Residence Bologna, Prague
After spending 6 nights with the kids, and touring 4 cities, we the parents wanted to go home. Well, hubby wanted to go home, I wanted to live in an ignorant bubble of butterflies and rainbows and continue our way onto Prague. It’s not that the kids were being bad, per say, it’s just that they weren’t behaving as well as we know they are capable of. Long story short, I convinced him to keep going and we drove onwards to our grand Prague hotel, Residence Bologna.
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Checking in was…interesting. According to the front desk, the paperwork I had to fill out is for the police, and not their own records. It is the law and every hotel in the country is obligated to provide it.
What kinds of questions? I had to fill out a short questionnaire for each family member (yes, including the baby). They wanted to know our full names, date of birth, nationality, passport number, Schengen visa number and reservation dates. The family of Germans next to me were not pleased about having to write their passport number on paper, as well as having it scanned into the computer. Don’t yell at the front desk, people. If you don’t like the policies, visit the police station and ask them what it’s all about, they are just doing their jobs within the law.
As we always aim for, this hotel was centrally located. We love having the ability to park the car for a few nights and just walk around without worrying. The markets and Astronomical Clock are only a few short minutes walk away, and there is a corner store and ATM machine on our street. Considering the local currency is not Euro and the stores offer a poor exchange rate, having CZK so readily available is amazing (especially since I didn’t even realize they weren’t in the Eurozone until a few hours AFTER arriving).
Getting to the hotel from the highway was fairly easy. We traveled along the river for a few minutes and were able to see the Charles Bridge and Dancing Houses from the road. Highway 0 looked like a great piece of road to ride in the future – the tunnel through the mountain alone looked incredible. Maybe because it was December 24th (official Christmas Day here in Europe), or we were just that lucky, but traffic was light and bearable. We also arrived at 3 pm which meant we weren’t fighting the roads during rush hour or in the dark, both of which I hate while driving, period, let alone in a new town.
As most everything is within walking distance, we didn’t have much need for public transit, but it is available.
According to Google Maps, there is a tram/bus that could have taken us from near the hotel, to the base of the castle, as well as another tram to the Dancing House. Since there is so much to see between the two points, we walked everywhere.
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Residence Bologna offers parking on site, for 25 euro per night, but without reservation. They run on a first-come, first serve basis. We arrived a few moments before a large group (6 rooms, 14 people) and we took the last parking spot. Tickets are handed out at the front desk so there is no sneaking in and grabbing a spot that isn’t yours. While 3 pm is a little early to have all spots full for the rest of the week, there is alternative parking.
Across the street there is a parking garage, they charge 1euro per hour… which essentially comes to the same price, but it is off-site.
There is parking out in front of the hotel. By the look on his face when I asked if I can park there, I believe this to be a horrible idea. Hubby was in the car while I checked in so we didn’t risk getting a ticket, but there is space to park while getting proper parking arranged.
There was a small hiccup during the check-in process, where the parking garage ticket generating machine was not functioning. After waiting an hour, being interrupted by rude and unruly guests, tech support wasn’t able to get the system up and running. Thankfully, everything knew who arrived first and the last 3 parking spots were assigned accordingly (those that didn’t get a spot gracefully accepted their fate and asked for alternative sites). After a time, Reception traffic died down and one gentleman was able to break away from front desk and escorted us to the garage. Driving around back, he manually unlocked the gate and allowed us access to our spot.
The garage itself is heated, the spaces are large enough to hold a good sized vehicle and there is an elevator that takes guests to their floor from the garage, without ever having to go outside. This was particularly helpful when we had to run to the car and grab Christmas presents after the kids went to bed… and this is why we didn’t forfeit our spot in order to save time. We preferred the 4 nights convenience over the one-time hassle of waiting.
The rooms at Residence Bologna are incredible. We reserved a family room and hubby was a little skeptical about the price, considering what I had just reserved at a similar price point (JUFA hotel Salzburg), but they couldn’t have been further apart.
This family suite has two rooms, a large shrank (European closet), enormous bathroom with bidet (Mommy, I wash my hands!), and a kitchenette. Sadly, the mini fridge is behind closed doors and therefore shut off from overheating. Remove the door and voila, the fridge is cold again. I don’t know why so many locations do this, a unit that generates heat needs to ventilate or it will shut off.
The beds are crazy comfortable and there is plenty of floor space for the kids to walk around. There is even enough room to open a Travel Cot and playpen
Travel tip; when booking on any online platform, take note of the ages they consider children and make reservations accordingly.
A family of 5 walked in and tried to check-in to their two rooms of two – they were not allowed because of fire safety regulations and beds available. The 5th person, whom they claimed to be a “free child” is 16years old. The reception clarified well; if the child is sleeping on provided beds, ie co-sleeping or on a Travel Cot/Play Pen brought from home, and under 6 years old, they are a child. Since this teenager will not be co-sleeping with his parents, he is an adult and needs to be booked as such. This reminds me of the Train ride from Munich to Düsseldorf when the guest tried to use the children’s compartment. Europeans don’t have time for your BS. Do it right and save yourself the headache of fixing it when you get there.
Starts at 7:30 instead of the usual 6:30 but we all need to sleep in eventually, so I am not disappointed in the times.
They served eggs, bread, cheese, yogurt, and cereal. I didn’t mind the selection but the kids really wanted bacon. Hubby says they used powdered eggs and it made him sick the next day (a bit of a sensitive stomach that way). I didn’t mind them, though I would have preferred bacon as well.
They rotated the yogurt flavor every morning so Baby Girl didn’t get her favorite blueberry or strawberry each day (she wasn’t having anything to do with Peach yogurt, what a princess), but the cereal calmed her down. Overall, we were happy with the selection.
Residence Bologna Hotel was an amazing choice for our family. It is in such a great location, and the amenities were incredible – the rooms were soundproof! The door looked like something out of a panic room. So I knew, no matter how much my kids fought bedtime, the neighbors would be clueless and this had me hooked. I would recommend this hotel to anyone and everyone visiting Prague in the future.
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