartment was fantastic – it’s on the top floor of a small apartment building right off Fashion Street – one of the main tourist shopping/eating/partying meccas in Budapest. The apartment is very spacious and well laid out for 3-4 people (it will sleep more but would probably be a bit cozy). It’s super clean and perfectly located to all the major sites in Budapest. We used the hop-on buses while we were there (a great value with all the added freebies) but you could even walk to the Buda attractions across the river if you were so inclined (it would be a long walk but doable). In our case, we found the apartment perfectly located for walking to a bunch of the attractions and close to transit options for the rest of them so we didn’t spend valuable vacation time worrying about transportation. There’s also a washing machine in the apartment (bonus!) but no dryer. Marion provides a large clothes-drying rack, though, and in Budapest’s heat, everything dried quickly.

We thoroughly enjoyed Budapest and would definitely stay in this apartment again and would highly recommend it to any friends heading to Budapest.

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HOTEL MOCCA – VIENNA
Triple room – private bathroom – double bed + single bed – approx $101 cdn/night

The room was decent sized, the front desk staff friendly and helpful and the room and property were clean and well-maintained. We found the shower ridiculously small (even by European standards) – so small that if you turned around in the shower, you’d either turn the water off or turn it all hot or all cold. I sort of expect this in a lot of European showers (I’m a pretty big guy) but when it happens with my wife (who’s pretty petite) you know things are pretty squishy. There’s no air conditioning in the room but the windows open (albeit it’s a bit noisy at night) and they do provide a good sized fan so we were comfortable despite the +30° weather. The large window sills made for a nice little work desk in the mornings (perfect size for a tablet or small laptop). In all the room was quite comfortable. We found it a bit pricey (it’s our second-most expensive hotel on this trip but by Vienna standards it was very good value).

The main draw for this hotel, though, is its location. It’s perfect for a couple of nights’ stay. There are lots of pubs. cafes and restaurants around so we had lots of choices for eating each night and we were able to walk to the old town and all its attractions in less than half an hour, we were 10 minutes from the Naschmarkt and we were just 2 blocks away from a subway station with connections to all the other places we wanted to go (Schonbrunn Palace, the Prater, etc.). The hotel is also less than 5 minutes from Mariahilferstrasse – a primo shopping street – if you’re into that sort of thing (prices in Vienna were way out of our league).

The only complaint we had was the WiFi was a bit spotty in the room. In general it didn’t work but we could get a workable connection in the mornings near the window… But there’s lots of places around with WiFi so it wasn’t a deal-breaker for us.

We’d definitely recommend this hotel to anyone heading to Vienna – especially if they were only going to be in town for a couple of days and wanted to be able to get to all the main sites without wasting a lot of time getting around.

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CHURCH PENSION PRAHA – PRAGUE
Triple room – shared bathroom – single beds – approx $70 Cdn/night

We were very pleased with this accommodation selection for our short stay in Prague.  Cute, comfortable and very clean.  The shared bathroom was close by (clean with a decent sized shower) and we never had to wait to use it.  The beds were typical European – a bit on the hard side for us wimpy North Americans.  The  lack of air-conditioning or fan was noticeable in the 30+ degree heat but we survived… A little bit melted perhaps but we survived.  Our dorm room faced the courtyard which helped reduce the street noise, however, voices did carry at times (along with dogs barking, equipment being moved on the cement and a few particularly awesome claps of thunder). The porter who welcomed us was friendly and very helpful (we arrived after the office was closed) and the staff we encountered have been friendly and welcoming. There is also a shared common room just outside our room with tables and chairs and a small kitchenette with hot plate and bar sized fridge. We didn’t take breakfast at the hotel but it is available and is served in a common room on the top floor with access to rooftop terrace.

The hotel is quite close to the old town square (about a ten minutes’ walk), Charles Bridge (maybe 20 minutes’ walk), Wenceslas Square (5 minute walk) and the train station (20 minutes’ walk) so it’s pretty ideally located for a short stay.

In all, Church Pension Praha worked out perfectly for us (good value, clean, great location) and we would definitely stay here again if we’re ever in Prague again.

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