Crowne Plaza Minsk Review (August 2019)
The Crowne Plaza Minsk is located in Minsk's best neighborhood with plenty of upscale eateries and lots of green parks around. I arrived late at night and the sole attendant was quick on his feet and understood English very well. The lobby looks like a really old (and creaky) old movie theater. It was dark, dingy and the entrance doors were tiny and barely opened. I asked for a quiet room (as usual) and got a room that was away in a separate wing (so very few other guests) but also faced the street. Oh well. The Crowne Plaza is easily 25 years past a much-needed renovation - the public areas are just plain old, dirty and in bad shape. The room itself was of good size and seemed more modern though. The bed was way too soft but had plenty of pillows. The air conditioning was loud and barely worked - not a problem in the first few days in Minsk (when it as chilly) but annoying once it got hot. The Internet was clumsy to connect and it only worked once I shared my mobile number. It would constantly cut in and out but if it worked it was rather fast at 20 Mbit. The bathroom was huge with two separate sinks (!) but had a tiny shower with way too high water pressure. I walked down to the 'Executive Lounge', which according to the attendant features a 24/7 food buffet and drinks. Well, it did but that food must have been out (not chilled) at least a few days. Disgusting. There was free water and an espresso maker as well. At certain hours the staff would bring out one (!) bottle of red wine and some (cheap) vodka. The Executive Lounge was a total fail - I never even bothered to go back. Right next door is the 'WhyKnot' coffee shop (you can still use the Crowne Plaza Wifi) with excellent breakfast options and coffee for under $5. There is an excellent craft beer bar and a number of upscale bistros just a block away. In sum, this hotel is good for its location only. Otherwise, it is an equivalent of a Holiday Inn Express with a slightly bigger room. So curb your expectations!