May172017

Hotel Review Best Western Santakos in Kaunas Lithuania

Best Western Santakos is located on a side street in close proximity to Vilniaus g and Laisvės Alėja, the longest pedestrian shopping street in eastern Europe. The hotel location is near the nexus of Old Town (Senamiestis) and New Town in Kaunas, Lithuania.

TripAdvisor ranks Best Western Santakos Kaunas as #6 of 28 hotels in the city.

The hotel was 12,000 points or 63.45 EUR for my stay. I chose to pay the cash rate to redeem $20 in BWR travel credit, plus earn an additional $10 Travel Card for a future stay.

Two Best Western hotel stays in Vienna, Austria in December 2016 and Gdansk, Poland in February 2017 earned two $10 Best Western e-travel cards with the Best Western Rewards promotions of fall 2016 and winter 2017. My objective was to stay at a Best Western hotel in early April before my first $10 credit expired in early May.

Loyalty Traveler – Best Western Bonum Gdansk, Poland $39 suite

Loyalty Traveler – Trip Report: Vienna Snow Day, White Night

BW Santakos ext-1

Best Western Santakos, Kaunas, Lithuania

BW Santakos ext-2

Best Western Santakos 4-star hotel

Getting to the hotel

I arrived by train from Vilnius. The beautiful sunshine and warmth of early spring weather in Vilnius changed to rain as I arrived in Kaunas. At the train station I followed the passengers quickly exiting the station and followed people to a bus stop across the street.

I knew I needed a bus heading to the Old Town area and a woman who spoke English told me the bus number to take. The bus ticket price was less than 1 EUR.

My iPhone maps indicated the point where I was about 100 meters from the hotel when I got off the bus. Rain was coming down hard and walking along the road already covered in puddles became a game of avoiding the splash of cars spraying water through the air and over the sidewalk.

The car park behind the hotel is where I entered.

Check-In

The receptionist asked me if I wanted to pay in advance. I told her I wanted to apply my $20 in travel card credits before paying. She had no idea what I meant by a Best Western Travel Card. Her English seemed good and I explained the Best Western Rewards promotions for a $10 Travel Card credit.

Loyalty Traveler –  Best Western extends $10 Travel Card per stay Feb 13-April 30, 2017.

I was given a first floor room on the street side.

King Bed Room

The style of the room appealed to me.

BW Kaunas room-1

BW Kaunas room-2

BW Kaunas room-3

BW Kaunas room-4

BW Kaunas room-5

High ceilings and windows that opened were additional features. The refrigerator had space for some food I purchased.

The bathroom was a standard room with tub. I took no photos.

Hotel Restaurant

My initial plan was to get out to a pub for dinner and beer. The rain outside had become kind of torrential. After a few minutes outside walking on dark mostly deserted streets, I returned to the hotel for shelter from the storm and dinner in the hotel restaurant.

Soup and a couple beers was less than 10 EUR. The next morning there was a complimentary breakfast buffet in the same room.

Indoor Pool and Sauna

There is an indoor pool at the hotel off the basement level restaurant. The door was locked when I tried to get a peek.

I only see one photo of the pool on TripAdvisor and it is blurry. Pool looks small.

Check-Out

What would have been a great stay ended up making me angry at check-out when the daytime receptionist did not know how to apply my BWR $20 in travel credit to the bill. She went to the manager who looked up the promotion and told me the terms of the Travel Cards state they must be presented at check-in. She said there was no way to know if I was actually the authorized recipient of the e-card numbers I provided, despite showing her the original emails. The 10-hour time difference from Best Western Phoenix meant it would take at least 4 hours before the hotel could verify with BW HQ the validity of my travel cards. She did not want to risk the hotel being ripped off for $20.

I paid the full bill with no Best Western Travel Card credit and headed over to Park Inn Kaunas for check-in.

My frustration was compounded by this being the second hotel in 3 nights to reject my travel card credits after Hilton Reykjavik told me my $25 Hilton travel card had no credit remaining. I since verified my Hilton travel card still has the entire $25 balance.

Loyalty Traveler – Best Western and Hilton: I won’t be fooled again by hotel gift cards.

With regard to this issue, Best Western responded to my complaint with a $25 travel card. My $10 BW Travel Card credit due to expire in May was extended to June 30, 2017. I now have $55 in Best Western travel credit to use in June when I will be in Poland. 

Final Thoughts

I have no hesitation in recommending Best Western Santakos Hotel when in Kaunas.

Club Carlson members have a real deal at the Category 1 Park Inn Kaunas about one mile away.

I actually prefer the location and boutique style of Best Western Santakos. Room rates at Best Western Santakos seem to be about half the room rate at Park Inn Kaunas, so a no brainer choice when paying for your stay.

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. Rick, what website do you use to search for bus fares in Eastern Europe? Thank you

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