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ul. Marii Konopnickiej 28, Krakow, Poland

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tj1777 tj1777
378 reviews
Old style comunist hotel Apr 14, 2013
My first trip to a former communist country was to Krakow in Poland in 2000. I stayed there for a week during a conference. It was one of the first times where I stayed at the best (or one of the best) hotels of a major city. The hotel had a great view over the river of Krakow and it was sort of modern. Apparently it was the first hotel in Krakow to introduce something as fancy as air condition. The rooms were decent size and fortunately mine had a view over the river. The view from the other side of the river on the other hand was somewhat obscured by a giant building sitting on the top of the river bank.

The hotel had a big night club in the basement and I think there was a casino as well. It seemed as if the staff had remained unchanged from when the hotel had been a communist hotel and until the time when I visited. The idea of something like service seemed to be a very foreign concept for most of the staff.

Since I stayed here at a conference the meals were all included - except the drinks - only water were part of the set dinner menu. So when we sat down for dinner we would get the food and some water within a reasonable time. But drinks were a completely different issue. Typically we would like a bottle or two of wine to share for the table - but ordering the wine was very difficult. First we tried to ask the person who came with the food - assuming that this person would be able to provide a wine card or some wine. This was not the case.

Then we continued to face two - putting a hand in the air and trying to attracted the attention of some of the many waiters hanging around the dining area. After waiting for a while this trying to attracted attention started to involve increasing signs of desperation. Finally a waiter would appear at the table - just to let us know he was not responsible for the wine that was some other waiter. Then we assumed he would get the man in charge of the wine so we could order wine. After waiting for another five+ minutes we realized our hope of getting some service were not coming true.

So we went on to face three - putting hand in air and with even more desperation trying to attract attention from the waiters. Again we got a waiter who wasn’t responsible for the wine - but this time around we managed to make it pretty clear we expected him to get the man responsible for wine to our table ASAP. And this time we succeeded and managed to order wine. Maybe we could have let it go if this had been a onetime thing - but it happened every night at the hotel.

A funny little details were the uniforms at this former communist hotel compared with the free market restaurants in the old town. The skirts were significantly longer - maybe not such a bad thing considering the female waiters were also significantly older than the waiters in old town.

I recently tried to figure out what happened to this old hotel. And unfortunately it turn out it had some sort of major construction malfunction in the basement which resulted in repeated flooding of the complex. So the hotel has unfortunately been abandon and the building is now having a life as the biggest billboard in Poland and is currently used as a paintball arena while the parking lot is used as a go-cart track.
5 / 5 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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rsvpme says:
Interesting review...Very !
Posted on: Apr 14, 2013
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