Set at the foot of Vysoke Tatry, Zakopane is renowned as one of the most developed tourist destinations in Poland. The destination is the centre of Goral-Zakopane architecture, reflected in the architectural styles, cultural traditions and decorative art. It was this style that inspired the investors of Hotel Bachleda to create a modern interpretation of mountain luxury. The hotel is just a shot away from the most famous and longest street in Zakopane – Krupówki. All sides of the hotel offer spectacular views. You will be able to feel the pulse of the tourist city throughout the year, albeit the summer and winter seasons are favoured. That is when the hotel serves as a brilliant starting point for various activities, including demanding incentive groups.
The construction of a highway leading to Zakopane is rapidly improving. Only 40 kilometres of asphalt are left to be laid, reducing the trip from Krakow to Zakopane to around an hour. Now, however, the trip takes no more than two hours for about 100 kilometres. As you know, difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations. Upon arriving at the hotel, you will be welcomed by a spacious underground garage. The easiest way to get around town is on foot, while public transport and taxis cater to skiers and congress guests. All environmentally-aware individuals are encouraged to use the train – an excellent and fast alternative to travelling by car.
COLD STARTER - Architecture and aesthetics
The imposing wood in all shapes and combinations with select designer furniture pieces seems a new definition of luxury. Once you set foot inside, you embark on a romantic trip into the past of Zakopane architecture. A detail here and there can seem redundant such as the rich pattern on the flooring or the hotel signage. Nevertheless, as a whole, the hotel is an intriguing definition of luxury. The staircase in the lobby is precisely that and is reminiscent of Titanic’s staircase. The outdoor facade boasting wood and glass is equally elegant and inspiring. Altogether, the hotel appears architecturally convincing and harmonious thanks to the Polish architectural bureau Karpiel Steindel Architecture.
WARM ENTRÉE - The staff and the culinary experience
Even when tackling larger crowds of guests, the staff is patient, professional and handles guests without panic, as expected of five-star hotel personnel. A touch of kindness would elevate the experience even higher. The breakfast is entirely self-service, and for a five-star hotel, you would expect at least a part of the offer to be ala carte. Although the selection of dishes is adequate, we believe there is plenty of room for improvement. This part of the offer deserves more attention from the management. Likewise, guests should be given more attention from the staff. We did not try the hotel restaurant; however, the Bachleda group manages one of the best restaurants in Zakopane – Goralska Tradycia.
MAIN COURSE – The meetings offering at the hotel
The heart of the spacious room is the mighty bed, embraced by a luxuriously padded wall in golden colour with Goral motifs. The overall great feeling is created by the panoramic walls and the spacious balcony offering great views. Golden colours combined with darker shades nicely elevate several details, such as the chandeliers. The furniture that is a modern interpretation of a classic is another standout element. Stylistically, the story continues in the bathroom, where golden tiles in the shower and the hand-crafted mirror with engraved motifs give a sense of prestige. The room also boasts a large work desk and enough space to enjoy and relax after a long day. The bed can be categorised as excellent.
The hotel seems to have been made for incentive events. Two smaller conference rooms are greatly appreciated. There is enough room for organising events in the hotel itself and the venues offered by the Bachleda group. The Goralska Tradycia restaurant is such a venue and is the most sought-after one in Zakopane. Needless to say, the Instagrammable interior of the hotel allures wedding organisers. If you are seeking a hotel with a wow-effect, you have come to the right place.
DESSERT – The extras
Numerous architectural details define the hotel’s experience and are impossible to resist. An example is the photographic exhibition of faces that embody the Goral architecture.
FLOP – NEGATIVE SURPRISES
Although the Spa & Wellness centre is exceptional, it is too small considering the number of beds. Particularly during the corona crisis, we expected a limit on the number of guests.
TOP – POSITIVE SURPRISES
The wooden staircase in the lobby leading to the inviting lounge bar is reminiscent of that from the Titanic. It is easy to imagine a group photo or simply enjoy the craftsmanship of those who made it.
FINAL IMPRESSION AND CREDIBILITY
The key guidance of the architects must have been how to reinterpret the traditional Goral story. In my opinion, they excelled in their task, and the hotel is heralding a new era of luxury hotels in Zakopane. The interior is a textbook example of a world-class hotel. The select materials are outstanding, the making is millimetre-precise, the comfort is perfect, and the overall feel is prestigious. Nonetheless, to pass with flying colours, a few details need to be sorted, not least the staff. Luxury hotels have to convince guests of the entire package, and I am sure the owners will take care of this promptly. As said, the hotel is ideal for demanding incentive groups, whom the hotel offers numerous opportunities to spend quality time in the heart of Vysoke Tatry.
FINAL GRADE: 4.83 GOLD City Meeting Hotel
GOLD final score from 4.81 to 5.00
SILVER final score from 4.61 to 4.80
BRONZE final score from 4.41 to 4.60