Hotel Review – Kempinski Hotel Gravenbruch, Frankfurt, Germany

Image (c) Kempinski Hotels

Right, let’s assume that you need to stay over near Frankfurt Airport but would like somewhere not directly overlooking the runway. A quick search will reveal a few choices within shuttle bus/taxi distance of the terminal and competition for your cash can often result in some good deals, particularly through third-party websites. As you’ll probably know I generally prefer to use the hotel’s own website but if (a) there are no good offers or (b) I’m not worried about not earning points then Booking.com, Hotels.com and their ilk are worth checking.

So what did you come up with here?

The Kempinski brand is one I most associate with their immaculate Adlon hotel in Berlin, although I have only ever had a drink at the bar and a snoop around the lobby. So when I saw this place near the airport which boasted of its five stars and was available for a reasonable EUR 160, I decided to go for it. The website listed both an indoor and an outdoor pool and the free shuttle bus was the clincher. A little luxury before my trip to Chicago the next day seemed to be just the ticket.

Yes, especially considering you would be flying first class…

Well, may as well keep up the pretence, right? The reviews were a little mixed but mostly positive, and it did seem that experiences were a little coloured by the room which was allocated – clearly there was a section of the hotel that had recently been renovated and that was the better place to be. Despite the fact that there are many claims to the contrary, I am convinced that the rooms offered cheaply by third-party vendors are worse than those assigned by the hotels if you book directly. I’ve been through this several times myself and I think I was subject to the same treatment here, but I digress…

 

Kempinski Hotel Gravenbruch, Graf zu Ysenburg und Buedingen Platz 1, 63263 Frankfurt +49 69 389 88 0

Website: http://www.kempinski.com/en/frankfurt/hotel-gravenbruch/welcome/

Email: reservations.gravenbruch@kempinski.com

 

When?

Mid-April 2012.

Vital stats:

Five stars. Opened November 2011. 284 rooms over 3 floors.

Location, location, location?

The hotel is located 10km from Frankfurt Airport in a quiet location on a lake. It takes about 20 minutes in a taxi or driving your own car. Big minus here is that despite what it said on the website at the time of booking (now changed) there was no shuttle bus. I looked in van for the right bus stop only to find that a sticker had been placed over ‘Hotel Kempinski’ in the list of destinations. I called the hotel and was told that the service had been withdrawn and had to get a taxi. Not a big deal and not very expensive either, but nobody likes misinformation.

What about parking?

If driving yourself there are 350 parking spaces available for a charge of EUR 15 per day.

Why choose this place?

Well it’s a five star property that can be had for a three to four-star price if you time it right. Throw in the two pools, an acclaimed restaurant and its peaceful location and that’s an appealing package.

Room

There are two different types of room – Classic and Comfort. Go for the latter if you can choose. There are a range of four different suites starting with the Comfort suite aimed at families up to the Presidential aimed at, well, presidents.

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Image (c) Andy Higgs, Grown-up Travel Guide

The room I was appointed was a major let-down, to be honest. After the entrance and the lobby, the service at reception and the bar (all of which I made use of before getting to my place for the night) I was expecting something a little better. Musty and dull, it had seen better days. I’ve had a similar experience in other German hotels with a vast disparity between the public areas of a hotel and the actual rooms and I believe it’s to do with the fact that they are slow to renovate.

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Image (c) Andy Higgs, Grown-up Travel Guide

Presumably they’ll replace the CRT television (I know) when they do.  The room had the following features: Big old jurassic television, writing desk with chair, private safe big enough for a laptop, telephone, opening windows, radio. The bed was comfortable.

Carpets?

Yes, the Classic rooms have them and mine was not nice. If you go for a Comfort room you get a hardwood floor but hopefully they’ll strip all the carpets out or at least upgrade them when they get round to renovating the section of the hotel I stayed in.

Bathroom

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Image (c) Andy Higgs, Grown-up Travel Guide

The bathroom was small but had space for a bathtub. Good quality Kempinski-brand toiletries. Hair dryer provided.

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Image (c) Andy Higgs, Grown-up Travel Guide

Rather hilariously there was even an ashtray in the bathroom presumably for when you savour a cigar in a moment of quiet contemplation. This was of course a no-smoking room, although they do offer smoking rooms.

Free internet I hope?

No. The connection was fast but there’s a charge. Not unusual for Germany but not good nevertheless.

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