Mar112017

Best Western Bonum Gdansk, Poland $39 suite

Best Western Bonum Gdansk is one of several Best Western hotels in the Gdansk-Sopot-Gydnia Baltic Sea towns of Poland. The hotel is located close to Old Town Gdansk.

Hilton Gdansk is about two blocks away on the waterfront and Radisson Blu Gdansk is located on Long Market Square, the tourist heart of the city. I originally had a 2-for-1 weekend rate scheduled for Radisson Blu Gdansk for $67 per night, but my travel plans changed placing me in Gdansk on weeknights, instead of the weekend.

I booked Best Western Bonum on an advance purchase rate for 160 PLN ($39.40 USD) per night for a 2-night stay.

I was surprised to be upgraded to a suite as a Best Western Diamond member. We had a nice room upgrade in December when we stayed at a Best Western hotel in Krakow, Poland.

Loyalty Traveler – Best Western Premier Q Hotel Krakow, down by the River Vistula (Jan 25, 2017).

My suite had a view of the new Museum of the Second World War, a not yet opened museum in Gdansk in the midst of a legal struggle with the current Polish government seeking to change the completed museum exhibits to a more nationalistic focus on the Polish experience in WWII. The government won the first battle, but a court ruled in favor of the museum’s independence in a second battle. The museum was fenced, gated and closed during my stay in Gdansk.

Museum of WWII

Museum of the Second World War Gdansk, Poland.

 

Getting To Gdansk from Gdansk Airport

I arrived at Gdansk Airport at 9pm on a Tuesday night. The Airport Information desk was staffed with two young women who both helped me with directions to Best Western Bonum Hotel. There is train service from airport to Gdansk, but the bus was the faster way into town at that time of evening.

Gdansk GDN airport

Gdańsk Lech Wałęsa Airport

Poland has many consumer-friendly public efficiencies to ease travel pain for the unfamiliar tourist.

Follow the blue line inside teh airport terminal a few hundred meters to the bus stop for #210 bus to city center, outside central train station.

GDN blue line bus

Buy a ticket for 3.80 PLN (94 cents USD) with a credit/debit card in the electronic kiosk at the bus stop.

GDN bus kiosk

Make sure to board bus headed to Dworzec Glowny, main railway station and not the opposite direction, which a group of young Europeans speaking English started to do, until a Polish man stopped them in English telling them that 210 bus was traveling in the wrong direction.

GDN bus stop

Stamp ticket on the bus to start one hour travel time.

Gdansk bus ticket

Bus ride into Gdansk city center took about 30 minutes. Many bus stops have electronic displays showing bus route number and time to arrival at bus stop.

The women at Airport Information gave me a second bus to take to the hotel, but standing on the side of the road at 10pm in a light rain trying to figure out where the bus stop is for the continuation seemed like a waste of time when the hotel was less than 20 minutes walk. I was ready to walk after a day that started 18 hours earlier in Sofia, Bulgaria with travel via Athens and Warsaw to finally be standing in downtown Gdansk.

Check-In

Hearing the words, “You have been upgraded.” is always a pleasant greeting at the end of a long day. Especially since I was staying for two nights in Gdansk.

She handed me a real key with a card stating the hotel name and room number 406. That would be a bad thing to lose into the wrong hands.

Best Western Bonus Hotel is four floors, although, there were signs showing some rooms in the 500s.

My room had a funky three or four steps up, then down from the elevator.

BW Bonum-1

There were lots of windows and two sliding patio doors to a deck.

BW Bonum 2

These angled windows were my favorite morning viewing with seagulls and loads of pigeons on the adjacent roof ledges and overhead. Sitting at the desk was a pleasant experience with the sound of gulls in a seaport town making the BOSE stereo in the room superfluous.

BW Bonum Bose

Best Western Bonum Hotel mini bar and BOSE.

BW Bonum 3

By my standard hotel description terminology, I actually think of this room as a junior suite since there is no door separating the bed space from the living room space.

BW Bonum bed

BW Bonum bed2

There was only one TV in the room in the bedroom.

BW Bonum TV

The bathroom is located next to the room door.

BW Bonum bath1

The shower was a bit funky, but totally functional. I visited another hotel in Gdansk with the same style shower.

BW Bonum bath2

I was happy to finally see a bath towel heating rack.

BW Bonum bath 3

That meant hand laundry washed in the sink and shower could be strategically placed to be dry by the next day. It had been four days since I washed clothes. Socks, t-shirts and underwear every four days is my typical wash schedule for travel.

BW Bonum laundry

Gdansk skies cleared out the rain clouds for a gorgeously clear Wednesday morning.

BW Bonum morning

I could not even sit down and write when I saw the morning sun. The city called me and I answered with a walk around town at 8 am.

BW Bonum ext

The balcony above the Best Western Bonum Hotel sign is the same patio seen from the inside in my previous photo.

I ended up hanging out around Gdansk for more than 12 hours before returning to my room. I had not dressed with enough layers for how cold it was outside walking around six hours once the wind started blowing cold sea air over the town.

Hilton Gdansk

Hilton Gdansk is seen in photo center, adjacent to tower with cone.

The second six hours touring Gdansk were interspersed with pub stops for food and cheap 500ml glasses of Polish lager. Beer prices were $1.50 to $2.00 glass. Restaurant meals were $5 to $9 for hamburgers, doner kebabs, and salmon or trout.

Long market Square

Radisson Blu Gdansk is located on east side of Long Market Square, opposite this row of Gdansk Old Town buildings. The Radisson hotel has similar style architecture and was shaded at time I snapped this morning photo.

Best Western Bonum Gdansk Restaurant and Lobby

BW Bonum beer

One of the features I enjoy about Poland is the beer culture prevalent in restaurants. Best Western Bonum Hotel has these four restaurant beers priced at 9 zloty ($2.20 USD). Food at the hotel was competitively priced to many of the pubs around town. The hotel location in a mostly residential neighborhood, one block away from the main tourist part of the city, probably keeps prices lower.

BW Bonum breakfast

Best Western Bonum Hotel breakfast buffet. Breakfast was a bit pricier at 40 PLN ($10).

BW Bonum breakfast2

Lobby Computer with Printer Station

The computer in the lobby came in handy when I needed to print my Ryanair boarding pass for a $9.00 flight Gdansk to Stockholm Skavsta NYO airport. The ink was a bit low on my boarding pass printout.

Two nights earlier in Warsaw, the Ryanair agent refused to issue me a boarding pass when I had checked in for the flight and had paid for a checked bag online. I forgot to print the boarding pass at the Ramada Sofia before flying out of Bulgaria to Athens on Aegean Airlines. I had been sitting around for 90 minutes reading news on my phone and used up my battery power and back up power after several hours since powering up in Athens. She wanted to charge me 45 EUR for a printed boarding pass if I could not power up my phone and show her my boarding pass. I sat on the floor of the empty Warsaw terminal across from the solo Ryanair desk agent charging my phone in the wall outlet. It was kind of surreal. Once I showed her my boarding pass on my phone, she accepted my checked bag.

At Gdansk Airport, the Ryanair desk agent looked at my lightly printed paper boarding pass and issued me a new airport stock hard paper boarding pass. Gdansk struck me as a city filled with laid back people.

WTF Ryanair Warsaw?

BW Bonum sign

Best Western Bonum Hotel Gdansk Room and 2017 Rewards Rates

I paid 320 PLN ($78.40 USD) for this 2-night stay with an Advance Purchase prepaid reservation booked two days before arrival.

$39.20 per night with a nice junior suite upgrade was the real deal.

Best Western Rewards currently has a promotion for $10 travel card every hotel stay. I earned a $10 travel card from this hotel stay.

Loyalty TravelerBest Western extends $10 Travel Card per stay Feb 13-April 30, 2017

Loyalty TravelerBest Western Rewards $10 Travel Card every stay Nov 28-Jan 29

One of the limitations of Best Western Travel Cards with this promotion, besides a 120 day expiration from time of issuance, is the BW travel card cannot be redeemed for a Best Western hotel advance purchase prepaid rate.

I had a BW Bonum flexible cancellation reservation from January at 216 PLN per night. By changing to a prepaid hotel stay, I reduced my rate by more than $10 per night, while also earning a second $10 travel card. Best Western travel cards may be combined, so I now have a $20 credit to be used by early May (expiration date of first card I earned in Vienna, Austria in December).

I have seen Best Western hotels in Europe where the difference between advance purchase and AAA rate is only $5, meaning I should be able to really save $15 on a hotel night with my $20 BW travel cards.

Best Western Bonum was 8,000 Best Western Rewards points for a reward night in March 2017 at time of my stay. Best Western hotels have seasonal reward rates.

Best Western Bonum Hotel Gdansk seasonal reward rates

  • Feb-March 2017 8,000 points
  • April 2017 12,000 points
  • May 2017 16,000 points
  • June-July-August 2017 20,000 points
  • September-January 2018 16,000 points

Gdansk, Poland is one of the top rated cities currently for Europe tourism. The hotel’s location near the Museum of the Second World War should boost its prominence for the city.

WWII museum

Museum of the Second World War seen from my Best Western Bonum room window.

WWII Museum

I plan to return to Gdansk and visit the museum.

My memory of Best Western Bonum that sticks with me ten days later is the Baltic seaport town bird sounds I heard from the rooftop room 406.

BW Bonum brids

p.s. maybe it was room 405 or 407? I drank a lot of beer in Gdansk and I did not photograph the room number.

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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