Mar042019

IHG Free Nights. Faster. Stay 1 Holiday Inn Warsaw City Centre

Warsaw is the city where I am on track to pick up 3 hotel stays with 3 hotel nights for $300 to earn 43,000+ points. My first of three stays was Holiday Inn Warsaw City Centre. This stay completed two of my bonus points tasks for IHG Free Nights Faster (Jan 15-April 30) earning 2,000 bonus points for a February 2019 stay and 1,500 bonus points for IHG MasterCard payment.

A monument marker outside the hotel, erected in 2008, states the location was the site of a southern entry point to the Warsaw Jewish Ghetto established November 16, 1940. Outside the hotel door by the reception desk is a strip in the sidewalk showing the location of the former Warsaw Jewish Ghetto Wall.

Holiday Inn Warsaw City Centre marker depicting 1940 ghetto south entry point

Reminders of World War II are found all around downtown Warsaw.

Warsaw Ghetto Wall 1940-43 sidewalk marker outside Holiday Inn

Say What? Free Minibar

The receptionist at Holiday Inn Warsaw City Centre floored me when I checked in and she said, “Thank you for your loyalty and being a Platinum member. You have free minibar benefit.”

Having been traveling for 31.5 hours from Monterey to San Francisco to Barcelona to Warsaw, I cannot confirm those were her exact words, but “free minibar” was definitely part of the statement.

Holiday Inn Warsaw City Centre minibar

The Points Guy once asked, ‘Is it ethical to clear out the free mini-bar?’

As it turned out, I did not take any of the minibar items. I was not even in the mood for a Tyskie beer in the room before heading out to find dinner. The next morning I was still not in the mood for anything in the mini-bar before I headed to the Warsaw (Up)Rising Museum.

Hotel Review Holiday Inn Warsaw City Centre

Location was convenient for me arriving at the Palace of Culture and Science (PKiN) by Modlin Bus from Warsaw Modlin Airport WMI, the secondary airport for the city serviced by Ryanair from dozens of European airports. I reached the hotel about 2 hours after landing at WMI.

I will cover Warsaw Modlin Airport and Modlin Bus and train transportation in a separate post. The hotel is 1.3km from PKiN, about a 15 to 20 minute walk.

Warsaw Palace of Culture and Science

I made the mistake of trying to shortcut through the circular shaped major shopping mall across the street from PKiN instead of staying on the street and lost my direction. Took me about 30 minutes and a couple of unnecessary city blocks to reach the hotel.

View from Holiday Inn Warsaw room 1603

While it looks like a direct walk from Holiday Inn to the Palace of Culture and Science, there is a major thoroughfare crossroad in the way blocking direct access between the points. There are no crosswalks for 500 meters. You have to walk to the left or to the right for a crosswalk to travel between Palace of Culture and Science and Holiday Inn Warsaw City Centre.

Holiday Inn Warsaw City Centre

Cut to the chase. Everything about the hotel stay was wonderful, except for the pillows were too hard for me. I like soft, malleable pillows. I managed to sleep well anyway after 34 hours since being horizontal in my bed in California.

At check-in I was offered points or a hotel drink. I took 500 points.

I could have had three free beers at the Holiday Inn during my stay. I received a pre-stay email coupon for a free drink with the purchase of food at the hotel. I opted for points instead of a free drink at the hotel bar and there was a free beer in the minibar. Finally reaching Warsaw reinvigorated me to head outside and find a local restaurant to eat a meal.

Food and beer are inexpensive in Warsaw anyway. My objective is maximize points earned from my three IHG stays.

Podwale Kompania Piwna Old Town Warsaw 47pln/$12.40 for schnitzel meal and 1.0L Pilsner Urquell

Room 1603 is top 16th floor of Holiday Inn Warsaw.

HI Warsaw elevator

Holiday Inn Warsaw Executive Floor 16

I did drink two water bottles and coffee in the room.

Holiday Inn Warsaw City Centre bed

One of the nice features of the room were USB ports by the bed for plugging in mobile.

HI Warsaw 1603 robes on bed

HI Warsaw City Centre room 1603

Room 1603 bathroom

HI Warsaw 1603 shower

16th Floor Fitness Room

The fitness center on floor 16 offers nice views over the city looking south and west. Room 1603 faces east.

HI Warsaw City Centre fitness room

Holiday Inn Warsaw fitness center

‘Pekin’ tenement house seen from HI Warsaw

Kamienica Wolfa Krongolda “Pekin”, across the street from Holiday Inn Warsaw, is one of the few buildings to remain standing in in the downtown area of post-WW2 Warsaw. It was built in 1899 and nicknamed for Peking, China due to the large number of residences. The building is scheduled to be remodeled into luxury apartments.

Holiday Inn Warsaw City Centre Lobby

The lobby wraps around in horseshoe fashion from the reception desk to the bar and restaurant. The hotel can be entered from the bar/restaurant side or the reception desk side with a straight passage between the doors and the elevators in the center.

Holiday Inn Warsaw lobby bar

Holiday Inn Warsaw lobby bar

Holiday Inn Warsaw lobby stairs

Holiday Inn Warsaw breakfast buffet

Holiday Inn Warsaw breakfast room

Holiday Inn Warsaw City Centre had an advance purchase room rate I booked 8 days before arrival at 259.80pln/$68.04 for the night.

I earned 4,957 points for the $68 stay.

  • 638 base points
  • 319 Platinum elite 50% bonus points
  • 500 Platinum elite welcome amenity points
  • 2,000 bonus points Free Nights Faster task: February 2019 stay
  • 1,500 bonus points Free Nights Faster task: IHG MasterCard payment.

IHG Rewards Club standard reward night price for this hotel is 20,000 points.

 

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. Is this a reconstituted post? I cannot see a room at this place for less than $110 and the standard room award rate is 20000, not 15000. I am wondering if you are doing what other blogs have started doing: simply changing a few dates on old posts.

  2. I don’t think I have ever done a reconstituted post since writing Loyalty Traveler.

    15,000 was a mistake. The hotel is 20,000 points. Confused hotel reward rate for Holiday Inn Warsaw with 15,000 points for Hotel Indigo Warsaw PointBreaks reward rate that was on my IHG account activity next to Holiday Inn Warsaw City Centre points earned.

    My stay was less than a week ago in February 2019 on a $63.00 (240.56pln) advance purchase rate, which is why I got the February stay 2,000 bonus points. An extra 19.24pln ($5.04) tax.

    Room rate was as low as $54 on a Friday night during the time I tracked prices for this hotel. I stayed at InterContinental Warsaw when rate was $99.73 for advance purchase, but I needed a points package and paid $111 rate and $129 all-in after tax for 5,000 bonus points.

    Room rates change all the time.

  3. Good on you. I’ve seen “new” posts on some travel blogs with 2019 dates and 2016 comments, and other hints of manipulation. It’s becoming a thing.

  4. Thank you for this post. I cannot decide between this HI and Hotel Indigo Nowy Swiat. I know it is a review of the HI. But I would like to ask in terms of location which would be better for restaurants and sightseeing. Thank you.

  5. Hotel Indigo Nowy Swiat is good location for tourist area stuff. Many of the bar hopping places are around Nowy Swiat, which might be a good thing or not. Hotel Indigo has character and on major tram lines and close to Metro. Certainly more restaurants closer to Hotel Indigo location.

    Holiday Inn is a little closer to central train station for airport transportation.

    If you have never been to Warsaw, then Hotel Indigo definitely better location for being in the city in populated areas with lots of restaurants and pubs nearby. Old Town about 15 minute walk on well-lighted major streets.

    Holiday Inn seems more in a high-rise residential and business area. Farther away from main tourist area of city. Warsaw Rising Museum was one location closer to Holiday Inn that I wanted to see.

    I had a reservation for Hotel Indigo on PointBreaks for 15,000 points when room rates were $135, but changed it to Holiday Inn for the Free Nights Faster promotion. I went over to Hotel Indigo to check it out. From Hotel Indigo I went to a Nowy Swiat pub, then walked to Old Town. Much easier walk than from Holiday Inn.

  6. Thanks so much Ric! I’ve booked Hotel Indigo Warsaw and Holiday Inn Krakow for this May. Can’t wait! Been reading through all your posts on Krakow and Warsaw. Very informative.

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