Sometimes trying to find a good hotel, and relying on other people’s subjective opinions and reviews can all be a bit ‘hit and miss’. However, The Lindner group’s City Plaza establishment in Cologne is a very definite ‘hit’ in terms of both location and level of comfort provided.
This is a hotel, which, at the time of our visit in December 2018, was predominantly used by business clients rather than tourists. But, don’t let that put you off, it’s merely proof, if it were needed, that its location is slap bang in the centre of the city and is ideally placed. Located at Magnustrasse 20, it is a five-minute walk to the nearest underground station (U-Bahn).
I was visiting the Kölner Weihnachtsmarkt or Christmas markets, of which there are seven dotted around the city. And, from this hotel, the main four can easily be reached on foot with a 30-minute gentle stroll. See blog post here. Travel: Cologne’s Christmas markets. Well worth a visit.
Getting from Cologne Bonn airport is easy via all the usual methods, however, we had pre-booked a taxi in order that we didn’t have to wait around for trains or buses, and from collecting our luggage to arriving at the hotel, was a short 30-minute journey.
The hotel is located on a quiet street, and should you be driving yourself there, the hotel has a private underground car park. Should it so happen that it is full, then fear not as there’s a public multi-storey car park directly opposite the hotels front door.
Disabled access from the street is ideal with a level surface and automatic doors allowing wheelchair users direct access to the hotel lobby and reception desk. On arrival, there were some people standing outside smoking and we had to run the gauntlet of second-hand smoke, however, that’s not unique to this hotel by any means. The external had been decorated for Christmas with trees flanking the main door providing a suitably festive appearance.
As you enter the lobby you’ll find a mix of guest seating areas, which features a grand piano, although unfortunately during our week was never used. What appeared to be a temporary bar area had been set up, although I’m still unsure as I never saw it ever being used for that purpose, or any other come to that. the reception desk is located off to your left. Although others were checking in at the same time as I was, it didn’t take long before I was asked forward. The staff were all bilingual, which was helpful, as I don’t speak a word of German. Well, I do have two actually- großes Bier.
Check-in was a painless experience generally, although having a guest with a different surname on my booking did cause a little confusion. However, that was sorted out promptly and we were given details of breakfast service and other useful information. It should be pointed out that reception staff were friendly, helpful and professional in their approach. The lifts to all six floors are located beside reception, but be aware you need your keycard to operate them. The bar, which also serves meals and snacks, dining room and function room are all located on the ground floor level. There is also the facility to check-in online if you want to speed the process up even further.
Our rooms were located on the sixth floor, with one looking out over the city and the other at the multi-storey car park. Whilst not the largest rooms for a five-day stay, I suspect that most of the hotels business guests won’t be too worried, staying on average one or two nights. In making such a comment, however, they were adequate for our purpose. They contained a double bed, two bedside table units, a single armchair, coffee table, a small writing desk with a chair, a mirror, sideboard clothes storage unit upon which sat the flat screen television, and a case rack. In the room vestibule, there was a multi-purpose jacket hanging space which also held the inbuilt safe and mini bar. There are plenty of power outlets provided in both the bedroom and the vestibule. Air conditioning and wifi are provided free of charge, although the latter was very slow at times. I suspect that this was down to the number of guests logging on to use it. The busier times were in the evening when most people had arrived back at the hotel.
The room style is pretty standard – dark wood and neutral colours throughout. If you are looking for a boutique or ultra-modern hotel for style and panache, then you won’t find it at the City Plaza, but then you won’t be paying over the odds for glass and stainless steel fittings either! I think the words which spring to mind are inoffensive and functional
The double glazing did an excellent job of muting the traffic from the road outside, and the double curtain system as good a job at blocking out daylight.
The bathroom was obviously an upgrade from the original as it featured a more modern style in glass and marble, full-width mirrors, a wet floor shower with twin shower heads and a sloping basin. We were also supplied with ample bath towels of various sizes along with the obligatory complimentary toiletries. The bathroom had excellent storage for even the highest maintenance individual. One slight problem was that our ‘rainfall’ shower head didn’t work until day three, although an engineer did confirm there was a hotel-wide problem in every bedroom. Luckily the second shower head worked just fine.
Now, I’ll get this off my chest. Reviewing a hotel bed/mattress is entirely subjective, and what will suit one individual will be the subject of vociferous complaint from another. In this case, I write as I find, and the bed was ideal for me. Slightly firm but supportive is exactly the type of mattress I require following an old back injury, and, it’s unusual for me in a hotel room, but I slept well at the City Plaza. A choice of pillows is also available to suit individual requirements.
All in all, there’s not much wrong with the bedrooms that a wee upgrade wouldn’t put right. One thing I should point out though is, on the hotel’s website (click here) you will find a selection of rooms types, including business and first class. The size of these rooms are identical at 24-35 square metres with a double bed, if selected, of 1.8 x 2m. The only way in which to obtain more floor space is to opt for one of the hotel’s suites, which have 50 square metres available to lounge about in.
Breakfast was served from 6.30am until 10.30am in the Veedelsmaat restaurant. This an open plan area with tables seating two upwards. It’s a self-service breakfast, so pick a table, place something on it to reserve it and head into the food area. Here you will find a wide selection of fruit juices, chilled water, breakfast cereals, yoghurt, porridge, fresh fruit, mixed cold meats and cheeses along with smoked salmon, a large selection of different types of bread, bagels and croissants, a pancake making machine, a selection of pastries, jams and marmalades – phwew, and that’s before we make a start on the hot food! The grille counter provides scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, eggs benedict, bacon, sausages, mushrooms, beans, and potato croquettes. Frankly, there is such a huge choice available that even the pickiest of diners will be able to find something they like. There is a machine dispensing freshly ground coffee in a multitude of cappuccinos, lattes, and flat whites, as well as hot water for the choice of teas, supplied both loose and in bags.
Unfortunately I cannot comment on their evening meal selection or quality as we ate out during our stay, however, if it was anything like breakfast, then I’m fairly sure it’ll have been just fine.
We paid €595.50 for a double room over five nights.
I suppose all that you’re looking to find out is whether I’d recommend the Lindner’s City Plaza Hotel. And the answer to that is a resounding yes. In terms of value for money, location, standard of room and breakfast, you’ll have to look around for quite a while to find something better at this price point.