There are only 7 Club Carlson category 1 hotels in Europe at 9,000 points per reward night. Park Inn Kaunas is certainly the gem of these hotels with a nice center of the city location for Lithuania’s second largest city at 300,000 residents. The hotel is one street off a one mile long pedestrian thoroughfare through the shopping and entertainment district of Kaunas all the way to Old Town Kaunas. Dozens of restaurants, pubs and shops line the street. I started in Old Town and worked my way back to the hotel on a great pub crawl that endeared this city to my head and heart.
View from Park Inn Kaunas
The only reason I traveled to Kaunas was to check out Park Inn Kaunas. I booked a Business Class room upgrade for 13,500 points per night with buffet breakfast included.
Park Inn Kaunas, Lithuania
My first beer of the day was a complimentary pint offered to me when I arrived at 1pm to be told my room was not ready yet. The receptionist gave me a free drink voucher for the bar and said she would notify me when the room was ready for my arrival.
Volfas Engelman beers on tap. Kaunas local brewery since 1853.
Park Inn Kaunas Ginger Bar is primarily a breakfast place in the morning and stays open to midnight seven days a week.
Park Inn Kaunas restaurant
The morning breakfast buffet was in a larger room to the right. I did a lousy job of taking photos at the hotel. I arrived, had a beer in the bar, took my luggage up to the room, snapped room photos and headed out to see Kaunas. I got back to the room ten hours and five pints later. In the morning I ate a lite late breakfast, drank several cups of coffee and headed out again to see some museums before walking to the bus station for a 3-hour bus ride to Klaipeda, Lithuania.
This was an exploratory trip to see if Kaunas, Lithuania is a place I want to return for a longer stay with my wife this summer. I give the city a thumbs up for a Club Carlson category 1 hotel deal with enough interesting pubs and museums to keep us entertained for three or four days.
Business Class Room
TV swivels. One odd aspect I recall is I did not see any power outlets on the desk unit.
I worked on my laptop sitting on the bed near the power outlets.
While my eyesight at the hotel was a little blurry in the morning, I see there is a power outlet beneath the desk lamp in my room photo.
I did find the desk unit mini-bar, but with all the cheap pubs around and free breakfast, opening the door was as far as I ventured.
This is a good to know for my next visit if I stay for for a few days since I like to clear out the frig and stock my own food and beer inside.
There was an ice machine in the hall too. That is useful since beer in most supermarkets is not sold cold.
Like I said, I did not spend much time in the room, at least not much mentally lucid time in the room.
A few images of Kaunas
I had my doubts when I arrived by train in a city that looked like industrial hell for the couple miles before reaching the city train station.
I exited the train and followed people who seemed to know where they were walking. I found myself at a bus stop and asked a woman if she knew which bus would get me to Old Town. She happened to be going there too and let me know the ticket price is 80 cents.
I was headed to Best Western Santakos near the start of the Old Town pub area. Park Inn Kaunas is about one mile from the train station.
Park Inn Kaunas on Google Maps. The dotted walking path shows the pedestrian street, Laisvės alėja – Liberty Boulevard Kaunas through the city center.
Park Inn is located near the modern retail area and the Best Western is located at the point where Old Town Kaunas begins at Vilniaus g.
Continue along through Old Town and you come to the City Hall square.
One side of the square has restaurants and galleries and pubs with outdoor seating.
Past the City Hall is park land, the river, and an old castle tower excavated and restored.
Kaunas was a happening city during the two days I was there. After leaving for Klaipeda, I was regretting the fact that I was in Lithuania’s third largest city on the Baltic seacoast in the off-season. Kaunas had energy, loads of good pubs I enjoyed and a wonderful pedestrian walking street.
Park Inn Kaunas will bring me back to this Lithuanian city. I know my wife will enjoy the pubs and I will enjoy a large hotel room with all mod cons we can stay at for 13,500 points per night this summer.
I even know where that elusive desk plug outlet is now after writing this post.
Quick word on other Club Carlson category 1 hotels in Europe
Park Inn Weimar is not located in the city of Weimar, but a couple miles away. Hotel gets decent reviews.
Park Inn Budapest is in an exciting city, but many reviews complain the location of the hotel is not close enough to city center. In Budapest the category 2 Radisson Blu Béke Hotel, Budapest is probably the better choice.
Park Inn Danube Bratislava, Slovakia is in a fun city and has a good Old Town hotel location, however, the hotel has been undergoing a major renovation for the past year. Website says it will open Q2-2017, but that seems unlikely. I wonder if it will still be a category 1 when it reopens? [Update: Park Inn Danube Bratislava reopened in 2018 as category 3 at 28,000 points per night.]
Park Inn Hasselt, Belgium is in a bit of a remote eastern Belgium city. Lots of reviews complain about the attitude.