Review: The Hotel Bristol, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Warsaw, Poland


Our trip around the world had us stopping in Poland for three nights in order to check out interesting Warsaw, Poland. We had a few choices of hotels from the Westin Warsaw that appeared to be a dull tower styled property, or the interesting Hotel Bristol which had been around since 1901. I don’t normally enjoy historic properties since they tend to be shabby chic but I am pleased to report that the Hotel Bristol had a full renovation that restored it to it’s former glory.

This post is one chapter on our second Round the World trip via Japan, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Poland. This trip was redeemed through Air Canada’s Aeroplan and through Starwood Preferred Guest (Marriott Bonvoy) loyalty programs. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Hotel Review: The Hotel Bristol, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Warsaw, Poland.

“In existence since 1901, a stay at the most elegant historic hotel in Warsaw, Poland”

Booking and Getting there:

We had identified this property as looked relatively nice and the nicest of the Starwood / Marriott options. I had initially booked on a refundable American Automobile Association rate at 782 PLZ ($210 USD) per night, later switching to a prepaid SPG Hot Escapes rate of only 521 PLZ ($140 USD) per night.

It was located walking distance to the city core and against the park area, making for a very pleasant setting for a hotel stay.

After arriving from our Swiss Airlines Zurich to Warsaw, we hopped in a taxi to the Hotel Bristol. It was a pleasant 20 minute drive listening to modern jazz by a quiet taxi driver. The fare was an easy to handle 55 PLZ ( $18 USD) fare. 

We were greeted at the doorway by an older doorman who offered MrsWT73 an umbrella (thanks to the light rain at the time) and the offer to take her bag. Some outdoor photos from the next morning…

The Hotel Bristol

Arriving to The Hotel Bristol:

We stepped into the lovely lobby of the Hotel Bristol. The hotel has been in existence since 1901 and is now operated under the Starwood (now Marriott) Luxury Collection brand. The Hotel Bristol has had many famous guests over the years; Pablo Picasso & Sophia Loren, to name a few. It was beautiful and impressive (but historic – read small) lobby and features to the property. The property made an excellent first impression. The old world vintage was similar to our stay at the Westin Madrid; beautiful, ornate and completely different than what you’d see in the America’s.

The Reception at Hotel Bristol

The Room: A Junior Suite

We had booked a Bristol Executive Room. In keeping with the excellent treatment of SPG Gold status members internationally, we received a one category upgrade to a Junior Suite. Our assigned room #447 was a corner room with 1.5 bathrooms and a separate sitting area on the quiet back side of the hotel. The upgrade certainly added to the overall comfort of the stay. 

A Living Area:

The room entered into a living area, immediately after entering the suite. As with many vintage hotels of the 1900’s, the room area is compact and smaller consistent with the times. This also made the room areas smaller, which is part of the turf if you’re choosing to stay in a vintage hotel.

Room Entry
The Living Area: Junior Suite
The Living Area Included a Small Desk

A television rounded out the living space, which was comfortable but small.

A Television

A Bedroom with a King:

The bedroom itself was also on the small side. It was nicely appointed and modernized to current decor. The King Size Bed took up a large portion of real estate in the otherwise compact room. There was also a small flat screen television that could be watched from bed.

A Generous King Size Bed
Views of the Television from Bed

A Compact Bathroom:

Our Junior Suite had an attached bathroom just off the bedroom. It included a closet area for storage, which was a little compact considering today’s larger travelling suitcases.

Room Closet Area

The bathroom had been modernized to current grey tones and featured a bath and shower combination.

A Modernized Single Vanity Bathroom

A Room with a View:

The room had a lovely view from the room that overlooked the park and green space next door. It was very quiet throughout our stay.

A View from Suite #447

Food and Beverage at The Bristol:

Enjoying Breakfast at Cafe Bristol:

Elsewhere on the property, there was a fine dining restaurant “Marconi Restaurant” that we didn’t get the opportunity to partake in. The day after our arrival, the restaurant hosted a Sunday brunch, which was held at the time in Cafe Bristol. After a sleep in, thanks to our earlier Turkish Airlines Dubai – Istanbul flight, we turned up at 12 PM and it looked as though they were packing up. We later learned that Sunday Brunch is offered in Poland between 2 – 4 PM.  Needless to say, we were “senior citizen style” fashionably early. 

We had breakfast all three mornings at the hotel’s Café Bristol. A full breakfast was available for 56 PLZ ($18 USD). This included full breakfast including eggs, polish sausage, pastries, salad and freshly squeezed juice and espressos. It was my first meal that I was able to fully eat in almost 2 days. I tore through it like no tomorrow. The Polish Breakfast Sausage on this plate was among the finest sausage I had ever tasted in my entire life. It was so flavorful, consistent in texture and authentic tasting. 

Cafe Bristol
A Pleasant Cafe Environment

The Cafe Bristol meets your cafe needs and is everything that you’d expect from a cafe environment.

The Wine Bar

There was avant garde wine bar just off the lobby. The Wine Bar does not appear to be directly affiliated with the hotel as it’s not listed on the hotel website.

We did have a pre-dinner drink here once or twice during our stay and enjoyed it. It’s Western European prices in Eastern Europe (everywhere else in town is cheaper) but it was still reasonable prices for those used to New York wine bars. The decor in this place is pretty neat and perhaps worth the price of admission.

Wine Bar at Hotel Bristol
The Hotel Bristol Wine Bar

There was also the Column Bar inside the lobby of the Hotel Bristol. It was an elegant but darker space, more accustomed with

Column Lobby Bar

Health and Fitness on the Property:

There was a small gym, pool and spa in the basement of the hotel. Being an older property, there isn’t anywhere else to house a gym other than a dark basement. This is pretty consistent for hotel gyms in Europe. We didn’t personally use it, but I certainly would have if I was here on a business trip. 

Hotel Bristol Spa Entrance
An Indoor Pool
An indoor relaxation area

There was also an exercise room with heaps of equipment.

A Perfect Sized Hotel Gym for One

The only hiccup with our stay was with currency exchange. Poland is on the Zloty currency and not the Euro (despite being inside the Shengen border zone). Strangely enough, the hotel does not change money into Polish Zloty. We were stuck on Sunday night trying to find an exchange kantor (counter) in Old Town in order to have dinner. Thankfully, there was a Western Union available that charged us horrible rates. Credit cards (Visa in particular) appeared to be widely accepted for most (but not all) around restaurants in Warsaw.

My Thoughts on our stay at The Hotel Bristol by Luxury Collection:

Overall, we had a lovely stay at this property. We would definitely return here as a first choice when back in Warsaw. It’s a great deal on points as a Category 4 (currently now a Marriott Bonvoy Category 5) property and the room rates, starting at about $100 USD, are very reasonable as well. There are even cheaper Starwood options in Warsaw, such as the Westin Warsaw starting at about $57 USD, if that’s your thing.

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