Author Topic: “Light” Trip to Vienna & Prague  (Read 22721 times)

Offline moish

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“Light” Trip to Vienna & Prague
« on: August 06, 2013, 05:48:05 PM »
Having a baby a mere 2 weeks before the start of bein hazmanim, I pretty much wrote off any sort of trip. It was to be the first summer since we got married that we were going to simply stay put. However, being bitten by the travel bug as I am, as bein hazmanim progressed, the itch kept on getting stronger. We decided to make a go of it, and planned a “light” trip to Europe to see some of the cities we had missed in our travels. My travelling through Europe until this point had been focused on seeing countries. I had always wanted to see Prague & Vienna so we decided this would be the perfect opportunity. I searched around for flights and found a charter airline flying to Prague for $350 a ticket. Not too bad considering we decided to go a week before we actually left. And off we were, with our 5 year old, 2 year old, a new 3 week old baby.

Our flight on Friday morning was on Travel Service/SmartWings at 9:10am which got us into PRG at about 12:15pm. After eating some lunch, feeding the baby, renting the car etc., we hit the road at about 10 to 2. Driving was fairly easy, and we drove it in under 3.5 hrs plus a half hour for breaks, and we arrived in Vienna at around a quarter to 6. TIP: If you are ever considering doing some serious driving in Europe, it’s definitely worth your while to learn how to drive stick.

Something to remember, we picked up the car in the Czech Republic, and the car had a sticker on it from the CR. When you cross the border into Austria, you need to buy a sticker to put on your windshield to be able to drive there. Any gas station should sell them, and they cost around 10 Euro for 7 days IIRC.

Our first stop was at the kosher restaurant, Alef Alef. As far as Shabbos meals, this is pretty much the only option, and they require prepayment. To our horror though, they were closed when we got there around 6. As it was late, (shekia was around 8:45pm but davening is at 7 with the meal directly following) we rushed to the hotel, the Imperial.

As our plan was to be in Vienna for four nights, I broke one of my rules and booked 2 nights at the Imperial, and 2 nights at the Bristol, both Luxury Collection hotels. The Imperial, the nicest hotel in town, was too expensive to book for all the nights, even at the SPG C+P rate, and to stay at the Bristol all 4 nights also wasn’t an option, because after all, how can we go to Vienna and not stay at the Imperial? So we decided to do 2 and 2.

The Imperial definitely lives up to the hype. It’s truly a beautiful hotel, as the former palace of a prince. When the Queen of England visited Vienna, she was put up at the Imperial due to lack of nicer accommodations. The service was impeccable as well.








Offline moish

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Re: “Light” Trip to Vienna & Prague
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2013, 05:49:14 PM »
I had some suite night awards that I applied when booking, and we were confirmed in the Elisabeth Suite before arriving. The suite itself was very nice, although not enormous. One of the perks of being in a suite is having personal butler service, though I didn’t get too much use out of him aside for pressing some clothing.











Offline moish

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Re: “Light” Trip to Vienna & Prague
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2013, 05:49:26 PM »




As far as parking my car, the hotel charges somewhere around 40-50 Euro per night, an amount I was not prepared to pay. There are Park and Ride lots around the city which charge 3 Euro per day. As I wasn’t planning on using the car too much in Vienna, it was a no brainer to use the lot, the closest one being merely 6 subway stops away. (I only needed the car to get back to Prague, as 2 one ways was significantly more expensive than the roundtrip.) However, as I arrived late, I figured I would be stuck paying at least for one night of hotel parking. In the end, the hotel has street parking close by, and the hotel ‘greeter’ offered to “feed the meter” for me which ended up being 8 Euros, and Saturday and Sunday being free, which worked out wonderfully.

Getting into the room, I immediately called the owner of Alef Alef and explained to him my predicament and he reluctantly agreed to let me pay after Shabbos. We quickly showered and dressed and headed out to the Synagogue next to the restaurant. Vienna installed an eruv in the last few years, which made life much easier. We were able to push our stroller, and I had printed out directions at home from Google Maps, which made finding the shul a breeze, around a 15 minute walk from the hotel.

The meal was good, but we had arrived in unusual heat, the likes of which hadn’t been seen in Vienna for over 30 years. The restaurant, like many buildings in Vienna, doesn’t have A/C, and the two ceiling fans didn’t really help the situation. (Besides for the tables directly under them.) Shabbos day thankfully we had an invitation to eat a local’s air conditioned house, as it was sweltering, and I don’t know how we could have possibly managed at Alef Alef.

« Last Edit: August 06, 2013, 05:59:04 PM by moish »

Offline moish

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Re: “Light” Trip to Vienna & Prague
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2013, 06:01:06 PM »
I forgot to mention another “perk” they give you is a leather business card holder with business cards that have your name on it, as a temporary resident at the Imperial with the Imperials address and phone number.

Offline rots5

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Re: “Light” Trip to Vienna & Prague
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2013, 06:11:56 PM »
great TR. i knew we can count on u for a bain hazmanim TR, even after a new one.
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Re: “Light” Trip to Vienna & Prague
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2013, 08:05:19 PM »
First, nice TR.

Second, I have to hand it to you moish, your use of grammar, punctuation, and capitalization, are excellent. I knew you had it in you!

Three, and maybe it's just me,but I think the Imperial looks awfully dated and unattractive.
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Offline Dan

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Re: “Light” Trip to Vienna & Prague
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2013, 09:05:35 PM »
Never really understood the point of a butler in a hotel.

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Offline damaxer91

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Re: “Light” Trip to Vienna & Prague
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2013, 09:06:53 PM »
Never really understood the point of a butler in a hotel.



+1. Especially in St. Regis hotels

Offline Dan

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Re: “Light” Trip to Vienna & Prague
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2013, 09:10:44 PM »
+1. Especially in St. Regis hotels
At the SR Kauai I just wanted a darn ice machine, not having to call and tip for a bucket of Ice :P
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Offline damaxer91

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Re: “Light” Trip to Vienna & Prague
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2013, 09:20:55 PM »
At the SR Kauai I just wanted a darn ice machine, not having to call and tip for a bucket of Ice :P

No need to tip for a bucket of ice

Offline Dan

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Re: “Light” Trip to Vienna & Prague
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2013, 09:23:06 PM »
No need to tip for a bucket of ice
Eh, still awkward. Don't really know the tipping protocol, wound up just not using them at all.
Is there something I'm missing? What should they be doing for us exactly?
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Re: “Light” Trip to Vienna & Prague
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2013, 09:28:57 PM »
At the SR Kauai I just wanted a darn ice machine, not having to call and tip for a bucket of Ice :P

+100 one of the cons of staying in 'nice' hotels.
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Offline MEIR613

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Re: “Light” Trip to Vienna & Prague
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2013, 09:40:04 PM »
Never really understood the point of a butler in a hotel.
I just stayed in the St Regis in PR and it came in very handy.

Offline Dan

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Re: “Light” Trip to Vienna & Prague
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2013, 10:04:21 PM »
I just stayed in the St Regis in PR and it came in very handy.
That's pretty vague.
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Offline MEIR613

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Re: “Light” Trip to Vienna & Prague
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2013, 10:09:26 PM »
That's pretty vague.
It was very late at night and we just finished eating and I needed a toothpick desperately.

It was pretty convenient just calling someone and within 3 minutes, I had 4 individually wrapped toothpicks served on a silver platter.