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The Secret Garden Hostel
Ranked #65 of 262 Hotels in Krakow
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 6 August 2013

I just didn't like this place at all. Several small things combined to make the whole experience a negative one for me. In isolation none would have really been a problem but added together they left me with a very poor impression of the place.

I stayed two nights independently, before staying for another two nights as part of a tour group. The specifics of the tour group booking I had no control over. The good points were that the rooms are of a decent size and there is a tram stop at the end of the street to make travelling around very easy. The bad points were that the pillows and bed linen were of the worst quality I have ever seen in any accommodation. The breakfast was very basic, and you were expected to clear away after yourself. The wifi would work for 10 minutes, then the connection would drop out for 10 minutes or more. After I completed my independent stay and checked back in a few hours later with my tour group booking, the lady on the desk refused to give me the metallic card for opening the gate saying that "we don't give them out to groups" (Why? I was still a paying customer) The reception is supposed to be 24-hour but when I went for an early morning run the next morning and rang the bell for the gate to be opened, no one opened it for several minutes. I suspected this would happen as they were probably not expecting people to be coming and going before 7am, which is why I was annoyed to be refused a card to open the gate. After having an en suite bathroom for my first two nights, five or six rooms were expected to share one bathroom when I joined my tour group.

In addition, The Secret Garden Hostel left a bad impression immediately after I arrived by charging me in British Pounds at their own hideous exchange rate instead of Polish złoty (the lady on the desk quoted the price to me in złoty before I handed over my card). Not crime of the century, but dishonest all the same as you have to give permission for this, and my receipt of course said I had. I wouldn't have given permission if I'd been asked, particularly because my card gives me the actual exchange rate with no fees. If they overcharge everyone in this way hoping that they won't notice, the profits will soon mount up.

Having said all of this, I know that this is a hostel and not a hotel, but I wouldn't stay here again even if it was free for the reasons outlined above. If you're prepared to make serious compromises in return for the fairly cheap price (although not as cheap as you think it will be if they charge you in the wrong currency at a rate to suit themselves) then fair enough but I wouldn't recommend staying here at all if you can afford to pay a little more.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled solo
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3  Thank tai671
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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166 - 172 of 442 reviews

Reviewed 29 July 2013

Hostel Secret Garden.

Location
At first sight I thought this hostel was beyond the flying map of Cracow. I was very wrong. The metro station is just 175 meters away. And the main pubs (Kazimierz/Plac Nowy) is just 750 meters away.
The Hostel itself is located in a silent area (almost no traffic in the streets).
The exchange kantor in Plac Wolnica (bus stop) gives a very decent exchange deal. Exchange kantor Grosz located in the Centrum (Sławkowska 4) gives a slightly better deal.

The hostel
They have a sort of hippy flower/tree formula. Most Walls, doors, carpet, is mostly decorated in green and purple Woodstock colors (very funny). Every rented room has it's own tailored theme.
My rented room (20) was much better than expected (it could easily match a 2-3 star by hotel quality). Nice personal shower & toilet and bed with 4 pillows, TV set.
And the looks on the outside was a little gem (a small decorated secret garden)
But you have to keep in mind that this is a hostel and no hotel. So you got only the basics : Hand soap, but there's one small supermarket located just around the corner (Plac Wolnica).
During your staying no servicing is done until you leave. New towels is possible against a small fee.
But that's in my opinion a more than fair reason why the cost of staying is very well priced.
The morning breakfast is good, didn't had the time to use it very often because my personal schedule of all things I tried to see in- and outside of Cracow. But I liked the yoghurt anyway.
On the front side of the hostel you have a nice option to sit down and relax as well (and smoke - Hurray).
In the central living room you have 3 PC's with connection to the internet. But the wifi signal in my room worked spotless.

A lot of pro's but 2 small cons.
[*] Movement from other rooms can be heard. Earplugs could easily fix this minor problem.
[*] And a lot of pigeons in the morning. Some pranking idiot was feeding this birds around 05:00, great gig. Those birds can create a lot of noise in the morning.


The Staff
My first checking and tried to pay for my room directly in cash : "Sorry sir, We don't have enough exchange can you please pay the remaining by tomorrow - missing 22 zloty". Here is your key.
Wow, great service and warm feeling (first encounter of my journey in Cracow)
Staffcrew 24/7 spotless and insight (and always with a good mood) on the job.
---------
Couldn't leave this hostel empty handed. It was a real pleasure to be in Cracow/Polen. Loved everything.


My personal schedule of things i liked to see and visit is completed by approx 80-90 % (was very well prepared, before entering Cracow), so I have to return to Cracow (rebook). Where I’m going to stay is no longer an issue.

Kind Regards,
ES

Room Tip: Single.. room 20. Great view on the outside.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled solo
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3  Thank Drugshond
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2013

I was given a nice sized room which was spotless, the bathroom was also of a very decent size. The breakfast was fantastic, with choices of cereals, bread, cheese and meats. The hostel staff were also very helpful and there was always someone on duty.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank Willothewisplondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 July 2013

Staff were so nice, let me hang out there till I needed to catch my night bus. Breakfast amazing, rooms clean and facilities great. Definitely would recommend this hostel. Not only has dorms, but also single and double rooms which are nice too. I stayed in both for a few nights each and both were sweet. Thanks :)

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank Helen R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2013

I booked this hotel for a stag weekend, and made this clear on booking. To be told on arrival stag party is not welcome. The hotel is very basic, but a great location, you get what you pay for, and if you want something cheap and basic this is the hotel for you. We had a shared bathroom for 5 rooms and the floor was always wet. As we were on stag weekend we were made to feel like criminals , they checked the room before departure. But the rooms are so basic it was pointless as we only slept there. Best advice don't stay if you on a stag doo as you are not welcome. So as bad as this review is the hotel will be happy as they don't want you there either .

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank leon T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 July 2013

We stay for only one night, but wished we could have been there longer. The beds were comfortable, free (fast) internet and breakfast were huge perks, and it's within walking distance of everything in Krakow. Staff was friendly and recommended great restaurants and helped with directions. The only criticism is that there were not screens on windows, so when we opened them for air circulation we also let in flies and other insects. Despite that minor discomfort, it is a place we would love to stay again. Go Secret Garden Hostel!

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank travelou42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 July 2013

We stayed in Lavender room for 2 nights, had own bathroom and double bed (a little small but comfy) - all clean. working tv was a nice bonus. the only surprise was that Lavender room is behind the TV/internet room without the separate entrance - we were concerned in the begining about the possible noise from the TV room but nothing disrupted our sleep. The staff also seem quite strict about keeping it down after 10pm.
Breakfast was great: one kind of cheese and meat plus selection of jams, cereals, bread. Hot drinks available all day in the kitchen equipped with all amenities so you can even cook your dinner. The place is located in Kazimierz part of Krakow - 5 min walk from tens of pubs and bars and 15 min walk from the old town.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank lukasos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Secret Garden Hostel

Address: ul. Skawinska 7, Krakow 31-066, Poland
Region: Poland > Southern Poland > Lesser Poland Province > Krakow > Kazimierz , Stare Miasto
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Best Value Hotel in Krakow
#10 Family Hotel in Krakow
#35 Romantic Hotel in Krakow
Price Range: £19 - £37 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — The Secret Garden Hostel 2*
Number of rooms: 35
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Also Known As:
The Secret Garden Hotel Krakow
Secret Garden Hostel Krakow
Secret Garden Hostel Hotel Krakow

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