andel’s by Vienna House Krakow is quite possibly one of the best kept secrets in the city. Not that this hotel is hidden away out of sight or anything, (it’s quite literally the first thing you see when you step out of the train station) but in that it’s managed to stay low key, and reveals itself only to the discerning traveller, who does a little extra research.
The location of Vienna House Krakow:
In most European cities, the area around the train station is usually crowded and filled with cheap hostels and hotels. Not in Kraków. The square between the Vienna House Krakow and the train station was easily the most sophisticated, pretty square we encountered in Kraków. It also had the prettiest, most elegant Christmas tree we’d seen in Kraków. But our appreciation of the location doesn’t end there. There’s a large shopping mall right outside the hotel (which means no lugging bags across town) and, the most astonishing bit – it’s literally a five minute stroll from the old town square. There’s a very convenient pathway that goes under the planty and through to the Royal way.
The design of Vienna House Krakow:
It isn’t often that one finds a swish design hotel so close to the old town, so we were quite surprised by even the modern facade of the building. The lobby was large, and had just the right amount of decor and knick-knacks, which once again was rather refreshing for a high-mid range hotel. Very minimal, lots of clean large spaces, which is the perfect respite for the busy tourist, who has had so much to gawk at in museums and on busy streets all day. Even the reception had a large bowl of essence water and a box of fruit for anyone stepping in from the elements.
The Room Part I:
While our room wasn’t ready as we checked in rather early, (it was New Year’s Day, after all) we were perfectly happy to leave our luggage with the hotel and go exploring. But the best part, was coming back to find out we’d been upgraded to a suite! Taking the elevator to the top floor, we realised, that ours was a special floor. Right outside the elevator (and our room) sat a very convenient little office. Perfect for printing out those last minute tickets and making travel arrangements. There were also a few very interesting art exhibits on display outside our room. Walking into our room, the very first thing (and I know this is odd as the first thing to report) was a spare washroom. That’s right, a spare washroom by the entrance. And a narrow corridor led to the sitting room. Waiting for us on a desk, was a large platter of fresh fruit and custard. I knew we had some pictures to take, and Charles scrambled to get a couple of shots before I grabbed the raspberries and devoured them. Now I don’t know about you, but in-room coffee facilities are a big priority for us, and especially in Europe it can get tricky. I could go on about the terrible varieties of insipid instant coffee in sachets that make for the worst possible start to the day. Especially when you’ve developed a taste for Nespresso capsules back home. Imagine our delight on seeing a little machine sitting right there on the desk. I looked over at Charles and we exchanged happy grins. As we looked around, the first thing to strike us was just how large this sitting room was. And I don’t even mean that by European standards. And we hadn’t even gotten to the bedroom yet. A large sofa, that I just sunk into almost immediately and two modern, minimal swivelling chairs. The window in the sitting room looking down onto the Christmas tree and ice-skating rink in the elegant little square.
The Room Part II:
Entering the room, we discovered something rather curious about it. Apart from the two bedside tables, and one window that looked over the underground path to the old town square, there were no lights. This was evidently a room for catching up on some serious Zzs. I was absolutely thrilled, because I love complete blackout rooms, (much to Charles’ amusement), I really do believe that it gives you a much much better sleep. Dark walls, dark sheets, a bookshelf with some very eclectic books. A large enough closet hid the usual amenities including a mini bar. But my favourite part was yet to come, heated floors in the bathroom! And Rituals products. Definitely my favourite bit of the entire stay.
Breakfast at Vienna House Krakow:
The buffet breakfast at Vienna House Krakow once again was a surprise for what we have come to expect of Europe. The selection of breads was quite diverse, as well as the different options to sample egg – regular scrambled, scrambled with ham, fried over, omelettes and more. A selection of cereals, cornflakes, muesli and granola, with milk or yoghurt. We enjoyed the view over the square, ending with fruits and my favourite part – coffee to go.
Dinner at Oscar’s, the Vienna House Krakow:
Dinner was supposed to be a tasting of Polish flavours. But it was anything aside from traditional. My aperitif should have been an indicator of the meal to follow. This was the first time I’d had hot mulled wine made out of white wine. And given the cold I’d been nursing, the spices and heat were just what I needed. Charles was absolutely thrilled for the chance to taste a locally brewed beer. One that was brewed barely a few steps away. Dinner at the restaurant at Vienna House Krakow began with a famous Polish starter. And it wasn’t just to be eaten, but drunk too. Herring tartare with a shot of vodka to be eaten with Rye bread. I cannot recommend this combination enough. Absolutely stunning. For mains, I chose a local fish that I’d been seeing on menus across the city – Zander. A fatty, fleshy fish, that was just divine. (And rather filling). Charles, on the other hand chose a delicious rabbit with vegetables (that I quietly dug my fork into, to sample). But the one dish that was the most memorable, was the dessert. We were stuffed by this point, but we’re so glad we decided to share one nougat ice-cream between us. Nougat, in an ice-cream, I can’t even begin to describe it. The creamiest, lightly flavoured desert I’ve ever tasted.
We really did enjoy the cool, understated elegance at andel’s by Vienna House Krakow and we’re so glad it was our home in one of our favourite Polish destinations. Where did you last enjoy taking up residence in the world?
This post was made possible by Vienna House Krakow. Opinions as always, are our own.