BoHo Hotel

BoHo Hotel is a stylish and contemporary boutique hotel situated near Prague Old Town which I stumbled across during my holiday search. After reading reviews online I was sold.

I’m used to staying in well-known hotel chains, however, the more I travel I’ve realised that sometimes the lesser-known hotel is actually newer, cleaner and has tailored service. BoHo Hotel exceeded my expectation.

 

MY STAY

We were given a free glass of prosecco on arrival and sat in the comfy chairs whilst we were checked in. The process was swift and easy and the hotel was able to accommodate our early arrival.

After check-in, we were taken on a mini-tour of the hotel and we were informed that the restaurant serves crisps and a glass of free wine between 5 pm – 6 pm daily and the hotel offers a complimentary City Tour.

THE ROOM

We stayed in the Junior Suite; which was very spacious with a living space and sofa. The room was comfortable and warm but had a modern feel with the latest technology including USB chargers.

The bathroom was my favourite and I couldn’t stop raving about it. It was new and clean with brown transparent glass and equipped with a double basin and double vanity mirrors – handy if multiple people need to get ready.

There was also a separate toilet and a walk-in shower as well as a bathtub. As you may know from my past posts I love good amenities, and BoHo’s amenities were so good; Natura Bisse and Roja.

THE FOOD

The hotel restaurant was bright with large glass windows and an outside courtyard.

I’m not usually a fan of hotel food, but the food served at BoHo was delicious. The menu was a small selection which was perfectly tailored.

We tried the burger and chips, the truffle mushroom risotto with parmesan, and the chicken noodle broth – everything cooked to perfection.

THE SPA

The wellness area included a treatment room, hydrotherapy jacuzzi pool, sauna, steam room and a gym. The area was clean and warm and I had an enjoyable and relaxing experience.

The hotel offered guests a 20% discount on spa treatments; I had the Swedish massage which was the perfect end to my stay.

 

BoHo really went above and beyond and left us a special gift (of champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries) in the room. The customer service was top notch and all staff went out of their way to ensure we had a good stay. I highly recommend this hotel and I will definitely stay again in the future.

Comment below with any questions,

Love,

Roberta x

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Prague

Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic which lies at the heart of Europe. Steeped in history, the city is known for its cobbled streets, old town square and towering castles.

Need to Know:

Local currency: Czech Koruna (CZK)

Language: Czech. English was widely spoken, however, remember that Czech is the language of Prague

Transport – Trams, Meter Taxi, Uber. We ended up taking Uber everywhere as a 15-minute journey was around £3, very affordable

Adapter: Two round pin adapter

How I booked:

I booked this trip through a British Airways package deal. Flight and hotel were included. The trip was 3 days and 2 nights (Saturday morning to Monday night).

WHERE TO STAY

If you frequent my blog you’ll know that my usual advice for short-haul trips is to stay somewhere quite central. This is so that you can spend less time travelling when you’re on a tighter schedule than normal.

In Prague most sights are within a close distance of each other, the longest uber trip time was around 20 minutes.

Where to stay also depends on what you prefer; some may prefer staying in the quieter areas near scenery and historic sites – such as Prague castle.

I stayed in the BoHo Hotel which was very central and a 5-minute walk to the Old Town. Read more about my hotel stay here.

Prague is a very affordable city and you can stay in luxury hotels for less. If you’re likely to spend less time staying indoors then it’s a good opportunity to try out a unique boutique hotel.

Some options are:

  • Four Seasons Hotel Prague
  • Mandarin Oriental Prague
  • Augustine Prague
  • Hotel Cosmopolitan
  • Alchymist Prague
  • Carlo IV, The Dedica Anthology

WHAT TO EAT

Okay, where do I start?? I’m not the biggest fan of European food so I always prepare myself in the case of disappointment however I was so impressed with the Czech cuisine. Not only is it cheap and cheerful, there are also so many varieties of national foods to try from street food to restaurants.

Trdelnik

Trdelnik is a Czech pastry and one of the most common pastries sold by street vendors. It is often referred to as a ‘chimney cake’. It is made from dough that is wrapped around on a stick, grilled and top with sugar. The pastry is then filled with ice cream – dreamy.

You can choose from a variety of flavours, such as chocolate, vanilla or red velvet dough. Toppings include; nuts, sauces, sprinkles, fruit or gingerbread biscuits.

I had spotted Trdelnik before I came to Prague and couldn’t wait to try it. I can confirm that it really does look as good as it tastes.

Good Food is popular for its Trdelnik and is in a great location off Charles Bridge for scenery pics.

Manifesto (Faency Fries)

There are plenty of food markets in Prague. After some research, I decided on Manifesto as it has cute heated igloos to sit in and had a particular stall called ‘Faency Fries’.

Faency Fries were the best chips I’ve ever had in my life. The chips were seasoned to perfection and you could choose a selection of toppings. I chose cheese topping, which was melted by a blowtorch, and served with spicy mayo.

The chips were so good that we tried to go back to Manifesto the next day, but it was unfortunately shut (opens Wednesday – Sunday).

I also tried some of my friends beef kebab from another food stall. I’m not a big fan of meat at the moment but the meat was tender and soft.

Visiting a food market in Prague is a great idea, especially Manifesto.

Deer Prague

We stumbled on a cute looking restaurant on one of our walks through Old Town called Deer Restaurant and decided to dine there for dinner.

I had the John Dory fish fillet with mussels and roasted potatoes and my friend had the saddle of rabbit. For dessert, we both picked the Strawberry Cheesecake dish.

The food was well presented and tasted delicious. Including our prosecco and elderflower/raspberry drinks the entire meal came to £48 for the both of us – including a 10% tip.

Café Savoy

Café Savoy had been highly recommended on google for the best hot chocolate in Prague. The décor was beautiful and the patisserie display looked delectable – however, the food and drinks were a big disappointment.

The ham and cheese croissant was dry, cold and just generally not nice and the hot chocolate was bitter. I wouldn’t recommend.

Chloé Café

Chloe Cafe was chic and quirky and reminded me of the new wave of flower walled coffee shops in London.
I love a gimmick and really enjoyed the monogrammed coffee. “Gucci Gang” was on the menu, but I went for the Louis Vuitton.
Chloe’s had the fluffiest pancakes which looked like doughnuts they were a hit. The cafe was cute but it wasn’t a must-do.
Restaurants and food on my list that I didn’t get to try;
  • Pork knuckle (A popular traditional food in Prague)
  • Fried Cheese
  • Beer
  • Pickled Cheese (don’t blame me if it’s not nice!)
  • Mlynec Restaurant
  • Café Kaficko
  • Ice Pub

WHAT TO DO

Prague Castle

Prague Castle is a majestic and historic castle complex. The castle is home to the President of the Czech Republic and was once home to the Kings of Bohemia and Roman emperors.

You can easily spend hours at the castle visiting the cathedrals and different towers. Try and get to the castle in time to watch the guard changeover at noon.

My recommendation is St.Vitus Cathédrale which is stunning both on the inside and outside. 

Astronomical Clock

The astronomical clock can be found in the Old Town Square. The clock was first installed in 1410 making it the oldest clock still operating.
The clock rings on the hour and the twelve apostles appear. Don’t expect too much from the display as this is a very old clock, but it was fascinating to watch.

St Charles Bridge

There are many bridges that cross the Vltava river, however, the biggest and most popular is the Charles Bridge. You can take a stroll over the bridge and see the swans of the Vltava river and picturesque view.

Vintage car ride

You can hire a vintage car which takes you on a tour around the city. The ride is the quickest and easiest way to see all of the sights, especially if you’re short on time.
They offer rides of either 40 minutes, 1 hour or 2 hours and the prices start from around 1500 CZK which is roughly £50.
I didn’t have time to do everything I had planned but some others that were on my list were:
  • Truffle Tour – Truffle hunt with dogs which is followed by a truffle meal
  • Infant Jesus of Prague
  • Beer Tour – Czech Republic is famous for its beer – a great option if you like beer
  • John Lennon Wall
  • Boat ride – There are many public tours to choose from, the Four Seasons hotel offers a private boat ride
  • Christmas Markets
  • Food tour
 
Prague was a charming city break. Breaks like this that remind me that Europe is filled with unspoiled gems.
The cobbled roads, tall castles and spires of Prague made me feel like I was in an old Disney movie. I highly recommend Prague for a weekend away and I will back to visit one day soon.
Have you been to Prague or are you planning to go? Feel free to drop a suggestion or to ask any questions.
Love Roberta
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New York Palace

New York Palace promises grand luxury and that is exactly what you get.

I toyed between staying at New York Palace and Corinthia. I had seen pictures of both of these hotels. Whilst Corinthia had a slight edge with their spa, the grand lobby in New York Palace won by a mile.

The hotel was very central which was important to us. Everything was either a short walk away or easy to access by transport.

My Stay

Upon seeing the hotel I knew instantly that I’d made the right choice. The building itself was a landmark and towered over the other buildings in the street, it screamed luxury.

Walking into the hotel made me even more confident in my decision. There were doormen in top hats and shiny shoes to welcome us in. The foyer smelt of roses and was lavished in gold with frescoed ceilings.

First impressions were everything and I was truly impressed. Not only was the architecture beautiful, but they had also added little touches like flowers and Diptyque candles. On Sunday there was a live pianist playing the grand piano, I felt like I was being serenaded and if I was, it worked!

The building itself was massive, several floors with multiples lifts and grand staircases.

Hotel Lift (one of many)

The Room

I did my due diligence when researching the hotel and I knew in advance that the rooms were quite average. This saved a lot of disappointment.

We stayed in the Superior Twin Room. Though the room was average it wasn’t bad at all. It was clean, modern and very spacious, all it lacked was décor.

What you have to bear in mind is that with some hotels, you pay for the atmosphere rather than the room itself. What the room lacked, the lobby and café certainly made up for.

The bathroom was also nice and spacious with a grey marble finish and delivered on the two main things I look for in a bathroom – cleanliness and a good shower! Both are very important to me.

 

The toiletries were Aqua Di Parma which was another plus. I love toiletries which double up as good handbag additions.

The Food

The hotel restaurant is the famous New York Café which is known as ‘the most beautiful cade in the world’. Like the hotel, the décor of the Café was absolutely spectacular.

The food was not to my personal taste as the menu was dated; perhaps to keep up with the antiquated vibes. But I did really enjoy the Hungarian wine and the hot chocolate.

There was a live string band that played every half hour. The staff would ask if we had any requests and the band would play it.

It was perfect having the café as part of the hotel as it was nice to come downstairs from your room to such beautiful visuals.

Being guests of the hotel meant we were given preferential seating. Prior to visiting, I saw reviews advising people to ensure booking before visiting the café. Although it was busy we didn’t have to wait for seating on our weekend trip. But I would advise booking in advance if you’re not a hotel guest.

The Spa

The spa/pool was very dark and modern which was a contrast to the old-fashioned vibes that the hotel gave.

We went to the spa area once and opted not to spend much time there or get any spa treatments because we wanted to experience the Hungarian thermal baths.

The pool was definitely not one of my favourite hotel pools but I didn’t mind as lounging by the pool wasn’t on my agenda for my weekend in Budapest.

Overall the grand lobby and the central location were the hotels main selling points.

Sometimes it is not only the hotel which makes your stay complete it’s the people around you who make it special. The staff were lovely and helpful. I’m so happy I went with the New York Palace, it truly was sensational.

With Love,

Roberta x

 

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Budapest

Budapest exceeded all of my expectations. I’m not sure what I was expecting as I’ve never ventured into Eastern Europe. Maybe something old-fashioned and historic?

The city is gorgeous and although it does have a historic feel to it in some parts, it’s also modern and cosmopolitan. The quaint cobbled streets and the whole look and feel of Budapest reminded me of Paris. I completely understand why Budapest is dubbed the Paris of Eastern Europe.

I’ve been wanting to visit Budapest for years after seeing the scenic castles and enticing thermal baths, but I had a hard time persuading some of my friends. I can see why they weren’t drawn to it at first glance – it looked pretty but boring.

After scanning online I found cheap flights and I told my bestie Melissa to pack her bags because this was an offer we couldn’t refuse.

Background:

Budapest is the Capital and most populous city of Hungary; it comprises of two districts ‘Buda’ and ‘Pest’ which are split by the Danube River.

Pest is busy, buzzing and boujie and is home to most 5* hotels and gourmet restaurants. Whilst Buda is on the hills and is the quiet and historic side.

Need to Know:

Local currency: Hungarian Forints (HUF)

Language: Hungarian, although everyone we encountered spoke very good English.

Transport: The transport was cheap and very easy to navigate. You have a choice of yellow metered taxis, underground metro, overground tram or buses. It’s also really easy to get around by walking and that way you can see a lot of the sights.

Where to Stay

New York Palace, The Dedica Anthology

I stayed at the New York Palace Hotel, formerly known as the Boscolo Budapest. It was between this hotel and the Corinthia Budapest.

Picking this hotel was the best choice, it was elegant and classy and the staff were so lovely. The hotel was also very central so it was easy to get to everywhere. Read my review of the New York Palace Hotel here.

Grand Lobby, New York Palace Robbienroute travel blog budapest

Grand Lobby, New York Palace

As Budapest is a short haul destination you are likely to have a short stay. I would opt for a hotel that is central, as it makes getting around a lot quicker, much cheaper and some of your destinations will even be walkable.

Budapest is a lot much cheaper than other European destinations so you can stay in a luxury hotel for less.

Below are some other luxury options:

  • Corinthia
  • Kempinski
  • The Ritz

The Food

The food in Budapest is amazing! Excuse me if I sound shocked but I wasn’t expecting it at all. Even better, food is very affordable. For example, one evening we dined at Nobu and it was around two-thirds of the price it would be London.

Nobu

We ordered drinks and 5 dishes (two of which were wagyu beef dishes) and the bill was around £120 for two people. If you’ve been to Nobu then you’ll know that this is a bargain.

The service was amazing, just like most places we visited in Budapest.

The vibe in Nobu was strange for a Saturday night. It wasn’t buzzing like its sister restaurants in London. It was more chilled and you wouldn’t get looked at strangely for coming dressed casually.

I highly recommend Nobu if you are in Budapest.

New York Café

I must admit that I was let down by the food at New York Café. This café is definitely on the pricey side. But as it has been named the most beautiful café in the world, you are definitely paying for the atmosphere rather than the food.

One thing I loved was that the food was so well presented. The little things make up the whole experience.

I ordered the beef Goulash – which is a Hungarian soup mixed with meat, veg and pulses. And my friend ordered the duck with cherry sauce and potato dumplings. The food was okay, but nothing I would rave about or order again.

The hot chocolate was hands down the best I’ve ever tasted. Melted Hungarian chocolate with cream. Now that I would have again 10 times over.

New york cafe budapest hot chocolate review blog robbienroute travel luxury

Hot Chocolate

The café itself was a sight to behold, ancient and glamorous and like nothing I’ve seen before. I would definitely recommend visiting this café even if it’s only for drinks.

Deak St. Kitchen

We stumbled across Deak St Kitchen whilst exploring the city. My friends know that travelling with me means I have a jam-packed itinerary, which usually includes restaurants. I had a whole list of restaurants to visit in Budapest but we saw this pretty bistro and decided to go with the flow.

The food was amazing and again, the staff were so friendly and attentive. We ordered the lamb chops.

After spotting Lemonade on every menu, we soon realised that Budapest has a thing for fresh Lemonade. If you like lemonade (and even if you don’t) you have to try it when in Budapest – their lemonade is in a league of its own.

Fresh, tangy and made to order. I became quite obsessed with the elderflower and strawberry combination. Can’t decide if my favourite lemonade was at Nobu or Deak St. Kitchen.

(left) Cucumber & Mint (right) Elderflower & Strawberry

What to do

Thermal baths

The thermal baths are what initially drew me to Budapest. Bathing in the thermal baths is part of the Hungarian culture.

The water is sourced from hot spring wells thousands of feet below the city, there are over 100 hot springs which pump water to Budapest’s 11 public thermal baths.

After deliberating between the Széchenyi Baths and St. Gellért Thermal Baths, we decided to visit Gellért.

Gellért Spa swimming pool budapest review robbienroute travel luxury blog

Gellért Spa swimming pool

Gellért bath was quite underwhelming. For a start, the staff were rude and nonchalant. I’d seen comments about the rude staff on reviews prior to visiting.

I understand that there are hundreds of people that visit the baths per week, but it’s not an excuse for being rude and unhelpful. This was the only place in Budapest that I received bad service, everywhere else was perfect.

What drew me to pick Gellért spa was the pictures of the huge bath with pillars. When got there, we found out that this was actually a swimming pool and not one of the thermal baths. The hot baths were a lot less attractive. I guess this is why you have to do your research.

The experience itself was strange, like being in a very hot bathtub with loads of people. But I enjoyed it. Sometimes you just have to try something new. It’s definitely an experience, so I urge you to give it a go, even if it’s not your thing.

Entrance fee was 5800 HUF (£16.12). And you can pay to rent a towel for 3000 HUF (£8), you get about £5 back when you return the towel. Beware that rented towels need to be returned an hour before closing time.

There are spa treatments available. When we went to the baths last minute on a Saturday night the treatments were fully booked so it’s best to book in advance!

Fisherman’s Bastion

Fisherman’s Bastion is a neo-Gothic terrace situated on the hills of Buda. The terrace gets its name from being the home of the fishermen who protected Budapest from invasion.

The views from the terrace are spectacular, you can see the whole of Budapest and the river Danube. It honestly feels like you’re in a magical city, with castles, stairways and cobbled roads.

It’s free to enter the terrace and it’s really accessible. We rode two stops on the metro and a short bus ride to get there, and we decided to walk on the way back to see the chain bridge up close.

 

Széchenyi Chain Bridge

This bridge was the first to connect Buda to Pest and has become a well-known landmark of Budapest.

Széchenyi Chain Bridge

It was lovely to take a stroll across the bridge and take in the city. Driving past the bridge, especially at night, was equally delightful.

Although it would be hard to miss the bridge, I would recommend getting close up and personal.

Other things to do:

  • Visit Buda Castle
  • Visit Matthias Church
  • Take the Big Bus Budapest Tour
  • Take a boat ride on river Danube
  • Dinner on a boat on river Danube
  • Visit the Hungarian Parliament Building

Budapest was the perfect surprise; I wasn’t expecting much but it gave me everything. This city has fast become one of my favourites in Europe and I’m already counting down the days until my next trip.

Comment with any questions or tell me about your Budapest experience.

With Love,

Roberta x

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