Hotel Don Giovanni (Prague, Czech Republic)
Wow, it really has been quite a while since I've travelled... and orchestras and ensembles can put you up in some really nice places, or some "interesting" cost-saving places!
This time, the ensemble that I was working with seemed to have a decent budget from doing the prestigious opening concert of the Prague Spring Festival, and so we were all housed at the Hotel Don Giovanni for the week.
Now, you might have guessed from the name that the hotel is going to be a bit Mozart themed. There are quite a few of these sorts of hotels all through the world, and as a musician, I tend to find them a little on the cringy and tasteless side... but I can ignore all of that if the rooms and service are decent!
Okay, so upon entry, you will see that this is definitely going to be headed towards the slightly kitsch style for decor. A large statue of Mozart (who was Austrian....) greets you between palace-style winding stone stairs. It looks nice enough, but to me it is a bit ostentatious.... however, after a while you stop noticing these things!
By the bar there is a classic WHITE piano... sigh, these things are quite the cabaret sorts of things, I think they are going to be mixing up the genres a little bit here! What is very nice is that they have a live pianist on most of the evenings that I was here... even during the reduced traffic of the Coronavirus period! The large stone acoustic does make for quite a pleasant sound for the piano.
Behind the bar area, is the breakfast and restaurant section. They provide a very nice buffet of hot and cold foods for the breakfast, including a wide variety of choices that I would term DESSERT!
I do wonder how much these chairs cost... and if anyone ever sits in them. They are situated just outside the four lifts which constantly stream Mozart over the speakers.
Arriving in the main rooms area, you are greeted with the usual endless corridors. There is a nice touch of carpet, which will dampen the sounds of other visitors at the weird hours of the morning and night, and the walls are decorated with film stills from some Mozart movie?
Entering the room, there is a decent layout... more than good enough for a single traveller, and probably good for a couple. Public unsecured WiFi and a multitude of channels... but most importantly a good layout of electrical outlets, including some near the bed!
Oddly enough, there is a tiny little bar fridge hidden away where you wouldn't think to look for it. See that little mirror on the wall on the far side at head height? Yep, that opens to reveal a fridge behind it!
BARF!!!!!! (the wall quote...)
Anyway, the beds were comfy and clean... just never look under the beds! That goes for every hotel and BnB!
Okay, am I the only person who find this quite disorientating? I ended up never using the desk because of this wallpaper... I dragged a table out and used that instead!
Although the view wasn't that great from my window, it does show the tram, bus and metro lines just outside on the street level. This hotel is well connected with public transport, an important thing when you are a tourist... or a just trying to get some work done!
I'm told that the other side had a much more serene outlook... it overlooked a cemetry.
On the first night, I had to order room service... well, I do that sometimes when I am really tired and I can't be arsed to get out of the room. However, this time, I needed to order room service as I was still awaiting the results of my coronavirus test and I was supposed to stay in isolation until I knew.
Now room service is normally expensive, but in this case it was the added delivery cost to the room that was stupidly high. Okay, I'm in the Czech Republic, so the food is cheap... but when the delivery cost MORE than the food and drink combined?
So, I definitely enjoyed my stay at the Hotel Don Giovanni... despite the terrible theming of the hotel. Good public transport connections, some nice restaurants and takeaways close by, comfy beds and spacious room. No complaints at all! Especially when the ensemble/festival pays the bills!