The Best Spa Hotels in Krakow, Poland

A revitalising stay at one of Krakow's best spa hotels is ideal for the history-rich Polish city
A revitalising stay at one of Krakow's best spa hotels is ideal for the history-rich Polish city | Courtesy of PURO Kraków Kazimierz / Expedia
Photo of Phoebe Taplin
25 January 2021

Inevitably, exploring historic Krakow, one of Poland‘s largest and oldest cities, involves a lot of walking and neck-craning: pacing the Old Town, on to the castle and along the river; peering up to the vaulted heavens of venerable churches, people-watching in late-night bars and hours of browsing souvenir shops. When finally you return to your hotel, what could be better for your muscles than wallowing in a thermal pool, steaming the grime away in a sauna or submitting to the exquisite strokes of a talented wellness therapist? You’ll find them in Krakow’s best spa hotels. Read on, and re-lax.

Niebieski Art Hotel and Spa

Spa Hotel, Boutique Hotel
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Niebieski Art Hotel & Spa
Courtesy of Niebieski Art Hotel and Spa / Expedia
Salwator, Krakow’s richest, greenest district, is often overlooked by tourists, but it’s full of ancient churches and beautiful villas on leafy avenues. The five-star riverside Niebieski has a trendy take on the area’s artistic heritage, set in a stylish, sustainable modern building with paintings and reliefs by local artists. Rooms that face the city are furnished in dark African rosewood; those facing the river have paler colours and white oak. The innovative decor extends to the low-lit Vanilla Spa, home to a sauna, steam room and plunge pools, offering organic snacks.
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Turówka Hotel and Spa

Spa Hotel
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Turówka Hotel & Spa
Courtesy of Turówka Hotel and Spa / Expedia
Wieliczka, a 10-minute drive southeast of Krakow, is famous for its Unesco-listed salt mine, with an underground lake and chapels. The Turówka, the only hotel in town with a pool and spa, has a mineral-rich salt cave alongside its saunas and jacuzzi. With all manner of moisturising and aromatic massages, it is a great place to relax after a day’s sightseeing. See how you like classic Polish dishes in the Convivia restaurant – perhaps Żurek soup (of fermented rye and smoked white sausage) will be your favourite.
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Hotel Stary

Hotel
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Hotel Stary
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The hotel’s vaulted medieval cellars provide the perfect atmospheric setting for a superbly outfitted wellness and spa centre: behold the two mosaic-lined swimming pools, the gym, sauna and the salt chamber, where iodine-rich air combines with soft music and lighting to relax you completely. There’s also a steam room releasing aromatherapy oils for deeply moisturising moments. When picking your room, request one with a balcony, for transporting views over Rynek Główny, Krakow’s 13th-century town square, on your doorstep.
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The Bonerowski Palace

Boutique Hotel, Spa Hotel
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The Bonerowski Palace
Courtesy of the Bonerowski Palace / Expedia
After those long hours spent trudging the cobbled streets of Krakow, craning your neck to admire basilicas and galleries, not to mention those late nights enjoyed “researching” bars, you’ll need somewhere to take the pressure off your weary limbs: solace lies in the expert massages performed at the Bonerowski, in the heart of the Old Town, home also to a sauna and steam room and a gym in its fourth-floor wellness centre. After being pampered, you’ll be ready for your room – and in this hotel they feel palatial, individually decorated with classic floral fabrics, huge swathes of silk curtains and opulent furniture.
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PURO Kraków Kazimierz

Spa Hotel, Chain Hotel
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PURO Kraków Kazimierz
Courtesy of PURO Kraków Kazimierz / Expedia
The bohemian streets of Kazimierz, Krakow’s old Jewish quarter, buzz with art spaces, music venues and trendy cafés. When batteries need a recharge, PURO has deep-sleep-inducing beds in its simply furnished, tech-invested rooms. The equally soporific Prima Spa has yoga and pilates classes alongside a gym, steam room and sauna. Two innovative restaurants champion lesser-known ingredients in dishes including goose stomachs with sourdough and roasted garlic; or beetroot with smoked ricotta and suska sechlońska prunes. Vegans have options, too.
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Hotel Copernicus

Hotel
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Hotel Copernicus
Courtesy of Hotel Copernicus / Expedia
In the shadow of Wawel Castle – the clifftop home to centuries of Polish kings – Hotel Copernicus stands on Krakow’s oldest street. Pavement cafés spill over cobbles, and horse-drawn carts clop past. The attraction for many is the fragrant, brick-vaulted spa with its handsome swimming pool. Bedrooms, in dark woods, marble and velvet, may have views of towers and domes. Suites 101 and 103 are standouts, with 16th-century frescoes. In the restaurant, regally inspired dishes include foie gras with plums and red cabbage, or chocolate mousse with blackcurrant caviar.
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Queen Boutique Hotel

Spa Hotel
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Queen Boutique Hotel
Courtesy of Queen Boutique Hotel / Expedia
The USP of the 31 elegant rooms in this renovated tenement building? Their views of the long tree-lined boulevard that was built over the old course of the Vistula River. Guests also rate the slap-up breakfasts in the Amarylis restaurant – not least for the unlimited sparkling wine. Dinner menus list unusual combinations (oxtail soup with lovage, grapefruit with parsley and vanilla), while treatments under the 18th-century brickwork of the relaxing Queen’s spa include a hot chocolate massage and a cellulite-defying scrub with caffeine and Dead Sea minerals.
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  • Hotel Kossak Kraków

    Spa Hotel
    Map View
    Hotel Kossak Kraków
    Courtesy of Hotel Kossak Kraków / Expedia
    Bright, colourful bedrooms and a basement spa create a relaxing base at Hotel Kossak in Krakow, 10 minutes’ walk from Wawel, 15 minutes from the colonnades of the Main Square. You’re in for a treat on the seventh floor: spectacular views across the riverside boulevards, hilltop castle and Old Town from Cafe Oranżeria Restaurant. The wine list features intense, fruity offerings from the Turnau Vineyard in West Pomerania, and the menu is steeped in tradition: try wild-boar dumplings with sour cream and cranberries, then halva, hazelnuts, caramel and candy floss.
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    Hotel Europejski

    Spa Hotel
    Map View
    Hotel Europejski
    Courtesy of Hotel Europejski / Expedia
    Just outside one of the gates into the Old Town, a few steps from the railway station, this 19th-century landmark, now renovated with a spa, has been looking after guests since 1884. Warm colours, floral upholstery and antique furniture give rooms an old-school charm, and the restaurant is a paragon of traditional hospitality, from the glowing stained-glass ceiling and satin-backed chairs to the sunny plant-filled courtyard. Food honours this celebration of old Poland – in pork, dill, horseradish, roast trout and Granny Regina’s homemade dumplings.
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    Lwowska 1

    Spa Hotel
    Map View
    Lwowska 1
    Courtesy of Lwowska 1 / Expedia
    If you’re planning a longer stay or fancy a budget-saving kitchen, this aparthotel is just the job, in the bustling Podgórze district, south of the river. It’s a bit of a hike from the more touristy areas, but the trams stop just outside. Bedrooms are funky and unfussy, with pops of bright colour and views of the historic Plac Bohaterów Getta (Ghetto Heroes Square). The Relaksarium offers a steam bath, super-hot sauna and various massages. The ground-floor Zielonym do Góry bistro is fresh and modern: big windows, wooden tables and an emphasis on healthy, local food.
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    Bachleda Luxury Hotel

    Spa Hotel, Luxury
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    Bachleda Luxury Hotel
    Courtesy of Bachleda Luxury Hotel / Expedia
    Bling it on – under a crystal chandelier, the swimming pool is a showstopper, lined with royal blue tiles, and a trompe-l’œil mosaic mural shows golden curtains. The luxurious spa (even the corridor is gold) further heightens the Bachleda’s palatial aesthetic, which majors in gilded Rococo mirrors and Art Deco-style lamps and vases. Only the location is discreet, hidden in the peaceful Nowy Świat area, a short stroll from the river, the castle and the Old Town squares.
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    These recommendations were updated on January 25, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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