“ Address: Hotel Galaxy, ul. Gęsia 22a, 31-535 Kraków „
Galaxy Hotel, Krakow
We booked a great bargain city break to Krakow from East Midland Airport through a company called Broadway Travel. Prior to this I had never heard of them but it seemed too good a deal to pass up so we went ahead. We paid £135 per person for return flights and three nights in a hotel in Krakow and then an extra £20 for return transfers from the airport to the hotel.
We were collected from the airport and brought directly to the hotel with two other couples by a very friendly driver who pointed out some of the sights on the way and gave us ideas of things to see and do in Krakow.
The first impression of the hotel was how very modern and sleek it was. The girl at reception was very efficient as she was checking in about six couples who arrived at the same time. She explained about using the key card for the lift, to get in the room and also using one to put the electricity on in the room. She then told each couple checking in about the breakfast times and the pool times. She did all this very calmly and all in very good English indeed.
The reception desk was in a large open area with huge glass windows looking out over the river. The bar area and a shop were also downstairs. Leading up one level was a curving glass sided staircase with tables on one side nearest the huge glass windows so you could sit enjoying the view. The staircase led to the restaurants, another bar and various conference rooms. On this level there was also a small children's play area.
Everything was very modern and sleek, almost Scandinavian. There were light fittings in the style of satellites or galaxies. The walls were cream and the carpets a very pale colour with a subtle pattern. On some end walls there were painted murals of galaxies or night skies. The doors and frames were all in a mock pine coloured sort of laminate. Chairs and tables were glass and some brown suede and others like in the dining room were cream or orange (harking back to the 60s).
To get in you had to hold the key card against a lighted square and then just push the door open. The room was an average size but once again very modern; pale coloured carpets, mushroom coloured wall and no pictures at all on any walls. The TV was on the wall and inside a pine effect frame. The desk with mirror and light was the same pine effect as was the small coffee table, wardrobe and two fixed bedside 'tables' with small drawer each, a small cupboard and a piece of the wall with two coat hooks. Behind the bed was the same but with two brown fabric covered cushioned bits behind the two 'head' parts.
We had two comfortable chairs in brown suede as well as a square pouffe cushion thingie by the desk. Either side of the bed we had small reading lights which were okay but not that bright, I struggled a little reading with just that one on.
Inside the wardrobe one side was hanging space and the other was shelved. In the side with the hanging space on the floor was a coded safe which was a decent size, it held two cameras and my netbook easily. There was a shoe shine kit and a sewing kit on the top of the safe for emergencies.
On the top of the small cupboard was the kettle, tea and coffee stuff with packs of coffee creamer which is not so good in tea! They also left us two bottles of water but we were not sure if they were free or not so as the water was okay from the taps we didn't use them.
One of the best things about the room apart from the fact that it was lovely and warm despite the negative temperatures outside, was the view we had over the river which was lovely to see as so often in city hotels you get to look at the building next door. I also liked the fact that we had a good sized window so that during the day it was quite light in the room.
One negative thing was that no part of the window opened at all so your only way of regulating the temperature in the room was with the controls and there was no chance of any fresh air at all.
Once again this was minimalist. It was clean and very modern. I was disappointed not to have bath but the shower was nice and hot and easy to adjust and had a decent amount of flow too. The tiles everywhere were the same colour and very shiny caramel. It the shower I found that they could be a little slippery so you had to be a bit careful.
The toilet and basin were white as was the electric heated towel rail which was pretty efficient at drying the towels over night. The mirror behind the basin had a strip of lights around the top behind it which stayed on at night to give enough light for you to see.
The soap and shampoo were fixed to the wall units while there were two shower caps and some cotton buds as well in small packs above the basin on the shelf. The hair dryer was a full normal sized ne hanging in a bag above the toilet. You could use it in the bathroom or the bedroom.
This was in a restaurant on the first floor and was pretty darn good. A choice of teas, coffee and ht chocolate to drink as well as four different fruit juices and a jug of water. There was a fruit salad, whole fruit and there was also cut up fruit. A choice of about six different cereals, yoghurt, a variety of breads and rolls, three or four different hot sausages and scrambled eggs .
The cold table was where you got the Polish choices of chicken in aspic, soused herrings, pickles, a sort of Russian salad, cold meats and cheeses as well as other pickles and salad stuff. Finally there was a choice of cakes and pastries which looked delicious, I am going to try one tomorrow I think.
Wifi was free in public areas but if you wanted to use it in your room then you had to pay extra. I didn't bother as we were only away a fee days and could check essential emails from the public areas.
There was a spa with all sorts of lovely massages offered but again we were there to see the city rather than just relax.
Finally the swimming pool which looked lovely and was a pretty good size but once again I can't give you details about the water warmth or changing rooms as we didn't use it. I do know that it was 2 zloty deposit for a locker and also if you wanted to use the gym you had to have shoes not worn outside so don't turn up in your walking boots.
They do accept credit cards but you have to be registered with reception first to put it on the room or just pay by card for what you have. Prices are pretty good so it wasn't a huge problem.
ANY GOOD FOR SIGHTSEEING?
This would be a good walk to the centre of the city but we got a number 20 tram from around the corner which was 2.80 zloty each way per person and that took us three or four stops up to the main square in the city.
The second day we did a full day trip to Auschwitz and Birkenau and the salt cave of Wieliczka which took the entire day and included a lunch. Review to follow on that deal.
On the third day we spent exploring the Kazimierz or Jewish quarter and on to Schindler's factory and that was pretty easy to get to from the hotel too.
So yes I think this is a pretty good place to stay when in Krakow for a short stay as it isn't hard to get anywhere in the city from her by tram and if the weather was okay we could have walked but as the pavements were icy and the temperature was very cold we decided to make use of the excellent tram system.
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