This is Stan, but you can call him Stan The Man. Most travelers find Stan in the Praha Hlavní Nádraží (Prague Main Rail Station) upon arrival. We were fortunate enough to be one of those groups.
If you happen to be in Prague, on a weekend, in or around the high season you might notice that most of the hotels have already been booked, and what is left available is in one of the fancier hotels for a few hundred dollars/night.
What Stan does, is work with the hotel and rental apartment offices to secure rooms, at a discounted rate, to budget travelers. The price of the rooms with Stan will be per person, and if you are into it, he may be able to find you a room in an apartment with another group of people. Most of the spaces he has access to are LARGE apartments (far larger than my NYC apartment), with multiple sleeping areas, kitchens, large living spaces, and somewhere between 5-10 beds available (maybe more in some). The only drawback to this arrangement, is that the rooms are discounted because they may only be available for one night, which means at check out Stan will pick you up, and bring your group to another apartment for the next night.
Stan’s service, however, goes far beyond finding you a place to stay. Stan is an energetic and outgoing guy, who loves beer and having fun. After we dropped our stuff in our room for the first night, he brought us down to Pizzerie Václavka to eat, drink, and be merry. Damany, Chi-Chi, and Stan started the night with shots of something which smelled like pure grappa, mixed with pure gasoline, and was apparently a Czech specialty. As that bottle ran out, they moved onto vodka, all of which was continually washed down with beer…gloriously cheep beer. We sat for hours with Stan the Man, and he only left for a moment to bring a group of Swedish kids who he had found a room for the night before to sit and drink with us before their night train. The drinks and laughs flowed quite freely that night, with Stan being the orchestrator of such good times. Twenty beers and seventeen shots later (yeah, thats right, 37 drinks), we received the check.
The next morning, with Damany hung over, Stan picked us up to change rooms. We dropped our stuff in the apartment which was being cleaned, and went out for a traditional Czech meal at Restaurace U Jindřišská věže…which Stan started with a shot. He translated the Czech menu for us, as the English menu had higher prices, and ordered us up a scrumptious meal. Poor Damany, however, was not into eating…or being out at all for that matter. He was sick as a dog and spent most of the meal in the bathroom. The smell of the food was making him sick, and he seriously needed to lay, cleaning lady in the room or not. Stan was good enough to understand the situation, and upon my request, brought Damany back to the room to rest. Stan tucked him into bed, helped the cleaning lady finish up her chores, and then went and got Coca Cola for Damany’s stomach. He showed geniuine concern for all of us, and for that we will never forget him.
Stan the Man proved to be far more than a tout for lodging. Other than helping us not end up in a fancy hotel, he showed us a good time. He was a drinking buddy, introduced us to new people, brought us for a tasty and traditional Czech meal, and acted as a nurse and friend when Damany wasn’t well. In a sense, we saw part of the “locals” life through him. What better service could there be?
For lodging (and a good time) call: 00 420720 691417