I travelled over to Poland as part of my birthday week. I had always wanted to visit Auschwitz but was quite unaware of Krakow and its surrounding landscape. After a little research, I found a hotel overlooking the Vistula river but when I went to book it was full. But fear not, we found Hotel Jan and it was an absolute gem. More people need to know about it.
We arrived in Krakow on a cloudy and rainy Monday afternoon, dragging our hand-luggage cases over the cobbled side streets of the Old town. Bump bump bump bump. Our hoods were up but despite the rain we couldn’t take our eyes of all the pretty buildings.
We had gotten the train from the airport straight to Krakow’s main station – Glowny; and the hotel was just a short 10 minute walk from there. When we arrived at the hotel, check in was quick and easy, and the reception staff were more than helpful telling us about breakfast, the bar and the local area. We were also even given a complimentary welcome drink token which I thought was a great touch. Free champagne, anyone?
Opening up the door into our room we were surprisingly greeted by a large open space. We had booked a double room, which also came with a desk, two big comfy seats, a fridge, a large wardrobe, and most importantly a safe. The look of the carpets were a dull, but the bathroom more than made up for it. Again, the bathroom was large, with an even larger mirror for me to get all beautified. The corner shower was also very spacious with a powerful shower head. Perfect for after those chilly Krakow nights.
I also want to mention how great the staff were with us. We had several different reception staff advising us on activities and booking us for tours. We accidentally locked our safe without first setting a code, and the hotel staff were happy to give us the key to fix it (and keep it for the few days we were visiting).
One of the biggest factors I consider before booking a hotel is their location, and this was one of the main reasons I chose Hotel Jan. They are located on the busy street of Grodzka just off the main market square. We couldn’t have chose a more perfect spot. We had everything at our front door: restaurants, cafes, bars, shops and even street entertainment.
As well as Grodzka and the main market square, you also have the busy Stolarska which has plenty of bars that cater for your every need. Whether you want a quite glass of wine or a cheap vodka amongst the students, Stolarska has it. At the top of Stolarska there was also a local market on offer every day which sold plenty of fresh street food and handmade souvenirs and gifts.
Overall, the location of Hotel Jan was perfect – close to everything we needed. It meant we could save all our walking for out day tours and sightseeing.
Food & Drink
Breakfast at Hotel Jan comes complimentary, and it consisted of all the usual cereals, fruits and pastries, as well as hot eggs and sausages. We always down to breakfast in the last 45 minutes or so, but everything was all still fresh and replenished if needed. The coffee machine was also very welcomed after having a couple of Polish vodkas the night before!
From the outside, Hotel Jan is just a small glass door, almost unrecognisable if you’re not looking out for it. But when you step inside and scoot past reception, you will find yourself in the light and airy glass-roofed restaurant. Although only open for breakfast, the white fresh decor is the perfect backdrop to perk you up in the morning.
The brightness of the restaurant also contradicts the brick-laden basement bar. But in a good way. When the sun’s gone down, the fairy lights are on and the street entertainers are out in force, there’s no better time to head downstairs to grab an alcoholic beverage to warm your heart. (I was so excited to see an Arran beer barrel down in the bar!). Service was a bit sparse, but when we got our drinks there was a relaxing chilled-out atmosphere about the place. I guess it’s a bit like that everywhere in Krakow.
Have you ever been to Krakow? Where did you stay?
If you have any questions you can catch me on Twitter @lifeofgibbers
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