In May, my husband and I had the pleasure of visiting Kraków, Poland for a few days. We split our stay at the AC Hotel by Marriott Krakow and the Sheraton Grand Krakow.
Although AC Hotel is one of Marriott’s lower-tier brands, this hotel really surpassed my expectations in almost every way. It offered amenities on par with a premium brand, with a spa, pool, kids club, and plenty of space to work and relax. Combined with its favourable pricing, it’s a great option for families with young kids or adults just looking for a relaxing retreat.
AC Hotel by Marriott Krakow – Booking
The rates for a standard room at this hotel varies, but on average, expect to pay between 400–500 PLN ($128–$160 CAD) per night. I was able to book their standard room at 393 PLN ($126 CAD) per night, having booked six months out.
A points redemption will cost you between 21,000 and 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points a night. Based on our target valuation of Bonvoy points at 0.8 cents per point (CAD), it is a much better deal to pay in cash.
AC Hotel by Marriott Krakow – Location
The hotel is located slightly outside the old town city centre of Krakow, in a quieter and developing area, and may be more appealing to those looking for a peaceful retreat. The area is also great for those with young kids, as it is surrounded by a couple of large parks with plenty of seating areas, a playground, and splash pad.
Just outside of the hotel is a small food truck park which featured burgers, pizza, tacos, and other quick bites. A few restaurants are also within walking distance.
Within a few minutes walk of the hotel, you will find Cichy Kącik tram station.
From here, you hop onto a tram that will take you to the main Market Square in around 15 minutes. Tram tickets that are valid for 20 minus can be purchased at the station for 4 PLN ($1.20 CAD). A taxi ride into the town will take 7–8 minutes.
John Paul II Kraków-Balice International Airport is only a 15-25 minute drive from the hotel. An Uber cost us 35 PLN ($11 CAD) to get to the hotel, which is actually a lot cheaper than grabbing an airport taxi, which would cost 89 PLN ($29 CAD).
AC Hotel by Marriott Krakow – Check-in
From the outside, the hotel looks quite modern and boxy. A roundabout takes you to the main entrance. There was no bellboy to help with luggage when we arrived, but this wasn’t an issue for us.
Walking into the hotel, you enter into an open foyer with a high ceiling with a large modern chandelier as a centerpiece.
To the left is a casual seating area and the check-in desk.
To the right is the hotel’s bar and restaurant.
The hotel is decorated with light wooden tones, complemented by wooden furniture with white and grey-coloured upholstery and black accents. It gave it a warm and Scandinavian-style vibe.
The check-in desk was manned by two staff, both dressed in suits and very welcoming. They thanked my husband for being a loyal Titanium member and offered him a choice of 500 Bonvoy points or a $10 USD food and beverage credit for him and a guest to use at the hotel. We opted for the food and beverage credit.
They also informed us that our request for a suite had been granted. I had reached out via the chat function a day prior to see if there was a suite upgrade available. At that time, they had given the generic reply that our request would be noted but subject to availability at check-in.
I was pleasantly surprised that they hadn’t just given us any suite, but their top-level Premium Suite, a corner suite located on the 6th and top floor of the hotel.
AC Hotel by Marriott Krakow – Premium Suite
As we got off the elevators and went down the hallway towards our suite, the ceiling had motion sensor lights that would light up as we approached them.
The Premium Suite is marketed as having a double bed, a sofa bed, Blonia Park view, and terrace. This barely does it justice. The “double bed” is actually a king bed, and the “terrace” was actually a huge wraparound corner terrace.
At 742 square feet, the suite was massive. Walking in, you’ll immediately find a key card power control panel. You’ll have to put your keycard in here, otherwise none of the electrical features of the room will work.
The room door opens up into a hallway with the bedroom on the right. The hallway opens up into a spacious and open living room.
The light tones and wooden accents of the room, combined with the natural brightness from the floor-to-ceiling windows wrapping around the living room, really made the suite warm and welcoming.
The living room had a very comfortable sectional sofa perfect for lounging on and two circular coffee tables that were perfectly situated in front of a large flat screen smart TV.
Next to the TV was a small nook with a desk. The desk was simple, keeping with the minimalist theme of the hotel, and had a lamp, a couple of outlets, USB ports, a notepad and pen, and phone.
The other side of the living room had a dinette with four velvet upholstered chairs and a modern lighting above it.
Beside this was a hutch, which served as the beverage station. A Nespresso machine along with water, tea, and coffee amenities were on top. In the hutch was a beverage fridge with a paid minibar.
The bedroom features a king-sized bed with a simple night table and ceiling light on either side. An upholstered headboard has a mounted reading light and outlet and USB port panel on both sides.
A large smart TV hangs on the wall in front of the bed, with a small table and upholstered chair beneath it. On the other side is a wall-mounted floor-to-ceiling mirror.
The bedroom’s floor to ceiling windows open up into a small terrace with a small table and two chairs.
The closet space is spacious but simple. Bathrobes and slippers are provided.
The ensuite bathroom is simple, spacious, and modern. It has a glass walled shower stall, a double sink vanity with a large backlit mirror and a towel warming rack.
The amenities are a mix of AC’s own branded product and Korres branded conditioner and shampoo. I first encountered the Korres brand in Santorini – it’s a Greek skincare and beauty product line that’s known for its natural products.
As someone who suffers from allergies, I really appreciated the packets of tissue that were offered, which is a rare hotel amenity offering.
For environmentally conscious guests, you can opt out of housekeeping in exchange for a glass of prosecco at their bar, 50 Bonvoy points or a 10% discount at their restaurant.
In the hallway is a guest bathroom, which is a smaller version of the ensuite bathroom, complete with a second shower. This is a great feature for those travelling as a family or group.
There is also a second closet in the hallway that has a safe, hair dryer, iron, and ironing board.
AC Hotel by Marriott Krakow – Dining
Sobre Mesa Restaurant is located on the ground floor of the hotel and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The casual venue offers a variety of seating arrangements, including some traditional tables, and others with sofas and smaller coffee tables.
Breakfast isn’t complimentary, even with Marriott Bonvoy elite status. Breakfast is served as a buffet and costs 70 PLN ($22 CAD) per person, which was reasonable. Applying our $10 (USD) welcome amenity towards this brought it down to only 45 PLN per person, which I found to be very reasonable, especially with the variety of food served.
The buffet offered a variety of hot and cold items, plus eggs made to order.
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The first night, we were pretty tired and decided to eat in. The menu was priced decently and we found the food to be quite good.
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An on-site pastry chef creates some beautiful dessert offerings.
Room service can be ordered from the restaurant, but the menu is more limited. There is also a 20 PLN service charge that is added for the service.
Just outside of the restaurant is the AC Lounge, the hotel’s bar that serves a variety of drinks and tapas.
AC Hotel by Marriott Krakow – Other Facilities
On the ground level, you will find plenty of space to sit and lounge, whether you want to socialize with family and friends, or just read a book with a coffee in hand.
There are board games on the shelves for families to borrow.
For those that have work to do, you’ll appreciate the large work table equipped with a USB and outlet panel.
During the hours of 10am–4pm, there’s a beverage station that is open on the ground floor with bar tables and seating, offering an area to enjoy an afternoon tea or coffee. A phone charger stand is readily available here as well.
In the warmer summer months, you can even head outside to the patio at the back of the hotel. Chairs, tables and patio furniture are set out available for use.
There is also a small AC Store that sells local souvenirs.
In the evening, the staff roll out a small trolley with a bowl of dried lavender with small linen pouches that you are free to fill. Lavender is known to have relaxing properties, so I suppose you can place the pouch by your pillow to help alleviate stress and anxiety for the night.
Plenty of amenities are located one level below ground. An on-site spa offers skin and massage treatments for reasonable prices, at 250 PLN for a 60-minute massage.
The AC Hotel by Marriott Krakow offers a beautiful pool facility that could honestly rival that of a St. Regis.
Scattered around the pool are various relaxation facilities, including wicker loungers, a kids’ wading pool fountain, a hot tub, and a sauna.
In addition, a small gym is open 24/7, with plenty of equipment packed into the narrow space.
Since I’m always on the lookout for family-friendly features, one highlight for me was the hotel’s kids club.
The club is actually a play space for young kids. It is unsupervised, so you cannot leave kids unattended, but it offers a warm, colourful kid-friendly space with climbing structure, books, and some games.
Bicycles and scooters, including those for kids, are available for rental from the front desk. These are perfect for exploring the nearby parks.
Interestingly, the hotel also has a VIP lounge called the Decanso Club. Although it’s advertised as “Only for Premium and Presidential Suite Guests” on their lobby TV screen, upon inquiring, I found out that it’s only available for Marriott Bonvoy’s Ambassador Elite members.
This may cause some confusion among guests, and will need further clarification in the future, I’m sure.
If you’re an Ambassador member, not only can this be your own private area to lounge in, but you can also enjoy complimentary continental breakfast offerings in the morning, snacks during the day, and some alcoholic beverages in the evening.
I had a very pleasant stay at the AC Hotel by Marriott Krakow and was frankly surprised by the number of amenities and services it provided, and at such a great nightly rate. On top of all this, the hotel is quite generous with their room upgrades.
Although the location is not as central as the other two Marriott properties in town, the AC Hotel should definitely not be overlooked if you are planning a stay in Krakow.
I stayed at the Hyatt Place nearby last month and stopped by the AC for food. I ordered a steak (called sliced beef IIRC) and it was very nice and whatever they did with the potatoes it was magical. The number 6 tram leads right to the castle and Jewish Quarter, which was super convenient.