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October 8, 2007
Birchircara, Malta Majjistral, Malta
October 24, 2005
Conveniently located a stone's throw away from Krakow's train and bus stations, Hotel Europejski is probably the best affordable hotel in the area. Renovated and redecorated five years ago to meet the needs of tourists from the west, it is one of Poland's huge communist-style places of accomodation. Its twin sister in Warsaw on ul Krakowskie Przedmiescie is very similar both with regards to interior decoration and room facilities.
Time has taken its toll on Krakow's grandest and oldest hotel. Though meticulously restored, this once elegant building is now a mere shadow of its former glory. Nevertheless, no other three-star hotel in Krakow offers so much at a price that is within the reach of many.
From the outside, the Europejski looks like a huge characterless block of apartments with unending rows of symmetrical windows. Step inside however and you'll be pleasantly surprised. The fully refitted reception area retains the spanking feel of days past. It has lately been redecorated with elegant red thick-pile carpets, rose-tinted wallpaper, intricately carved gypsum mouldings, fine furnishings and leather sofas. Speaking perfect English, the receptionists on duty lacked the traditional Polish hospitality for which Krakow's Europejski was formerly renowned. Hospitality issues aside, however, we were promptly shown the way to the elevator after being assigned to a double room on the second floor.
Our room, though small, was perfectly functional, and the high ceilings created an illusion of space. Unlike the reception area that was clearly a manifestation of luxury, our room was very basic and low on frills. Though clean, it lacked the comfort of a sofa or the pleasure of air-conditioning. However, the sparkling bathroom was in pristine condition boasting such luxuries as shower soap, body lotion, hairdryer, shampoo sachets and daily clean towels.
An extravagant breakfast buffet served inside the hotel's luxurious restaurant on the ground floor is Europejski's most valuable asset. A huge display of plenty of good food whose quality appears to have been lately revamped is as inspiring as the wide range of freshly-squeezed juices. Take your share from the lavish choice of exotic fresh fruit, fruit salads and cereals. The delicious looking pastries and cakes are simply irresistible.
An attractive breakfast, a clean room, and a luxurious reception area are not enough, however, to make Hotel Europejski Krakow's number one choice. Europejski's biggest drawback is unquestionably the terrific train noise that makes sleeping here impossible unless all windows are kept closed. Rooms overlooking ul Radziwillowska are the worst hit since the busy train tracks pass close by before finishing off at Krakow's main train station. To keep up with European standards and the traditional significance of its name, Hotel Europejski needs urgently soundproofing and airconditioning in all rooms.
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