Awhile back I wrote a post on how I was able to redeem Hilton points for my family’s vacation in Poland. Growing up, my sister and me never went anywhere and I want to make sure that my nephews get to explore places other than Belarus. It was a truly spectacular redemption: 20,000 Hilton points (per room) paid for a 5-night stay in Krakow, Poland. So, I wanted to share wth you some photos of the trip.
My family stayed at Hampton by Hilton Krakow and my sister said the location was excellent. It’s not super close to historic center, but there were various transportation options to get them where they needed to go. It doesn’t hurt that my sister speaks some Polish as well as English.
As you can probably imagine, 5,000 Hilton points isn’t going to get you a palace. But the hotel room looks perfectly suitable, and I wouldn’t hesitate to stay there. Full breakfast is included in the rate.
I’d say it’s a spectacular deal, especially when factoring in free 5th night. Apparently, the hotel doesn’t have a pool, but you can pay to use one at another Hilton property next door. My mom doesn’t like to pay for anything. Here is where she pulled DYKWIA (do you know who I am?) card.
When I booked the hotel, I didn’t tell her anything about my Gold status. Their breakfast was already included, so there was no point. I guess someone at check-in mentioned it briefly. So, my mom goes: “Well, don’t you think that access to the pool should be complimentary for those with Gold status?” The lady went to talk to her manager and they allowed my nephews to go for free. My mom and sister were offered half-off rate, which they refused. My family is cheap like me.
But at least my nephews got to enjoy the pool facilities, which made me very happy. I actually sent my mom some money via Western Union telling her to use it for the kids during the trip. I didn’t want them to have to beg for ice cream, toys and other fun vacation perks that my children get to enjoy when we travel places.
We actually met my family in Krakow 14 or 15 years ago. I remember taking them to a Mexican restaurant near the main square. Oh. My. Goodness. They used cabbage in “tacos” and instead of taco sauce, there was ketchup. No, I’m not kidding. My husband and me got a chuckle out of this Polish/Mexican fusion cuisine. But my family loved it. Well, apparently, the restaurant is still in business.
Krakow is one of the most popular cities in Eastern Europe and you can see reviews of various landmarks and tours on TripAdvisor It’s a very pretty town, but I think Prague is much better. However, Prague is more difficult to get to from Belarus and it definitely doesn’t have any Category 1 Hilton hotels.
I insisted they take the kids to Zakopane, a mountain resort village that is about 2 hours from Krakow by bus.
My exhausted nephews
Tatra mountains where Zakopane is located are often referred to as Polish Alps.
My sister has decided that they would hike to the Eye of the Sea, the largest lake in Tatra mountains. My mom is still ranting to me on Skype that her legs hurt after walking 6 miles one way. But at least my sister got her Instagram-worthy shot!
This was the first time both of my nephews have seen the mountains and they absolutely loved it. The oldest one thanked me profusely on Skype, probably because my mom told him to. Best 40K Hilton points I’ve ever spent.
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Leana is the owner and founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.