Jan252017

Best Western Premier Q Hotel Krakow, down by the River Vistula

While I often find good deals for paid rates at Best Western hotels, finding great redemption value for reward nights tends to be harder. Best Western Premier Q Hotel Krakow is one place where 12,000 BWR points for a free night was a good deal. I booked two nights on points at Best Western after paying $214 for two nights at Hotel Indigo Krakow Old Town.

Hotel Location

A taxi was 18 PLN ($4.50 USD) to travel about 3 miles between our two hotels from Hotel Indigo Krakow near the city train station on the north side of the Old Town/Stare Miasto area to Best Western Premier Q Hotel on the south side of Old Town, across the Vistula River.

The primary advantage of hotels on the other side of the Vistula from Old Town is far lower rates than chain hotels around Old Town Krakow. Other chain hotels in this area include Park Inn Krakow and Hilton Garden Inn Krakow.

BW Q Hotel Krkaow

Google maps Krakow, Poland Hotel Indigo Old Town to Best Western Q Hotel

Krakow Map

At check-in I was told we would receive complimentary breakfast. That was an unexpected benefit.

Then we learned that our room was an upgrade too, not in terms of actual room size, but in terms of view and patio deck size on the top 7th floor corner room. The deck was about 50% the size of the room. Too bad it was below freezing outside in late December. Still, the extensive view of the Vistula River from the deck was great.

Kelley left me frozen one night while I tried to sleep by leaving the patio door wide open.

BW Krakow view 3

Wawel Castle Krakow across the Vistula River is Poland’s medieval historic royal palace from the time Krakow was the capital of the Kingdom of Poland until 1596 when Sigismund III Vasa moved the capital to Warsaw.

Stare Miasto “Old Town” starts at Castle Wawel and extends about one mile north and 1/2 mile across with a green belt park perimeter around three sides extending away from the castle.

Walking from Best Western Q Hotel along the Vistula River path to Wawel Castle and Stare Miasto took about 20 minutes.

BW Krakow view-2

Kazimierz, the entertainment and arts district of Krakow, is directly across the river from Best Western Q Hotel, however, the nearest bridge is same one for castle and Old Town left of the hotel.

BW Krakow view-1

The large billboards seen are Krakow’s largest, placed on the exterior of a former 1980s Soviet-era Forum Hotel closed in 2002 for structural basement flooding issues.

Kazimierz was the historic Jewish quarter of Krakow. After German occupation in WWII, the Jews of Kazimierz were relocated to the Krakow ghetto in Podgorze on the same side of the river as Best Western Q Hotel Krakow. In the photo above, the church spire in the distant left about two miles away was the WWII walled Jewish Ghetto. Schindler’s Factory is located past the church spire in the distance.

Life in Krakow and the Jewish Ghetto are portrayed in the movie Schindler’s List. Last summer Kelley and I toured Schindler’s Enamelware Factory Museum. That was a fascinating experience to help better understand the suddenness of the major upheaval for both Catholic Poles and Polish Jews that took place in Krakow after the German invasion.

BW Krakow view 4

The corner location of the patio deck allowed a view to the other side of Best Western Q Hotel for a glimpse at the kind of apartment block housing where the majority of Cracovians live.

The Room

BW Krakow bed-2   BW Krakow bed-1

BW Krakow coffee   BW Krakow TV-desk

The bed was comfortable, although the pillows were less comfortable than the previous two hotels we stayed – Hotel Indigo Krakow and Radisson Blu Bratislava.

One odd feature of the room was a sliding closet door next to the luggage countertop space. When Kelley’s suitcase was open on the luggage counter, the closet door was blocked from sliding open.

BW Krakow shower   BW Krakow sink

BW Krakow bath art

The bathroom was stylish with a nice photo over the toilet.

A few minutes after entering the room there was a knock and a young woman handed me a tray of chocolates with grapes.

BW Krakow amenity

Nice.

Breakfast Buffet

The breakfast room was uncrowded each the morning in the post-Christmas week. There was a good spread of food with the usual breakfast foods, pastries, breads, fruit, yogurt, meats, cheeses and such. One oddity was the toaster was not plugged in either morning. The attendant plugged it in the first morning. I didn’t bother asking the second morning.

BW dining 2

BW dining-1

I enjoyed sitting by the historic Krakow wall mural. The annotated map shows Cracovia and Casimiria. City spelling seen around town is ‘Krakow’ or ‘Cracow’ interchangeably.

BW dining 3

The hotel bar is at the reception desk.

BW Krakow Bar

Conference Center area and Fitness Room

Floor 1 of the hotel is meeting rooms, computer center and Fitness Room.

BW meeting area

BW Krakow Computers

The one area where Best Western Premier Q Hotel Krakow outshone the Radisson Blu Bratislava and Hotel Indigo Krakow is the fitness center. Hotel Indigo did not even have exercise machines in their tiny basement fitness center and the equipment at Radisson Blu Bratislava was second rate, like equipment at Holiday Inn Krakow I used during my stay last summer.

BW gym-1   BW gym 2

All in all, Best Western Premier Q Hotel Krakow worked out well for our two night stay. The weather was cold for walks into the city, but with the copious amounts of cheap beer Kelley and I drank all day, long walks between pubs were beneficial.

I prefer hotel locations around the Old Town. During our post-Christmas week in Krakow I came across signs for hotel rooms and apartments in Krakow Old Town for 40 to 50 EUR per night. I would like to give one of those places a try if I come back again in the off-season.

Radisson Blu, Sheraton, and two IHG hotels have great locations just outside Old Town and are generally more convenient locations for the city’s main tourism district and activities. Although, I sure enjoyed the view from the 7th floor patio of the Best Western Premier Q Hotel Krakow room we had for this stay and it would be a delightful room amenity in warm weather.

BW Krakow Q Hotel

Best Western Premier Q Hotel Krakow.

 

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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Comments

  1. I love it that someone could not wait to grab a chocolate off the tray before the pic was taken! Sounds like something I would do…

  2. thanks for the great review and for finding a good deal on BW points – I have problems finding good value for my BW points, too!
    @bluecat – you had to point out ONE missing chocolate? I’m lucky to remember taking a photo before they are ALL gone 😉

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