This is another corporate chain (like the Diplomat) that offers good-value rooms, with the trade-off being a slightly out of the way location. The difference here, though, is that the Crowne Plaza offers distinctive 1950s "Socialist Realist" architecture: a 15-story Soviet-era skyscraper that you're not likely to see anywhere outside of Moscow or Warsaw. The lobby and public areas are stunning, complete with Socialist-style murals and tapestries. The rooms are on the small side, but decently priced if you're able to snag a discount over the hotel website . The breakfast buffet is better than average and upstairs, you'll find a small bar with impressive views. The location on the northwestern edge of the city is convenient to the airport and the center is reachable by tram in 15 minutes.
- Mark Baker