Hotel Galaxy Hotel 4 star
Easyexperts
22A, Gesia Street Krakow, Poland -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

The Galaxy hotel is a four-star hotel near Krakow's Old Town, home to its world-famous Main Market Square. It could be a lot more conveniently located, as all of the main tourist districts are at least a 15-minute walk away. The restaurant is arguably its best asset with an extensive, good quality menu. The hotel itself is fairly plain with an average décor and not very much in the way of personality. Nonetheless the staff are friendly and you will have all the facilities you need, including a spa, gym and swimming pool. The rooms are comfortable but lack any kind of cosiness. Fine for a fleeting visit for either long weekenders or businesspeople, not what you want if you are after an authentically Polish hotel experience.

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    Location 4.48 /10

    The Galaxy Hotel is located a 25-minute walk or 10-minute car journey away from Krakow's Main Market Square. On the northern bank of the Vistula River just along from the Kotlarski Bridge, it is slightly out of the city centre, a mile away from the historic old district. Thus it is not ideally located for those who don't like walking or paying constant taxi fares. While there are pleasant waterside views from the hotel restaurant, generally the surroundings are nothing special, with a large shopping centre across the road and office and business complexes taking up the majority of space around the hotel.

    In terms of getting around, despite it being a bit of a long walk away from the main tourist districts, you won't find yourself stranded at any point as there are multiple transport options available. The city's main bus station is just a five-minute walk away, while the railway station is a 10-minute car journey. There are taxis outside the hotel entrance for most of the day and night and even when there aren't any, if you book one at reception you shouldn't be waiting more than 15 minutes. Krakow airport is a 30-minute drive and taxi transfers are set at 80 zlotys (around £16).

    Accommodation 7.20 /10

    The hotel has a total of 205 rooms that are divided into three categories: standard, business class and suite. The standard rooms are spacious, measuring between 19 and 22 metres squared. Like the downstairs lobby, the décor in the rooms isn't special. There is no art hanging on the walls and the rooms are painted in magnolia with purple, blue and grey soft furnishings. Both twin and double rooms are available with a sofa bed for a third person. The furniture like everything else is overly practical with just a wooden desk and chair, additional table and one soft armchair. The TV is widescreen, but the majority of channels are Polish and there are no films on demand. Wi-Fi is available on a pay-as-you-go basis. There are standard tea and coffee facilities, complimentary bottles of water but no mini bar. In the wardrobe you will find an ironing board, clothes press, additional blankets and pillows. Note that if you are staying on the side of the hotel that sits above the bar and restaurant you may hear the music from downstairs if there is an event on.

    Aesthetically, the bathrooms are probably the rooms' best assets. They are spacious, with monsoon showers (that although look nice, can easily flood if you're not careful) complete with heated towel rails and a hair dryer. The main mirror is mounted against a picture of the Arcaded Courtyard of Wawel Castle, a charming addition. Toiletries are complimentary, although the hand wash and shampoo come out of dispensers, meaning you can't take them with you to use on your return journey.

    Overview 6.70 /10

    If you're arriving in a taxi from the airport, the taxi rank is directly outside the hotel, which given Krakow's extremely cool winter temperatures is something you'll be extremely grateful for. The lobby is spacious and decorated in deep pinks and purples mixed with cool shades of blue and grey. A spiraling glass staircase takes you upstairs to a separate bar and restaurant area. It is also equipped with free Wi-Fi, a gift and food and drink shop, ATM machine and downstairs bar. The staff are friendly and will be keen to offer any additional services they can.

    Facility wise, it has everything you would expect from a four-star hotel. There are two bars, a large restaurant with all-day service, a gym, spa (with an extensive list of treatments including Hammam and Ayurvedic), and swimming pool as well as conference hall measuring 1,550 square metres, a beauty and hair salon. Although it claims to be in 'immediate proximity of Krakow's Old Town', it is in fact a 25-minute walk or 10 minutes in a taxi. The hotel is affiliated with Wow Krakow! Tours, that leave from the hotel entrance every 30 minutes throughout the day. One ticket will allow you to use the service on a hop-on-hop-off basis over the course of two days, visiting key tourist sites including the Old Town, Wawel Castle and Podgroze District war-time Ghetto.

    Food and drink

    The Andromeda Restaurant is probably the biggest highlight of the hotel. With a varied lunch, dinner and Polish specialty menus and an extensive breakfast buffet, this is one of the few areas that the hotel has managed to truly excel in. Food is available in the restaurant from 6:30am through to 11:00pm, after which there is a 24-hour room service. The restaurant itself is large and spacious with pleasant views over the Vistula River outside. Starting with the breakfast buffet, although nothing is made to order, the wide selection of dishes are all fresh and range from traditional Polish smoked herring and cheeses to English breakfast items such as bacon, sausage and scrambled eggs. There is fruit, small pastries, yoghurts and cereals on offer for those in search of something lighter. Come lunchtime, you can choose from a substantial menu of continental dishes that chef, Tomasz Dziura has given a Polish edge, including pierogi dumplings with an unusual prawn stuffing and sirloin steak served with a crispy onion tart.

    The evening menu is accompanied by a selection of authentic Polish dishes. Highlights include the smoked mountain sheep's cheese served with fruit jam and traditional meat stew with smoked plum. If you're not an adventurous eater then the choice of fine fish and meat dishes are a good idea. There are two bars, one downstairs in the lobby and the other up the glass staircase on the first floor, both equipped with cocktail menus, a variety of Polish vodkas and a comprehensive wine list.

    Spa 6.7 /10

    The hotel's spa can be found on the bottom floor, where it boasts a swimming pool, jacuzzi, numerous health and beauty treatments, as well as a sauna and steam room. The gym is separate, located on the ground floor beyond the lobby area and is open 24 hours a day. The pool is 15 by four metres, fine for a casual dip, but not ideal for those who like swimming length after length. It stays open between 8:00am and 10:00pm. The staff are perfectly friendly and will provide you with a towel on arrival. Business class guests are given additional complimentary dressing gowns and slippers. The lockers in the changing rooms are coin operated, so remember to bring some change as the lift back up to the rooms is very slow!

    There is a wide range of treatments on offer and given the exchange rate of the Polish Zloty, they are all reasonably priced. A range of different massages, Hammam, Watsu and Ayurvedic treatments are available and are better booked in advance. All therapists use local, natural products.

    To know

    The Galaxy Hotel opened in 2011 as part of the Jordan Hotel Group. It's a purpose built facility for tourists staying in Krakow or travelling around Poland. In fact, purpose-built is probably the best way to describe it as despite the four-star rating, the hotel has a general air of the overly practical. The décor lacks inspiration and it's designed for passing businesspeople in need of a conference room, rather than a group of tourists looking for an authentically Polish experience. They claim to be the 'best-equipped hotel in Krakow' with state-of-the-art facilities. And while you will undoubtedly have everything you need while staying at the hotel, these facilities are its strongest point as there is little to say for the hotel's character.

    Equipment

    • Car park
    • Handicap access
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Spa

      hammam, sauna, spa, Turkish bath, beauty salon, massage, keep fit, wellness

    • Swimming pool
    • Sports equipment

      fitness, gym, water-polo, mountain bike

    • Animals allowed
    • Hairdresser
    • Whirlpool bath
    • Safe
    • Non-smoking rooms
    • Meeting room

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    • Overall Score nc/10
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