Originally I looked at spending a week in Gdansk for our June trip. I fell in love with this place in the first hour I walked around exploring the city this past winter. My two day trip in February exposed me to Old Town Gdansk when I joined a 2.5 hour free walking tour during my winter trip.
I wanted to return to Gdansk in June to share the city experience with my wife Kelley.
Radisson Blu Gdansk has a hotel location on Dluga Targ I knew Kelley would enjoy for its location, enabling a visitor to step outside the hotel and be in the thick of the city action.
Dluga Targ/Long Market Square, Gdansk, Poland on June 15, 2017, Corpus Christi, a national holiday in Poland. There was a concert stage with live bands all evening. Radisson Blu Gdansk is on the right side of the street, out of my photo frame, behind the tents.
Gdansk, a city of history
One of the first aspects of Old Town Gdansk I noticed on my previous trip is Hilton Gdansk has a good waterfront location on the river and Radisson Blu Gdansk has an excellent tourist location on Dluga Targ or Long Market Square, at the center of the city action in Gdansk.
Gdansk itself has a relatively small, yet charming tourist section of rebuilt historic structures on a few blocks by the river. The historic section of Gdansk looks like the architecture of the historic Canal Ring District of Amsterdam. Many of the buildings in this former Hanseatic League port town were upgraded to Dutch style architecture in the early 1600s when Danzig (Gdansk) was the largest trading port of the declining Hanseatic League, primarily due to grain shipped from across Poland along the Vistula River to the Baltic Sea port. The port town of Danzig also became one of two major shipbuilding ports of the Hansa.
Unfortunately, the final months of World War II saw the German-controlled port of Danzig mostly leveled by bombs and firestorms. Grain storage warehouses along the river in Gdansk were still burning nearly six months after the war ended in 1945.
The city meticulously restored a small section of the historic city center near the river. Buildings around Dluga Street look centuries old in style, but actually are only about 60 to 70 years old. The lack of crooked windows and non-vertical buildings are the main distinctions between Gdansk architecture and authentically centuries old Amsterdam canal houses.
In February I stayed two nights at Best Western Bonum, about 1/2 mile from Dluga Targ and about 5 minutes walk from Hilton Gdansk. I had a nice suite at Bonum Hotel for $40 per night in February. It was disappointing to learn the hotel debranded from Best Western. It was a good value hotel and one of my all-time favorite Best Western stays.
Best Western Bonum Gdansk, Poland $39 suite (March 11, 2017).
Suite 348 Check-in at Radisson Blu Gdansk
At check-in I was informed I had been complimentary upgraded to a suite as a Club Carlson Gold elite member.
The room rate for a suite was $284 per night.
The hotel was 423 PLN ($111) on a AAA rate when I booked April 29, 2017. I booked one paid night and one reward night. The room rate climbed to $177 for Friday night on the Polish long weekend holiday. I booked Friday night for 38,000 Club Carlson points.
My second trip to Gdansk and my second free upgrade to a suite. I love this town.
The entrance to Radisson Blu Gdansk is from the side street of Dluga Targ. A glass atrium covers the lobby in the former courtyard between guest room floor buildings.
The lobby always seemed bright under the skylight.
Daylight in Gdansk was 3:30am to 10:30pm the week before the summer solstice.
The hotel bar opened at 5pm. We made a pub crawl through Gdansk, but did not manage to have a beer at the Radisson Blu.
Artifacts from 14th –18th centuries found during excavation for Radisson Blu Gdansk construction.
Radisson Blu Gdansk One Bedroom Suite
Plenty of seating in a large room space.
I tend to get nice add-on bonus features when traveling with Club Carlson in Europe. I don’t think I have had a stay with Club Carlson in theUSA since January 2015.
Snack foods with chips, popcorn and nuts amenity gift awaited us in the room.
The bathroom had three doors, one by the room front door and one door to the bedroom and another door between the toilet and the shower area.
The toilet can be accessed from living room without going into bedroom or main bathroom area with shower.
Toilet stall has its own sink.
There is a 1995 episode of Absolutely Fabulous, Door Handle, when Patsy and Eddy fly to New York on the Concorde for the day to locate a door handle she remembered from a hotel stay on a previous trip.
I photographed the toilet handle at Radisson Blu Gdansk to remember this style.
I remember the tub was deep and a big reach to step in and out. I envisioned slipping and a hard fall. Never actually happened, just an imagined fear from the deep tub and hard bathroom surfaces.
The bedroom had windows. We kept the windows open for cool air, but it turned out the noise outside the lobby atrium where taxi service picked up and dropped off guests in a kind of cavernous space resulted in voices echoing through the courtyard air over the atrium.
This was only our second night in a hotel after leaving California two days earlier. We made good use of the bed.
The day following the first night’s pub crawl.
Courtyard view from Radisson Blu Gdansk.
While there might be prettier views from rooms overlooking Dluga Targ, the street noise from the live band concerts and thousands of people walking the central lane would have been much noisier for this trip. Hotel experiences convince me that courtyard limited views are often more conducive to a good night’s sleep compared to more scenic street views in low rise European city center hotels.
The fitness center is in a basement level spa area with receptionist. The fitness center is small for a 134 room hotel with about five or so pieces of equipment. No natural light windows. In use when I peeked in and no photo.
Radisson Blu Gdansk Restaurant
Brasserie de Verres en Vers
Brasserie de Verres en Vers has a great location for sitting outdoors, elevated above Dluga Targ market square. Here is a link to the dinner menu.
We ate breakfast there. The hotel has a buffet breakfast for 70 PLN (about $19 USD). That is very expensive for Gdansk dining. We ate the only two other set menu breakfast dining options.
The breakfast kind of threw me a loop first thing in the morning. There were only three breakfast meal dining options and the meal had to be prepaid at the door before we could even sit down. I ordered the 35 PLN breakfast. It came with coffee. I asked for water instead of coffee. The receptionist stated no substitutions allowed. Ridiculous for a top hotel.
My 35PLN ($9 USD) meal was great. Eggs, bacon, salad, fruit and a pastry. And I received water instead of coffee with no further input from me. I guess my displeasure was apparent at the time I prepaid the breakfast bill.
Kelley had the 25 PLN ($7 USD) set breakfast with tea.
Stupid me. In my anger about the water confrontation, I forgot to credit the meal to my Club Carlson account.
The ambience of the dining room was pleasant. We sat in a room away from the buffet, surrounded by books on shelves.
Radisson Blu Gdansk Room Rates and Points Rates
Radisson Blu Gdansk is a category 4 Club Carlson property at 38,000 points for a standard reward night. Club Carlson Points+Cash rates are 10,000 points + 60% Best Flexible rate.
Hotel rates vary widely in Gdansk with summer season rates peak season.
I earned 7,608 points on my $111 AAA rate with a Club Carlson triple points (60 points/$1) global promotion and Gold elite bonus points. I earned 14,848 Club Carlson points two days later staying Sunday night at Radisson Blu Krakow for triple points, 5,000 Sunday bonus points and 3,000 bonus points for mobile booking on a 410.40 PLN ($106 USD) prepaid rate.
$217 spent with Club Carlson on two paid nights in Gdansk and Krakow earned 22,456 points. I redeemed 38,000 points for Friday night in the Radisson Blu Gdansk suite.
Net cost this trip for 3 hotel nights in Gdansk and Krakow was $217 + 15,544 Club Carlson points.
Gdansk Chain Hotels
There are relatively few major chain hotels in Gdansk. Radisson Blu and Hilton have good central locations. Accor Hotels has several properties, but farther from Dluga Street.
Hilton Gdansk is the other great Old Town location hotel.
Hampton Inn Gdansk is under construction on Piwna Street, one street over from Dluga Street and loaded with restaurants and pubs. Piwna means beer street.
Hampton Inn Gdansk Airport is a category 2 hotel for 10,000 points and great location about five minutes walk across the parking lot from the airport terminal.
The beach resort town of Sopot has a Sheraton resort hotel.
Best Western still has three properties in the area with a business park hotel in a Gdansk suburb, another business hotel in Gydnia and a beach hotel on the Hel Peninsula, a 35-km long Baltic Sea sand spit.
Gdansk is highly ranked by Europeans as one of the major tourist destinations on the continent. I imagine there will be interest from more major hotel chains to establish a presence in this city by the Baltic.
Motlawa River, Gdansk.
Poland Trip Report – Where my hotel loyalty lies (summary of hotel stays, room cost and points earned).
Gdansk, Poland: Dluga Street (ul. Dluga) Gdansk, Poland
Gdansk, Poland: European Solidarity Centre museum Gdansk, Poland
Krakow, Poland: Radisson Blu Krakow Poland $102 rate earned 14,858 points