Kelley and I stayed three nights in Brno, Czech Republic at Holiday Inn Brno on PointBreaks reward nights. These were essentially $23 hotel nights from a Points + Cash booking I made in April buying 20,000 points for $92. My account grew by 20,000 points after canceling that hotel reward stay. Three nights in Brno cost 15,000 points on PointBreaks.
This was my second trip to Czechia’s ‘second city’. Brno is 200 km southeast of Prague and the country’s second most populous city at 400,000 residents. Around 20% of the residents are university students.
On my first trip I explored Brno far and wide, but I never felt part of the lifeblood of this youthful city as a solo traveler. Kelley by my side made restaurants and pubs more enjoyable. I was worried she would be unhappy with my selection of Brno as a destination for our ten days in Czechia. On the contrary, she loved Brno’s pub life even better than Prague.
Holiday Inn Brno
Holiday Inn Brno is a perfectly fine hotel, but its primary weakness is location. The hotel is at the edge of the city adjacent to the immense Brno Exposition Center, one of the primary trade fair centers of Central Europe. Walking to the main tourist center of Brno takes about 30 minutes. Bus and tram transportation is cheap. The hotel has limited complimentary shuttle service on midweek evenings.
Holiday Inn Brno sixth floor view to Exposition Center.
The road in front of Holiday Inn is primarily used as an access road to highways for Prague, Vienna, Bratislava and Olomouc. Besides residential apartment towers, a couple of hotels and a couple of pubs, there is not much around the hotel.
I’ll say upfront that unless you have a reason to stay at Holiday Inn Brno, like a show at the Exposition Center, PointBreaks, or a good points earning opportunity with a paid stay, then I recommend booking a hotel in the city center.
Marriott recently opened a Courtyard Brno, but that location is not too convenient either at about one mile from the tourist area of central Brno. As far as chain hotels, Best Western Premier Hotel International has a good Brno city center location for a tourist without a car. There are several adorable boutique and independent hotels in city center.
The nearest grocery store is 15 minutes walk at Mendlovo namestie / Mendlovo Square. Staropramen Brewery is also at Mendlovo Square for an enjoyable pub patio and restaurant experience. Old Town is another 15 minutes walk from Mendlovo Square.
We arrived by Regiojet Student Agency bus from Prague at the station near the train station and paid around $7 USD for the 1.8 mile taxi ride to the hotel.
I was offered 500 bonus points or two free drinks as IHG Rewards Club Platinum member. I took the drink coupons, but switched them back to bonus points at check-out. There were too many lovely places to drink around Brno and the main hotel bar and restaurant were not open during our stay. There was a substitute bar and restaurant location at the 1st floor conference center wing of the hotel with absolutely no ambience.
Substitute bar and dining area in Holiday Inn Conference Center wing during our stay.
I turned down the breakfast package offer at check-in. I enjoyed my morning 15-minute walks to Albert Market at Mendlovo namestie for breakfast and other food and beer supplies.
Albert Supermarket at Mendlovo namestie. This is also the location for trams into Brno city center.
Tip: Holiday Inn Brno sold 60 minute tram/bus tickets at reception for the same 25 CZK price as a 15 minute ticket from ticket coin kiosks at stops.
Mendlovo namestie is a transportation hub, location of Albert Supermarket and StaroBrno brewery and pub (building in background).
The nearby Augustine Monastery at Mendlovo namestie is where Gregor Mendel, ‘father of modern genetics’ performed his pea trait characteristics hereditary experiments in the 1860s.
Holiday Inn Brno Executive Room 528
Holiday Inn Brno has five guest floors and a sixth floor, accessible only by stairs for the spa and fitness center.
A refrigerator below the coffee counter had some minibar items, but plenty of space to store our food too.
Kelley was surprised to find the hair dryer on the wall in front of the bathroom mirror. She had to scour the room to find the hair dryer in most of the other hotels we stayed. Often they are attached to a drawer or the closet wall and not necessarily convenient for a mirror. Especially annoying for me when the mirror is in front of the hotel room desk where I am working.
Nice big towels at Holiday Inn Brno.
6th Floor Spa and Fitness Center
The 6th floor is accessed from 5th floor stairway for spa, sauna (free), spa tub (extra charge at something like $25/hour) and chill tub (free of charge).
I failed to take a photo of the fitness room equipment. It was small, but bright windows room with modern equipment.
Holiday Inn Brno Lobby
Most of the time the lobby was quiet. There seemed to be few people at the hotel. One computer station is located in the lobby.
A focal point of the lobby is a fish tank separating the restaurant from the lobby.
Getting into central Brno from Holiday Inn
A bus stop is about 100 meters across the street from the hotel in front of another hotel. Bus #44 runs every 10 to 15 minutes during weekdays. The bus only goes to Mendlovo namestie, where you change to a tram for central Brno.
We stayed at Holiday Inn Brno Tue-Wed-Thu nights, which happened to coincide with the hotel’s three nights per week complimentary taxi service to and from central Brno. We used that service Wednesday night.
To Brno: 19:00-21:00 every 30 minutes.
To Hotel: 21:10-23:10 every 30 minutes.
Holiday Inn Brno is 15,000 points per reward night. Published rates range from $75 per night to $150+ during conventions.
I have stayed at this hotel twice when it was available at PointBreaks reward rates of 5,000 points per night. That is a good deal. Otherwise, I would select a more centrally located hotel in Brno if visiting the city again.
2015 Brno Trip posts:
San Francisco SFO – Copenhagen, Denmark – Stockholm, Sweden – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Prague, Czechia – Bratislava, Slovakia – London, England – San Francisco SFO (22 days-6 flights-20 hotel nights-6 bus trips)
Copenhagen, Denmark: Skt. Petri Copenhagen Choice Hotels Ascend Collection
Amsterdam, Netherlands: Loyalty Traveler Lost and Found in Amsterdam
Amsterdam, Netherlands: Ramada Apollo Amsterdam Centre hotel review
Amsterdam, Netherlands: Amsterdam design for social living
Amsterdam, Netherlands: Amsterdam beer, bud and burger joints
Amsterdam and Prague Hotels: 2 stays earned 1 Free Friday Park Plaza Vondelpark Amsterdam and Park Inn Prague
Prague, Czechia: Pickpocket stole my wallet on Prague Airport Bus
Prague, Czechia: Park Inn Prague hotel review
Prague, Czechia: Best Western Hotel Kinsky Garden Prague truly boutique
Prague, Czechia: Hotel review Clarion Prague City reward stay
Prague, Czechia: Vyšehrad, Prague far from the madding crowd
Pilsen, Czechia: Marriott Courtyard Pilsen CZ category 1 reward stay
Pilsen, Czechia: Pilsen Czechia photoessay
Brno, Czechia: Holiday Inn Brno, CZ PointBreaks stay
Brno, Czechia: Brno by beer
Brno, Czechia: Brno Bones in Europe’s Second Largest Ossuary
Bratislava, Slovakia: Review Radisson Blu Bratislava Slovakia
Bratislava, Slovakia: Walk to Bratislava Castle Slovakia photo essay
Bratislava, Slovakia: Bratislava Slovakia photo essay part 2
Bratislava, Slovakia: Category 1 Park Inn Danube Bratislava Slovakia opens Oct 1, 2017
Bratislava, Slovakia: Trip Report Regiojet Bus Bratislava to Brno Airport
London, UK: Radisson Blu Edwardian Heathrow hotel review
Hotel Loyalty: Loyalty? Yes! Loyal? Not so much for my hotel travel
Hotel Loyalty: My two Club Carlson Free Friday Nights posted today
Airline Loyalty: Aegean Silver elite and 17,000 miles to Star Alliance Gold