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Historical Traveler Reviews Grand Hotel Krakow
I have Just returned and i have to say it was great. My advice is to deal directly with the hotel when booking using email and fax . This will sort out any problems. The rooms were nice the food was good but as with all hotels dont use the mini bar. Remember most of the bars are underground in Krakow, look for PUB and you will not go wrong. By the way they have a new manager and he is very good do give it a go.
We stayed in Krakow for my birthday weekend. When we arrived the receptionist wished me Happy Birthday for Monday !!! Ten out of ten for noticing the date on my passport, and this set the tone for the entire four day stay. The staff were extraodinarily attentive and efficient. Breakfast was a fantastic buffet which would satisfy anyone, and the room was lovely. Huge with a great bathroom. All in all a great hotel in a great location in a lovely city. PS go to Krakow at the very end of Nov early Dec for the Christmas market! Lively and lovely!
Beautiful hotel in great location
My girlfriend and I stayed in the Grand Hotel for three nights in July 2006. Contrary to many of the negative reviews on this site, we found it to be a very pleasant experience.
The first thing that must be said is that the hotel is indeed grand. Extremely high ceilings, lots of flowers, old-time ornamentation - very pretty. The location couldn't be any better, being only about two minutes' walk to the main square.
Breakfast was included and was very good, consisting of a buffet of bread, meats, cheeses, fruits, coffee, juice, etc. The boiled eggs were fine. Staff were very courteous and helpful at all times and spoke reasonably good English.
There were a couple of negative points which preclude a five-star rating. Firstly ,while we booked a double room, we were actually put in a twin. Though we could have pushed the beds together, each was easily big enough for the two of us, so we didn't bother. Secondly, the water from the cold tap occasionally came out warm - not very pleasant for drinking. Oh, and the minibar was expensive.
All in all, the hotel was for us a good experience. Don't be put off by the negative reviews - if the hotel ever was as bad as they make out, it has improved considerably since.
Oh dear, the food.
The hotel was very nice, and we did not find it noisy at all. But the food was disgusting. We have never paid so much, for such poor food, in any hotel all over the world. That bad, I am afraid - no wonder the place was empty.
And do not ask for a white wine in the bar - it too is awful.
Not so Grand
First the positives: the service and the rooms. The staff were very friendly and helpful. Special kudos to the doorman who gave us exact and accurate directions to the train station, which was very complicated due to extensive construction. And the rooms... Ours was large and nice, if a little dated. We were staying as part of a wedding group, though, and thus saw the suites, which are truly astounding.
But, unfortunately, lots of negatives. First, describing the hotel as noisy is probably inaccurate. Acoutically transparent would be more accurate. You can hear everything in the halls and outside, especially the maids walkie-talkies which could wake the dead, which means zero chance of sleeping in. Second, no hot water for substantial portions of the day. We understand this happens in Europe, but not at this price point. And last, breakfast. It's there, in a decent room, but...yuck. Aside from the American cereals (let's hear it for cinnamon toast crunch!) the rest was just plain scary. I think that the same hard-boiled eggs were there all 3 mornings. By same we mean the eggs that weren't eaten on Thursday were there Friday and, you get the idea. God knows what the meat products were.
Not awful, but definitely not worth the price of entry.
A very pleasant surprise
I am frankly shocked to read some of the negative reviews for this hotel on this site. A group of six of us arrived at the Grand Hotel having been 'bounced' from the over-booked SAS Radisson.
The reception on our arrival was courteous, and the rooms large, clean and well appointed. Well two out of the three were large, the third room (a double rather than a twin) was frankly quite small, and when I complained at reception I was advised that no other rooms were available. My heart sank, I had stayed in Polish hotels in the early nineties and was not expecting a good experience.
However less than an hour later the receptionist had arranged a twin room (with the beds pushed together) and the porter moved our cases within minutes.
As previously mentioned, the rooms are clean although furnished with typically Polish heavy dark furniture, the public rooms are comfortable and the breakfast was fine. A reasonable buffet of cold cuts, cheese and salmon, with cooked dishes available on request. In a small hotel of only 50+ rooms it would be profligate to run a vast breakfast buffet.
The hotel location is also worthy of note, about seventy yards from the main market square, and within earshot of both the church bells, but also their accompanying fanfare.
In any western city this hotel would be praised as a charming 'boutique' hotel. The consensus of our, well travelled, group is that we would stay there again without hesitation.
Do not stay here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I wish to inform you that I stayed at the grand hotel in Krakow May 28th 29th 2005, when we arrived at the hotel we was informed that our rooms (2 sets of guests one usa one uk) had been given away and they asked us to leave??? we had booked these rooms via internet and travel company in March 2005, they then said the rooms did not have water and that was the reason, we then explained that we would take rooms without water, the receptionist then admitted that she was telling LIES and said her manager had told her to do this. I then walked out of the hotel and walked into the hotel next door and asked them to inquire about room availability with the grand etc, and surprisingly yes there was rooms available, how could this happen we asked, we requested to speak to the manager and was informed she was away in Warsaw and the receptionist was laughing on the phone whilst speaking with her, however the manager then appeared some 2 hours later, again she could not have been in Warsaw and again a lie, now please remember this is a 5 star hotel and this is not what you expect from them, especially when they threaten to phone the police because we complain about not having rooms available. we was then given one single room and one double room both rooms the air con did not work and we was moved again. the breakfast was warm and the cheese was seriously off!!!, we requested a wake up call which we never received and missed our trip to Auschwitz!!!!!, we requested an iron only to have the phone put down on us, we requested a final meeting on the last day for 11.00am and the manager arrived at 12:25 and I had a taxi booked for 12:30 leaving no time to discuss the hotels terms and conditions, the managers boss as she described him pretended to not understand us he walked in at 11.45 and went upstairs, all he had to say was "why you no pay" and smiled to me he was taking the ---- was he supposed to run a quality hotel with an attitude like this?? I really do not understand his attitude, and all he could say was if I do not pay he will call the police as I left the hotel the police arrived even though I had paid. Now I can assure you that I will post this information on every website in the world to penalise you and your business and reputation will be ruined unless you credit both myself peter bates and Randall goldring for the shabby disgraceful and insulting stay I had in your hotel, please be assured that I will continue this posting of information for many many many many many years. Over to you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A lesson in how not to treat guests.
As a special treat, I booked five nights at the 'five star' Grand Hotel, confirmed through Central Reservations.
On arrival we were checked in, and after swiping the credit card and receiving my room card we were informed that we could only stay four nights. They said that they had never confirmed five nights with CR. But, they also said, not to worry, there may well be a cancellation and if not, we could stay next door at the Hotel Saski at the same price.
This was not what we wanted to hear, but mistakes happen, and at the worst, we only had to move next door.
Every day of our stay we asked for an update on our situation. Every day we were told the same. Don't worry, We haven't had a cancellation yet, but we will let you know.
On the fourth morning, we still hadn't been told anything. So - bearing in mind we didn't know whether we were still staying or not, we asked for confirmation only to be told that there were no cancellations, there was no room at the hotel next door and we would have to be out by 12.00 noon. No attempt whatsoever had been made to resolve the situation.
Unsurprisingly, we were completely and utterly astonished and asked to see the Manager. At first we were told that he was in a meeting then after further demands, we were told he was not available that day at all, and that there was no-one in charge who we could see.
To cut a long and depressing story short reception grudgingly reserved us a room at the Novotel Krakow Centrum, which of course we had to pay for. On the final full day of our holiday this appeared to be the only choice yet to pay for a hotel we didn't want to stay in, in a location that we didn't want to be in.
It would have been so easy to solve the situation. Yet despite repeated questions, the staff at the Grand Hotel lied to us on a daily basis.
This is supposed to be a five star hotel. If you want to stay here then give it a go, but my advice would be:
Get your reservation cast in stone.
Do not believe anything you are told by the hotel.
On a more positive note, the hotel is in a great but noisy location, even if there was no bar, or cafe (closed for refurb when we were there).
Oh, and watch out for the mini-bar prices.
If you want friendly, helpful staff try the Novotel. The position is not as good and the place not as luxurious, but at least you know where you stand.
Good stay, friendly staff
My girlfriend and I stayed at the Grand for a long weekend in January 05. The hotel is generally pretty plush - it looks like it has not long been refurbished. The room was comfortable, the bed spectacularly so. The bathroom was good too though there was no shower curtain or divider which made showering difficult if not possible. Good breakfast and the restaurant looked lovely - though it was very empty in January. There wasn't a bar as such, rather a room where you could order drinks. This is not a problem given the hotel's fantastic location near the main square.
We paid only 110 Eur per night for the room which I thought was good value. I'm not sure it is worth the much higher rates in summer though.
A "5-star" hotel that operates like a 2-star hotel
I recently stayed at 3 very nice hotels in Poland. However the fourth, the Grand in Krakow, was both the most expensive and completely unacceptable. I'm not sure how this hotel got 5-stars, but its current management obviously believes that it is running a 2-star facility. Here are some of the problems: no heat in the rooms, no lights in the hallways, and no concierge service - a problem compounded by having a trainee on duty at the desk. Some of the facilities advertised by the hotel don't exist -- there is no bar. Other facilities are unavailable - the fitness center was locked during my stay. I tried to move to another hotel from the near-empty Grand, but the good hotels in Krakow were full. Apparently other travelers knew enough to stay away from the Grand. Don't make the same mistake that I did by selecting the Grand.
TripAdvisor Reviews Grand Hotel Krakow
Travel Blogs from Krakow
... and only cost me $2.56! Glad I waited until I got back to the square to eat something!
I ended up going back to St. Mary's and buying the ticket to get a closer look at the wooden altar. Again, lots of tour groups so I couldn't get as close as I wanted but I was able to sneak some pictures. I also enjoyed sitting by a fountain in the square watching the pigeons and kids chasing the pigeons and listening to all the different languages being spoken. ...
... ride the train. She got off the train while her brother and father stayed on because they were tired. She just wanted fresh air. The train went directly to the gas chambers and she never saw her family again. The tour guide told us that the survivor talks a lot about the guilt she feels that she didn’t make her family get off of the train. I think seeing Auschwitz in the winter also had a greater impact on me because of how cold I was in all my layers, ...
... for a 4 hour tour. There is another passenger, Stephen from UK who is a little odd :) We drive (at speed) in this tiny car with a 2 stroke engine to a mound built for protection of the city for a brilliant view back toward Krakow and can see the steel works built by the communists in the distance. He takes us on to Podgorze which is where the walled ghetto was built for jews during the war. There is a memorial of steel chairs dotted around a ...
... depth of 135 meters underground. Thus it is no surprise that till now, the Tourist Route, the main visiting route of the mine has been visited by 36,000,000 tourists from around the whole world in search of adventures.
The journey starts at the Danilowicz Shaft. Here, visitors meet their guide, who during their excursion will tell them everything they want to know about the mine history and its secrets. About the forces of nature ruling within the depths of the ...
... note, I can't wait to tryout more polish food and pay next to nothing for it!! And drink more $1 beer too, of course :). Last night in my private apartment tonight then I might go back to a dorm room tomorrow night, I need to meet some people that speak English! Although I do love the language barriers, most people speak just enough English for me to order food and buy a ...