Water ‘bout that! Gdańsk to get country’s first ‘bona fide’ floating hotel
Hailed as the first project of its type in Poland, the country’s first bona fide floating hotel is set to welcome travellers in the not too distant future.
Titled the Feel Harmony, the boutique investment will consist of 72 rooms spread across three barges and will include a whisky bar, café, restaurant, spa and water-facing terraces.
Opening in Gdańsk, the hotel will be positioned a stone’s throw from the Philharmonic as well as the city’s historic centre and world class attractions such as the WWII Museum.
Although Poland can already boast a healthy smattering of floating stays, Feel Harmony is being marketed as the first true hotel-style facility in this genre.
According to Kornelia Bargielska, the president of River Point, the property firm behind the project, it will set a new standard when compared to existing water-based accommodation.
“Until now, we’ve only seen small projects when it comes to floating accommodation,” she tells TFN. “The Feel harmony won’t just be on an entirely different scale, but also of a completely different character.
“Our facility will have all the functions of a hotel such as a spa zone with sauna and a restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner like all hotels should. Moreover it will also act as an intimate marina for smaller vessels.”
Targeting tourists and business travellers, it is the non-standard features that have, however, attracted the most interest.
“Apart from the sleeping service, our guests will be looking for unusual emotions,” says Bargielska, “and that’s where the proximity to the water and panoramic views from the rooms play a role.”
Moreover, she continues, the hotel will afford guests the unique chance to be in touching distance of nature whilst basing themselves in the city centre.
“The principle advantage is the location,” says Bargielska, “but from a business point of view it also makes sense – by being on the water the hotel is resistant to possible climate changes like, for instance, rising water levels.”
Neither has Gdańsk been an accidental choice. “It’s more than just a beautiful, one-of-a-kind city,” says Bargielska. “It’s also the fastest growing tourist destination in Poland in recent years and its potential is still inexhaustible.
“The high occupancy rate of accommodation is one of the best in the country, and a further advantage are the large number of domestic and international visitors.”
According to the Gdańsk Tourist Organization, over 3.4 million people visited the city in 2019, and though hit hard by the pandemic it still recorded 2 million visitors in 2020.
Meanwhile, hotel occupancy rates have traditionally hovered around the 70 percent mark, making the city an attractive proposition for developers and hotel operators.
In this, the area where the Feel Harmony will be moored has proven particularly popular.
Once regarded as a discarded and overlooked part of the town, today it has become central to any visitor itinerary thanks to the lively food and drink scene at the redeveloped Granary Island, as well as the introduction of attractions such as the Ferris wheel, the acclaimed philharmonic and stunning footbridges to connect the area with the Old Town.
With the concept preparation and approval phase already completed, the Feel Harmony is scheduled to open in 2023.