Positioned among the colorful Old World buildings of Wroclaw, Poland, the Art Hotel is in the perfect place from which to explore the charm of this city, a 2016 European capital of culture. The elegant and inviting boutique hotel, comprised of a set of carefully restored buildings from the 14th century, is only steps away from Wroclaw’s main market square.
The hotel gets its character not only from its historical architecture, but also the fact that its interior (both public areas and guest rooms) is a gallery, showcasing exhibits by local artists. The Art Hotel’s unique style earns it major points, but what makes it even more attractive for traveling families is how it accommodates children, and their curiosity and comfort, in this urban environment.
The best part about the Art Hotel is just how close it lies to the heart of Wroclaw. Located in the old town, a mere 5-minute walk from the market square, the hotel is well-positioned among cathedrals, historical monuments, quaint cafes, museums, shops and, most importantly (for kids, of course), the city’s gnomes.
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While your first stop in Wroclaw should be the lively market square, which is among the largest and most beautiful in Poland, one of the most exciting activities in Wroclaw for kids is the city’s gnome hunt. Kids will discover their first gnome just outside the Art Hotel’s front door. Using the map the hotel provides, they can go on to find another 162 (and counting!) around town. Seeing how many gnomes they can spot while in Wroclaw is an incredibly fun way to explore the Old Town and a great way to keep the kids involved when moving from place to place.
One of the things that makes the Art Hotel so special is that its 80 rooms and suites are decorated with paintings, watercolors and drawings by local artists. The decor of the rooms, including the ornamental wall paintings and custom-made furniture, gives the Art Hotel its unique personality and sets it apart from other luxe lodging venues in Wroclaw. All rooms feature warm tones of olive and beige.
We stayed in a Junior Suite, with a double bed, a folding sofa bed, and a baby crib (set up on our request). Our room overlooked the main street in front of the hotel, and had a view of St. Elizabeth’s church, one of the oldest churches in Wroclaw. For those who need more space, the Art Hotel offers a posh upgrade with its apartments, which feature marble-finished bathrooms and spacious living rooms with libraries.
The Art Hotel leaves no stone untouched when it comes to caring for traveling families. Upon request, the hotel offers bottle heaters and sterilizers, forehead thermometers, baby baths, children’s toilet seats, baby cribs, and extra beds on request (for junior suites and apartments). For older children, the staff provides coloring books, colored pencils, board games, children’s DVDs, and a Wroclaw gnome hunting map. Babysitting is available upon request.
Breakfast at the hotel is buffet-style, served in a 16th-century tenant house just off the lobby. The spread includes a range of breads and pastries, egg dishes, seasonal salads, fresh fruit, yogurt, cereals, cold cuts and cheeses, natural juices, and coffee and tea. The Flemish-inspired main rooms of the restaurant have arched ceilings, but the lovely garden room, styled in the likeness of an Italian courtyard, is what really sets the restaurant apart.
The Art Restaurant and Cafe is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and serves Polish cuisine with an Italian flair. The hotel offers a children’s menu as well as a gluten-free menu on request.
The hotel offers a small fitness center, as well as beauty treatment and massage services in their Biotigo Parlour. Given the hotel’s strong relationship with the local community, it can also arrange tickets for its guests to the Wroclaw Opera, Philharmonic Orchestra and Theater.
Wroclaw (formerly Breslau, Germany) is the largest city in western Poland. Its incredibly complex history — it has changed hands between the Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Germany and Poland over the years — has contributed to its marvelous architecture and unique cultural vibe. Get a feel for the city by taking a stroll through the Old Town’s maze of cobbled streets, canals, bridges and churches. Kids will enjoy watching street performers, dipping into a local ice cream shop or cafe for hot chocolate (depending on the season), and hunting for the playful gnomes that lie around many a corner.
Children will also enjoy a trip Wroclaw’s Zoo and Aquarium, which is located next to the city’s only UNESCO World Heritage site, Centennial Hall. Adjacent to the zoo and Centennial Hall is the spectacular Wroclaw multimedia fountain. Projecting water up to 130 feet high, the fountain creates a screen of water on which animated projections can be displayed; simultaneously, the music (everything from Beethoven to Daft Punk) orchestrates the show through the park’s speakers. The fountain space is transformed into an ice rink during the winter.
Because of its commitment to culture, the city hosts many wonderful exhibitions throughout the year. The Art Hotel can inform you of special activities prior to your visit.
Editor’s Note: Loren was hosted by Art Hotel Wroclaw in order to review the property. As always, our opinions are our own. Photos by Loren Braunohler.
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