Hotel Copernicus Krakow

For many years, no.16 Kanonicza street was in a very sorry state of disrepair. Its windows were boarded up and large parts of interior were in danger of collapse. However, a grand restoration project has saved this building from such an unworthy fate, and in the Spring of 2000 the Hotel Copernicus opened its doors. An enchanting place, it has recently been described by the Daily Telegraph as one of the most beautiful hotels in the world.
The Copernicus is nestled at the foot of Krakow's Royal Castle. It lies on an ancient and tranquil street, and the surrounding area seems to live very much in a world of its own. Inside, charming Renaissance frescoes cast their spell, and splendidly carved stone portals adorn the walls. During the Middle Ages, these houses were the residences of bishops, and the magnificent wooden ceilings and marbled floors echo those of the Royal Castle itself.
Whilst great care has gone into letting the Copernicus's old character shine through, historic flourishes are dovetailed with modern luxury and convenience. The rooms have a cosy elegance, with rich velvets and dark wood furnishings setting the tone. The bathrooms have been fitted with creamy Italian marbles. With air-conditioning in Summer, and warm heating during the Winter, it is a perfect nest from which to explore the city.
One of the most exciting discoveries that occurred during restoration can be found downstairs in the restaurant. Here one finds a splendid Renaissance ceiling, a throwback to Krakow's golden age. Here the chef serves classic Polish dishes with a light, modern twist, whilst the cellars specialize in a range of Italian wines. Besides the bar on the ground floor, there is also a little hideaway up on the roof. A delight during the Summer, with its views over the castle and onto the domes and cupolas of the city, you could well imagine the hotel's namesake, Copernicus, the famous Polish astronomer, marveling away at the stars by night. A regular visitor to this house as a young man, he would no doubt have relished this tranquil spot.

Meanwhile, descending into the subterranean world of the cellars, one can enjoy Copernicus's splendid swimming pool, whilst exercise rooms are on hand for devoted sportsmen. Back upstairs in the library you can unwind in a very congenial atmosphere, and perhaps order a Tatanka - a rather agreeable Polish beverage that's well worth a try. Hotel Copernicus's young and helpful staff are always on hand to make sure that you have a relaxed and enjoyable stay. The hotel is also proud of its suites, which have preserved some wonderful relics from the medieval era. These charming rooms would make a marvelous choice for honeymooners. Outside, all the delights of the city lie in wait.


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