We had booked the Hotel Okatex in Zagan on Booking.com but when we found it, everything was all locked up, no lights, etc. We went next door to the Hotel Willa Park to see if they had any information and it turns out they own both hotels. They offered to check us into the Hotel Okatex but advised that we would be the only people in the building and said they had openings at the Hotel Willa Park if we were willing to pay a little more. The difference was negligible so we went for it, even though it seemed like a good old-fashioned 'bait and switch' con.
Our room was very nice, larger than we had anticipated and furnished nicely, although everything was fairly outdated fashion-wise. That's not particularly important to me and actually seemed to add to the charm of the place, especially considering that this area of Poland has not been very economically-advantaged and for many years was oppressed by various political factions. The bed was comfortable, the room was quiet and everything was very clean plus there was an elevator to help us get our luggage up to the room. There was also free WiFi and many spa services, which we didn't have time to take advantage of, plus beautiful grounds surrounding the buildings. Our double room, including a terrific breakfast, cost less than $70 USD so we were quite satisfied.
As far as service goes, the employees couldn't have been nicer - we had the impression they really knocked themselves out to make us happy. When they found out that we were there to visit Stalag Luft III, where my father had been held during WWII as a Prisoner of War, they gave us literature about the museum, a large map of the city and expressed interest in hearing my story. When the desk clerk saw me looking at a book about my father's time in the camp later in the evening, she asked if she could see some of the pictures, There seemed to be at least one and often several employees available who spoke enough English that we were able to communicate fairly well and even those employees who didn't speak English were willing to do their best to help and were very tolerant of our need to look things up in the Polish/English dictionary. Even when we could see they had other things to do, they always managed to give us the impression that attending to our needs was the single most important thing on their minds, which made us feel special, although I suspect they treat everyone the same way.
I think if someone plans to stay in this place, a little tolerance for International cultural differences and allowances in standard of expectations for the somewhat rural region need to be included in everything. We've stayed in much nicer places but when this place is put into context, we felt it rated above average for what we could have gotten in a region that still has many economic struggles and challenges to overcome. It might have gotten a much different rating if the identical hotel had been in London or Los Angeles but it's not - it's in Zagan, Poland, and I really think that needs to be considered when rating accommodations. I'm providing lots of photos to help you make your own decision should be be staying in this area.
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