Autor Rooms, Warsaw, Poland

A celebration of Polish design and a really nice place to stay.

We approached the lift in the communal lobby of a 19th century residential building and bundled our cases inside. The communal hallways left us feeling we were in the wrong place, but a door opened at the end of the corridor and we were welcomed inside Autor Rooms by a slightly harassed-looking host.

Be under no illusion, this is not a hotel but a private four bedroom apartment with a communal living area and kitchen. And all the better for it. Bookshelves full of hardbacks on art, design and architecture, and vinyl records fill the vast white walls. The art is big and graphic, and there are interesting things to look at everywhere. It was conceived by graphic design agency Mamastudio. They set up the apartment for friends visiting the city and it evolved into a guesthouse  – and continues to develop as things are added and rotated, as everything here is for sale. Just as well, you walk around thinking: I’d like one of those!

Midcentury pieces are mixed with contemporary furniture, art and accessories by Polish designers and artists. It gives a wonderful sense of place, craftsmanship and a distinct style. The entire place is a celebration of Polish design. It’s a concept store, idiosyncratic and clever.

Four ensuite bedrooms are arranged around a central communal kitchen and dining space. Each room is different with art curated by a local gallery. Super-soft bedlinen is embroidered with the brand’s key motif and toiletries are from all-natural brand Tolpa & Yope. We stayed in room 1968 which had a separate living room, a small balcony overlooking an internal courtyard and original parquet flooring. Our mirror-clad bathroom had a bespoke towel rail handmade from copper pipe.

"Everything in the hotel is Polish! As designers, it’s kind of like a dream house for us. It shows the history of Polish and Warsaw design." – Owner Michał Pawlik, as told to Design Hotels.

Breakfast is served around a communal table with cold continental options and hot eggs (to order) on offer. A tea and coffee bar is available for use all day with a large selection of teas and snacks. An honesty bar is available in the kitchen, which guests can also use to prepare their own meals.

During breakfast and at check-in, the hosts are attentive and helpful, offering lots of personal recommendations of things to see in the city. They are otherwise discreet and hands off. Guests are pretty much left to their own devices with staff on call when required, which is fine.

As designers, you would expect the brand to be perfect. Which it truly is, and the attention to detail across the touchpoints is wonderful. Room keys are heavy and ensconced in embossed leather holders, branded city maps offer excellent recommendations for eating, drinking and shopping across the city, and a more in-depth guidebook, available for sale, is published by Mamastudio themselves. They have such good taste that we used it as our Warsaw bible.

Autor rooms is located in the central area of Śródmieście on a historic street of modernist buildings that survived WWII – which are few and far between in this city. It’s a short walk to Hala food hall and the bars, restaurants and cafes on nearby Poznańska Street.

The bottom line

A super affordable design hotel for those who appreciate good interiors and authentic experiences when they travel. A big “yes, go!” from me.

Lwowska 17/7, Sródmiescie, 00-660 Warsaw, Poland
From £95