On my recent visit to Warsaw, I spent two nights at the Westin Warsaw, a modern hotel with 20 stories in the heart of the city. It was my first time to the city, so I was particularly excited about this part of my European vacation.A short ride from the airport, we were there within 15 minutes. When I walked in and my eyes caught sight of its modern design featuring a vertical glass elevator tower and a glass spiral staircase, I was intrigued and pretty much won over. The staff at reception was very accommodating and we were eager for a good night’s rest, having just flown in from America. We were given special access to the executive lounge on the top floor.
The hotel is close to Old Town Square, the Royal Castle Lazienki Park, Palace of Culture and Science and the Polin Museum of the History of the Jews.
There is much to do in Warsaw for visitors. Nearby in the Old Jewish Ghetto sits the Nożyk Synagogue, the only pre-war one which survived WWII and houses that survived the ghetto-period. We had a lovely coffee and munched on delicacies like challah and blintzes and babka from Polish-Jewish cuisine at a light and modern Charlotte Menora Café. We took a cab to the Old Town, the ‘historical’ part of the city which contains the Market Square, city walls and the Royal Castle. There are trails of Chopin in Warsaw, as his family always lived at or nearby Krakowskie Przedmieście. There are royal gardens at Łazienki Królewskie, which functioned as the summer residence of the last Polish king (18th c.). We spent time at the Warsaw Rising Museum a postindustrial museum where history uses modernity in order to imprint itself in our memory. Lastly, don’t miss Hala Koszyki, an early 20th century covered market hall, turned into a new place-to-be in the city. Several various food concepts from butcher and organic market through 50m long bar, a juice store to restaurants (vegetarian, Asian, brewery, sea food, Italian etc). We were there on a Friday night and it was clearly the most trendy spot in Warsaw.
We were given a delicious plate of fruit and chocolates which helped us feel very much at home. Our room on the 19th floor had twin beds with ultra comfortable “heavenly” linen, a desk to work on, satellite TV, free mineral water, access to Wifi, morning newspaper delivery and a (more than) spectacular view of the city. While the hotel is known as one that caters to business travelers, the staff makes sure that ordinary travelers like us are well taken care of.
The hotel’s lobby offers a concierge for assistance about what to see and do. For tourists with extra time, a gym and sauna is available. We were given access to the Executive Lounge where we had breakfast, offering lovely cafe lattes, cereals, fruit, hot dishes, fish meat and yogurts. We loved going there during early evening hours when they offered a glass of wine and light appetizers, and a panoramic view of the city. We also had access to breakfast in their restaurant Fusion where they offered musical entertainment in the evening.
The Warsaw Westin was the ultimate place to start our trip and kick off our European adventure. It was comfortable and close to everything that we wanted to see in the city of Warsaw. The staff was helpful and cooperative in helping us plan our days and nights out.
Disclosure: I was provided with a complimentary stay to facilitate this review and others.