Monday, November 07, 2011
Until 29 minutes ago at the time of writing there were still rooms at the Hotel Stary (Old Hotel) on the main market square available when the England players will be staying there. I tried to book online to see how much the rooms cost (only around 130 pounds a night for what they claim is a five-star hotel – cheap!!!) but someone has just snapped up the last rooms for the weekend of June 8,9 and 10.
So, a night staying at the same bargain hotel as Wayne Rooney (if he gets selected following a three match ban for an ill-timed temper tantrum), John Terry (if he doesn't get a lengthy ban following an alleged racist incident) and all the other English football mega-stars has just slipped through my fingers. Damn!
The English FA has chosen the down town, modest, hotel as a reaction to the out-of-town palace-prison they were staying at during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Coach Fabio Copello chose that location to keep the players away from all the temptations and distractions available to them and their wives (WAGs) in the city, so they could concentrate on the football.
It didn't work.
The players were reportedly bored out of their tiny minds, and went out of the World Cup after a 4 – 1 drubbing by the Germans.
Copello has had a change of heart this time and will now let the English players near the Polish natives.
So what is there for Wayne Rooney et al to look forward to at Hotel Stary in Krakow?
“Guests of the Stary hotel have free access to the on-site spa, which includes a sauna, gym, steam bath,” says the hotel web site, but adds, a little worryingly, “and a massage parlour”. Er ...
“In the morning guests can enjoy a traditional Polish breakfast. The Trzy Rybki restaurant serves traditional Polish dishes,” the web site says.
The WAGs will like it as it is near to the shops and “has a bar, café and a club”.
Adrian Bevington, director of communications for the FA, who held a joint press conference in Krakow on Monday with Mayor Jacek Majchrowski, said that, “of course our priority is to be good on the pitch” but the team is planning on “visiting historic sites” and doing a bit of general tourist sightseeing on their days off.
So what's to see? Auschwitz is close, I suppose. And not that far down the road is the Wieliczka Salt Mine (which could be a handy place to park John Terry).
“Hotel Stary is 1.1 km from the Wawel Castle. The old Jewish district, Kazimierz is 1 km away,” says the hotel web site, tempting the England players with a little culture between training sessions.
Stag parties from England have complained to me personally that “there are not enough strip clubs in Krakow,” which could be a drawback.
The sometimes stuffy atmostphere of conservative Krakow does not indeed include many naughty clubs - although it is a bit of a gay-magnet, ironically. One slightly disappointed 'reviewer' punter writes on the web of one Villa Incognito, however: “S-Studio in Warsaw was much better, but maybe perhaps because Warsaw is a bigger city. This place had some cute girls. 300 Zloty (50 pounds) for the basic, twice what I paid in Warsaw,” he squeals.
That's Wayne Rooney sorted, then.
Posted by beatroot at 11/07/2011