The elusive Hilton HHonors category 1 reward hotel at 5,000 points per night has aligned with my travel path in Krakow, Poland this summer. Hampton Inn Krakow is a category 1 hotel reward. That makes for $25 hotel nights with Wednesday’s Daily Getaways sale of 100,000 Hilton HHonors points for $500. Or $20 per night if you are elite on a 5th night free reward rate.
Hilton brand hotels in Poland at 5,000 points per night or 20,000 points for five nights with elite member 5th night free.
- Hampton Inn Krakow (Ranked #33 of 252 Krakow Hotels on TripAdvisor with 4.5 circles of 5 guest rating).
- Hilton Garden Inn Rzeszow (Ranked #1 of 25 hotels in Rzeszow on TripAdvisor with 4.5 circles of 5 guest rating).
- Hampton by Hilton Warsaw Airport (Ranked#9 of 116 hotels in Warsaw on TripAdvisor with 4.5 circles of 5 guest rating).
Hampton Inn Krakow July 2016 sample rates
Yesterday I purchased my wife’s award ticket home from Europe in July using 57,500 AAdvantage miles + $61 for Copenhagen to Monterey in Business Class. That was the final missing piece of our summer European flights and date puzzle. Once we had the city airport and date set, I was able to quickly line up the travel itinerary for Sweden, Poland, Denmark and Norway.
Krakow, Poland Tourism
or as I am commonly seeing, Cracow?
I never studied Poland tourism much, even though a 1996 The Rough Guide Poland book has spent several of the past years beside my bed.
While 1996 may seem to be a horribly irrelevant outdated guide to Poland, the first paragraph in the 1996 edition on Krakow kind of sums up some of what I have learned.
Krakow, the ancient capital of Poland and residence for centuries of its kings, was the only major city in the country to come through World War II essentially undamaged. Its assembly of monuments, without rival in Poland, is listed by UNESCO as one of the world’s 12 most significant historical sites. All the more ironic, then, that the government of the 1970s had to add a further tag, that of official “ecological disaster area” – for Krakow’s industrial suburbs represent the communist experiment at its saddest extreme.
Krakow, Poland – The Rough Guide (1996 edition)
Having returned from Lithuania last week, I learned a little bit about the Lithuania-Poland historical connections as major ruling powers of central Europe 600 years ago when an empire stretched from the Baltic to the Black Sea.
Krakow is considered the top tourist spot in Poland for its historic architecture. I also learned Krakow ranks #3 in two other European rankings:
- #3 lowest daily travel expenses (#1 Kiev, Ukraine; #2 Bucharest, Romania).
- #3 worst air pollution in Europe (#1 and #2 are Pernik and Plovdiv, both in Bulgaria). Culprit appears to be cheap locally sourced coal burned for residential heat and topography of Krakow city situated in a valley. I assume summer is nowhere near as bad as winter when heating is needed.
The first data point is something I have been aware of for a couple years. The second data point I only became aware of yesterday.
Krakow, Poland ranks #3 as cheapest city of 56 cities in Europe on 2016 Backpacker Index
Krakow, Poland ranks #3 of 56 European cities on the 2016 Backpacker index. The index calculates the cost of a hostel room, daily transportation, meals, drink, entertainment and attractions. Krakow comes in at about 100 PLN or about $26.50 USD per day.
Of course, I prefer hotels to hostels, so I have to bump up the cost of a $10 hostel to the price of a $25 Hampton Inn for a hotel traveler index of $42 per day for 5 nights at Hampton Inn Krakow.
Kiev and Bucharest come in at #1 and #2 in case you are curious. Vilnius, Lithuania, a city I enjoyed spending the week in this month, ranks #11 at around 30 EUR per day or about $34 USD. I stayed in Vilnius using IHG Rewards Club points at 5,000 points per night for a nightly rate of about $30 at Crowne Plaza Vilnius.
Four airline tickets Stockholm to Krakow to Copenhagen are only around $200 all-in for the two of us. Then I was blown away as I actually had dates and could plug in room rates and award night dates to do a hotel rate analysis.
Two observations became immediately clear as I searched hotel rates in Krakow:
1. Poland has some of the lowest hotel rates in Europe, and probably the world for 4 and 5 star hotels.
2. Poland has some of the lowest hotel award rates in the world that make reward nights an even better value than paying low room rates.
The question is not which hotel loyalty program provides good value for hotels in Krakow? I have found so many good values that I have to make a choice.
Radisson Blu Krakow $71.60 per night with Club Carlson Gold Elite 2-for-1 rate. Hotel’s TripAdvisor rank #21 of 252 Krakow hotels.
Holiday Inn Krakow 15,000 points per night = $84.75 per night buying 100,000 IHG Rewards Club for $565 in Daily Getaways.
Best Western three hotels in Krakow for 8,000 points per night.
- Best Western Krakow Hotel Galicya = 8,000 points.
- Best Western Premier Krakow Hotel = 8,000 points
- Best Western Efekt Express Krakow Hotel = 8,000 points.
Rates shown are lowest paid room rates, while many of the reward nights offered higher category room levels for points.
Best Western points were available for sale on April 7 at the rate of $55 per 10,000 points, up to 50,000 points on Daily Getaways. The cost for 8,000 points was $44.
Best Western Premier Krakow Hotel offers a 3-night Suite rate at $99.89 per night. Or pay 8,000 points per night for a Queen standard room with free breakfast.
For a hotel with a more central tourist location is Best Western Krakow Old Town where a Premium room with a sitting area can be booked for $98 per night.
Sheraton Krakow is in a good tourist location by Old Town, however, the room rates are over $200 per night most dates in July and the reward rate is 10,000 points. Sheraton Krakow ranks #23 on TripAdvisor. There are so many other lower priced chain options available for points spenders in Krakow.