In the 16th century, Palac Bonerowski was the opulent abode of a wealthy, aristocratic family called the Boners (no chuckling at the back). Today the former royal residence is one of the finest, most lovingly restored hotels in Cracow. Located directly opposite the Main Market Square, Palac Bonerowski sits within a UNESCO World Heritage site and has some of the best views in town. Inside, the elegant rooms are still fit for royalty, and there are period features aplenty.
ulica Swietego Jana 1,
Tel: +48 12 374 1300.
This slice of local history has been operating as an inn since 1815, making it one of the oldest hotels in Cracow. Modern amenities aside, guests could be forgiven for thinking they've stepped back in time; the hotel retains its decadent, 19th-century charm with beautiful antique furniture and period features. Add to that the stunning, Old Town location and exemplary service and you have to surmise this hotel will be good for another 200 years.
ulica Pijarska 17,
Tel: +48 12 422 1144.
Nestled down a quiet side street near the Main Market Square, Hotel Mikolaj is a tranquil retreat in the centre of this lively city. The refurbished town house has 10 cosy rooms, including suites which come with a kitchenette and lounge. If you don't fancy the short stroll into town for dinner then the hotel boasts an in-house restaurant, which serves Polish and international fare over two atmospheric levels.
ulica Mikolajska 30,
Tel: +48 12 429 5808.
The Piano Guest House
Enter The Piano Guest House and you follow in holy footsteps; Pope John Paul II visited twice when he was vicar of the parish in the 1950s. Today, this beautifully preserved, Viennese-style town house (which has been in the same family since 1886) is something of a diamond in the rough, although the legendary hospitality, beautiful breakfasts and the property's raconteur owners more than compensate for the scruffy neighbourhood.
The Secret Garden Hostel
The Secret Garden Hostel covers all bases, offering guests a choice of dorm rooms, luxury doubles and apartments within staggering distance of the lively Jewish quarter, Kazimierz. Private rooms are simple and contemporary with wrought-iron furnishings, colourful walls and vibrant bed spreads making for a clean and comfortable stay. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable and, although the buffet breakfast is a fairly basic, DIY affair, you really can't grumble for the price.
ulica Skawinska 7,
Tel: +48 12 430 5445.
Located within the labyrinth of Santa Cruz, Hotel Amadeus is set in a classically-furnished, 18th-century manor house and has music as a theme. Several instruments, including a grand piano, are available for use by guests. Rooms are small but attractively furnished, with antique furniture and original patterned tile flooring. The hotel's rooftop terrace opens up to a panorama of Seville’s historic centre and is an excellent spot to enjoy breakfast.
ulica Mikolajska 20,
Tel: +48 12 429 6070.
Situated on the oldest and most picturesque street in Cracow, Hotel Copernicus is arguably the finest address in town. Stepping into the beautiful atrium courtyard, it is obvious that nothing has been left to chance here, and the staff are particularly attentive to detail. The hotel successfully blends period features with modern comfort, and the 29 rooms and suites are gorgeous, with elegant dark furniture, wooden floors, reproductions of period frescos on the walls, clever lighting and delicate fabrics throughout. The rooftop terrace, which boasts spectacular views of Wawel, and the swimming pool, which is accommodated in a medieval vaulted brick cellar, add to the allure.
ulica Kanonicza 16,
Tel: +48 12 424 3400.
Part of the boutique Donimirski hotel chain, Hotel Pugetow stands shoulder-to-shoulder with a 19th-century, neo-Renaissance palace of the same name. The rooms and suites have individual names (Joseph Conrad, Bonaparte, etc) and identities. Extras include embroidered bathrobes, black-marble baths and a fabulous, silver-service cellar restaurant. If you can afford it, try the Kwiatkowski, an apartment featuring oil paintings, bone china and soft, cream fabrics.
ulica Starowislna 15a,
Tel: +48 12 432 4950.
The delightful (but unimaginatively named) 'old' hotel is housed in an utterly charming 18th-century aristocratic residence and is setting new standards for accommodation in Poland. The fabrics used in the 53 guestrooms are all natural, the bathroom surfaces Italian marble, and there's a fitness centre, swimming pool and rooftop terrace. And you can't beat the location just off the northwest corner of the Main Market Square.
ulica Szczepanska 5,
Tel: +48 12 384 0808.