Advantages Room. Situation. Value. Parking.
Disadvantages Noise. Food. Curtains!
|Value for Money|
|Quality of Rooms|
|Standard of Service|
|Quality of Food & Drink|
|Quality of Facilities|
When searching for a hotel abroad, our priorities probably vary slightly from the majority – especially as on our recent visit to Warsaw, where we needed the reassurance that our car would be safely parked at night. We originally intended to stay in one of the better known, city centre hotels, however, suitable rooms AND on-site parking were an impossible compromise, plus, as we all know, better value can be obtained outside of the city centre.With only loose plans for our three night stay in Poland’s capital, and less than happy memories from my one and only previous visit – coinciding as it was to turn out with the momentous events of 11th September, 2001, extensive internet searches threw up the Zlote Deby as an attractive new hotel, crucially, advertising guarded car parking.
As the hotel’s own website is entirely in Polish, unusually not offering an English translation, I paid little attention to it, beyond a brief look at the photographs. If you are fluent Polish speaking then from their website you will glean that this is more of a business by week and wedding by weekend venue, rather than a tourist hotel in the way that we would conventionally recognise one. Indeed, photographs of the rooms are absent, whilst prominence is given to the downstairs “public” facilities such as the conference suite and bar / restaurant.None of the above would have put me off of booking a room here anyway, the outward appearance looked new, smart and yet at the same time not in any way ostentatious as many Polish hotels of all standards have an inclination to be.
With or without previous experience of the BOOKING.COM site, through whom we booked our stay, the booking process was a piece of cake. There is a full and, as it turned, out mostly honest description of the hotel in English on the booking.com site.Incidentally, just in case you were wondering, the English translation of Zlote Deby is “Golden Oaks”.
One guest’s meat is another’s poison in such matters, so I can only judge this one from the perspective of our own needs. Unlike Krakow for instance, the attractions of Warsaw are spread out across this sprawling, mostly modern, city. Travelling from Mielec in the south east of Poland, we had little choice but to arrive by car anyway and, on this visit, found Warsaw a rather more car friendly city than I remember. For the car bound tourist, the location of this hotel was excellent.The Zlote Deby is located in a very prosperous, brand new, residential, suburb about a three minute drive to the north of the main Warsaw ring road – in practice we reached the very city centre in the car within less than twenty minutes on the four occasions that we went there…can’t imagine doing the same from Watford into Central London somehow!
In terms of environment, you could be in a different country from the polluted and, frankly, slightly tawdry modern areas of the city centre. There are good hotels there, mostly in the area of the Palace of Culture and Science, but on arrival, we were more than happy with the location of our chosen hotel and, after staying three nights, agreed that for us, as independent travellers, its location would have been hard to beat.
The car park was large and beautifully paved, although as we drove in through the front gates the promised guard was notably absent, reassuringly, there were however CCTV cameras monitoring the outside of the building.Getting out of the car one couldn’t help but admire the lovely gardens and flower beds here, this is truly one of the nicest wedding venues that I have come across in Poland. To the rear of the hotel is an outside bar and barbeque area, a rear terrace overlooking the gardens and a very attractive pond, complete with wooden bridge from which to admire the impressive fish stock.
We arrived on Monday, 6th June, according to the outside temperature gauge in the car it was 32deg.C outside, not the kind of day to be standing around admiring the view, just getting the luggage from the car to reception area was an exhausting experience.
We were handed the key to room number two and left to get on with it, no offer being made to assist with luggage, although we were instructed as to where to find our room.
For those of us fleet of foot however the whole hotel gave the impression of being spotlessly clean and new, wherever you went it smelt very pleasant too, even in the exceedingly high temperatures experienced whilst we were there.The internal layout of the rooms is relatively simple, with seventeen rooms; this is not a large hotel. The reception is central, with the restaurant and bar leading off to one side, the conference / wedding saloon to the other. Upstairs the rooms are accessed from a spacious “U” shaped corridor. At the top of the stairs is located a cold water dispenser, a very thoughtful touch and also a much used facility during our hot stay there.
Incidentally, the only area of the hotel to be air conditioned is the bar and restaurant.
In the opposite corner of the sitting room to the door, was another door leading into the piece d resistance, the breath-taking bedroom.We had parked opposite one corner of the hotel facing an octagonal tower; it simply had not occurred to me that the entire first floor of this tower could be taken up with a bedroom – let alone ours! What I would give for a living room of this size and shape at home! This was beyond doubt not only the largest, but also the tallest room in which I have ever slept. Bearing in mind the excessive heat and lack of air conditioning, again, we had hit lucky.
In the octagonal bedroom was a king size bed, almost looking Lilliputian here, complete with its two built in side tables, each hosting a bedside lamp. On the opposite side of the room was a large desk with a big screen CRT television, a portable radio and desk lamp. A separate occasional table, two tub chairs and a well-stocked magazine rack completed the furnishings here, leaving a lot of empty space.When looking at the photographs published with this review, I suspect that you will be needing to pinch yourself that a suite of this size and quality could be obtained anywhere in Europe for less than £65 per night. I honestly thought that there had been some kind of mistake and that our bill would vastly exceed that figure!
Now I can hear you all asking why only 8 out of 10 here? Well, impressive as this suite undoubtedly is, currently there is something of an unfinished feel about it. For a room of this size, wardrobe space is frankly laughable. Really letting down the whole show were the very poor curtains, which simply failed to cover the windows when drawn, nor indeed were they of sufficient quality to keep out any light at all. To be fair, when Mrs R mentioned this shortcoming upon checking out, the receptionist did say that they were due for replacement – the sooner the better in my opinion.I also had concerns about the electrics, the main ceiling light in the sitting room worked on an occasional basis and nasty electrical sizzling noises came from the switch each time that it was used. The fan in the bathroom did not work at all and one of the vanity lights above one of the two mirrors in the bathroom remained inoperative throughout our stay.
A certain sense of superficial luxury pervaded here too, although it would take very little improvement to upgrade this to a full 10. Apart from the electrical foibles already mentioned, we have to add the poor state of the very cheap shower fittings. The wire corner shelf in the shower cubicle was hanging off the wall, its single Phillips fixing screw having worked loose, sending any shampoo or shower gel tumbling to the shower tray base. A moment spent with my Swiss Army knife soon fixed that! Mrs R next discovered that the shower head fixing was in a similarly limp state, before taking a satisfactory shower, Richada’s Swiss Army DIY skills were once again called into action.Less easy to fix was the wonky and ill-fitting shower doors, although the housekeeping team had discovered it themselves the following morning and adjustments had been made by the second day of our stay, they had also discovered that one of the two hand basins was almost blocked and had cleared the obstruction too – full marks to them then for that!
His and hers hand basins are an unaccustomed luxury as far as we are concerned, amazingly useful when getting ready to go out though. Similarly we are not used to the convenience of a bidet, another facility that I would dearly love to have space for at home. As for the corner bath, complete with built in side seat, yes, I’d finish this bathroom off properly, pick it up and take it home with us!
The Hotel Zlote Deby is the last building on the road, there is nothing, currently, built next to it, nor opposite. At the boundary of the property, the made-up road finishes, turning into a dirt track. Upon our arrival, we thought little of this, thinking that the dirt track merely lead to the nearby smallholding and house. How wrong could we have been? This is very much a through road and, very early in the morning, heavy, commercial traffic was hammering over the dirt track and crashing up onto the block paved road right outside our bedroom window. Even with the double glazed windows shut, this road was a major source of noise. The receptionist explained that within six months the local authority was going to compulsorily purchase the dirt track from the smallholder – hopefully, by the time you read this that will have been done and guests at the Zlote Deby will be able to enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep.Apart from the curtain issue, the environment is otherwise a sound one in which to sleep – the bed is very comfortable indeed, the linen soft and clean. This room is also so well separated from others in the hotel that you hear nothing at all from other guests, from this point of view, I really look forward to returning once these improvements have been made.
Usefully, free Wi-Fi internet is provided in all rooms, we had a strong and reliable signal. Although we did not use it, satellite television is provided also.Partially attracting us to the Zlote Deby in the first place was the fact that it did not offer facilities such as swimming pool or sauna that we never use. For those seeking such facilities, this is not the hotel for them. However it provided all that we required during our three night stay.
Compared to other Polish hotels in which we have stayed, or simply eaten, I found the food a touch disappointing. Apart from the adequate, but uninspiring, buffet breakfast provided, we had just one full meal at the Zlote Deby, that being a late lunch on Monday afternoon, the day of our arrival. The meal got off to a promising start with excellent steak tartar, but the main course of cod, mixed vegetables and crinkle cut French fries was, whilst perfectly well cooked, completely over-seasoned with salt – a big let-down in my own, culinary, opinion. We reached the conclusion that better food could be obtained for less elsewhere, even here in Warsaw where prices tend to be inflated when compared to other regions of Poland.Breakfast, served between 6.30 and 11.00am was a typical continental buffet style, self-service, with the addition of a course of fresh hot scrambled eggs served from the kitchen. There was a limited choice of cereals available, as well as cut meats and cheeses, all of which appeared to be of the processed variety which, from choice, we tend to avoid. The vegetable salads were good, whilst it was difficult to criticise the lack of fresh salad materials due to the “salad crisis” which seemed to have knocked-on over the border from Germany during our stay.
Whilst this is not a city centre hotel, for our purposes it proved an ideal base from which to socialise and sightsee. There were no additional charges for car parking, nor city (or environmental) tax. In terms of pure value for money, this rates amongst the very highest of any hotel in which I have stayed abroad, in all honesty, for the “Deluxe” room in which we stayed, I would have expected to have paid more. The smaller rooms are quite adequate for an over-night stay, although Mrs R heard a couple of Polish guests in the restaurant claiming that their rooms were “airless” – not something we could say about our own room thanks to its sheer volume!
I would also very much like the opportunity to re-evaluate the scores in light of these improvements as the state of the road is hardly within the control of the hotel anyway, I can however only base my review on the current state of affairs as we found it.
Hotel Redyk – Zab Nr Zakopane – Poland – 94%
Ringhotel Friederikenhof – Lubeck – Germany – 92%
Hotel Zlote Deby – Warsaw – Poland – 80%
Hotel Drei Schwanen - Hohenstein-Ernstthal - Germany - 72%
Hotel Viktoria, Cologne – 70%
Hotel Piast, Boleslawiec (Poland) - 64%
Chadwick Hotel, St Annes - 63 %
Preston Swallow Hotel – Samlesbury, Lancashire – 57%
Swallow Bower Hotel - Chadderton - 53%
www.zlotedeby.pl or for a better English experience try: www.booking.comHotel Zlote Deby
Telephone: +48 602 442465© RICHADA / CIAO 20.06.2011
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