Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

‘My Favourite Hotel’ review – The Grand Hotel Lviv in Ukraine

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

Today, our ‘My Favourite Hotel’ review is from Lviv in Ukraine, where we look at The Grand Hotel.

If you’ve never heard of Lviv, it is accessible by both Wizz Air and Ryanair from London airports so you have no excuse for not putting it on your list.

We are currently running this reader-written feature to provide some positivity and inspiration to Head for Points.  We hope to run one review per day for the next few weeks.  There will be a deliberate mix of European and worldwide properties, super luxury and mid market, branded and independent. You can find all of the ‘My Favourite Hotel’ reviews so far by clicking here.

Today we are going somewhere where few readers will have been.  The Grand Hotel Lviv, in Lviv, Ukraine is reader Simon’s favourite hotel and here is his review:

Overview

The city of Lviv has a long history. Over the years it has been part of numerous states and empires including Poland and the USSR and is now western Ukraine’s cultural hub.

A beautifully ornate town square, hundreds of historic churches, and a plethora of high quality and fun restaurants are attracting tourists from all over the world and now, with the arrival of the low cost carriers, (Wizz Air and Ryanair serve the city from London Luton as well as Stansted) it is Lviv’s time to shine.

Grand Hotel Lviv Ukraine review

Where is Grand Hotel Lviv?

The Grand Hotel Lviv is located in Lviv’s town centre. It sits proudly mid way along Svobody Avenue (Freedom Avenue) with the impressive opera house at one end and a park running along its length which the hotel looks out over.

Lviv airport is just a 15 minute drive from the town centre. As your taxi trundles over cobbled roads and bounces over exposed tram tracks, you’ll start to appreciate the beauty of the city’s architecture. Exit the car outside the Grand Hotel Lviv and pay just £6 to your driver – Ukraine is superb value for money.

A smartly dressed doorman will welcome you to the best address in town!

Hotel overview

Dating back to 1893, the baroque style hotel offers a range of rooms, a restaurant, bar and an impressive underground pool and spa.

Located on the ground floor the restaurant was serving a large buffet breakfast. The choices included fresh bakery items, smoked salmon, salads, and a few hot options. Fresh juices were available and hot drinks could be ordered.

The dining area was large, so it never felt too busy and the food was always replenished if necessary. I’ve seen better breakfasts, but this is still worth getting out of bed for. We choose not to eat any other meals at the hotel as the options in town were so good.

Also on the ground floor was one of the hotel’s best features: the bar. A large oval structure that sat in the middle of the room with a mesmerising moving light feature above it. International branded bottles decorated the shelves and a separate ‘walk in’ wine room was to the side.

You can sit at the bar, or have your order taken at one of the many sitting areas. There is a menu, but the choice of alcohol on offer is so vast and the bartenders very knowledgeable, that anything you fancied could be catered for.

Our Room

The rooms were large (ours was around 40 square metres) and had all the usual amenities such as TV, fridge, bottled water, seating area, etc.

As the name suggests, the style was grand. A huge bed was the focal point of the room and the matching arm chairs were a fun touch.

The design was different to what you would find in a European luxury hotel, perhaps a bit more Russian in style, but definitely not generic.

Grand Hotel Lviv Ukraine review

The only downside to the room was the bathroom. Although beautiful in its high quality fittings, it was rather small looking at the size of the room and there was no separate shower.

We visited over New Year, and the package we booked included a welcome pack which was delivered to our room on arrival and consisted of a chilled bottle of prosecco and a fruit platter. It also included a spa treatment which I’ll talk about later.

Facilities

In the basement of the hotel was the Oasis infinity pool and spa. This impressive facility included a pool large enough for swimming lengths, a jacuzzi, a salt room, Infrared room, Finnish Sauna, Roman Bath, Kraksen, Russian Sauna and even a Hay room. I’ve never seen such a large amount of facilities in one place. Thankfully staff were on hand to explain how to use each of these if, like me, you had no idea what a Kraksen is!

(The Kraksen is also know as a hay bath or sauna, which is said to improve quality of sleep and boost immune system.  Not the same as the hay room which is just a room with a hay floor to chill out in.)

The massage room was fitted with professional equipment and offered anything from a facial to full body massage treatments. I opted for a hot stone massage which lasted for 1.5 hours and was absolutely enjoyable and relaxing.

All the facilities as well as the gym are open from 07:00 – 22:00.

Grand Hotel Lviv Ukraine review

Conclusion

Ukraine has turned a corner politically and there is a new and exciting vibe in the air throughout the country. Lviv has so much to offer and makes for a perfect long weekend getaway.

The bars and restaurants in town serve delicious and varied food and are great fun to visit. Many have theatrical themes, are interactive, or cleverly designed. For example there was a coffee shop in the square that was a normal coffee shop upstairs but had an underground coffee mine where you could put on a mining hat, walk through what looked like a mining facility and then take a seat and have flame thrown coffee. You can find out more about these special nights out here.

There’s lots to do in town too, but it’s always nice to come back to a brilliant hotel at the end of a long day.

The facilities on offer at the Grand hotel are not matched by any other hotel in town, maybe even in the country. Room prices including breakfast start at around £115 per night and go up to £210 for a suite.

I’m yet to find a hotel or destination in Europe that delivers such enjoyment, fun and great value for money.

The Grand Hotel’s website is here if you want to find out more.

And a video!

Simon made a YouTube video during his stay, if you want to see more:

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (39)

  • Kilburnflyer says:

    Great review and not somewhere I had not considered visiting before.

    I love the Russian/Ukrainian banya (sauna) experience, there is an amazing one in the basement of the (otherwise ) utilitarian Park Inn Pulkovskaya in Saint Petersburg. I stayed there for an incredible 15,000 Raddison points per night during the 2018 World cup!

    • Kilburnflyer says:

      *not somewhere I had considered

    • the Vandal says:

      There is no such thing as “Ukrainian banya”. Russian banya is a brand per se just like Finnish sauna.

      • Alex says:

        Agree, in Ukrainian it’s also just called a Russian banya.

        • kilburnflyer says:

          Noted. I suppose I was using it as a catch all term as the hotel is based in Ukraine

          The spa looks excellent and seems to offer many similar facilities to some excellent Russian hotel spas that I have been to.

  • Nigel S says:

    Ukraine is somewhere I had booked for end May/early June-Lviv, Odessa (overnight train) and Kiev (overnight train) -ah well, maybe next year ! Lviv looks amazing,

    • Simon says:

      If you click through my Lviv video I have lots of Ukraine videos including a fun first class overnight train trip across the country. Would highly recommend trying the overnight train, great fun! Hope it helps you out.

  • Alex says:

    Thanks for the review! Nice to see my hometown feature on HFP. The hotel has an interesting-ish recent history – it had been closed for around 4 years for reconstruction, during which time it doubled in size and was supposed to reopen as a Crowne Plaza (which seemed like a strange choice for this particular hotel), until at the last moment the owner decided that would be too expensive and reverted to the hotel’s original Grand Hotel name.

  • Hotel-User says:

    Kiev is a good weekend destination, but do not stay outside the center as the traffic is so congested. However Uber is only a few £. The metro is cheap and interesting as well ( deep ).

    Lviv is now on the “Covid 19 Bucket List”, is the hotel part of a loyalty group ? or other ?

    Any advice on train from say Krakow to Lviv ?

    • Alex says:

      The only chain hotel in the city is the Ibis Styles Lviv Center. There are many nicer hotels but they’re all independent.

      You can get to Lviv from Kraków by train but it takes a while and involves a change at Przemysl. A short Ryanair flight might be a better bet.

      • Hotel-User says:

        Many thanks.

        Was hoping that there was an “easy” train overnight, plan was Kiev, Lviv, Krakow and back .

        Did Kiev last year – with kids as one wanted to do the dark tourist spot at Chernobyl ( not recommended ) and wanted to do the route with OH later. Looked at the Accor offer, and its not a patch on this hotel.

        • Blindman says:

          Why was Chernobyl not recommended?

          We went last year and it was a good trip IMHO.

          Did not make it to Liviv as we had to cut short trip.

          It’s on my list along with Wroclaw

          • Simon says:

            Hey if you click on my you tube channel from the Lviv video then I have 2 guides to Wroclaw. Its particularly nice at Christmas! Lovely place in Poland all year round.

          • Hotel-User says:

            It could have been the tour company my son chose, but it was 300€ for a two day tour. Did not see reactor either !. Three hour cramped bus from Kiev ( one too many passengers for the number of seats in bus as well ). Bumpy roads. Very bumpy roads – got coccyx pain that lasted 8 months. Overnight “hotel” was a hostel – not nice. Was not allowed out of it either – and felt like a prison.

            Chernobyl was worth seeing, but once you have seen one deserted primary school, you really do not need to see another 5. Fake level of “danger” as well. Felt like 1000’s of people had literally trod in my footsteps. ( even inside the buildings that no one was allowed in …. ) Most of the buildings stripped of anything that could have been sold ( metal fromm walls etc ). There are a lot of youtube videos that are worth watching if you are that interested. It looks like most of the “tour guides” staged the photo ops as they are all the same …

            It could have been just me, as my son loved it ( daughter hated it though as well )

          • The Savage Squirrel says:

            +1 to Wroclaw. Beautiful place.
            Loved this write-up by the way. Nice choice of contribution: a little off the beaten track but still accessible.

        • Simon says:

          There is a great overnight night train from Kiev to Lviv, we did first class which is like being on a murder mystery carriage from an Agatha Christie book! A great cheap way to get over to Lviv (about £30 per person for the 2 berth cabin and a 13 hour slow train). It’s so cheap to travel and acts as one nights accommodation. We did a the trip from Kiev to Ivano-Frankivsk and have a video about that on my YouTube channel, give you an idea of what to expect. Just click through the Lviv hotel video and you can see all my Ukraine videos. Hope they help you out!

          • Hotel-User says:

            Thank you.

            Did Polish first class from Tri City ( Sopot Sofitel – good experience ) to Warsaw ( Sofitel – not that great ) last year. Would recommend – only a few euros over third class ( so I was told – hotel booked train tickets for us ) It was cheap and good. So will try the overnight slow train.

      • Andrew M says:

        You stay on the train at Przemysl – what gets changed is the wheels. It’s a fun experience to have the cartridges jacked up, the standard gauge wheels removed and replaced with Russian broad gauge wheels

        • Don says:

          That’s the overnight Wroclaw-Kyiv. I wouldn’t bother with that. Take the twice daily modern electric trains from Przemysl to Lviv. You need to change at Przemsyl when coming from Kraków but that is a better quality experience and cheaper.

          The whole journey should be around £15-20 from Kraków.

          You can also take the relatively new Graz-Przemsyl and then change there for a true Euro-Trip.

  • Lottie says:

    We did a long weekend in Kiev just before Christmas last year and had a fabulous time, the metro is indeed interesting. Lviv now definitely a must see, thanks.

  • Paul Higham says:

    Not anywhere I’d considered as a destination before, so thanks for,putting this together.

  • Jamie says:

    Having been to Lviv twice. It is somewhere I can wholeheartedly recommend. A fantastic city for a summer break.

    • Simon says:

      And a winter break, we stayed over new years and the vibe as incredible and a bit of snow on the ground just added to the magic!

  • MrHandBaggageOnly says:

    Thank you for this review. Having only ventured to Ukraine for the first time last year, I ended up visiting twice. My first trip was to Kiev and because I enjoyed that (polite people, good food, decent prices) we then did a family holiday to Odessa. Would love to go back to both, but Lviv was already on my list as ‘somewhere new’ and now I know where I’d like to stay!