For the first night in Warsaw, I booked Hotel Bristol, a Starwood Luxury Collection hotel, through American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts for ~$115 USD. Hotel Bristol is located in an amazing place in Warsaw – right next to the Presidential Palace and just five minutes away from the Old Town.
Hotel Bristol is often regarded as the best hotel in Warsaw and I definitely enjoyed every part of my luxurious stay. AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts is available for all Platinum and Centurion cardmembers and when booking through the AMEX portal, you enjoy these benefits:
- Noon Check-in, When Available
- Room Upgrade upon Arrival, When Available
- Daily Breakfast for Two People
- Guaranteed 4pm Late Check-out
- In-room Wi-fi
- Unique Property Benefit
The unique property benefit with Hotel Bristol is a one-way transfer to/from the airport.
Thanks to my AMEX Platinum card, I also have SPG Gold status which entitled me to 20% off of food at the hotel’s restaurants, room upgrades, bonus starpoints, and more. Normally when booking through travel sites such as Orbitz or Expedia, you don’t get any elite points or benefits, however when booking through AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts, you are able to collect points and enjoy numerous benefits from both AMEX FH&R and from SPG elite status.
After my LOT flight from Kraków, I found my chauffeur waiting outside of the arrivals area with an iPad which had my name on it. I approached him and he didn’t seem to notice me or care at all. I told him “hi, it’s me” but he didn’t say anything and was sort of ignoring me and looking at the arrivals area where people were exiting baggage claim. Finally I said “I’m Dominik” and his eyes just sort of widened and he stuttered my name. I guess he was expecting some sort of old business man and not a kid who is 19. He was so shocked by my age that he had a hard time talking for the rest of the journey to the hotel. I was a bit surprised that he didn’t ask for my ID…
The Mercedes was a bit old, but in good condition. There were two bottles of water waiting for me in the back seat.
The ride from the airport to Hotel Bristol took maybe twenty minutes. The hotel’s exterior (and interior) is just gorgeous, I would say that it even might be one of the (few) beautiful buildings in Warsaw.
He parked the car right outside of the hotel and asked me to sign some paper which had my name on it.
Once inside, staff pointed me to the reception so that I could check-in. The reception area is located left of the main entrance. I was welcomed by a friendly lady who quickly acknowledged my SPG Gold status and thanked me for booking through AMEX and went over all of the benefits that I would be receiving during my stay. She also informed me that my room had been upgraded to a higher floor and that the room ‘featured two rooms’, as she described it. I also inquired about the breakfast and she informed me it would be served in the main restaurant during the morning hours. She also wished me a pleasant stay.
While the entrance of the hotel isn’t that ‘grand’, the area past the main entrance and reception has an amazing chandelier. The design of the lobby is old but new – basically a modern but trying-to-be-old design. The two lifts to the rooms are located past the chandelier.
There are also stairs next to the lifts.
The lifts are ‘golden’ and go great with the ‘old’ design of the whole hotel.
I quickly found my room on the sixth floor and it was exactly how the front desk lady described it – “a room with two rooms”. Basically my room consisted of a TV/Media room with a couch, and a bedroom. Along with that was the bathroom and the entry ‘room’ which had a wardrobe.
There was a Chopin piano-inspired cake waiting for me along with a welcome letter.
As most things in Warsaw are named after Chopin, I wasn’t too surprised to find a piano cake in my room. The ‘cake’ was excellent and super tasty.
The TV room and the bedroom were both a bit small, but this is due to the fact that they basically separated a normal hotel room in half in order to call my room a ‘premium’ room since there are two rooms in it. I didn’t spend any time at all in the TV room, apart from when I was eating the cake.
Below the TV are a couple of glasses, wine, snacks, a minibar, and books about Poland and Warsaw.
The entry room consists of a wardrobe which featured an extra robe and slippers (the ‘main’ one was in the bathroom), there was also a safe and other amenities such as a sewing kit.
The bedroom was a bit bigger than the TV room and had a huge bed where I’m sure that at least three regularly-sized people could sleep without a problem.
I LOVE it when I’m welcomed on the TV!
My whole room had an ‘old-but-new’ style and design to it. I prefer more modern and new designs and not so much old-but-new designs, but I figured that it really didn’t matter as I spent the whole day outside, exploring Warsaw.
The desk had Bose speakers for an iPhone, a telephone, and various catalogues and information books about the hotel.
One of the nightstands had a telephone and writing materials, while the other one had water. The cost of the water was ~4 USD, but me being smart decided to walk five minutes away from the hotel and buy THREE bottles for ~1 USD.
I liked the design of the bathroom the most since it felt somewhat old, but authentic – and not new-but-trying-to-be-old.
The bathroom had a ton of different amenities such as Elemis spa cosmetics which were shampoo, lotions, body wash, etc. I think there was a total of at least fifteen different sized towels – ranging from the biggest to the smallest. Additional amenities such as cotton swabs were located in a nice box opposite of the sink.
During my entire stay I maybe used two towels and the slippers, nothing else. I don’t mind using the same towel for a couple of days – I mean why be wasteful? I don’t change towels daily at home.. but on the other hand some hotels will still clean all of the towels even if they haven’t been used… so why not use all of the towels?
After exploring my room’s amenities and taking billions of pictures, I went out to explore Warsaw for about three hours and then I came back super hungry and decided to eat at the hotel’s main restaurant. The restaurant is located in the back of the hotel and you have to pass through the lobby, chandelier, and the bar to get to it.
The ‘bar’ (or socialising) hall is located next to the restaurant and has lots of different seating areas – all of which were empty. During the entire stay, I didn’t see lots of guests.. I found that a bit odd since it was the weekend. The restaurant was also about 25% full during both the dinner and breakfast.
I was welcomed to the restaurant by a friendly waitress who showed me to my ‘table of 1’ quickly. The restaurant had a nice, quiet ambiance and I was able to enjoy my dinner in peace – while thinking about how awesome the hotel is and all of the benefits that I get by booking through AMEX and being SPG Gold.
The menu was fairly extensive and featured a different range of food – from soups and salads to exclusive seafood. The prices for the food weren’t that bad with soups only being around ~6 USD and main courses starting at ~10 USD.
To start, I ordered some sparkling water which was brought to me with four different types of bread. I was also brought some champagne.
The champagne was Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial, which was excellent and had that nice ‘bubbly’ feeling to it.
Since I wasn’t that hungry, I skipped the appetisers and soup and went right to the main course. I ordered the grilled salmon fillet with steamed vegetables and salad, the meal was excellent and the sauce made everything tastier.
I spent a bit of time eating my meal since I wanted to soak up as much of the ambiance as I could and later ended up ordering some ice cream to finish off the meal and champagne. When I got back to my room, I noticed the breakfast order card, an info card, and a piece of chocolate were waiting for me on my bed – nothing else in the room changed. I guess that somehow they know that guests go to have dinner and they send up housekeeping to place a piece of chocolate on your bed.. awesome service!
I slept well in the huge bed and woke up at about 09:30 the next morning. I requested late check-out (an AMEX benefit) and therefore had my room until 16:00. I thought I might as well check out the pool and gym before I have breakfast.
Breakfast was free – thanks to AMEX, and was served in the same restaurant. I generally don’t eat a lot for breakfast and therefore kept things simple with some cereal, bread, and some ‘side’ food – salami, tomatoes, etc.
After breakfast, I went out to explore Warsaw more and returned at about 14:30, and was hungry again so I thought I would have lunch at the famous Café Bristol which is located near the hotel’s lobby. The café was opened in 1901 and still has some of the original design, I was a bit surprised though that it was practically empty. For being Warsaw’s most famous café, I expected there to be a ton of people… but I guess some of the prices might not be so attractive.
I paid ~$20 USD for lunch (totally reasonable) and it was: Tea, Tomato Soup, Grilled Chicken Sandwich and Salad, and an Apple Crumble with Ice Cream. Actually the lunch was a bit too much for me and I was super stuffed after eating everything and skipped dinner that day since it didn’t make sense to me. All of the food was fresh and delicious.
After the huge lunch, it was time to check-out of the hotel. I went up to my room to grab my weekend bag and to take some last minute pictures of the room. At the front desk, a friendly lady asked me how my stay was and once again thanked me for being SPG Gold and staying with the Luxury Collection hotels. I thanked her and told her everything was excellent and that I would definitely return someday.
Overall, I had a super relaxing stay at the hotel and everything was perfect. The staff were friendly, the room was clean, and the service was excellent. All in all the ~$115 USD I paid for the stay was definitely worth it since I had a ton of free amenities such as breakfast and chauffeur. I’m glad I got to spend some time in one of Warsaw’s most luxurious hotels and had an awesome experience – for a super low price!