The Sheraton Grand was my base for a short stay in Krakow, Poland.  Krakow is a beautiful city.  It dates to the 7th century and was the capital of Poland for over 500 years (1100 -1600AD roughly).  UNESCO designated Krakow’s “old town” area a World Heritage site.

Situated on the Vistula River, the Sheraton Grand’s modern architecture makes it somewhat on an anomaly.20190302_181356

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The hotel is just across the street from the river. A walk on the riverfront promenade provided exercise and a chance to check out the cruise boats, the castle and other sights .

I arrived at the hotel by taxi from the airport.  The trip took about 25 minutes.  Check in was smooth and efficient.  The clerk spoke very good English and probably several other languages.  He had pre booked me into an upgraded room with my Marriott Ambassador status but not a suite.  Travelling alone and only staying two nights, that was fine by me.

Upgraded Room

The room was located on the third floor at the end of the hall.  It was larger than typical hotel rooms with a king-sized bed and an odd but pleasing trapezoidal shape. 20190302_164928

There was a sitting area with a couch, armchair and table plus a desk and another chair and table near the bed.  The floor-to-ceiling windows overlooked the Vistula and promenade.20190117_061943

The room’s peculiar shape required mounting the TV on a side wall.  It pivoted to enable angled viewing from the bed or sitting area.

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The short entry hall is flanked by the bath on one side and entry closet and minibar on the other side.20190302_164457

The small bath had a single bowl vanity and tub/shower combination.20190116_15190920190116_151935 (1)

Dental and shaving kits were provided with Sheraton Grand body lotion, shampoo, conditioner and mouthwash.20190302_164325

Elite Benefits

Marriott is still getting its act together following the merger with Starwood.  Benefits and even names of tiers have continued to change after the closing date back in August.  As of the date of this post, Marriott still has not officially notified members of their status for 2019.  It has been very confusing the past few months for members and hotels.

Elite benefits have kept me loyal to Starwood since 1999 when the program began.  Currently, I am an Ambassador Elite, the top annual tier, and a Lifetime Titanium Elite, the top lifetime status.  Among other benefits, under the terms of the new Marriott Bonvoy frequent-guest program, Platinum, Titanium, and Ambassador elites are entitled to lounge access at hotels with a lounge and a choice of a welcome gift at check in.  The member selects from breakfast in the restaurant, points, or another gift that varies by brand.

The Sheraton Grand is a great hotel for elite benefits because it grants free restaurant breakfast to all Platinums and above plus it has a lounge.  I could have breakfast, bank the 1,000 points welcome gift (33% less than the equivalent Starwood points) and enjoy the lounge for evening cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on the same stay.  These benefits help offset the cost of more expensive hotels that have lounges.

I tried the restaurant buffet in the atrium lobby for breakfast. The buffet includes fruit, pastries, cheeses, a cooked-to-order station for eggs, and all of the other usual items on a very good breakfast buffet. 20190302_17485320190302_174958

The lounge was outstanding.  It is located on the second floor away from the commotion of the lobby and first floor.  The lounge has a small seating area and TV for relaxing after a meal or waiting for a seat in the lounge.20190302_165922

While it is great to try local restaurants when travelling, having a lounge that offers a free evening meal and drinks saves money.  The food in this lounge was not only free, the variety and quality is quite good as well.

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Chicken, fish, beef or pork entrees.

Making a decent meal is no problem.  There are many soups, salads, cheeses, and desserts to go with the entrees.

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Polish mushroom soup

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Overall Impression

While not being as luxurious as the name “grand” could imply, the Sheraton Grand Krakow is very nice, contemporary, four-plus star hotel.  The staff was terrific.  With the benefit of free buffet breakfast and lounge access, this hotel was well worth the price.  It was cheaper than the Courtyard Marriott in the same city.  Marriott Bonvoy (I still hate the new name) elite members, at least, should give this hotel serious consideration when visiting Krakow.  All in all, I found the the Sheraton Grand and the Berlin Marriott to be very comparable hotels and better than the Berlin Westin Grand which lacked a lounge and where I had a the worst “suite” upgrade I can remember.

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