There’s no clearer sign of the rise of Eastern Europe as a genuine tourist destination than the bullish expansion of the Hotel Indigo chain. Part of the Inter-Continental Hotels Group, the relatively youthful brand is opening four outposts this year in Poland, Georgia and Bulgaria.
One of the first to roll out is the 56-room Hotel Indigo Krakow, a sparky corner-block bolt-hole in the city’s Old Town, just a few blocks from the Florian Gate and town square. The hotel’s setting is a particularly evocative one. The building itself was once home to Jan Matejko, a native son and one of the country’s most revered painters of historical events. Meanwhile, the quarter’s historic buzz is evident in the swathe of neighbouring galleries and more modern iterations like MOCAK, the museum of contemporary art.
The solid lines of the 19th-century neo-classical Italianate façade give way to an interior of bold primary colours and bright patterns, and all the usual wired up mod-cons. The in-house restaurant Filipa 18, named after the Indigo’s street address, serves a zhooshed up version of Polish classics – the kitchen sourcing its ingredients from Old Kleparz, the local street market that dates back 900 years.
And for a post-prandial treat, work your way through the surprisingly comprehensive menu of Polish vodkas.