I spent 10 days in Prague a few winters ago, as a sort of "writing retreat" with two other friends. The three of us stayed in a private room with its own (incredibly clean bathroom) that was for four people and we used the fourth bed to pile our coats on.
I loved Sir Toby's, from the little alcove by the window where a small table sat, perfect for breakfast, to the bathroom, which my friends and I kept joking was our favorite part of the trip. (It was cool because the shower was just a corner of the grey-walled bathroom, and the huge showerhead was, like, five feet above our heads so that it always felt like I was showering under my own personal indoor raincloud.) Anyway, enough about the bathroom.
The location is not in the "center" of things, but it wasn't that far either. I was always happy to be back in "my" neighborhood after gallivanting around Old Town or whatever. There was a nice market just down a few blocks from the hostel with food stands, clothing stands, a grocery store, and a post office. When I needed a new battery for my (film) camera, I got one from some guy selling all sorts of batteries at one of the stands. I would get a big loaf of rye bread and some cheese spread and cheap pate and keep it out on the ledge outside our window (to keep it cold). Okay, I could have put it in the fridge in the hostel but I was feeling lazy.
The bread was about the only great thing about the food in Prague. Sorry, but I am one of those people that has to eat "ethnic foods" for all my meals, I am used to eating Thai, Indian, Korean, Mexican everyday, and it was quite a shock to my system and morale when I was confronted with Eastern European fare everywhere I went. Granted there were Thai restaurants and such, but to be honest it tasted just like all the other food--salty and vinegar. In fact, those two ingredients seem to be all the Czechs use in their food. Any time I asked for hot sauce or peppers, all they had was Tabasco, IF I was lucky--which only added to the vinegary taste of everything.
That's all right, I drowned my food sorrows in pivo (beer) every night and all was well. God, I loved the pubs around Sir Toby's. I didn't actually like the pub in the hostel all that much; it was great to grab a beer while doing work on my laptop, but not great, I thought, as a social hangout. My friends and I went out to a local pub down the street and sat smoking in a corner with the locals, we put Amy Winehouse and any "Czech" music we could find on the jukebox and had a blast.
Back to the actual hostel, I know some people were annoyed about cleaning people entering their rooms while they were still in them, and we did have the same experience even though we had booked a private room for ourselves. This did not bother me though, as I have stayed in other hostels. Look, they have a limited time in which to clean the rooms, they're just hardworking people who don't make that much money, and it won't kill you to have them in your room for a few minutes to tidy up while you're there. The lady that cleaned our room was very quiet and respectful, but she had a job to do and our presence wasn't going to do anything to deter her.
I think I've said enough. Here's a link to my <a href="http://www.associatedcontent.com/slideshow/23108/10_days_in_prague.html?cat=16">Prague Photos</a>, if you're interested.
Unfortunately, all my photos of the actual hostel were on a roll I did not get a picture cd of--if you have a film camera like me, don't use the processing place across the street from Sir Toby's unless your Czech is better than a tourists. I tried to ask if they could give me a pic cd but I could not make myself understood. Oh, well. It was cheaper to get it processed at home anyway.
Oh, the Italian restaurant on the same street was all right. Actually, all the Italian food in Prague was surprisingly decent. If you're like me, bring along some Korean ramyun packes in your suitcase so you can eat something Asian and spicy while you're there. Sir Toby's has a great kitchen.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A genuine hostel experience with unrivaled guest service! We love Prague and want you to love it too. With almost two whole floors of common space (including a full guest kitchen, garden with guest grill, basement Pub with drinks and board games, and a cozy reading room), you're sure to make new friends at Sir Toby's. Plus, we offer a wide variety of accommodation options to fit your budget and your preference. Sir Toby's offers the kind of personal attention and service that only come with experience. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sir Toby`s Hotel Prague