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Deborah Aylward from our team recently attended a trip with Global DMC Partners Connections (GDMCP) to experience what the historic city of Warsaw has to offer for meeting and event planners. Over the next few days we'll be revealing some of the key highlights from Deborah's trip. Here we start with Day 1 after a 7am flight from Heathrow...
" After an early start for the flight to Warsaw where we were met by GDMCP representatives who transferred us to our hotel for the event. Chopin Airport (named after the country’s famous composer) is only a 25 minute journey to/from the city centre and there are several low cost public transport options.
Our first stopover was the Sheraton Warsaw. This hotel is in the south of the city in a quite upmarket area but only a couple of minutes from shops, bars and restaurants. It’s about a 20 minute walk to the old town (along the main shopping streets), and 15 minutes to the business district.
This large 5* hotel had a complete refurbishment last year and to a very high standard. There are 350 bedrooms & suites and even the standard ‘Classic’ rooms that we were staying in were really spacious with a large lounge area. It has a large conference centre with 12 meeting spaces over two floors (Ground & 1st Floors) and ranging in size with the largest, The Grand Ballroom holding 600 in theatre layout and 360 cabaret. It's worth noting however that most of the rooms, including the Ballroom do not have natural light - a key consideration for some meeting planners.
There is a large central area for registrations, networking and refreshment breaks and there are 3 primary restaurants – the Olive is the main restaurant with buffet service for breakfast and lunch. As well as a Tex-Mex and an Asian restaurant, there is a small 4th restaurant located in the ‘Chef’s Kitchen’ which can be reserved for small groups.
Once we'd arrived and checked in we realised we were starving so a few of us went for lunch at a nearby restaurant. The food was interesting (minestrone soup with a poached egg in the middle) but it was very good quality, well presented and cheap! Less than £10 each for a good quality lunch in a very nice restaurant.
Everything in Warsaw was cheap. The cost of living index for Warsaw shows general costs including restaurants are about half the price of those in London, so great value. Several delegates found time for shopping and reported some great bargains.
Later that day after exploring a little of the city we met with our hosts, Chris Bason & Maxine MacPherson, for drinks before leaving for an informal buffet dinner at the Warsaw Marriott Hotel.
The 5* Marriott was one of the first ‘skyscrapers’ in Warsaw and has the highest sky bar in the city on the 40th floor. It was built in 1989 (Poland’s year of independence) as a symbol of transformation. It’s situated in the business district next to the central train station and opposite a landmark building - the Palace of Culture and Science. The hotel has 21 meeting rooms with the Grand Ballroom being the largest space which can accommodate up to 700 theatre style.
If you're ever looking for other hotels, The InterContinental, Westin, Radisson Blu and the Novotel are all in this same small area, close to the Palace of Culture & Science and the central station. The business district is to the West of Old Town, about 15 minutes walk."
Check back tomorrow for the next instalment of Deborah's trip to Warsaw.