Q: What is it? A: The only hotel in Warsaw’s historic district is a rather modern one on the inside. The outside is blending in with the surroundings. It still looks palace-like and… old.
So, you are going to Warsaw?
So, you need somewhere to stay? So, you want a nice hotel? So, you want to avoid all the Marriotts, the Westins or the Hiltons? Alternatives to them exist but are not that many. Le Regina is an ambitious attempt to create one. The management behind the MaMaison hotels were clever enough to spot a window of opportunity: Hospitality for New Europe. When entering the glass doors of this refurnished 18th-century palace, it’s obvious that these people mean business. Materials and fittings have been chosen to give the La Regina a rather expensive look and feel. Despite a złoty that has become stronger during the last year, it’s not an expensive hotel. In fact, the site I normally use for booking, list it as a budget hotel.
There’s nothing budget-y about it.
The people promoting this hotel, are quick to point out that there are flat-screen televisions in the room. If you can deal with that, (I have a problem with it myself, these days it’s like saying We’ve got telephones!), you won’t be disappointed. Rooms are spacious. Beds are comfy. Bathrooms are a dream with everything except jets in the tub. Everything is kept very neat, no dents and scratches visible. What is putting me off a little bit, is that the whole hotel is designed to look ‘modern’, which makes it look not so modern at all. Then again, I need to remind myself that this is Warsaw and taste is local. So is also the habit of letting guests smoke in close proximity to the breakfast buffet, (for decades, Poland has been among the countries with the highest cigarette consumption in the world, and still about 40% of Polish men smoke).
Do I recommend it? Yes.
It’s easy to be misled by the price. Last time I checked, room rates at Le Regina started at € 60.00, (Yes, that would be the price of a decent hotel breakfast in London!). It is a surprisingly good value and my advice is to stay here rather soon, before the Polish are adopting the Euro as their currency. Awarding it with three stars sounds rather lukewarm but the lack of smoking regulations make me grind my teeth. Finally, it comes down to what is always the crucial point: The staff. Service was correct but quite anonymous during my stay. On the surface they got almost everything right. The day the staff make you feel welcome for real, I’d be the first to announce that they live up to that Hospitality for New Europetagline.
MaMaison Le Regina Hotel
+48 22 531 60 00
ADDITIONAL NOTE: There’s a British chain of hotels called Malmaison. This is not the same — this is MaMaison, no L – and it is an exclusively Eastern European operation.