Mexico City, Mexico
October 30, 2002
The Steigenberger group manages a range of up scale hotels in Germany that oozes class without being too stuffy or snobbish about it. The Graf Zeppelin did not disappoint.
The hotel is conveniently located across the road from the main train station, close to the pedestrian area and Schlossplatz. We drove, however, and had to pay a rather hefty Euro 16 per night for parking. From outside the building doesn’t look like much – especially as it has to compete with the enormous granite station. However, inside it is well appointed in a typical up market German fashion.
We booked through the Internet and although only the night before still got the special weekend rate that included breakfast. Check in was fast and effortless and a baby bed was sent up to our room to arrive almost at the same time as we did. The only problem was that the bed couldn’t make it through the turn from the door past the closet into the room. After a couple of minutes I put the maid out of her misery by lifting it vertically over the lower parts of the closet.
The room was not particularly large but well appointed with a comfortable bed, small writing desk, a couple of chairs, a bar fridge and classy looking lighting. If I stayed more than a single night I would probably opt for a slightly more expensive and larger room. The dominating color was dark blue with dark cherry wood furniture. The joy of traveling by car in your country of residence is that you can easily take along the iron as irons and coffee makers are not items generally seen in hotel rooms in Germany – the Steigenberger is no exception.
I first fell in love with the Steigenberger hotels due to the amazingly quiet and efficient plumbing of their flagship Frankfurter Hof in Frankfurt am Main. The Graf Zeppelin didn’t disappoint on this score either. The bathroom tiled white to the ceiling had shiny modern stainless steel fittings and the toilet in a separate room. We had only a shower but a large one with a strong stream of steaming hot water and a large leak proof glass door. And yes, even in this small room with the bathroom door closed you could hardly hear the plumbing.
The breakfast buffet had a decent spread of hot and cold dishes including some fine Sekt (German champagne). We spent more time on breakfast than intended. To make up time my wife checked out while I loaded the car. I only later realized that we were charged Euro 17 per person for breakfast. A long apology and credit card refund followed two days after I mailed the bill back asking for a clarification. I found the letter sincere enough to stay in the Graf Zeppelin again on future visits rather than the nearby Intercontinental or the Intercity, also managed by the Steigenberger group, in the Main Station.