The Only Boutique in Town: Hotel Rialto, Warsaw, Poland

Imagine yourself in a hotel so hip, so cool, so utterly fashionable, that you feel like you’re dressed for a soccer game when everyone else is dressed for dinner. That’s how my pal and Vagablond co-founder Branden felt at the Hotel Rialto, Warsaw’s only boutique hotel with 44 well-appointed and uniquely designed rooms.

In fact, the first time he got on an elevator there, he shared it with a tall, stylish woman who was clearly some kind of Eastern European model in town for a shoot. She looked like a “Bond Girl” with long flowing hair, a gorgeous figure, pouty lips, etc. You know the type… They look at you with eyes that say, “Don’t dare flirt with me. I couldn’t care less about you unless you’re very incredibly wealthy.” Anyway, at this hotel, you immediately get the sense that you are amoung the beautiful people, the stylish folk, who want only the best. Even the employees are easy on the eyes.

Branden booked his stay at the Hotel Rialto last year at this time online through Expedia and paid about $170. This is high by Warsaw standards but certainly a boutique bargain by international rates.

The hotel has a wonderful collection of art deco antique furnishings, loads of rich mahogany woodwork and solid fixtures.

The Front Desk service is awesome and first class. The staff is young, stylish, and speaks excellent English. They go out of their way to arrange dinners and find New Year’s Eve parties for the guests.

The Kurt Scheller Restaurant and Bar are cozy. The bathrooms are elegant, warm and marbled. The rooms are beautifully designed, welcoming and comfortable. There is free high-speed Internet connectivity and a work desk, plus you get a nice collection of electronics from a flat panel TV monitor with dozens of cable channels to a CD player and DVD player. Plus, there’s a great selection of CDs, DVDs and books in the smoking lounge.

What Branden liked best of all was the window seating area which let in lots of light during the grey, harsh Polish winter.

But it wasn’t all smiles and style at the Hotel Rialto. He found the room dirty with dust on the floor, lint on the carpet, and garbage left behind. The room was serviced for one guest despite two people staying there. The dining room staff was rude and unfriendly. And though the hotel was in a quiet area in the centre of town and near the airport, it was a 15-minute walk to the business district and popular Warsaw attractions.

A: ul. Wilcza 73, Warsaw 00-670, Poland

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