Review: DoubleTree by Hilton Krakow Hotel & Convention Center

Review: DoubleTree by Hilton Krakow Hotel

Introduction

We decided to take a little family vacation with my mom included, and I ended up booking two Executive rooms in DoubleTree Hilton Krakow, Poland for 5 nights in June. None of us had been to Poland before and I had heard positive comments about Krakow. The DoubleTree Hilton is a new hotel and from the photos the pool area looked really nice and I thought it would be the most important factor for our daughter who's keen on swimming.

We arrived by taxi from the airport after about 2 hours' direct Finnair flight from Helsinki. The taxi took about 30mins and brought us to the front of the hotel. Curiously there is also a Hampton by Hilton Krakow, which is next to the DoubleTree.


Lobby and check-in

From the outside the hotel looks a bit...dull, I guess. But once you enter, the experience transforms. At least it happened to us. The lobby is very light, there is open space and although not luxurious, it's neat, nice and functional.
We were greeted by a friendly associate, who was training at the time being. It took around 10mins to sort it all out - we had two rooms but only one was ready at the time of check-in. We were also given cookies, a map and some instructions to get to the city etc.


Executive Room

We took the lift up to the 5th floor and made our way to the first room that was ready, piled our luggage there and checked how the room was. It was marvelous. We enjoyed the design, functionality, large TV and a good-sized bathroom. With multiple power outlets there shouldn't be a problem to have your electronic appliances charged.

All the Executive Rooms are located on the 5th floor.

Executive Room DoubleTree Hilton Krakow
Executive room


Executive Lounge

After a bit of unpacking we went to have a coffee in the Executive Lounge.

Executive Lounge


The lounge is just lovely. The colors, layout, furniture, staff. Super.
Upon entering there is desk, which seems to be occupied most of the time the lounge is open, so you'll be hard pressed not to get some assistance from the staff if you so require.
I think the size of the lounge is great, since it is small and intimate enough to properly enjoy it. To be honest, it wasn't very crowded at any time we were there and we found plenty of seating each and every time we were there, which was quite often ;)
All the time the staff seemed to be ready and eager to help, were polite and friendly and gave good suggestions as where to go and what to do.

We returned to the hotel later in the afternoon to enjoy the lounge offerings.
We were surprised to find such a variety of dishes and snacks to taste. Depending on the day there were starter kinds of things like little glasses of gazpacho, small breads with salmon or ham, fresh salad items and warm dishes like zurek (excellent local rye soup), chicken, rice, vegetables etc.
We were impressed! It all looked good and was tasty.

DoubleTree Krakow Executive Lounge dinner items and snacks


Red wine and gazpacho in DoubleTree Hilton Krakow Executive Lounge


There was white and red wine, beer, still and sparkling water as well as some soft drinks and a coffee machine.


Executive Lounge, DoubleTree Hilton Krakow
Executive Lounge


Spa

In the evening we paid a visit to the Spa area downstairs. First we went to a counter to get a locker key and sign for the visit. On the left side of the counter there is a gym that looked pretty well equipped, and on the right there is the pool.
Then off to changing room for a shower which after to see the pool area. It was surprisingly nice looking and our daughter appreciated the water being of sufficient warmth in the bigger pool and nice and hot in the smaller one.
There is also a steam and a normal sauna in the spa area.
Overall, quite impressive!


Breakfast

Breakfast was available both in the main restaurant and in the Executive Lounge. We are twice in the restaurant and three times in the lounge. The selection was of course a bit better (with an omelet station) downstairs but otherwise we enjoyed having the breakfast in the lounge as it was much more peaceful and relaxing. The quality of food was good throughout our stay.
This time we didn't have dinner at the hotel so can't comment about that.

DoubleTree Hilton Krakow Executive Lounge breakfast


DoubleTree Hilton Krakow Executive Lounge breakfast


DoubleTree Hilton Krakow Executive Lounge breakfast



Bottomline

-WiFi worked well the whole time at the hotel and the speed was fast enough for our use.

-Staff and service - excellent! Very well done. Almost on par with Hilton Tallinn Park.

-The location wasn't too bad. Although away from the center of Krakow, the connection was straightforward and inexpensive and the trams ran frequently.

We were more than happy to have stayed at this hotel. For the price we paid I think you couldn't get much better price/quality ratio.


Qatar Airways Business Class sale


Qatar Airways has just launched another global business class sale (2 for 1), and now that they've started flying from Finland, there are a few quite good deals from: 

Helsinki:

Bangkok (BKK) from 2139€ = 1070€ /pp
Phuket (HKT) from 2259€



*Other interesting deals from Scandinavia include these:

Stockholm, Sweden:

Krabi (KBV) from 20519 SEK
Kuala Lumpur (KUL) from 22519 SEK
Singapore (SIN) from 23459 SEK


Oslo, Norway:

Bangkok (BKK) from 20999 NOK
Singapore (SIN) from 24019 NOK
Cape Town (CPT) from 24659 NOK
Maldives (MLE) from 24759 NOK


Copenhagen, Denmark:

Bangkok (BKK) from 20019 DKK
Bali/Denpasar (DPS) from 24699 DKK
Phuket (HKT) from 20999 DKK
Melbourne (MEL) from 21895 DKK
Singapore (SIN) from 21519 DKK
Krabi (KBV) from 22459 DKK
Kuala Lumpur (KUL) from 23619 DKK


Other points  to consider with the sale:

Qatar Airways claims it's a "two for price of one", but actually the starting price for one here is a bit higher that can usually be found on their website, so I would approach some of the deals with caution.

Qatar Airways' Krabi route opens 6 December 2016.
Book by 7 November for travel from 15 November 2016 to 15 June 2017.

With the sale you also earn 2x Qmiles, the Qatar Airways frequent flyer program (FFP).
Other options are to credit the miles to some other oneWorld airline's FFP, such as British Airways Executive Club or Finnair Plus - both of which credit 125% redeemable miles of the miles flown.
You can easily check the numbers from wheretocredit.com to see which option you would prefer.
If you have elite status with American Airlines, it might make sense to credit there for redeemable miles.
On the other hand, British Airways Silver status (oneWorld Sapphire) can be achieved from zero with one of these Qatar roundtrips plus 4 BA flights.


Qatar Airways business class champagne flute



At the same time Finnair published their own business class campaign prices to multiple destinations, for those who rather prefer a direct connection from Helsinki, Finland, a few deals might be of interest:

Chongqing (CKG) from 1399€
Bangkok (BKK) from 1499€
Beijing (PEK) from 1599€
Krabi (KBV) from 1599€
Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) from 1699€


Bookable until Nov 14th, travel period depends on destination.