Having recently returned from a quick 1-week trip to Prague and Budapest using LL hotels in both, I think it is time I posted a review.
Prague: We stayed at the Hotel Savoy, right off tram 22/23 on the East side of the Castle district. On the map, this looks to be quite out-of-the-way, but it was an excellent location. A very easy walk to the castle, extremely quick access to the trams and metros, and the best part was how quiet the area got each evening. Prague is a gorgeous city, but extremely touristy and especially in the central parts of town it seemed there was nowhere to escape the masses. The Hotel Savoy was a welcome respite from the crowds.
We purchased an amazing package at the Hotel Savoy, I am ashamed to admit how little we paid (especially after using a $500 VIP Gift Certificate.) The package included 3 nights in a junior suite, breakfast each morning either in the restaurant or in our room, a Prague City package including tickets to most tourist sites and all public transportation for 3 days, a 4-course dinner one night in the hotel's restaurant, and welcome drinks plus champagne and chocolate in our room upon arrival. The hotel was very nice, perhaps a little bit dated in its decor but very well maintained and the service was exceptional. Our junior suite was large with a separate sitting room, a very nice marble bathroom with separate shower and tub, and a large king-sized bedroom. The hotel seemed very quiet and rather empty, which can seem a little off-putting especially when you are the only diners in the restaurant, but overall we were quite happy with our stay.
We had an excellent 2 1/2 days to wander around the sites of Prague, actually that seemed like plenty of time as it is not a large city and we're not the type to visit each and every museum and tourist site. We had some fine meals, most notably at the hotel U Zlate Sludne in Mala Strana, which has wonderful food but more so the most fantastic views from its rooftop deck. We took a day trip our final day to Cesky Krumlov, an adorable little town a couple hours' drive from Prague with a gorgeous castle (although the tour of the inside was a little disappointing) and tiny little streets meandering around the picturesque river. Although, again, I wouldn't feel the need to stay for more than a day, this visit was an excellent change from the touristy Old Town of Prague's city center.
On to Budapest. We stayed at the Hotel Andrassy, a much more modern (in decor) hotel again somewhat away from the major tourist sites but within easy access of a metro stop so it was very easy to access everything in the city. It is in a beautiful part of town among all of the embassies along pretty Andrassy UT. This was another excellent hotel, a very different feel from the first and our room - Deluxe, upgraded one level from the Luxury Link package - was smaller but nice and well-equipped. Again, service was superb, there was a nice breakfast each morning and we were especially impressed with the restaurant. The weather was excellent during our stay so our complimentary 3-course meal one night was served outside and the restaurant was busy and the food modern and wonderful.
I really enjoyed Budapest, probably more so than our visit to Prague. Whereas Prague is very beautiful but seems to exist these days only to serve tourists, Budapest is a real, bustling city with lots going on and a young-feeling population. Again, you don't necessarily need more than a few days to see most of the sites and get a feel for the city. We spent a lot of time in the fairly new city-center where there are a lot of shops and restaurants. There's a park smack in the center by the main metro stop where they've built a lovely shallow pool for people to sit around and soak their feet. As the weather was quite hot, we were walking around a lot, and I was 6 months pregnant, we managed to visit the pool every afternoon to just relax and get a feel for the people. It was always busy and crowded and a fun place to hang out.
Although we did visit the requisite cafe Gerbaud, for meals I highly recommend the adorable bistro/cafe Gerloczy Kavehaz - and order their pretzel bread - delicious! Also for a quick, modern bite when you are en route from one place to another there is an italian "fast food" type restaurant called Vapiano that was clean, inexpensive and quite delicious.
I just came across your excellent report on Prague and Budapest with Luxury Link. I enjoyed reading your observations on Prague and Budapest, especially since we too had just visited the these two cities in March, and your feel for both the Savoy and Andrassy hotels, both being LL properties. We too stayed at the Andrassy Hotel and loved it. In Prague we spent 4 nights at the Hotel Hoffmeister, just below the Castle walls, and certainly can recommend this hotel in Prague without reservations.
Keep up the good work and let us have more of your contributions of your travels.