I recently spent four nights at the Prague Marriott Hotel in Prague, Czech Republic. I checked-in on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2015. The hotel is located on V Celnici, a stone’s throw from the Old Town section of Prague, and less than 10 minutes walk from the historic and beautiful Old Town Square. In this blog post, I will review the wheelchair accessible accommodations and features available at the property. I will also offer some insight into what my experience was like, as a traveler using a power wheelchair.
The Prague Marriott Hotel is a nice hotel, and rooms are currently undergoing renovation for a more modern touch. Given the time of my stay (over New Year’s), rates were somewhat inflated, so the total for four nights was 17,710 CZK, inclusive of tax. This worked out to an average nightly right of approximately $178 USD. I had reserved the room just short of 90 days in advance, and rates had crept much higher closer to the date of my stay. Looking into the future, I see nightly rates as low as $79, so the cost is all about timing. Consult the hotel’s website for more information on prices for specific dates.
The Old Town Square, with its observation tower above the former Town Hall, and the iconic Astronomical Clock, is truly the center of Prague. That square is only a short walk away. The hotel is also within close proximity of the Central Train Station. After arriving in Prague on the ALEX train from Munich, Germany, I was able to roll to the hotel in about 10 minutes time. Several tramway stops are within 2 minutes walk/roll, offering easy connections to other parts of the city. The closest metro subway station is not accessible, but the Florenc station (lines B and C) is less than one mile away. With so much in walking distance, including restaurants and the Palladium shopping mall, the Prague Marriott Hotel is well situated for the tourist looking to get the most out of Prague.
Hotel Common Areas
I arrived at the hotel, and happily discovered that the main entry door could be operated electronically using a handicap accessible push button. The doors opened automatically, which saved me and the bellman a bit of work. What a great start!
When I first rolled in, my eyes focused on the beautiful staircase (pictured above), which leads up to the hotel’s event space. A New Year’s Eve party was in full swing!
My reservation was for a standard deluxe room with a roll-in shower. Check-in went smoothly, but there was a bit of a mix-up with my reserved room type. The hotel staff had seen my Marriott Rewards Platinum loyalty status, and had taken the liberty to upgrade me to the Executive Level. Unfortunately, the room did not have a roll-in shower. Given the sold-out status of the hotel, I was moved to the Moser Presidential Suite for the night (I may look at that in a future blog post). The next day, the standard room with roll-in shower came available, and I was reaccommodated there.
Accessibility of Hotel Room #249
The room I was assigned was #249, on the hotel’s second floor. This floor has just been renovated, and the rooms renovated to a more modern style. The door, pictured above, opens into the room. Access is granted via key card. As you’ll notice, a lowered peephole has been installed, allowing wheelchair users to access it at eye level while seated.
Room #249 has a very comfortable king size bed, with the standard Marriott bed linens. The soft and fluffy down comforter is truly divine. Four pillows were standard, but I requested more for extra comfort. The bed height was quite standard for a hotel, and it sat a couple of inches higher than the seat of my wheelchair.
A nightstand and lamp is located on both sides of the bed. In the photograph above, you’ll notice a power outlet, two USB ports and light switches installed just above the nightstand. The phone was located on the stand to the left of the bed, also pictured here.
Above the power and USB ports is an “SOS Button,” which can be pushed in case of an emergency. A similar SOS Button can also be found in the bathroom.
Hanging on the wall opposite the bed is a beautiful and large high definition, flat screen television. Given that I was abroad, I didn’t have access to ESPN on the TV, and had to watch college football bowl games on my laptop. Still, it was a beautiful TV, and good for watching the news!
Pictured above is the desk and work area, which was tall enough to roll my wheelchair underneath. The hotel provided a fruit plate as an apology for the previous night’s troubles – a kind and welcome gesture.
Next to the desk were two power outlets and a set of USB plugs. I chose to plug my wheelchair into the power outlet at the desk. The cable of my off-board charger was able to stretch to the bed without issue. If you plan to charge a powered wheelchair or scooter while in the Czech Republic, read my important article on voltage, power conversion and charging a power wheelchair abroad. As a warning, the hotel does not presently have a step-up/step-down voltage transformer, but I have recommended to management that they purchase one for guest use.
To the left of the bed is a nice chair, which looked comfortable, but I did not test it out. It was used as a convenient space to store my backpack.
Looking back across the room to the door is the room’s hallway. It is wide and there was plenty of space for my wheelchair to turn around there. In the photo above, you’ll see the closet to the left, which has a mirror on the sliding door. Inside the closet is a safe, which was large enough to hold my laptop and easily within reach while seated in my wheelchair.
Now, to the bathroom! In the photo above, you’ll see the sink to the left, which had plenty of space to roll my wheelchair under. The toilet, to the right, had space for the wheelchair to park on its right side, and grab bars on both of its sides. The grab bars could be folded up or down to allow for an easy transfer. In the center of the photo is another SOS Button, to be pressed in the event of an emergency.
The roll-in shower – this is what I was after. As you’ll see in the photograph above, the shower seat base is affixed to the wall, and can be folded up or down. The seat is rather small. The grab bar, which extends behind the seat, further reduces the space one has to sit on the shower seat. It was, truly, one of the worst shower chair designs I have seen. I alerted the hotel to this fact and, with renovations still underway, they have tasked their contractor with finding a larger shower seat. I will update this review if and when new shower chairs are installed.
The rest of the shower design is quite nice, with the water controls well placed, and a handheld showerhead easily within reach. The shower also includes a curtain, which can be drawn for privacy and to contain the spray of water. There is no barrier on the floor between the shower and the rest of the bathroom. The drainage system could have been better designed, so be careful of slippery floors. The shower could also use a soap tray, which may not yet have been installed. Construction was still underway on the 2nd floor.
The towel rack was positioned quite high, but you can request that housekeeping place the towels on the shelving system below the installed rack.
The hotel features an executive lounge on the 7th floor. A perk of my Marriott Rewards status is complimentary lounge access. Lounge access can be added to any reservation for an additional fee, depending on your rate and room type.
The lounge offers a free buffet breakfast each morning, which offers a range of breakfast staples: eggs, bacon, fruit, breads, cereals, etc. The breakfast was quite good.
Snacks and drinks are available throughout the day. A happy hour with free alcohol (beer and wine) is offered nightly, along with a variety of hors d’oeuvres. Each night, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options were available.
High-speed wi-fi was also available, and a good connection was possible in all areas of the lounge. Pictured above is my set-up at a table in the lounge, where I was enjoying afternoon coffee and cookies while working on this website.
I enjoyed my stay at the Prague Marriott Hotel. The staff, including the concierge who set up my wheelchair taxi reservations, were friendly and extremely helpful. The hotel was clean, and the more modern rooms were extremely comfortable. The shower seat design is unfortunate, but I hope the hotel will change course and correct it soon. Once that has been done, I would not hesitate to recommend the hotel to wheelchair travelers. The hotel’s convenient location sets it apart from similarly priced accommodations in other parts of the city.