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1 OLOWIANKA ST, Gdansk, Poland 80751
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The Royal Granary of Olowianka
December 18, 2009
Best of IgoUgo
In August I took my mother-in-law to Gdansk.Gdansk has many hotels ranging from large luxury hotels, popular chains such as Novotel and many modern hotels along the waterfront. I was a little nervous about just walking into any hotel and booking it ...
In August I took my mother-in-law to Gdansk.
Gdansk has many hotels ranging from large luxury hotels, popular chains such as Novotel and many modern hotels along the waterfront. I was a little nervous about just walking into any hotel and booking it for a night. The main reason being that my mother-in-law is fussy and doesn't like the thought of sleeping in a bed that someone else has slept in. This is not to say that she hasn't travelled - she has but she has always taken her own bed in the form of a caravan, mobile home or boat.
So it was with great trepidation when we walked into the reception of the Hotel Krolewski; a renovated granary on Olowianka Island.
The reason why I opted for the Krolewski was simply because the hotel was situated on the waterfront and as my mother in law has lived on a boat and near the sea for a very long time I thought she would like the views of boats and just to be near water. I also liked the stone warehouse look of the exterior. I could see that this was an old building that had been restored in a very sympathetic way - I sensed the feeling of old meeting the new. Also Krolewski means Royal in Polish so I hoped it would be of a regal stature.
The warm, honey coloured lights in the reception were very welcoming and immediately any doubts I had initially were wiped away. I knew this was a good choice and the overnight stay was going to be fine.
I liked the fact that the design of the reception was very simple but effective. The main colours were beige, stone and cream - very subtle but blended in well with the stone columns and wooden doors. All the wooden surfaces and tables in the reception area were of a highly polished mahogany and gleamed beautifully in the overhead and amber wall lights.
Standing behind the long, marble topped reception desk were two delightful administrators who executed the checking in procedure with efficiency, a smile, a please and a thank you. Very impressive - something that I don't always come across in Poland.
It was mid evening when we entered the hotel and when opening the door of our double room I felt really excited because the view from the window was out of this world. The River Motlawa shone and glistened with reflections of lights from the old part of the city. Boats were moored along the river and the light shining through into the room from the outside painted a scene of elegance and sophistication. These two words describe the decor of the spacious room also. All furnishings seemed brand new and I thought the interior design was of one of impeccable taste. I loved the overall choice of the colour yellow. Walls were painted a very warm shade of yellow with curtains and bedspread to match. Again, lots of wooden surfaces - this time furnitiure built of a mellow pine with standard and reading lamps transmitting rays of white and golden light.
Pictures of Gdansk as it was a hundred years ago adorned the walls and as they were framed in mahogany added a balanced and classy look to the interior.
No fitted wardrobes in this room but a solid double pine wardrobe and a dressing table to match. Two armchairs covered in a golden embroidered material were placed at the back of the room with a long pine coffee table with a mahogany inlay. The chairs were so very comfortable - you know the kind where your whole body moulds into the shape of the chair and you are unable to escape. I should have slept in that armchair as it was much more comfortable than the bed. The twin beds were very smart in design, each witha pine wooden headboard and the same mahogany inlay as the coffee table. My bed was low down which is good as I don't like beds where you need step ladders to climb into it. The only problem was that the mattress was too hard for me - but may be okay for some folks who like a hard bed. At each side of the bed were sets of drawers with reading lamps. All very cosy and after a long days walk around the delightful historic town of Gdansk a perfect room to close your eyes and recall all the sights you have seen.
Forgot to mention that there was cable TV but who needs TV when you are staying in such a fab location. Also if you can't live without plugging into your laptop there is WiFi access.
I did notice that the heating was just about right in the rooms - not too overpowering but just in case the management forgot to turn the radiators off there is a good supply of bottled water on the coffee table to keep you rehydrated.
The en-suite bathroom was quite small compared to the size of the room. I did think at the time that they could have made it a bit larger. If you are on the large size I am not sure if you would be able to fit into the shower cubicle as it was quite narrow. One colour dominated the bath/shower room and that was white. Floor tiles, wash basin, splash backs and towels were all sparkling white. Hot water was extremely hot and there was plenty on tap and the towels were quite soft and felt nice on your skin. Toiletries bearing the hotel's moniker were free to use and placed on a small shelf above the wash basin. Not the most glamorious of bathrooms but practical, clean and adequate.
I believe there are 30 rooms in total and 6 suites if you have the cash to spend. A long time since I have stayed in a suite - those heady days seem to have disappeared from my itinerary for the time being.
Because this was just an overnight stay and we didn't check in until quite late we didn't partake in any of the dining rituals However, I did have a quick peek at the dining room. The overall look of the dining area was very attractive and it reminded me of a barn conversion. New beams replacing the old and arched windows with decorative brick pelmets. Long tables were decorated and set for large parties as well as small intimate tables set for two or four hidden away in cosy alcoves, looking out to the waterfront. I would say the dining room was of a formal nature rather than informal and wasn't my particular taste. Tablecloths were crisp, white and well ironed and cutlery was of the silver service nature. Looking at the menu there seemed to be a good selection of main meals and not just Polish traditional cuisine but a menu offering European dishes. Wine was very expensive but then it always is in luxurious Polish hotels - you are looking at anything from £25 onwards.
So although, very attractive I didn't feel that I had missed out on a great opportunity. I think I would have felt a little claustrophobic in the restaurant.
Apparently, there is a Sunday lunch buffet served from 12.30pm until 6pm and this will cost 50 zloty which is roughly about £10.
We didn't have breakfast in the hotel as we both agreed that it would be so much nicer to have a coffee and a cake sat in one of the cafes on the waterfront. That's what we both used to do when we lived in the Algarve so it was good to talk about our memories.
However, breakfast is included with the price of the room and I believe it is in buffet form.
Okay, the price. We went in August and the price we paid for a double room was 470 zloty - approx £115. I think this is good value. It works out at just over 55 pounds each which isn't bad for a city hotel especially a city that is so steeped in history. The location of the hotel is stunning and for anyone who thinks that the dockyards and harbour of Gdansk is grey and unimaginative then I can tell you - it isn't. Gdansk is a mighty fine city - one of Poland's best.
The Hotel Krolewski is a modern hotel in an ancient shell. Furnishings are luxurious and in very good taste. The staff of the hotel are delightful - very welcoming and obliging. Although, a short walk into the old centre it is still worth staying in this picturesque location. Especially at night the views are beautiful - they really do light up the exterior and make the experience of window watching one in a million.
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