The Best Luxury Hotels in Kraków

Expect extravagant lobbies and historical charm in this luxury selection
Expect extravagant lobbies and historical charm in this luxury selection | Courtesy of Bachleda Luxury Hotel / Expedia
Photo of Phoebe Taplin
12 January 2021

Poland’s second-largest city is one of the country’s oldest, and Krakow’s historic centre is now a Unesco World Heritage Site. From soaring gothic arches in 14th-century churches to relics of Krakow’s troubled 20th century, this is a city where ages of history dance alongside the lively rhythms of modern life. Ascend Wawel Hill for the castle, cathedral and panoramic views, or try a traditional bar mleczny (milk bar) cafeteria for hearty Polish food. Then head home to rest your feet at one of the best luxury hotels in the city.

The Bonerowski Palace

The Bonerowski Palace

A medieval building in the historic heart of Krakow, the eclectic Bonerowski Palace packs in seven architectural centuries. Several top attractions are right on the doorstep, including St Mary’s Basilica and the hi-tech Rynek Underground museum. The suitably palatial rooms are all canopy beds, polished wood and intricate floral prints. There’s a Roman-style spa on the fourth floor for relaxing in steam after a hard day of sightseeing and a bar in the basement for background jazz and cocktails.

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Hotel Stary

Hotel Stary
Stary is Polish for ‘old’ and, as the name suggests, there’s plenty of heritage in this elegant building, with its classic 19th-century facade. Gothic vaulting and antique wallpaper contribute to a prize-winning interior and the Old Town’s theatres, galleries and palaces are a short stroll from the door. Each floor has its own colour scheme and the stylish decor (minimalist or faux-distressed) increases in grandeur with the prices. Two restaurants and a spectacular summer roof terrace offer different seasonal menus, featuring local dishes including dumplings with smoked sheep’s cheese or nutty apple cake with ice cream.
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Bachleda Luxury Hotel

Bachleda Luxury Hotel

On a leafy square near the Vistula River and Wawel Royal Castle, the 19th-century Bachleda opened in early 2019 as part of the MGallery Hotel Collection of uniquely storied boutique properties around the world. Wide steps lead up to an extravagant lobby in royal blue and copper with art nouveau details, orchids and monogrammed cushions. The rich colour scheme extends to the candlelit restaurant, brick-vaulted bar and mosaic swimming pool. It’s toned down a bit in the bedrooms: velvet fantasias of pale gold, silver and cream. The Gavi restaurant is a great place to sample trad Polish specialities, from tripe soup and borscht to lamb with juniper and buckwheat.

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Metropolitan Boutique Hotel

Metropolitan Boutique Hotel
From live piano music in the Fab Fusion restaurant to armchairs in the creeper-covered courtyard, there’s much attention to detail at the Metropolitan, with its classic lines and bold colours. Stroll 10 minutes along stately Starowiślna to the long gardens that circle the Old Town, or bar-crawl into the bohemian Kazimierz area on the doorstep. Back at the hotel, try flavoured Polish vodkas in the hotel’s own brick-walled bar: quince, hazelnut or (recommended!) bison-grass.
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Hotel Unicus Palace

Hotel Unicus Palace

On the cobbled lanes of the Old Town, this five-star palace combines characterful features, such as tiled floors, wrought-iron balustrades and ornate fireplaces, with immaculate, contemporary luxury. Every dish in the restaurant is an artwork, from the layered granola-topped fruit purees on the breakfast buffet to fresh and elegant veg-based creations fusing culinary traditions for the a la carte menu. The brick-vaulted pool and spa includes a salt cave to mimic the effects of seaside air.

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  • Hotel Indigo Krakow - Old Town

    Hotel Indigo Krakow - Old Town

    Opened in 2016 in a building two centuries old – former home of the artist Jan Matejko – the lively Indigo backs onto the Academy of Fine Arts, the heaped garlic and fungi of the old Kleparz market and an interactive bagel museum (for popular local snack obwarzanek krakowski). The 15th-century brick Barbican and curving park that surrounds the Old Town are a couple of minutes away. The maximalist bedrooms are all different, taking inspiration from Polish art and adding contemporary comforts like rain showers and coffee makers. Breakfast features oven-warm pastries, fresh juice and local cheeses while the trad-with-a-twist restaurant, Filipa 18, serves local seasonal produce from the neighbouring market, including venison with red wine or nougat with walnuts and chocolate.

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    INX Design Hotel

    INX Design Hotel

    Art deco painter and stage designer Zofia Stryjeńska is the inspiration behind the rich colours and bold patterns in the bedrooms at this stylish stay. Carpets and murals with folksy motifs in gold, green, turquoise and crimson contrast with clean lines and modern furniture. An international menu offers a few Polish specialities: think cabbage and mushroom dumplings with sour cream or vanilla-filled, sugar-dusted cream cakes (kremówka). The hotel is close to the river and the trendy bars of Kazimierz and views from the terrace reach as far as the Wieliczka hills, 15km beyond the city.

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    Dada Boutique Home Hotel

    Dada Boutique Home Hotel

    Kazimierz, between the old town and the Vistula River, is Krakow’s historic Jewish district, one of the city’s most happening areas. With 13 quirky bedrooms in a renovated 19th-century tenement block, dynamic, friendly staff and a modern art gallery in reception, the Dada Boutique fits right in. Decor draws on the avant-garde styles of the hotel’s namesake Dadaist movement, a surrealist school that championed irrationality. But it’s comfortable too: many of the rooms are spacious with state-of-the-art wet rooms and balconies with views of the courtyard garden.

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    These recommendations were updated on January 12, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.