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Afloat in history in Poland's lake district
From LAX, Lufthansa, Swiss, KLM, Air France, British Airways, American, United and Continental have connecting flights (change of plane to LOT Polish Airlines in Chicago or Newark, N.J.). Restricted round-trip fares begin at $1,301.
Warsaw is a two-hour drive from the Mazuria region.
To reach numbers below from the U.S., dial 011 (international code), 48 (country code for Poland), 89 (the area code for the Nidzica and Olsztyn region) and the local number.
WHERE TO STAY:
Hotel Gregorovius, Nidzica Castle, Ul. Zamkowa 2; 89-625-5758, http://www.hotelgregorovius.com.pl , offers 25 basic but pleasant rooms in a 14th century castle. Doubles $45. For more character, opt for the Grand Master's Chamber or the bridal chamber ($50). All prices include breakfast. All accommodations are above ground level. Although the castle is long on atmosphere, it's short on serfs, so count on carrying your own luggage.
Lemany Estate, Januszkowo 27; 69-559-0737, http://www.lemany.com , a small, upscale resort recently opened near Szkotowo village, a few miles from Nidzica. Accommodations are in spacious, two-story houses built in traditional half-timbered Mazurian style, furnished with the owners' collection of elegant restored antiques. A separate building holds the restaurant, disco, children's playroom and three additional bilevel suites. Rates from $150 per day per adult, $100 per day per child, including breakfast and dinner (alcohol excluded).
Hotel Galery69, Dorotowo 38 (just off of Route 51, about eight miles from Olsztyn in Stawiguda village); 89-513-6480, http://www.studio69.pl (Polish and German only), rests on the edge of two lakes. The oh-so-cool hotel is a showcase for its owners, an architect couple who have designed modern, airy interiors filled with natural wood and shimmering sunlight. There are seven double rooms and three suites with kitchens; choose one with a lake view. Doubles from $42.50, suites from $67.50, including breakfast.
WHERE TO EAT:
Restaurancja w Zamku at Nidzica Castle (see above) offers standard Polish fare — noodle soups, roasted meats, potatoes and sauerkraut — in vaulted castle rooms decorated with medieval weapons. Dinner (without alcohol) about $11 per person.
Hotel Galery69 (see above) serves modern updates of Polish standbys (steak, pierogi), shish kebab, fondue, pasta, pizza, salads and soups. The no-smoking environment and lighter-than-usual fare are a welcome break. A typical meal (soup, salad, entree, beverage) is about $12 per person, not including alcohol.
TO LEARN MORE:
Polish National Tourist Office, 5 Marine View Plaza, Hoboken, NJ 07030; (201) 420-9910, fax (201) 584-9153, http://www.polandtour.org .
— Gayle Keck