Our two hotel stays in Vilnius, Lithuania were both IHG stays with Crowne Plaza Vilnius four nights on PointBreaks and one paid night at Holiday Inn Vilnius to earn my IHG Rewards Accelerate bonus points.
Crowne Plaza published room rates were around €97 per night in late January when I booked four reward nights on IHG PointBreaks for 5,000 points per night. Hotel rates dropped to around $90 USD per night as our travel dates approached.
Transportation from Vilnius Airport to Crowne Plaza
Vilnius Airport VNO seen from the airport bus stop.
I promised Kelley we would take a taxi from the airport if it was raining upon our arrival. I read taxi prices were around €10, but I also read a warning to only take a taxi that has been called up by tourist information or the hotel.
The streets were dry, so Kelley missed out on the door-to-door ride. I never saw a tourist information booth in Vilnius Airport anyway.
Bus 3G or Bus 88 leaves from right outside the front entrance of the airport. Bus fare is €1.00 EUR per person and the ride took 5 stops and 12 minutes to reach the MK Ciurlionio bus stop. From there we crossed the road and walked another 12 minutes beside the Vilnius University along MK Ciurlionio Street to the Crowne Plaza Vilnius.
Crowne Plaza Vilnius on M.K Ciurlionio street.
In photo of Crowne Plaza Vilnius, I am standing on a bridge over the freeway at the entrance of Vingis Park, the largest green space in the city beside the Neris River.
Bus 3G or 88 stop at V. Kudirkos Street for airport transportation is 12 minutes walk along this street in the direction of my photo to the next major street intersection. Right side of street is mostly residential for a long square block. Left side of street is University of Vilnius Medical Faculty and other university buildings all the way to main road Kudirkos. Grocery store is one block past hotel on M.K Ciurlionio street with 8am-10pm hours.
The sidewalk was a bit rough for wheeling luggage with several missing paving stones. My general advice tip when walking around Vilnius is keep your eyes scanning the sidewalk. There are quite a few pitfalls to avoid in many places with missing paving stones, while other areas around downtown are in near perfect condition.
M.K Ciurlionis in mural panel on the street walk to Crowne Plaza. There are a series of 16 murals representing Vilnius history on this wall across the street from Vilnius University.
M.K. Ciurlionis (1875-1911) was a Lithuanian musical prodigy and painter. He is one of the pioneers of European abstract art. He composed 400 pieces of music and 300 works of art before manic depression resulted in psychiatric hospitalization in 1910. He died of pneumonia in the hospital.
I like his painting imagery. This painting and others can be seen on the wikipedia page linked to above. Most of his work can be found in the M. K. ČIURLIONIS NATIONAL MUSEUM OF ART in Kaunas, Lithuania.
M.K. Ciurlionis has nothing to do with Crowne Plaza Vilnius aside from being the street the hotel is located on. I kept telling myself each day as I walked the street to look up his name on the internet and never got around to it until we were in Stockholm.
Check-In and Suite 703
Three young staff standing around the reception desk with nobody else in the lobby on a Tuesday afternoon when we walked through the door. Speaking English to me and Lithuanian to each other at check-in, I was informed my room was upgraded and I received two coupons for a free drink in the hotel bar. I am an IHG Rewards Club Platinum member.
Crowne Plaza Vilnius one-bedroom suite Room 703.
The extra space of Suite 703 on a four night stay was well appreciated. Crowne Plaza Vilnius is a 16 floor hotel with a top floor fine dining restaurant. Guest rooms are located on Floors 3-15. The views offer a much larger vista of Vilnius from higher floors where you are above the tree line.
Crowne Plaza Vilnius Room 703 view of Vingis Park and Vilnius TV Tower at 1,013 ft,, the tallest structure in Lithuania. The tower holds an historical and symbolic significance to Lithuanians. The Lithuania independence movement to break away from the USSR in January 1991 saw a Soviet military attack on civilian independence demonstrators at the TV tower, killing 14 and 700 injured.
In the corner out of the picture is a small table with coffee pot.
There were three regular doors inside the room. One between bedroom and living room, one between bedroom and bathroom and a door in the entry hallway to the bathroom.
Bathroom had both a bath tub and a separate shower stall.
Water pressure was good for the shower and no problem with hot and cold water.
Closet had iron and board. I ruined some linen pants when I melted the fabric after Kelley had been ironing cotton.
Mini-frig was always stuffed with chicken, salmon, spinach, vegies and beer. The local market a couple hundred meters from the hotel entrance conveniently kept us well stocked in food and drink.
The ice machine was on the 5th floor. I generally took the stairs for quicker access. There was always ice available. There seemed to be few people staying in the hotel.
Crowne Plaza Vilnius entrance. Viesbutis is Lithuanian word for hotel.
Crowne Plaza Vilnius Dining
The hotel is currently being remodeled in places. There was a wall sized photo of Vilnius Old Town beside the elevators. The ground floor restaurant is Sezonai with a bar and serves breakfast and food most of the day. Fine dining is at 16th floor Horizontas where there are grand views over Vilnius. Horizontas was closed part of the time we were at the hotel.
We had our drinks in the bar on our last night. There were six other people in the restaurant and bar that evening. That was about the maximum number of guests I had seen at anytime over five days at the hotel.
Sezonai Restaurant Crowne Plaza Vilnius.
Crowne Plaza Vilnius Fitness Center and Spa
The hotel website shows an indoor pool. I never saw a pool.
The fitness center and hotel spa are in the basement level reachable from elevator. There is no direct stairs access from guest room floors to basement floor. Guest room stairs exit in one place in lobby and the stairs down to fitness room are in another part of lobby, meaning you have to walk by reception desk.
The fitness center looked poor. There are lockers and showers and that part of the center was fine. I went to work out one morning and felt like I had to be a mechanic to put the weight machine equipment together. The exercise bicycle seemed like something left over from the Soviet era. Reminded me of a Sears exercise bike we owned in the 1980s. There was a working electronic treadmill I used. I never returned to the fitness room after the one time. Walking outside around Vilnius was more relaxing than being in a windowless room and Vingis Park is a popular exercise space.
Crowne Plaza Vilnius lobby. Photo taken from elevators with reception desk behind the near column on right. A gift shop is near front door. The woman there spent her days sitting alone. Sezonai Restaurant is on the left.
Crowne Plaza Vilnius 25,000 points
Crowne Plaza Vilnius is 25,000 points for a Standard Reward night in IHG Rewards Club. Our 4-night stay was 20,000 points total when I booked Crowne Plaza Vilnius on the first day of Jan-April 2016 IHG Rewards Club PointBreaks promotion.
Suite 703, the upgrade room we stayed in was $185 per night room rate for April 2016. Average room rates for this season start around $75 to $100 per night.
After four nights at Crowne Plaza we wheeled our bags back down to the bus stop and transferred hotels directly by bus to the Holiday Inn Vilnius.
The Holiday Inn Vilnius hotel vibe is kind of modern urban and a complete contrast to Crowne Plaza Vilnius.
Holiday Inn Vilnius is the more popular of the two IHG hotels and probably the better location for most travelers, unless you want to be near Vingis Park or have a large market with hot food on the next block from the hotel.