Holiday Inn Gdansk – City Centre is a new build hotel, opened June 2019, on Granary Island, or Spichlerze in Polish. The hotel is part of a massive development on the Motlawa River, a pedestrian bridge away from Old Town Gdansk. I had stayed at Radisson Suites in June 2019, another new build hotel on Granary Island opened May 2019, about two weeks before the Holiday Inn Gdansk grand opening gala (link is YouTube video showing more of the hotel design and in German language with parts in English).
I looked forward to trying out the IHG hotel, especially when I saw a 4-night stay in late November for 30,000 IHG points ($150). I booked two reward stays of four nights to start and end our trip to Gdansk, Poland with a night in Sopot and 10 nights in Krakow sandwiched in the middle.
I booked the Holiday Inn Gdansk stays using the Chase IHG card 4th night free rate. Our second stay cost 32,000 points ($160). The standard room I booked was Two Singles Courtyard view and we were upgraded to river view rooms.
Floors 1-6 are guest floors. Our first stay was a room on Floor 1 and second stay we were on Floor 6. Both rooms were in nearly same location of hotel, only separated by height. The Floor 1 room was slightly larger with a tub in the bathroom and a little more floor space. Both of our stays were Friday to Tuesday and we learned that even in the cold of late November and mid-December there are people who like to walk along the Granary Island riverside talking, singing and yelling late into the night. Staying higher up kept the noise level slightly lower. Closing the windows would have alleviated much of the outdoor noise, but Kelley kept all three windows open in the room, even though the temperature was generally in the low 20s to low 30s.
The rooms at Holiday Inn Gdansk have a nautical theme, a fitting tribute to the centuries old shipping trade that made Gdansk one of the wealthiest cities on the Baltic Sea around 500 years ago.
The refrigerator in the room is located in cabinet behind ropes. There were items in the frig that I set on the counter for our stay so I could stock water, beer and some food inside. A Zabka mini market is about 50 meters from the entrance to the hotel. Zabka mini-markets are found everywhere in Gdansk and Krakow, Poland, often only a couple hundred meters apart.
The guest rooms had sheer curtains and heavy floor-to-ceiling drapes.
Floor 7 SkyBar
The SkyBar has wonderful views, although I wanted to turn off the lights to really capture the beauty of the Old Town Gdansk skyline at night. When we were there on a night without a World Cup 2022 game playing there were only a few people in the bar, so I did not feel too embarrassed to stand between the curtain and window and snap photos to alleviate light reflection off the glass.
Architecture in Old Town Gdansk has the look of Amsterdam due to post-WW2 reconstruction of the decimated city in the style of the 17th century design when Dutch architects constructed the city center business district. The Netherlands and Gdansk (Danzig) were major trade partners.
A 17 PLN pint of Tyskie beer at Holiday Inn Gdansk SkyBar was more than most restaurants and pubs in the city at 10-15PLN, but at $3.75 for a draught pint it was certainly worth the price to hang out in the SkyBar for the views. Cocktails are the notable specialty drinks from reviews I read about SkyBar.
Holiday Inn Gdansk Fitness Center
The fitness center is located on Floor 7 of the main building with reception and Horizon Restaurant. Besides the SkyBar, this was the only room at the hotel I was in with views to Old Town Gdansk.
Holiday Inn Gdansk Lobby
When you walk in the front doors of Holiday Inn the reception desk is in front to the right and a computer table for guests in the space in front of reception. Elevators are to the left with a lobby seating space and big TV. The seating space usually had several people watching World Cup 2022 games playing all day during our time in Gdansk.
Holiday Inn Gdansk Horizon Restaurant Breakfast Dining
Horizon Restaurant and bar are in an open space straight through from the entrance to the rear of the hotel
My current status as IHG Diamond meant I was able to select breakfast for the two of us as a welcome amenity. Buffet breakfast was served daily 7:30-10:30.
Saturday and Sunday mornings were seriously packed in the breakfast room. There was a dropoff with only about 30% diners on weekdays compared to weekends during our stays. On weekdays there was a chef who made cook-to-order omelettes.
I generally loaded up on vegetables in the breakfast buffet since many of our meals at Polish restaurants were meat and potatoes with a limited selection of vegetables as side order dishes on the menu.
There were usually slices of cake too on the buffet counter.
Three automated coffee dispensers were in constant use on crowded mornings. The set-up of the buffet with guests passing through two aisles was congested on weekend mornings when the restaurant was packed. All in all, breakfast was filling. Generally eating a large breakfast from 10-10:30 meant we often got by with only one more restaurant meal in late afternoon somewhere in Old Town Gdansk.
A few quick notes on Granary Island. There are currently three major chain hotels with Radisson Suites, Holiday Inn Gdansk and Radisson Red, newly opened in Summer 2022 . There are more than a dozen restaurants along the 300 meter or so stretch to the main crossroad. There is still construction happening on the island, although we did not hear much loud noise outside from construction. There was remodeling noise from inside the Holiday Inn during our stay.
Everything on Granary Island is newly built since I first visited Gdansk in January 2017. It is exciting to see urban renewal progress in this beautiful part of Gdansk. I will cover Gdansk city in other articles to describe what makes it an interesting tourist destination from its history as a medieval Hanseatic trade center on the Baltic Sea, its complicated history with Germany, Prussia and Russia, its role in starting WW2 and devastation at the end of WW2 and the rebuilding of a few core streets that now comprise the Disneyesque Old Town section of Gdansk. There are a couple of major museums with the Museum of the Second World War and the European Solidarity Centre, where there are exhibits describing the labor movement of Poland and how the shipyards of Gdansk helped lead to the dismantling of the Soviet-linked socialist government of Poland in the 1980s.
Last Week in Poland, a brief – Dec 1, 2022.