This is the joint Holiday Inn Express and Crowne Plaza at the HUB in Warsaw, a hotel which opened last year which is entirely operated by IHG. Roughly, the top half is Crowne Plaza and the bottom half is the Holiday Inn Express. Crowne Plaza get a nice reception at the front of the building and they’ve shoved the Holiday Inn Express reception to the back, although it’s not very well signed.
The member of staff at check-in was engaging and personable, offering a really positive first impression to the hotel. All well managed and he gave me all of the information that I needed.
I’ve never seen a hotel lift like this, where guests press the floor number on the screen and it immediately tells them which lift to go to. The lifts worked quickly and this was the most elegant lift arrangement that I’ve seen in a hotel. There are some hotels in Warsaw, such as the wonderful Novotel, where the lift arrangement is actually a bit annoying in terms of the wait.
Not a very good photo, but there is a visualisation of the hotel’s floor plan and the lift going up. All really quite lovely.
The room, which is relatively small, but well designed. There was an inter-connecting door, which I hate, but there were no noise or light impact from that.
And the bathroom, all well presented and everything was spotlessly clean.
The welcome gift is similar to those offered by some Accor hotels in the city, but I very much like these chocolate covered snacks, so that was lovely.
There was a courtesy call from reception a few minutes after I got to the room, which I ignore as I always do. They followed it up later with a card, which is a very nice gesture.
The view from the hotel window during the day and night.
As for the room, I didn’t like it. I really can’t stand hotel rooms which are sterile and the windows don’t open, so I was never going to like this hotel. The air conditioning worked, but only to a point, and I couldn’t get the temperature that I wanted. The excitement of the street noise of Warsaw and the trams going by was lost as they’ve hermetically sealed the room.
The staff member at reception had mentioned that to avoid breakfast becoming too busy, they’d split it into two sittings, one before 09:30 and one after 09:30. I went for the former and I had expected it to be very busy, but there were around ten guests in a room which could seat probably 100. Everything was well laid out, the staff were friendly and there was a decent range of food and drink. I wouldn’t say that breakfast was exceptional as the quality of some ingredients was a bit bland, but it was included in the room rate and I don’t think that there was anything to complain about.
In terms of the management of this hotel, it’s clearly brilliant. Everything ran like clockwork, the staff were friendly, the hotel room and public areas were spotlessly clean, the interiors were well designed and it felt welcoming. However, I didn’t like the sterile nature of the room and in these Covid-19 times, it’s not something that I’m content with in terms of the lack of fresh air. Given that, I’ll be sticking to my favourite Accor hotels which don’t have such sterile rooms. As for the cost, I think it’s around £60 – £80 per night, but I paid £25 plus a relatively small amount of IHG points, so I felt that the value was reasonable.